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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Dr. Ron Carlson takes over for Kent Hovind

Ugh, I listened to a 10 minute rant by Dr. Ron Carlson. The video can viewed here. The number of factual errors in this 10 minutes makes me happy that they cut off the video. I do pity the people who had to listen to more of his nonsense. It seemed eerily reminiscent of a Kent Hovind seminar and proves once again that young earth creationism is built on a bed of lies. I e-mailed Carlson with the following points. We'll see if he responds.

Dr. Carlson,

I watched the video on Worldview and was surprised at how poorly you spoke about paleontology and geology. Your video contained many factual errors. I'd be surprised if you'll correct these, but I don't believe that it should be the duty of a Christian to misrepresent science in order to further a worldview. So here are some of the errors I noticed:

(1) The circular reasoning argument- False. You said fossils are dated by the layers they are found in and the layers by the fossils they contained. If true, it would indeed be circular reasoning. It's not true. The geologic column was assembled without knowledge of absolute (years) ages. It was based on the observation that the layers of rock seemed to be the same worldwide. For example, trilobite fossils are found in layers beneath dinosaurs and dinosaurs beneath fossils of humans. At the time, geologists like Lyell and Hutton made the assumption that the layers were in a correct relative order with the oldest rocks on the bottom. Rock layers are dated using radiometric methods. That's how the years were put into the geologic column, by actually using radiometric methods to determine their ages. What was so cool is that those age determinations confirmed the logic of Lyell and Hutton and the lower layers were found to be older than the upper layers. The correct argument is "Fossils are dated by radiometric dating of the rocks they are found in". Nothing circular.

(2) Lyell did not know how old the earth was and is not credited with the currently held age of 4.5 billion years. The age of 4.5 billion is based on work in the 20th century long after Lyell died. At the time of Lyell (or shortly thereafter), the earth was thought to be 20-70 million years or less (based on work of Kelvin, de Buffon and Joly).

(3) The Jurassic is not 65 million years ago. That date is the end of the Cretaceous. The Jurassic began around 199 million years ago and ended 145 million years ago.

(4) Lyell was trained in geology by William Buckland. He chose law as a first career and later decided to work in geology. He was, by all measures, a good scientist. It seems strange that you would criticize him for being a lawyer doing geology when you are a theologian speaking about paleontology. Do you criticize Einstein for being a 'dead patent clerk'?

(5) The Grand Canyon strata are in the correct order of the geologic column. There are some time periods missing, but the ordering of the strata is correct. Furthermore, the top layer in the Grand Canyon can be traced laterally to the bottom of the younger Zion Canyon and the top layer in Zion Canyon can be traced laterally into Bryce Canyon. The so-called "Grand Staircase" spans over 1 billion years of earth history.

(6) The geologic column has been found nearly complete in several places on earth. I suggest you google Glenn Morton and take a look at what this former young earth creationist and geologist has to say about this issue.

(7) Evolutionary events are not presented on every geologic column, but even if they are, so what? The layers were directly dated and thus have absolute ages. What such a picture shows is the history of life on earth. One can even deny that those organisms 'evolved', but their history on earth is accurately depicted. It's similar to creating a family tree based on date of birth.

I know that most creationists don't bother to correct facts. I corrected Kent Hovind and lo and behold, he never changed his spiel. However, at least I can remind you of this e-mail if I ever do hear your speech again.

Cheers

Joe MEert

43 Comments:

At 8:19 PM, Blogger RBH said...

Thanks for that, Joe. It'll come in handy downstream, I'm sure.

 
At 10:41 AM, Anonymous Gary Hurd said...

Sorry Joe, I could not even sit through the whole 10 minutes.

 
At 11:00 AM, Anonymous GMc (Alberta, Canada) said...

And apparently they may not be publishing other comments to the web site anymore. I attempted almmost 24 hours ago and nothing has appeared. Among other things (similar to you) I pointed out that Archbishop Ussher was not a geologist (which seems to be an important issue with Ron Carlson)

 
At 11:06 AM, Blogger Gary S. Hurd said...

Sorry Joe, I could not even watch the first 2 minutes. You have a stronger stomach than I do.

 
At 12:11 PM, Blogger RBH said...

Joe,

I tried to send a trackback from Panda's Thumb but it failed for some reason. So here's the link.

 
At 2:22 PM, Blogger Perfectly Candide said...

Carlson based his claim of circular reasoning based on entries of of World Book encyclopedia -- nice source for middle school essays, but not for refuting modern science. He quotes it as saying that "The age of the rocks may be determined by the fossils in them." He either doesn't know what the word "may" means or hopes his victims will not notice his b.s. Sure rocks might be dated if we find a fossil that has only been previously been found in rocks known to be x million years old. Or we might determine the age by another means.

 
At 7:06 PM, Anonymous silverspoon said...

I’m glad to see you’re up and running again. Your expertise in geology has informed me greatly over the years, not only in matters concerning creationist misrepresentations & lies, it has also helped in giving me a layman’s knowledge of geology in general. THANKS

 
At 8:17 PM, Anonymous Pierce R. Butler said...

I have just today been chastised (at http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/08/the_genius_of_charles_darwin.php) that early 19th-century geology was not at all like the generally-accepted story of catastrophism vs uniformitarianism, by a clearly intelligent history buff citing recent books from Martin J.S. Rudwick.

Have you read Rudwick, and if so what's your reaction?

 
At 8:22 PM, Blogger Mousie Cat said...

Joe, you have a stronger stomach than I do. I had to quit the video about 2 minutes in. It is so stupid, it defies description.

I don't think Dr. (Is he any kind of doctor at all?) Carlson provides the same showmanship and rollicking laughter than Dr. Dino did. But still, he'll sell plenty of books and videos. And that's the point, isn't it?

 
At 9:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arghh! I too saw the video clip and felt the same anger at the audacity of the lies. Either "Dr." Carlson is ignorant of the facts (which should immediately disqualify him to speak to the subject), or, worse, he is deliberately lying (which is reason for stoning to death if he were in an earlier age when lying was actually a violation of the commandments he seems to hold so resolutely ;-) Damn moral relativists! Too bad we can't hold him to account anymore (other than post these sorts of condemnations).

 
At 4:21 AM, Blogger Ed Darrell said...

Joe,

You don't post frequently enough.

More, please.

 
At 3:51 AM, Blogger AIGBusted said...

Nice Debunking. I have a blog called "Answers in Genesis Busted" in which I debunk creationist claims and discuss evolution.

http://aigbusted.blogspot.com
-Ryan

 
At 8:52 AM, Blogger Musicbreath said...

Wow, that guy is loony! It's just amazing how someone can have the nerve to get up there and lie to people like that. But, it's a guaranteed goldmine if you have no conscience. There's never been a cash cow more giving than the one with the credulous brand.

Sadly, I would have been one of those in attendance many years ago, nodding my head in agreement. But there are always some that will doubt and question like I did. So there is hope.

And isn't it remarkable how quickly the fundies have moved into Branson to cash in on the credulous that are loaded and in a spending mood?

Anyway, well done. Religionists and those that prey on them need to be taken to task for their attacks on good people of science and the truth.

 
At 6:04 PM, Blogger Max said...

I'm a bit confused. My understanding is that radiometric dating is not able to date the rocks that fossils are found in because that rock is sedimentary. From what I have read (I should admit here to being an interested layman), radiometric dating other than carbon 14 dating applies only to igneous rocks. From what I have gathered this is used to give upper and lower bounds for the age of the sedimentary rocks and that index fossils are frequently used to reference a layer in one location which is not so bracketed to the same layer in another location which is. If I am in error, I would appreciated being informed where my error lies.

Also, it might have been nice if you had brought up the fact that Lyell was not an atheist and was opposed to Darwin's theory. Further, he had come out with Principles of Geology before Darwin left on the Beagle. He certainly didn't come up with his theories to support a theory to which he was opposed and had not yet been published.

 
At 2:07 AM, Blogger Gary S. Hurd said...

Howdy Joe,

I could not have listened to that whole thing if I didn't know that you had already done it.

 
At 10:58 AM, Blogger gregwrld said...

Thanks, Joe. We can't let liars get away with it, futile though it may be.

 
At 10:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did he ever respond?

 
At 7:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 9:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually sat and listened to this walking turd for over an hour and a half in Austin at a Worldnut Weekend conference. He claimed that there is no evidence that the earth is over a few thousand years old. He didn't really seem to understand the concepts of radiometric dating or how it differed from Radiocarbon dating. His explanation of entropy would have gotten failing marks at a Texarkana middle school. He seemed shocked that Sir Charles Lyell (he misprnounced the name) and Charles Darwin were buried in Westminster Abbey (which he also mispronounced "Westminister").

 
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At 9:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will pray for you and yours. My God is a God of order and His design and handiwork is evendinced throughout all the living. I wonder to Whom you will call out when you begin to take the last breaths of your life. Where did those breaths come from? Who kept your heart beating all these years? If happenchance is what you chose to BELIEVE, then I hope you are right. If others BELIEVE in the Creator God who loves His Creation, then one of us will be right. Unfortunately, against relative thinking, we both can't be right :(

If this brings offense to you, I trust it is the message and not the messenger, because My heart truly goes out to you all.

Leland Falde - Michigan - lfalde@gmail.com

 
At 9:22 PM, Blogger God said...

Actually your god (which ever one that is) has not really shown much. Maybe he could help you with spelling and grammar. By the way, who is your god? I would guess Allah from your text, but I can't be sure Leland.

 
At 1:48 AM, Blogger sandayle2 said...

If you believe Ron Carlson is so off, why dont you attend one of his seminars and confront him yourself. He posts his schedule and you could find him very easily. You are a coward that writes a few lines on this website and does little else. Whether the earth is 6000 years old or 5 billion doesn't really matter. The bible is the only truth that matters. I pray you figure out that before its to late.

 
At 5:54 PM, Blogger Joe Meert said...

Sandy,

Let me explain something that fundies have a difficult time understanding. When someone wants to challenge the status quo in science, they take their arguments, frame them and publish and present their ideas to other scientists. They don't hide behind a peculiar interpretation of an ancient text. They don't insist that you agree with them or go to hell. They don't hide behind a pulpit. If Ron Carlson thinks science is wrong about the age of the earth and believes he is right about a 4000 year old flood, then let's see if he has the balls to try and publish that research in a scientific journal. He's a coward and a liar and shame on you for buying into those lies because they are sold as part of the Jesus brand.

 
At 6:26 PM, Blogger Joe Meert said...

Oh and by the way, I'm not 'afraid' of Carlson or Hovind and if convenient I am happy to stand up and call out their lies in public (and have already done so with kent). The real question is whether or not either of them are brave enough to submit their views to a scientific journal.

 
At 9:20 PM, Blogger Ed Darrell said...

Sandy,

One of Jesus's most potent and most often overlooked messages is that the Bible is NOT all that matters. We live in a world where we act and react with humans, and we must strive to do right in that world.

Who told you that, Ron Carlson?

Shame on him. He misinterprets the stories that tell us God is the supreme motivator in the universe to claim that instead they say the universe, the stars, the planets, the rocks, trees and waters of the Earth all lie. Shame on him.

Ron Carlson lacks the faith to try to defend his odd science views, in science journals. He knows he's wrong -- but he'll stoop to collect your dollars.

The Bible warns us about charlatans like this Carlson. (See Romans 1.20, for example).

While scientists must submit their work to critical peers before getting their degrees, there is no authority to check on preachers before they get their licenses. Carlson, by his anti-science existence, makes the case that's a bad idea.

 
At 8:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So much hating over what people believe. I just want to share a couple of thoughts. There is no absolute way with absolute certainty for science to determine the age of the earth. The proof is that science is always changing with its methodoligies and discoveries. And there are no eye witness accounts. Im not saying that there is not compelling reason and logic for certain conclusions based on current science, but that is not absoulte. To me it is like convicting and inncocent man based on circumstancial evidence. The evidence is compelling and the methodology for the reason and logic are sound but it is not the same as an eye witness. Innocent people have been wrongly convicted based on compelling evidence and methodologies that seem full proof. It is so arrogent to assume that all the answers are based on what we know now. Physics is a good example of this. I am not a person of any significance in these fields but I am smart enough to see how the culture war and politics cloud the judgement of many people in many fields of study. Don't bother making fun of me. I have already seen the mentality on this blog. Some of us believe that real science only reinforces that there is intelligent design. Wow thats a new thought. Some things can be proven with absolute certainty. The rest of it for me is a wait and see.

 
At 4:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is for "God" From what you write, you seem to be as ignorant as everyone else. People who believe in Allah do not pray for others, and do not care for anyone but themselves if you have read their "bible." The Quran is a text depicting how everyone who does not believe in Allah is an infidel and must be killed. Please check your facts before posting them. It makes you sound like a little kid with a keyboard bashing your skull against it, trying to sound smart.

In the end, everyone becomes a creationist. lol

 
At 12:50 AM, Blogger Ed Darrell said...

An anonymous commenter said: "There is no absolute way with absolute certainty for science to determine the age of the earth."

There is no way with any method of science to make a claim that the Earth is less than several billions of years old. Most methods of dating corroborate an age for our planet of about 4.5 billion years.

We can't pin it down to a specific month, day or year, but we can pin it down with enough specificity to know that creationists spread pure excrement when they claim ages less than a million years.

 
At 7:19 AM, Anonymous Escort Service London" rel="nofollow">EscortServiceLondon said...

That would have been fun seeing the face of the speaker you have debunked. So what really is your stand? Are you a creationist or an evolutionist? It's vague.

 
At 8:24 AM, Blogger benjdirect2u said...

In modern use, science is "often treated as synonymous with ‘natural and physical science’, and thus restricted to those branches of study that relate to the phenomena of the material universe and their laws, sometimes with implied exclusion of pure mathematics.

 
At 12:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, i am one of the Carlsons neihbors , when driving by i would try to wave to his wife and she would bend over and pull a weed from her yard and pretend she did not see me go by.I ended up waving to no one.

 
At 12:03 PM, Anonymous Dawayne Ramsey said...

Hi, i am one of the Carlsons neihbors , when driving by i would try to wave to his wife and she would bend over and pull a weed from her yard and pretend she did not see me go by.I ended up waving to no one.

 
At 5:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's dead now. Not to worry. Question is, where will you be when you die? You have choices in Life, but none afterwards. What choice will you make? Oh I forgot, all comments must be approved by the blog author. Every idle word will be accounted for. Choose them carefully.

 
At 9:01 PM, Blogger Joe Meert said...

If you do a blog and don't moderate, you'll find that you get a huge amount of spam autobot posted to your blog. Moderation is a pain in the butt for me, but unless it's a spam post, I automatically approve it. It's just that it may take a few hours as I don't monitor the blog every second of every day.

 
At 9:02 PM, Blogger Joe Meert said...

As for where I'll be when I die, I know. I've instructed my family to spread my ashes somewhere they feel appropriate. Got any tough questions?

 
At 10:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fool says in his heart that there is no God! The fool also will face this God that he denies ,one day! Earth is only 6-10,000yrs young! Wake up foolish evolusionist! Better focus on your eternity. Ashes are just your burned flesh body. Your spirit goes on into eternity! Watch 23 minutes in hell, on You tube and educate yourself about hell! Only Jesus can cancel your burn! your choice,your eternity! I hope that God wakes you up and very soon!!!!!!! Oh and watch CAMP FEMA on You tube also! Very real stuff and soon to be activated! Say no to the mark! 666.

 
At 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fool insists that his god is the only god and furthermore insists that their god is a spiteful and hateful god who wants to punish those who don't follow them. Get in line, that fits about every god invented by man including the one you invented! Please save the hellfire and damnation stories for bedtime.

 
At 11:27 PM, Blogger Gary S. Hurd said...

The evangelist Ron Carlson died June 16, 2011.

It has less significance than it might have in an earlier age, because the falsehoods spread by "dr" Carlson have been preserved, dead but fresh, by the Internet.

What will it take to expunge the gross lies of these creationist frauds? Even death cannot stop them anymore.

 
At 5:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God loves you, weather you know it or not. He is there waiting for you to open your heart, and when you do he will be there to fill you with his love. And then you will have understanding that surpasses human ability to comprehend." And then ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." I once thought christianity seemed like ignorance, but now it is life, Joy, and Freedom. I hope you can open your heart so you can know this truth for yourself. Many may call me ignorant and brainwashed, but I know the truth, and it has set me FREE!!!! Jesus is Lord!!!!

 
At 5:43 PM, Blogger Joe Meert said...

You're right, the GODS do love me by Odin. Zeus just came and kissed me.

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

If you are sincere, then you will recieve.

 

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