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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Ten stupid creationist ideas



I've heard a lot of young earth creationist ideas in my life and so compiling the top 10 most idiotic claims/research by the YEC crowd is not easy. So here they are (in no real particular order)

1. Catastrophic plate tectonics- John Baumgardner, an otherwise decent geodynamicist, has proposed a jelly-like mantle during the flood. In this scenario, continents are zooming around like jet-airplanes while the mantle releases tremendous amounts of heat in a global flood. The story of Noah fails, of course, to mention any of this and also to avoid the obvious buoyancy issues of underwater volcanic eruptions with large gas emissions. Noah, in his floating structure never even noticed any of this! So desperate are the creationists to explain all of geology in a flood framework that they've abandoned all reason.

2. Noah's Ark- It's not so much a claim as it is a blind following of a borrowed myth (from the Sumers) about a man building a boat because his god is pretty pissed off. The obvious problems of 8 people caring for all of the created kinds on the boat (food, water, excrement) are all hidden away in some dark 'feasibility analysis' by evolutionist cum creationist Jan Peczkis (aka John Woodmorappe). Woody claims that each of the 16,000 animals on the ark require only 7.2 seconds to care for (that's shoveling a lot of ---- literally and figuratively) John's wonderful statistical analysis manages to convince the brethren that the median size animal on the ark is a rat in order to solve the space problem. Woodmorappe probably borrowed the statistical analysis from his 1995 evolutionary article in the Journal of Vertebrate Palentology (written under his real name Jan Peczkis). There is so much wrong with this story that the mind boggles that anyone would try to show its feasibility.

3. Baraminology- This half-hearted attempt by creationists to develop a Linnean classification scheme for 'created' (bara) 'kinds' (min) was used to make young earth creation sound more scientific. In reality, this is a way in which they can place humans in a distinct classification in order to make them special (the apobaramins).

4. Vegetarian Carnivores- Yes, Virginia, t-rex was a vegetarian along with all the other meat-eaters! Here's what Mark Looy had to say about the T-rex:
"We call him our 'missionary lizard,' " Looy says. "When people realize the T. rex lived in Eden, it will lead us to a discussion of the gospel. The T. rex once was a vegetarian, too."


The Original "Salad Shooter"?

5. Rapid Radioactive Decay: In order to rescue a young earth something had to be done with radioactive decay. The obvious choice is to make radioactive decay not constant! So, the RATE group has worked hard to show that decay rates are not constant and may have been faster in the past. No one seems to wonder that if decay rates can change to be faster, they may also have been slower in the past. Rapid radioactive decay also presents a heat problem. Interestingly, a creationist by the name of Robert Gentry claims that decay rates are constant and therefore the short half-life of Polonium shows that some rocks were created instantaneously!

6. Wedge Plan: Often dubbed 'creationists trojan horse' or 'creationism lite', Intelligent Design is an attempt by creationists to establish a theocracy in America via scientific sounding publications. The Wedge Document, originally a private communique between the ID groups main politicians was leaked onto the web back in the 1990's. The ID folk have since tried to play down its importance, but the poor handling of this document (and the fact that they wrote it at all) has got to be one of the stupidest things the intelligent design creationists have ever done.

7. Evolution is the root of all evil: This argument has various permutations within the creationist community. Creationist Carl Wieland gives us the 'mild connection' argument in the following quote:

Creationists are often accused of making a false connection between evolution and the various social evils of our modern world.

The charge is that we are claiming evolution causes immoral behaviour, holocausts, and the like. Is this AiG’s stance? Do we think evolution causes such things? Not directly; sin is of course responsible. But evolutionary thought permeating a culture will inevitably lead to a magnification of the effects of sin in one form or another. For one thing, it weakens the shared cultural restraints that arise out of a commonly adhered-to basis for morality.



Invariably, this argument always leads to discussions about Hitler, Stalin or any other megalomaniac. Evolution is always blamed for the evil perpetrated by these individuals. The argument is so nonsensical that I always make the point that when creationists trot out this canard, they have already lost the argument.

8. Evolution leads to Atheism: This one is so silly, but the idea is deeply embedded in the creationist mind. The minute someone begins to discuss evolution in a positive way, the creationist will assume (more often than not) that the evolutionist is an atheist. The plot is all to familiar. The creationists with some knowledge of creation literature will try to argue the problems with evolution and those with no knowledge will simply offer to pray for you and tell you about hell.

Ok, so far these are all very common and very stupid ideas proposed by creationists. We've all heard them before and often groan when we hear or read them. Tommorrow, I'm going to give 2 more really stupid ideas that may be less familiar to those who only occasionally meet up with creationists.

Cheers

Joe Meert

35 Comments:

At 11:58 AM, Anonymous Les Lane said...

With regard to #1 people would do well to think about why water flows out of "smokers" at the bottom of the ocean rather than flowing into them. Of course if you don't have the basic physics, then Brown and Baumgardner seem quite reasonable.

 
At 12:13 PM, Blogger dogscratcher said...

I like #7: Evolution is the root of all evil. When they bring up Stalin, I like to point out he rejected evolution in favor of Lysenkoism because it was too "capitalistic." And then we discuss atheists in prison:

http://www.holysmoke.org/icr-pri.htm

 
At 7:05 PM, Anonymous jpb said...

Joe said: I've heard a lot of young earth creationist ideas in my life and so compiling the top 10 most idiotic claims/research by the YEC crowd is not easy.


I also recall a one Mrs. Setterfield claiming something about people on the ark witnessed hot water burning the flesh off of people. In the same breath she said, but “those on the ark weren’t affected by these events because they were far inland”.

I’m sorry but these people are just deluded.

 
At 11:39 PM, Blogger Joe Meert said...

Yes, well somebody's got to do it. Setterfield did not make the top ten because not even the creationists buy his crap.

Cheers

Joe Meert

 
At 6:43 AM, Anonymous SteveF said...

Admirable stuff Joe, but I'm afraid you have left out one real gem. From Wilfred Elders' review of Grand Canyon a Different View, we have:

"Another fascinating mystery is why there were animals leaving footprints so late in the flood. … Dinosaur tracks, which are often found in the Morrison formation, are located at even higher levels in the geologic strata. It would appear that some animals were able to escape the water until later in the flood. Many were strong swimmers but they may have migrated to higher ground or clung to floating vegetation and were killed later as the waters finally reached them. Dr John Baumgardner, a research scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, has suggested that circulating water inundating the continents may have formed giant whirlpools with dry floors near the center until late in the flood. This may have allowed animals near the center of the continents to initially escape the flood waters but were then overwhelmed when the events of the flood reached their zenith (Vardiman 1999: 17)."

http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/rncse_content/vol24/4521_bibliolatry_revisited_review__12_30_1899.asp

 
At 11:22 PM, Anonymous Bevets said...

Thanks for the plug. My main argument is that evolutionism is BASED on atheism. It also leads many to atheism thus completing the circle.

 
At 8:16 AM, Blogger Joe Meert said...

and your argument is just plain silly. Evolution is based on observational science. In spite of a few whiny protests from axe-grinding fundamentalists, evolution remains science and will remain science.

Cheers

Joe Meert

 
At 7:54 PM, Anonymous munky said...

One thing I've often wondered about - IF humans and dinosaurs co-existed at some stage during the religious loon's deranged version of history, how come we've never found fossil human remains alongside all those bits of T-Rex and such..?

 
At 7:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No amount of time could explain the impossible. Evolution is not science. Finding dinosaur foot prints along with man's prove they walked together. All fossils prove a great catastrophe. Fish fossiles arched like the fish was buried alive.Look at the death pose. Then out of nowhere life spontaneously arouse from nothing. Hog wash the fool says in his heart there is no God.

 
At 10:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why are there only 8?
You said it's 10...

 
At 2:51 PM, Blogger rob said...

I have to agree that understanding evolution can play a large part in "going atheist". Certainly there is a correlation between the two, and I'd bet the more time one spends thinking about evolutionary biology, and the deeper one's understanding of it, the more likely one is to be atheist.

I agree with Dawkins comment that "Darwin made it easy to become an intellectually fulfilled atheist". Certainly my own atheism developed around the same time I began to "get" evolution (when I was 8 or 9). Since evolution provides an explanation for not just all the amazing forms of life we observe, but even our own subjective experience....I'd say it nullifies 90% of the "evidence" for there being a God.

 
At 7:01 AM, Blogger ken said...

look at it this way. if theyre right, we are all going to hell and theyre all going to heaven. and i think youll agree that spending eternity away from these morons is quite an appealing notion

 
At 7:03 AM, Blogger ken said...

look at it this way. if theyre right. we're all going to hell and theyre all going to heaven. i think youll agree eternity away from these people is an appealing notion

 
At 1:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those holding extremists, when left to discuss their opinions amongst themselves, have this bizarre tendency to cease intelligent discussion and do nothing more than insult their 'opponents.'

 
At 5:03 AM, Anonymous frosty said...

lol, loved that last comment.

You also forgot to mention the one about why Methuselah and noah and the like lived for several centuries... 'hyperbaric' conditions of course! Which is why they were all giants (the nephilim of Genesis). Obviously!

 
At 11:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Watch "100 Reasons Why Evolution is Wrong" and you'll realise that despite the literal understanding of Creationists there's some big flaws in the theory of evolution.

 
At 1:45 PM, Blogger michael said...

Yes, I'm sure it would be a pleasant experience to burn forever. Don't take my opinion too seriously; it's very entertaining to watch all these meaningless arguments. I'm only reading this to laugh at all of you people who go crazy when someone says they don't think the universe exploded into existence, or that animals mutated into humans.

 
At 1:47 PM, Blogger michael said...

Yes, I'm sure it would be a pleasant experience to burn forever. Don't take my opinion too seriously; it's very entertaining to watch all these meaningless arguments. I'm only reading this to laugh at all of you people who go crazy when someone says they don't think the universe exploded into existence, or that animals mutated into humans.

 
At 2:03 PM, Blogger michael said...

You know, if you believe in God, you believe in the simplest thing in existence. Don't think of God as a big guy with a white beard sitting on a throne (I'm sure that is the image you think of), try imagining Something that has NO appearance. Something that can do literally ANYTHING. It did not just create matter and energy, It also created time and even the empty space that contains everything. It can think for itself; It even decides what is good and evil. If you you look at God this way, He doesn't seem as much as a fairy tale character.

 
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At 9:30 AM, OpenID yahya said...

Well, even though the catholic church has finally accepted evolution, I do agree, that understanding evolutionary theory makes the belief in the god of the bible far less plausible.

Why would a loving and good god e.g. resort to a process of natural selection for the advancement of life on earth, taking into account how wasteful this process is, how it implies billions of years of suffering, something that an all powerful deity easily could have skipped?

Actually, I always thought that evolution was not affecting religion, but since I have begun digging deeper into this debate, I have to concede that it indeed affects what was left of my faith (which was not very much, though).

 
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At 11:27 PM, Blogger Closet said...

Evolution does lead to atheism. Because you realize that the facts of evolution disprove the fairy tales of the bible.

 
At 8:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The theory of evolution is no longer a theory - it is now one of the laws of nature, like gravity, we are stuck with it and in no way does it disagree with the teachings of the Bible.

 
At 6:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since science and religion address fundamentally different questions, why is this even an issue?
Talking to my creationist-spouting acquaintences, the real gripe seems to be that creationism isn't taught in schools alongside evolution. But aside from my first question, since the fundamental premise of creationism - the existance of God - can never be proven by science, creationism cannot be considered a science. And generally we only teach science in science class.

 
At 12:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's turtles.....all the way down. And if you don't believe in that you'll go to a bad place when you die....Cleveland.

 
At 3:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

okay so I thought that by being a scientist when you research things, your not supposed to have a biased opinion? I mean sure, some of the things creationists say can be a bit over the top, but you cant just say that everything they say is wrong, because you weren't there! how do you explain people being declared a quadriplegic suddenly walking, or how someone's car is absolutely crushed, yet there still living, without a scratch?
you can not possibly say that all this just happens. you cant say that this whole universe was created by accident. this world is too complex and there is no way it could not have been designed by a higher being. namely God.

 
At 5:48 AM, Blogger Joe Meert said...

Right, as a scientist I've researched things and that's how I came up with this list. The remainder of your post is a hodgepodge of poor logic and/or an argument from personal incredulity. The latter goes something like this "Golly gosh wiz everything seems so hard to understand and because it's so hard, goddidit!". It may satisfy you as a person, but science would fall flat on its face if everytime something seemed complex we just said 'goddidit' and stopped researching. The former argument "you weren't there and can't know" is also a form of giving up on the question. In fact, science (and police work) show that in spite of the fact there were no witnesses, we can understand what happened in minute detail. Imagine if police quit every case that did not have an eyewitness! Thanks for contributing to the discussion!

 
At 6:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you may be right about giving up on the question, but have you ever considered that maybe things were made so humans couldn't figure everything out? I am only 15, and I haven't spent years of my life studying science and all that, but I know for sure that there are some things on this planet that cant, and never will be explained. and let me tell you this, when I am in heaven and your in hell, eternally burning, hopefully you might finally realise that this universe was created by God, and did not just explode into what it is now.

 
At 6:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What if you've chosen the wrong god? Of course there are things that we can't explain, but that doesn't mean we don't try. You would not be typing on your computer if science had given up at every tough question! You know that at one time people could not explain thunder, lightning or earthquakes? Many said these were produced by the gods (or god), but the scientists among them looked for a better explanation and found one. It's fine if you want (at 15) to give up and say goddidit, but I choose to learn more and never give up on the tough questions. Anyway, thanks again for contributing.

 
At 7:05 AM, Blogger bob said...

just a point - how come creationists have accepted all other scientific discoveries - from the laws of chemistry, physics, thermodynamics, calculus, electricity, nuclear science, aeronautics - I could go on - but they cannot accept evolution or a form of it. To insist the world is 6,000 years old is so deluded.

 
At 7:20 AM, Blogger bob said...

How is it that creationts have accepted other scientific truths from the laws of chemistry and physics, medicine, thermodynamics, electricity, aerodynamics and nuclear science to name but a few, but will not accept evolution or the FACT that the earth is several billion years old. Perhaps aeroplanes can fly by some yet undiscovered celestial force or E=MC2 doesn't add up!!

 
At 10:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love it when creationists bring the holocaust into the debate. Yep, evolution is responsible for anti-semitism. Makes total sense.
You gave up asking questions at 15. You're going to have a very intellectually fulfilling life, won't you?
It's funny when they ask "how can we go from just a single cell to an incredibly complex organism, even in millions of years?" Well, it can't be too hard, seeing as you managed it in nine months.
When science doesn't support creation, they try to discredit science. When that doesn't convince people, they resort to argument ad hominims, and when that doesn't work, they adopt a condescending manner and avoid all further questions.

 
At 3:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Science makes pretty good sense to me. The creationist system of making up science and making up reasons about how actual science is wrong is annoying. But, unfortunately, no matter how much tangible evidence there is people still place there almighty "benevolent" god on top, and allow no one to tell them otherwise. Fun Fact: 40% of Americans are creationists that believe the world started 10,000 years ago. It's amazing how 40% of America is wrong.

 
At 5:32 PM, Blogger Ferretman said...

I have accepted Darwinism as the most likely explanation for the diversity of life on earth since I was about 7-8. One reason was because of a neat, concise explanation of the theory in a kids' dinosaur book. The other was the notion that this "benevolent, loving" god would incinerate me for eternity for not believing in him.

When arguments fail, threaten 'em with Hellfire!

 

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