back to article Creationists are infiltrating US geology circles

Creationists are infiltrating US geology circles in an attempt to push the theory that the Earth is no more than 10,000 years old and that recognised geological phenomena which appear to contradict this idea can be accounted for by Noah's Flood and similar Bible stories. The attempt by creationist "scientists" to present …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "This is the USA, you have the right to believe and say what you will.

    However, I Also have the right to point and laugh."

    1. Aaron Em

      And I have the right

      to decide that the guy being polite is worth listening to and probably right, and the guy acting like a complete prick is a complete prick and probably wrong. Whether I am correct so to decide is, from the perspective of the party arguing with the other party in hopes of convincing nearby third parties, irrelevant.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And I have the right

        I present you with the cult of Scientology, those people are expert at antagonising anyone who dares speak out against them while keeping calm themselves, but that must mean they're telling the truth by your standards.

        Fortunately for the impartial amongst us, scientific validity isn't judged by it's proponents manners.

        Give my regards to Xenu btw.

        1. Aaron Em

          Saw that coming a mile off

          Yep, I'm a Hubbardite because I know how to fail at playing to an audience.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Saw that coming a mile off

            "Yep, I'm a Hubbardite because I know how to fail at playing to an audience."

            No, it isn't a popularity contest either.

            1. Aaron Em

              Yes, it is a popularity contest

              You may not be worried about the legislators people elect and the laws those legislators make, but that's not the same as saying those things don't need worrying about.

              1. Aaron Em


                how many people seem to think a downvote can stand in place of an argument. So much "you're wrong because I don't like you!" from avowed rationalists? How can this be?

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward


                  You're not wrong because we don't like you. You're just wrong.

                  1. Aaron Em

                    "You're just wrong."

                    Prove it.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward


                      Aaron Em

                      "You're just wrong." #

                      Posted Tuesday 14th June 2011 17:55 GMT

                      Erm... no... you prove you're right. You can't prove my chocolate teapot isn't floating around up there.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Amazing

                  Are you seriously suggesting that people who agree with you are down-voting your comments just because they don't like you?

                  “How can this be?”

                  Yes, how can anyone possible disagree with you?

                  1. Aaron Em

                    No, I'm seriously suggesting

                    that people who don't agree with me ought to damn well explain their reasons for their opinion, the same way I have done for mine, instead of downvoting my comments and then going off to have another self-congratulatory wank with no significance at all to the political battle over creationism which supposedly means so much to them.

                    The claim under discussion here, or which would be under discussion here if anyone were actually interested in having a discussion, is that turning off your audience by being a dick has no effect on that political battle. I've argued that the demotic nature of our current methods of governance means that's not true; in order, for example, to ensure that we don't see a modern resurgence of Lysenkoism driven by the scientific equivalent of people who "don't know art, but I know what I like", it is necessary not merely to be correct in one's arguments but also to be convincing.

                    So far I've seen a lot of people downvote that argument, but no one yet has attempted to show it is actually false to fact, which one would think would be a reasonable expectation out of people who declare themselves fervently to be on the side of objectivity and empiricism. It is that curious result at which I am poking fun.

                    1. Aaron Em

                      Though now I give it a moment's thought

                      I could not have asked for a better demonstration of the point I'm trying to make.

                    2. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      "No, I'm seriously suggesting"

                      Why do you think your opinions are so earth shatteringly important that everyone who disagrees with you must explain their reasoning? Could it be possible that they think your pompous self importance not worth the bother?

                      As for myself, I have better things to do with my time than explain myself to everyone writing nonsense on the internet.

                      1. LaeMing

                        Downvoters don't disagree with Aaron Em

                        They are just pretending to because they don't like what he has to say.


                      2. Anonymous Coward

                        Explain opinion?

                        People are giving you mountains of downvotes because nobody gives a rat's rear to debate you. It doesn't matter. The way you're talking about debate tactics and presenting to an audience and other topics of vanity is very 13-year-old-in-debate-club-ish. Adults do not have patience for this. I'm sorry.

                        Furthermore, it was you who brought up communication styles and frankly yes, yours does match if not scientologists than 13 year olds on forums, Youtube White Supremacists, etc.

                        If you want to know why folks do not care for these views, it is because they're obviously contrived to fit a very short timescale and there is simply too much bullshit to spew. You have to attack everything from the behavior of radio isotopes to the speed of light, size and makeup of stars, the development of human languages, etc. in an endaevour to fit a mental image of reality you've already decided is fact.

                        That's not science, and science kicks the ass of every other intellectual tool we have for understanding the natural world.

                        Science is how we developed enough understanding of chemistry and fundamental physics (including QM) to manufacture the computers we're using to communicate right now. Like God lighting the idol of Ba'al on fire, science _works_. It also so happens it doesn't agree with the short timescale idea that you're married to. High school debate club has nothing to do with it.

                    3. FreeTard

                      Fossil record mate

                      A creationist friend of mine discounts this by stating that dinos were either planted in the ground by "man" - not mankind mind - "man".

                      He also doesn't believe in carbon dating... the mind boggles.

                      The funny thing is, he is an otherwise very intelligent person - an engineer by trade.

                      He's still wrong of course.

                      1. John Hughes


                        ... are usualy the ones who believe the crackpot theories.

                    4. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      @Aaron Em

                      You aren't worth our time to argue with. Go to a Library... go to the section marked Reference, not Fiction and start reading.

        2. Aaron Em

          Srsly tho

          I know that lots of you here have a lot of emotional investment in the idea that you're purely objective, and make decisions entirely on the basis of rational evaluation of the facts and without any reference whatsoever to emotion, belief, or opinion. You're wrong, of course, which is why somebody is trying to shut me up by reference to Scientology instead of by reasoned argument against the point that I made. But the idea means a lot to you.

          What you need to get through your thick skull is that, not only do people in general -- you included -- not actually work that way, but most people don't even *pretend* they work that way, not even to themselves, and this means it is necessary to consider how you're presenting your point from more perspectives than simply the one of whether or not it's factually accurate.

          This is why PZ Myers, for example, is actively counterproductive every time he opens his damn fool mouth; he's great for preaching to the choir, but he's absolute shit at winning points in public debate, because he's so enthralled with how smart he is and how right he is that he doesn't see any problem with being a smug, arrogant jackass about it.

          Of course there's nothing to say that someone who is a smug, arrogant jackass is also necessarily wrong. But the problem with smug, arrogant jackassery is that it's only enjoyable when you already agree with it; otherwise, it just comes off like the smug, arrogant jackassery that it is. That can put people off so thoroughly they won't even *bother* to evaluate what you're saying on its merits. You can argue those people are wrong to feel that way all you like, but that doesn't make such responses any less counterproductive when you're trying to convince people that what you're saying is true.

          Which makes me wonder whether that really is the objective of the loudest and most tiresome advocates of evolutionary theory. I *know* they've got the right of it, but sometimes their overweening attitude makes it seem even to me like they just get off on calling people names. What effect do you think it has on someone whose education has left them so ill equipped that they actually do think there might be a reasonable question behind all the controversy?

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  3. SuperTim

    They are correct of course*

    *if you believe fiction written between 3000 and 1000 years ago obviously.

    Noah's flood is a fact because it says so in a book written by hearsay passed on millenia ago. Scientific conjecture can never be considered fact as it is merely observation matching conjecture (which scientists will admit means that it is not "100%" proof).

    So there you have it. By science's own reasoning creationalism must be accepted and everything the bible says is therefore as pertinent as anything science can also say.

    Now, can someone help me turn these large pitchers of water into wine, the J-Dog is (second) coming to tea and i want to get him leathered!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      A fair share of stuff one learns in school about history only comes from some books written N centuries ago.

      As long as their theories are falsifiable, I couldn't care less that they present them during conferences. If they're not, then they do not belong to science.

      Nothing is absolute in science and if you treat anything as such, then you're not different that creationists.

      1. mike2R

        Re: well

        I'm with you on allowing creationist theories to be assessed as science, but I have to take issue with this: "A fair share of stuff one learns in school about history only comes from some books written N centuries ago."

        The study of history is about source handling above all, saying it is just stuff from a book misses the point. In most cases, even for antiquity, it will be stuff from several books which corroborate each other. In cases where there is literally only one source, that source will be treated with caution, and its general reliability (as assessed in other areas where there are alternative sources) will be carefully examined.

        So a source like Ammianus Marcellinus might be fairly trusted even if it can't be corroborated on a particular point, because he is known to be very accurate where he can be checked. Compare this to the bible. Not only is it frequently contradicted by many normally reliable sources, enough is know about its editing process - selection of the gospels and that sort of thing - that its creditability in a historical sense if essentially zero.

        For a modern example: Its about as reliable as a wikipedia article with no sources, and evidence of an ongoing edit war between multiple groups of hyper-partisans.

        1. Svantevid

          Credibility of the BIble

          "Compare this to the bible. Not only is it frequently contradicted by many normally reliable sources"


          ... and contradicted by itself. Check the two mutually contradicting stories about the beginning of the world... Genesis 1:6-26 and Genesis 2:4-22.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    damn them

    Damn those pesky scientists and their pesky evidence.

    Still least the Geologists have rocks, the Christians are used to a good stoning after all.

    1. David Dawson

      Yes, thats right

      Violence, that'll change minds. Good idea, well done.

      After all, its worked so many times before, hasn't it?

      1. Anonymous Coward

        How about...

        ...we take 10 creationists and attempt to change their minds with a good stoning.

        I would be very surprised if we failed to change any minds (even if it may only be a temporary thing...)

        1. Charles Manning

          So what if it doesn't work

          It would still be great fun!

        2. John Bailey


          But I think we may need a much bigger sample to be absolutely sure.

      2. Marcus Aurelius

        @David Dawson

        After all, its worked so many times before, hasn't it?

        Well, yes it has. Violence is the only method that has been known to totally eliminate opposition.

        If you have enough rocks, you'll have no one left who disagrees with you

      3. Anonymous Coward

        @ David Dawson

        I think you need a new humour (humor?) meter. Yours seems broken.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          I don't see what's wrong with stoning a few Christians. After all it wasn't too long ago that they were murdering blasphemers. The Muslims still do ... depending on the amount of pressure put on their governments from the rest of the human race that thinks killing someone purely because of what they believe, is somehow not morally justifiable.

          1. Denarius Silver badge
            IT Angle


            Never ceases to amaze me that after the blood baths of the 20th century after the mess of WW1 that devout followers of the assorted humanists, scientific atheists and so on have killed millions pushing their world view. And after the fall of the holy land of the left in the USSR, that the ignorant and uninstructed still believe this nonsense. Empirical FAIL.. Bigotry reigns, even on the hallowed halls of El Reg.

            Practicing christian believers are less than 2% of your total population and you all rant as if you were a persecuted minority. What the heck are you so frightened of if you are as rational as you claim ?

            1. JEDIDIAH

              Work that martyr complex...

              > Practicing christian believers are less than 2% of your total population

              Don Wilmon? Is that you?

            2. Anonymous Coward


              "devout followers of the assorted humanists, scientific atheists and so on have killed millions pushing their world view"

              A humanist, a scientist and an atheist walk into a bar. The humanist asks for a pint, and the barman says, "why the long face?" So the atheist kills him.

              "Hahahahahahahahahaaaaa! You will all be assorted humanists and so on or taste my steel!" says the Irishman.

            3. Jason Hall


              What the feck are you talking about? None of those conflicts were anything to do with humanism or atheism.

              Bigotry? Where? People have a right to feel scared of prople/religions that have proven themselves to be violent and oppressive. I like my friends, who happen to be muslim, but hate what their religion has done/is still doing.

              I am a persecuted majority (although not persecuted very much nowadays), since the religious zealots are actually in charge still and calling the shots as if they were the majority.

          2. Anonymous Coward

            Christians Murder blasphemers

            > I don't see what's wrong with stoning a few Christians. After all it wasn't too long ago that they were murdering blasphemers

            The Spanish Inquisition was when? How long has it been since the Salem Witch Trials? When did the Crusades end? I guess centuries and centuries qualify as "not too long ago".

            1. JEDIDIAH

              ...a certain irony.

              There's a certain irony in people posting on a website in a country where there are buildings that date back to the Romans whining about a few centuries being so far removed that it doesn't matter any more.

              It really hasn't been that long since people were burned at the stake for heresy or witchcraft on either side of the pond. You don't have to go nearly as far back as the crusades. This is mainly limited to the power that religions are able to directly exercise more than anything else.

              Let clerics have any real power and they will abuse it. Secular governments will exploit that power for their own benefit.

              1. David Dawson


                There's a certain irony in people posting on a website in a country where there are buildings that date back to the Romans whining about a few centuries being so far removed that it doesn't matter any more.


                But does that really make it ok to advocate stoning their spiritual descendents? (for want of a better term) They didn't do it, all the people who did are long, long, dead. Why, and this is not rhetorical, should they be held accountable for something they did not do?

                Should modern day Italians be held accountable for the atrocities the roman army committed in brittania then? Should the Dutch, or Danish or Norwegians be held accountable for the ethnic cleansing that created modern day england?

                I know its a joke, but it really isn't funny.

                Mock beliefs all you want as far as I'm concerned, a bit of adversity never did a properly held belief or point of principle any harm, those who get upset when you do are having issues with doubt; but threatening violence against the 'god botherers' for no other reason than you dislike them, and think you can get away with it, makes you no better than the people you despise.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward


                  It was a joke. Get over yourself.

                  No-one in their right mind is/would advocate violence against someone due to their beliefs.

                  Well - a lot of 'peaceful' religions still seem to advocate violence against others, but we can ignore them can't we?

        2. David Dawson

          @AC 11:44

          Humour meter eh? Nice.

          Replace christian in that with black/ gay/ jew and see what happens

          Its not big, and its not clever.

          So you don't get the wrong idea (as many evidently have) I was brought up with a creationist belief, but I certainly don't agree with it now. I rationally convinced myself of the alternatives when I was old enough to think for myself. Killing me wouldn't have changed my mind, only destroyed it. Nice work there.

          My point is that being rude, abusive, obnoxious, or making casual jokes about violence against groups of people you don't agree with and look down on is simply bigotry, and is self defeating.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Alright, alright... I take it back

            Alright, you can have the Fisher Price version since you can't take proper jokes (since I posted the first comment)

            The geologists used the power of hugs and fluffy bunnies to politely convince the Christians they were wrong.

            Would you also like a ban on the "Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them" T-Shirt as it is clearly advocating stoning? Clearly sexist bigotry right there.

            The Daily Mail is this way ---->

            Especially if you actually believe that I actually meant Geologists should grab the nearest sample and head for the local congregation.

    2. Mike Richards

      Not just rocks

      We also have hammers - big hammers

      And volcanoes.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Dark ages 2

    Due to circumstances beyond our control America is temporarily out of order.

    Normal service will be resumed in a few hundred years.

    Mine's the one with Darwin for Dummies in the pocket.

    1. The BigYin

      It's not just there

      It's in the UK too. At least they have separation of church and state. Meanwhile our government continues to throw public money at faith schools.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's not just there

        "Meanwhile our government continues to throw public money at faith schools."

        This is because of the idiotic "traditionalist" Britard double-standards. Here's how to play:

        1. You're worried about schools, "the children", standards.

        2. You've figured it out: it's all because of a lack of morality, people not going to church any more, jumpers no longer being used for goalposts.

        3. You're also worried about all those foreign types and their cultures and religions and things.

        4. You pipe up: you're not sending your children to a state school; you want a "faith-based" education for little Johnny. That'll protect him from the moral decay!

        5. You lobby some sympathetic Britard politicians (possibly Tories, but Blairites love this kind of thing, too) and they decide that this is good use of the taxpayers' money.

        6. Oh no: those foreign types are now demanding their own schools! What next? Terrorism on the curriculum? And they can't be stopped because that would be discrimination - it's political correctness gone mad!

        7. You write to the Daily Mail about how standards are slipping and the state pays for terrorist training.

        And so the state education system gets starved of cash while a bunch of morons get to build their special "academies". Little Johnny gets his discipline and a dose of unsanctioned "knowledge" about Noah and pals. The country steadily rots.

        1. Anonymous Coward


          Well put it this way, Christianity in some countries is still protected by blasphemy laws. Not exactly killing people any more for what they beleive, but certainly penalising people; be it a fine, a jail term, public flogging with a wet leutice or a stale cod ... whatever.

          I think it was Ireland that has returned to this chicken-shit way of religious protectionism, simply because the religion can't stand on its own two feet against solid scrutiny.

          And where does Christianity ... in fact where do any of the majority of these so called religions ... actually measure up against actually having ETERNAL pergatory? Where is the so called forgiveness and being able to repent your sins? Why can you only do it BEFORE the death of the physical form? Translation ... it's all a load of crap.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Well there goes the US's reputation for science slowly down the drain, good job we're still funding our Universities well to step into the void that is left and reap the rewards. Oh wait...

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Although to be fair,

      only 6% of US scientists are Republicans. As opposed to something like 100% of US creationists.

  7. Suburban Inmate

    Evolution is bollocks.

    For the same reason that we're all driving a Ford Model T.

    1. John G Imrie

      Re: Evolution is bollocks

      But the Model T was built by someone, and any improvements where also created by humans. So evolution is an artifact of humanity and has nothing to do with Darwin's claims of natural selection.

      Therefore Evolution and Natural selection are incompatible. But as evolution obviously happens, cf cars and dogs. Natural selection as described by Darwin must be false.

      And if Natural selection is false then it's opposite, Creationism, must be true.

      Of cause the above is total bollocks. We all know that the Universe was created by the Flying Spaghetti Monster and the correct theory of the universe is Super string theory, as it describes how His noodley appendages permeate all things.

      1. PBelc

        Re: Evolution is bollocks

        I'd say Evolution has become defunct in a modern world when applied to humanity. Natural selection is completely useless when the PC world saves all the people from themselves when natural selection would have killed them off several times, if nature was allowed to take its course as it is meant to, we would not have millions of starving people cause they would all have died out long ago because of this Evolution no longer works as a progression of the species, we save all our imperfections and can never improve we can only take sidewards or backwards steps until the gene pool is culled :o . Perhaps they should teach this in schools.

        1. Suburban Inmate


          I'd say that evolution still occurs within humanity, it's just that the distribution of the benefits has a very long tail. Increased power for the few, and the sideways/backwards steps for the many. I could not agree more that it no longer works as an overall progression of the species.

          Nature/natural selection/evolution were never *meant* to take any course, that would imply some sort of supreme spaghetti monster. We have millions (billions?) of starving people because it suits those that control the global economy to have a virtually limitless supply of cheap and/or uneducated labour.

          To clarify the point about cars, the nature they must survive in is the market for cars. New features and improvements are akin to advantageous mutations in a lifeform. The lifeforms with the improvements that give them a competitive advantage are the lifeforms (or cars) that prosper.

          ROTM: It's 2011, where's my frickin' jetpack?

        2. Aaron Em

          They do

          Or did you sleep through every class on the events of 1939-45, the same way you evidently did through your English composition classes?

          The word is 'eugenics', and the idea is a bad one because everybody has a different idea of what makes an ubermensch. Dog breeding is eugenics, and that works because the dogs don't make their own decisions about who breeds and who doesn't. Go away and consider the parallel with your own species before you shoot off your ignorant mouth on the subject again.

          (And don't give me any Godwin nonsense, either; the Third Reich absolutely did attempt to practice human eugenics. But hey, if you think you're pissed off at me now, just wait 'til I tell you where Hitler got all his ideas on the subject.)

          1. Frederic Bloggs

            Well for completeness

            Like all the Nazi's (amongst others) "best" ideas eg eugenics or concentration camps, they all came from the British.

            1. Aaron Em

              Eugenics from the British?

              Concentration camps, yes, you having invented them to use on the Boers. But the eugenic stuff all came from the US, where in the 1900s-30s we were busily pioneering the involuntary sterilization of black people and other societal "undesirables" -- I believe we were cited as inspiration for the Reich's ethnic policies by at least one defendant during the Nuremberg trials.

              Not exactly something to be proud of, but I've found it enormously useful in arguments against home-grown eugenics advocates. On the other hand, I'm just waiting for somebody to respond with "You know, the real problem with Hitler was he didn't do it *right*!" On that day, I plan to climb up a mountain and never climb down again.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward


                Do you see... when you talk sense, you don't get marked-down as much :)

              2. hj

                hitler not doing it *right*

                Luckily he did not do it *right*. Mr Fry has even written quite a nice novel about it:

          2. Tom 13

            Actually, dog breeding doesn't really work either.

            Take any class of pure breed, the ones where they have the specific records for the genetic chain, and you will find some congenital defect which afflicts that species.

          3. Tom 13

            Except of course that Darwin was effectively arguing the opposite:

            that certain species arose on the islands because the environment was driving those changes.

            Oh, and it's not the global lords of the economy starving people, because they don't exist. It's the local warlord, who actually does.

        3. BristolBachelor Gold badge

          More broken than that maybe

          There seem to be a large number of people who are choosing to not have children and pass on their genes. A fair few of these seem to be among the cream of intellectuals and successful people, so they may not be helping to improve the collective IQ.

          However that said, they might not make very good parents, and might end up with defective children who then cause more problems than they might solve...

          But then I read in the papers about families and wonder if those who are having the most children are also those who do the least for continuing civilisation. Certainly it seems that each generation is more of a degeneration and that the world will degenerate to the point of the mad-max films without ever needing a nuclear war.

          WTF am I writing about? Nurse nurse I need more meds.........

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Reproduction of the useless

            I spent a *lot* of time chatting with the nurses at the maternity and neonatal units where my kids were born. One of them said that because of the most recurrent visitors (and the issues they had) she felt that methodone should be spiked with some kind of birth-control. Sounded like some of them were in every year... Yes, this is eugenics. But is it wrong? You'll need to wrestle with your conscience on that one!

            Of course that only works when they're staying on their methodone.

            (Posting AC because I'm happy to air my own opinions candidly, but I certainly don't want this coming back on the nurse...)

        4. Anonymous Coward


          You might be misunderstanding what evolution is.

          It isnt progression towards a specific goal, it is about species changing.

          Evolution is working all the time. The human influence is a factor in it, but it hasn't replaced natural selection. Nature is still taking its course - this is why few Linux users have children, it is all part of the natural order...

          On a serious note, despite what some people think about society allowing the "weak" to survive it is all nonsense. We have conflated terms like "unfit" with societal value judgements they were never meant to have. If we were all still living in the African plains chasing antelopes for food, then yes, we would need to be different to the way we are now. But seriously, when was the last time ANYONE reading El Reg had to do that?

          It is a shame that people think evolution is just big ticket changes and that killing people is in anyway advantageous to evolution. I blame a lack of education....

          1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

            Post-human evolution

            Continued the moment the stone axe was invented. Technology is its expression and humans are its tools.

        5. Charles Manning

          Natural selection never stops

          Just the fitness function changes.

          In the distant past, there was no effective surgery and a woman with narrow hips would die in childbirth. That was a fitness function that kept the "narrow hips" gene in check. Now, with modern surgery we same the mother and baby and that fitness function has been removed.

          There is always some fitness function though. If there are no penalties, then the fitness function basically favours those who can breed the fastest. Go chavs!

  8. M Gale

    Nothing to worry about.

    Especially not once the Internet sinks its teeth into this.

    1. Aaron Em

      Yep, Anonymous will save us all

      Because there is no force on Earth that is the equal of a bunch of teenagers with attention-deficit disorder for whom the male refractory period means they're forced to find *something* to do in between beat-off sessions.

      1. Aaron Em

        Hee hee, I got downvoted!

        Go back to your quadruple amputee porn, /b/tard.

      2. M Gale


        I said "The Internet", not Anonymous? Christ, sorry I used the wrong icon.

        Err, pardon the expression.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        "Because there is no force on Earth that is the equal of a bunch of teenagers with attention-deficit disorder for whom the male refractory period means they're forced to find *something* to do in between beat-off sessions."

        Well that's why you're here isn't it?

  9. lansalot

    oh come on..

    Surely it's as simple as "two of every animal on one boat"? Completely impossibly to collate in a thousand lifetimes, and thousand other reasons why it would never work.

    Piss off, in short.

    1. Craig Chambers

      Error in calculation

      You seem to have missed that there were actually seven of some animals (according to Genesis). Obviously this is enough to balance the equation ;-)

    2. mmiied


      it was only 2 of every "unclean" animal it was 7 of every clean animal

      1. Mike Richards

        Why 7?

        Was one watching the others go at it?

        1. Marcus Aurelius

          @Mike Richards: Why 7

          7 clean animals went into the Ark, only 2 came out because the remaining 5 were delicious and tasty

          The unclean ones that went in knew they were safe.c

      2. A J Stiles

        How did they know?

        So how did they know *which* animals were clean and which were unclean all the way back in Genesis, before the Law had been given to Moses?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      The ark is a metaphor for Christianity and the animals are a metaphor for those people that were to be saved...After all, even a man from the middle east would have trouble repopulating the earth after every living thing was destroyed with just his wife, sons and a bunch of goats and camels...even really good looking camels.

      1. Smallbrainfield

        Let's not mention the incest

        that must have happened to repopulate the earth afterwards. Let's just not.

        1. Oliver Mayes

          "Let's not mention the incest"

          Well since everyone on Earth came from Adam and Eve God must approve of incest.

      2. Aaron Em

        Micky 1: heretic

        Young earth creationists would argue that it's sinful and presumptuous to interpret the story of the flood as a metaphor. "If God didn't mean what just what he said," they'd argue, "he'd have said something else instead."

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Misquoting does you no favours.

      If you want to quote - quote accurately - "two of every kind..." which you clearly understand is a very different ball game.

    5. A J Stiles

      Simpler than that

      Rainbows. Nothing that anyone has ever posited to explain the appearance of the first rainbow after the Flood stands up to a moment's scrutiny.

      Still, I think Ricky Gervais explains it best:

  10. ChilliKwok

    Plot by the true believers?

    Are we sure this isn't just another attempt by left-wing activists in the NCSE to brand the majority of geologists who don't subscribe to catastrophic man-made global warming theory as "flat-earthers and creationists"? I wouldn't put it past them....

  11. sabroni Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    @ every comment on here so far! Comprehension fail.

    couldn't manage to get to the end of the article? Just love being rude and confrontational? Or genuinely unable to respect other people's opinions, however misguided you may believe them to be?

    1. It wasnt me
      Thumb Down

      You have utterly missed the point.

      I completely respect the rights of god botherers to hold their own opinions. However, I will never uphold their right to infiltrate science and put forward their waffle as fact. Especially when they are trying to teach it to children.

      In exactly the same way, I will not be going into their church and trying to undermine their belief system.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re @ every comment on her so far! comprehension fail

      I suspect that the problem with people getting rude to people who propound the idea that the world was created in historical rather than came into existence in cosmic time scales is the natural frustration of seeing an apparently intelligent person propound an obviously stupid idea (in your perception if you wish).

      I know that this creates intense frustration on my part and also a tendency to be a bit brusque with argument.

      Peer review is the basis for positivism and the idea that geological processes can be speeded up to a historical time scale will of course fall foul of proper peer reviewed experiments that demonstrate that it takes millions of years for a large feature such as the Grand Canyon or the Himalayas to be formed - even in the event of a global inundation. BTW, can any climatologists here verify how many days and nights of rain it would take to cause the entire globe to be inundated?

      AC because I am at work and should really be chasing a couple of troublesome java processes.

      1. Chemist

        " and nights of rain it would take to cause the entire globe to be inundated"

        A simpler question would be where would the extra water come from and indeed go to afterwards.

        1. Denarius Silver badge


          exactly, you don't even know how much the water the earth has over it if it was a smooth sphere..

          If you don't do your basic data collection to do a refutation, then further discussion is pointless.

          Try looking it up sometime, it might surprise you just why the planet is 70% water covered.

          1. sabroni Silver badge

            point proved..

            see title.

          2. Chemist

            "just why the planet is 70% water covered."

            Well call me presumptious but I'd assumed it was down to the amount of water on the planet and the topography + some feedback connection with above sea-level ice.

      2. Aaron Em

        "I will not be going into their church and trying to undermine their belief system."

        Why the hell not? Ideally we'd kill Yahweh outright, the egotistical controlling bastard he is -- and he's been out to keep us fat dumb & happy for millennia! Read the Tower of Babel story again if you don't believe me -- but I gather it doesn't work that way so driving off his followers is the best we can do.

    3. TeeCee Gold badge


      Oh I got there all right. However, I am no more likely to respect their opinions than I am of those who reckon the pyramids were built by aliens or the Yeti is actually Lord Lucan in a fluffy suit.

      Wingnut arsehattery is wingnut arsehattery, no matter who spouts it or which particular type of lunacy they suffer from.

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. Stoneshop Silver badge


      "opinion" .nes. "fact". And trying to present the former as the latter when it is, for even the most tolerant definition, totally not, is what's going to be met with ridicule, brusqueness and the occasional LARTing.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        +1 upvote for using DEC DCL .nes.

    6. Jolyon


      "unable to respect other people's opinions"

      I am utterly unable to respect these people's opinions.

      Respect their right to hold and express these opinions, okay, the alternative is worse, but appear to condone these opinions in any way, such as not being rude about them? No. In my opinion that's not the right way to go about things.

      I want it to be clear I think they are wrong and not worth listening to.

      1. Tom 13

        And that would be how Plato managed

        to keep his "science" pre-eminent until the the time of Galileo and Newton. Convinced that heavy objects fall faster than light ones, there was no need to listen to the doubters who advocated other absurd theories.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's not the misguided belief part that should worry you.

      It's that their blatant bigotry blinds them to the factual observations made by Creationists. Like the boogeymen religionists whom they pride themselves as being better than, they preach about not staring into the abyss and not becoming the fanatic, but they do not heed the meanings of the statements.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    This is why we have gun laws

    In this country, if confronted with such subversive and contrived lunacy I would be forced to wield nothing more lethal than a cricket bat studded with nails. A quick hop across the pond and I'd have all manner of firepower at my disposal. I think on this matter the sceptics have the right idea.....

    1. Bob Foster

      Don't underestimate the power of the cricket bat

      Seemed to work fine in "Sean of the Dead"

    2. Tom 13

      You are welcome to try it.

      I think you'll find we shoot better than you do. Even if you get the BATF to sell you the full automatics as part of their Fast and Furious program and all we have are our deer rifles.

  13. Mad Dave

    Why so anti-Christian?

    I can understand it in 14 year olds who are annoyed because their mum took away their xbox, but why on here?

    Oh wait...

    1. aphexbr

      re: Why so anti-Christian?

      @Mad Dave: Sorry mate, it's not childish to be anti-Christian when they're trying to undermine science and halt the progress of human knowledge just because a heavily edited storybook for uneducated peasants tells them to.

      BTW, I'm an atheist but not anti-Christian. You can believe whatever you wish, just don't try to destroy science or force your bull on to me in the process...

    2. J 3


      Maybe because it is made up crap, fairy tales for (allegedly) grown-ups? OK, other religions are too, but they are not the point of the particular article, so the "nutty Christian" (most Christians are barely nutty, actually) bashing will have to be the one for now...

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Most Christians are barely nutty.

        Indeed. Some have quite a delicious fruity flavour, and go down well with a nice Chianti.


      More of that martyr complex

      The prince of darkness is a smooth talking con man. Blind faith makes you very vulnerable to being misled by a false prophet. It is not "anti-Christian" to be a scientist, or a skeptic, or to not suffer fools and liars lightly.

      No one here is being anti-Christian unless you want to claim that The 700 Club has a monopoly on being Christian.

  14. jake Silver badge

    Rude & confrontational.

    Like the "good Christians" outside family planing clinics, right?

    Want to make a "young earther" cringe? Ask 'em how many years of obvious high organic/low organic deposits[1] there are in the outflow of the Colorado River[2] ...

    Ah, well. It'll be October 21st any day now ;-)

    [1] Spring floods from melting snow wash organic material into the river's delta. The rest of the year, it's pretty much all inorganic. The layers are easily counted in core samples ... There are a lot more than a million layers.

    [2] Nicely halted by the Imperial Valley drinking it all, but that's another rant.

    1. relpy


      Use a river to put the layers down? Damn why didn't I think of that?

      It took ages to put them all there one at a time, even with the Holy Spatula of Antioch.


    2. Denarius Silver badge
      IT Angle

      @jake Rude, no, merely simple

      And your unspoken assumption ? Oh, no climate variation, so each varve is a flood season. How nice, simple and unprovable. Catastrophism is now acceptable sometimes. eg New Scientist about The English Channel being dug in weeks by ice dam breaking.

      Newton is correct to insist on assessment and peer reviews, otherwise you get agreement by committee and an official orthodoxy. Then ignorance and bigotry rule, or do you like being told what to think ? Now back to IT, yes ?

      1. Danny 14


        simply carbon date things. Or did radioactivity start at -10000 with varying degrees?

        1. J 3


          "Or did radioactivity start at -10000 with varying degrees?"

          I think some people DO say that, crazy as it sounds to anyone not insane...

      2. jake Silver badge


        This is about intelligent minds observing reality, not IT[1].

        Ice dams break, true. But there is no record of that happening regularly in the cores from the Colorado Delta.

        We know what the life-cycle of the desert plants is, we know what the precipitation cycle is, and we know what the rate of rock erosion is. And we know what the deposition rate is in river deltas. All from direct observation.

        Suggesting that that those rates have somehow changed within the last several million years is intentionally disingenuous, at best. That makes you a liar, if you have half a clue as to what your are discussing. If you don't have that half a clue, why are you commenting?

        [1] Judging by the current crop of Web sites, there are very few intelligent minds in IT ...

  15. mark 63 Silver badge

    con men?

    "Newton also notes that mainstream scientists criticising the creationists tended to come off as rude and confrontational, in sharp contrast to the god-botherers' excellent manners and polished conduct."

    Well no-shit. Con-men need smooth manners and polished conduct, whereas scientists and purveyors of facts dont.

  16. Anonymous Coward


    This science and education inversion will lead to the total collapse of the USA.

    Then we only have the small problem of what to do with 300m out of control, poorly educated, impressionable, gun-toting lunatics with nuclear weapons.


    Just like now then.......

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Are you talking about America or Pakistan?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Does it make a difference?

  17. Alexander Vollmer

    Be aware ...

    "The day will come I switch off the Matrix and reboot without the creationists. And it will be a universe with less fun." That's what this bunch of levitating noodles told me last week.

  18. Toastan Buttar

    Read and weep

    The TalkOrigins Archive:

    Go to the feedback section and read the lunacy that the site staff had to answer on a monthly basis.

  19. The BigYin

    Having met

    A couple of devout scientists, I quickly formed the conclusion that it is not possible to be a scientist and to follow a faith. Well....maybe Bhuddism or something similar, but certainly not any Abrahamic faith or anything remotely like it.

    Why? Well, a scientist must (crudely) have a theory, make a prediction, test that prediction and then publish results. Other scientists will then confirm/refute and we take a small step forward. Wall the time their is evidence, proof, invalidation, refinement etc. It all follows logical thought and it all must be supported by evidence an everything constantly questioned.

    Faith? It's in a book. You must accept the book in totality. You may not question the book. The book is a translation of a translation of a translation of a.....but it is still the WORD and must be OBEYED UTTERLY WITHOUT QUESTION!

    These two are, I put it to you, opposed and mutually exclusive. if you are a theistic scientist, then you are either a very bad scientist or a very bad theist. You cannot have it both way.

    1. Lee Dowling


      Wanna drive a Christian into speaking drivel?

      Ask them to name the *other* gospels that they reject, and why. Ask them why, out of all the different gospels, only 4 are accepted in the New Testament, when some of the others are a) more accurate, historically, and b) more interesting, but contrary to a lot of the waffle in the "accepted" gospels, and c) contemporary to the accepted gospels in terms of dates. And those are just the ones that we know about, because quite a lot of them were destroyed for "purity" around the time they were written, or afterwards by various churches.

      The Bible is a collection of VERY selectively edited highlights of stories and parables gathered over hundreds of years and constantly re-re-re-re-written by various people over the millennia, and then interpreted into whatever fashion is described by the current day while conveniently ignoring many similarly-originated documents that tell much more interesting stories.

      Living your life by the Bible is a bit like living your life by a modern copy of Aesop's Fables (the originals of which would pre-date the whole biblical era by several centuries) that you bought in a bookshop, while conveniently ignoring the rest. Which of the 584 original fables is in your copy? How have they changed since the original Greek text? Which are considered politically incorrect nowadays or make no sense (there's one where an apple tree and a pomegranate have an argument before they are interrupted by a bush)? Which ones are actually originally from Aesop at all?

      Except I don't know of any Aesop fable that tells people, in no uncertain terms, what they should not eat under any circumstances and yet have about 90% of its "believers" completely ignore that list. Or one where it absolutely categorically states they shouldn't worship graven idols because it's one of the most dangerous of sins, and yet its followers all carry little tiny Jesus' on crosses around with them and in their churches.

      1. Denarius Silver badge

        @Lee, really like da Vinci code too ?

        having read bits of those "gospels", one can see why they were never included. More interesting though ? Not if one likes consistency.

        As for why only the 4 gospels, go do some basic scholarship. Others contemporary. Nope, try 2 centuries later. Some possibly inspired by Hindu missionaries from Serendip. Go look it up. It has another name now. Also syncretism always occurs with all new movements. A lack of it would be suspicious.

        Regarding your for document suppression claims, you really don't read much, do you, or you would know of St Jeromes comment about favourite texts ? Which are still around, otherwise your sources would never had any thing to quote. So no suppression there either.

        And as for the more ancient documents, read the comparison of words between the Dead sea version of Isiah and the Masoretic text cica 800 AD. Mass editing ? No. Your statements sound like the usual rehashing of the latest crap from the 19th century.

        1. jake Silver badge

          @Denarius, Re: "consistancy"

          Which of your four gospels got the last words of Jesus right?

          Has to be one of 'em ... the other three *must* be wrong.

          OK, to be fair, Mark declined to comment ... But Matthew, Luke & John all report differing accounts. Which one is closest to reality? My money is on Mark ;-)

          Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.

          1. JEDIDIAH


            The Xian Gospels show a clear evolution of the story to suit changing times.

            In other words: You can't really trust it. Clearly from early on the Church was re-writting history to suit the current political climate. From an outside observer it almost looks like they were intentionally trying to make it obvious that you can't trust the rest of it.

            They make a lot of sense when taken in historical context.

        2. Lee Dowling


          Never read Da Vinci Code in my life. Dan Brown is actually a pretty pathetic author by all accounts that I've heard, even from people who *have* read his books (a group which, in my experience, are even less well-informed than most bible-believers). He's famous because he made a book containing outrageous unproven (and often blatantly false) assertions that happened to be condemned by the church. Call it "Life of Brian" syndrome - banning something is the best way to give it free publicity.

          So you admit that most of the gospels weren't included because they weren't interesting enough, and that someone sat down and selected them based on such criteria? And consistency is an incredibly dangerous ground to step on when comparing gospels. After anything not consistent was disposed of and thus what remains must be true? Logic tells me that the correct answer is that after anything not consistent was disposed of, what remains must be... consistent. And lacking an awful lot of extraneous data which would otherwise degrade the signal-to-noise ratio, which would affect people's "nonsense meter" much more quickly.

          Dating? Try 80AD for a lot of the rejected gospels - a timeframe smack bang in the middle of the "accepted" one's dating (accounting for reasonable error on both counts). St Jerome? Hired by the Pope 400 years after the described events in order to SPECIFICALLY re-translate the four chosen gospels only? No bias there. And we only know the sources that are still around because they are still around. By definition, destroyed ones would have been... destroyed.

          You appear to have a blind obedience to the accuracy of a particular set of documents (ironic in itself). Until you can ask yourself why that is, there's really nothing more I can correct (or at least disprove) for you. A scientist starts with "I believe nothing" and then waits for proof of things. Religious people have a tendency of "I believe everything" and then ignore even when they are disproved. One way can give you a feeling of what's true, the other only ever gives opinion.

      2. JEDIDIAH

        More muddling and confusion.

        ...again with lumping all of the sons of Abraham together.

        Judiasm and Xianity are very different in how they approach things in general and scripture in particular. A lot of criticisms you might rightfully level at the New Testament cannot be applied at all to the Torah. The Jews are just a lot less mindless in general.

        Although it is quite true that Xians love to pick and choose what parts of the Torah they will treat as valid.

        Time for a bacon cheeseburger with lobster sauce!

    2. Pperson

      Met a few scientists too


      I've met a few 'real' scientists too, and - being humans - they tend to do exactly the same thing. Just with their favourite theory rather than the bible. Main difference seems to be that science is basically polytheism (polytheorism?), so people aren't able to get quite so narrow-minded (but not from lack of trying!). Perhaps the same holds true for adherents to polytheistic systems? I guess that's why monotheism spread so well - absolute belief is definitely an impressive sight, regardless of whether it is religious or scientific.

    3. Mad Dave

      So, uh...

      What have you done which ranks alongside the work of Pasteur?

    4. J 3
      Paris Hilton

      @Having met

      "if you are a theistic scientist, then you are either a very bad scientist or a very bad theist"

      Well, maybe the second part more than the first, depending... I actually am a scientist, so of course a lot of the people I know are scientists. Quite devout ones seem to be rare in my experience, but they do exist. Most are of the "spiritual" kind, sort of deists in practice even if not explicitly in name. But besides the small handful of examples I know personally, you can take Francis Collins as the typical public example. No one can question his scientific credentials in his field. But I watched a talk of his here just after he published his "Language of God" book, and all of a sudden he's committing fallacies left, right, and center, and ignoring other areas of science that are not his in order to make the stupid "moral law" argument. The great thinker of the lab is a different person from the lousy one trying to save his god from (even more) irrelevance. Anyway...

      So that's how the devout ones manage. They divide their brain in two parts that are completely separate in time, so to speak. When they are doing science, they are rigorous thinkers, relying on logic, previous knowledge, the data, etc. etc. as one would expect. When they are being religious, all that modus operandi is switched off and suddenly talking inside of your head to an imaginary being to ask for stuff you want is supposed to work. Contrary to reality, of course.

      Now the good, but devout, scientists of course can't be of the fundamentalist kind, because no matter how much they partition their brain, there is no avoiding considering the most ridiculously unreal parts of their religion as "allegorical" -- because, you know, those parts are ridiculous and therefore must be "just a nice story to teach us something".

      For the average science-ignorant person (e.g. a few fellow commentards here I could mention), things are much easier. Since they don't know much to begin with, cognitive dissonance is much less likely to strike, and they can even say with a straight face that science got it really wrong and your favorite priest got it right. In spite of... everything.

      I wonder what Paris thinks of this issue...


      Anyone can ruin a good thing.

      > but certainly not any Abrahamic faith or anything remotely like it.

      Don't lump Jews in with the Xian fundies.

      They will happily argue with you about this and not even threaten to stone you.

  20. Ian Chard


    '...Or genuinely unable to respect other people's opinions, however misguided you may believe them to be?'

    Other people's opinions are not automatically worthy of respect.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      I disagree.

      but I respect your opinion....

      See how it works now?

      1. Jason Hall



        I disagree, but I will tolerate your opinion.

        Respect is earned.

    2. A J Stiles
      Thumb Up

      You win the Internet

      "Other people's opinions are not automatically worthy of respect."

      Can I get that Internet-winning remark on a T-shirt?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Everybody knows

    It was the result of an early nuclear power station disaster.

  22. JeffyPooh

    "...allow doubt to be subtly cast on the theories generally accepted..."

    The Short Earth Society. They're stark-raving of course... But that bit about 'allowing doubt' - that is supposed to ALWAYS be true. No matter how well founded a scientific theory may be, it is ALWAYS subject to change or improvement.

    In a similar way, I've detected that the arguments about AGW have started using the language of faith. Bad.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Religion (TM)

    Dumbing down humankind since 5000BC.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      maybe the ability to think about things that were of no immediate practical use and to produce elaborate theories about them was developed purely through religion. Possibly driving the development of language to a level where abstract ideas about logic, philosophy etc. could be expressed? Without religion (and drugs?) maybe we would just be more effective chimps.

  24. David Lawrence

    I am reminded of my favourite T-Shirt design... had a picture of a Tyrannosaurus Rex and under it the words "Poor Noah - not enough room for the dinosaurs" (or similar).

    Surely they (the dinosaurs) are the biggest, most solid proof (if ever it was needed) that these guys, despite having their own opinion (and reserving the right to have such), are delusional and exhibiting a serious form of denial bordering on the insane.

    1. Dr Insanity

      @david Lawrence

      The trouble with using dinosaurs as a disproof of creationism and intelligent design is faith. When God created earth he put the fossilised remains of dinosaurs and the like underground to be discovered as a test of faith. The faithful will see the remains as a trial and still believe in their devine creation, the unfaithful will see the fossils as proof of an era long gone where giant lizards roamed the earth before it was meant to have been created.

      It's a way of explaining away any "missing links" in evolution too; anything discovered as before the missing link is clearly a test of faith from our Creator, and anything post missing link is as planned by His divine will.

      I personally am yet to be convinced either way. I don't subscribe to any organised religion but at the same time I am open to the concept of a higher power in the universe. It's not impossible that we were indeed put here by a higher power, or that perhaps our evolution was encouraged to a points of intelligent design.

      From the bible persepective, it's possible that one of God's 7 "days" is an epoch to us mortals, and that the day between him creating sea creatures and beast was infact the evolution of fish through amphibians to mammals, and the creating of light on day 1 could be likened to the big bang? that being the case, and bearing in mind the timescales involved being millions/billions of years, it is plausibly still God's sabbath, and God is still resting.

      1. Frederic Bloggs

        Ah the Terry Pratchett defence

        A quick look at one of Terry Pratchett's early books called "Strata" would explain this point view more clearly and convince you.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        And what evidence

        do you have for your god's 7 "days" being equivalent to an "epoch"? How long is this epoch? 14 days, 14 years, 14 millennia? Go on, hazard a guess because everything else you've said is just random, gut-feel, evidence-absent guess.

        This typifies precisely the problem with religion - everyone has a view or interpretation of some big boogey man in the sky but they can't put forward a single shred of evidence for these views or interpretations.

        Science, however, has plenty of views and interpretations but with evidence supporting them and more importantly, in the absence of evidence disputing the views, they are accepted as the best explanation for any particular phenomenom until another explanation comes along that better fits the evidence, or are discarded when the evidence flatly contradicts the views.

        This is very unlike religion where the evidence is shoe-horned to fit the philosophy to the point that you have to invoke such stupid arguments like "God put it there to test our faith" to explain away so much. There is no real counter-argument to this because it's not a legitimate explanation in the first place since it cannot be supported with any evidence.

      3. Anonymous Coward

        Re: @david Lawrence

        "The trouble with using dinosaurs as a disproof of creationism and intelligent design is faith. When God created earth he put the fossilised remains of dinosaurs and the like underground to be discovered as a test of faith."

        Where are Barnum and pals when you need them most?

    2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge


      Creationists do not dispute extinctions. They just don't believe the time scales over which they happened.

      I've whiled away many hours arguing about ID and creationism with some otherwise completely rational people, and the most skilled of them have convincing-sounding answers to almost every question you could ask!

      Firstly, they argue that the dating techniques are not accurate, as nobody understands all of the hypotheses that they are based on, you have to take it on 'faith' that the whole chain of scientific proof is true, and thus their single faith belief (in the Bible) is more trustworthy than many beliefs that previous hypotheses were correct.

      Then they will argue that if dating cannot be relied upon, then how do we know that the Earth is older than 6,000 years (I don't know where 10,000 years came from, my friends were certain it was only 6,000).

      Then they will argue flood.

      Then they will argue 'test of faith' of the believers.

      The most recent discussions I had with one of them even allowed for micro-evolution (change of colour, eating habits etc) as a result of environment.

      It's all highly amusing, and I still count several of them as friends. But that does not stop me thinking that, at least in their beliefs, they are a bit crazy. But it livens up a beer or five!

      Ahhh beery crazy discussions!

      1. Danny 14
        Thumb Down

        nyack nyack

        "Firstly, they argue that the dating techniques are not accurate"

        wut? Apart from the fact you could reproduce the experiments yourself if you want. Just take a lower half life specimen.

        1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          @Danny 14

          And why do you think that you can trust what a half-life means? And how do you know what radioactive decay is? And how do you know how much of the original sample remains? And how do you know you can trust the mass spectrometer? And... and... and ad nauseam.

          Until you think about it, most people regard experimentally confirmed hypotheses as truths. Unfortunately, science does not really refer to truths, but about not-disproved hypotheses. This is a fair point if you believe the scientific method, but becomes hard to justify to someone who wont acknowledge it.

          You just have to try arguing this with one of these people who are good at it to understand what it is like. They effectively argue that you have to justify the entirety of known science in order to trust it, and most people get too cross after a while to argue effectively. I just refused to continue once I realised what their tactic was.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward


            Unfortunately, that now means they have won - at least in their heads. :(

          2. Anonymous Coward


            But without accepting evidence from observation of the material world (like science) how can creationists claim to know what it says in their (material) bibles?

  25. Nigel 11

    Hardly worth any effort

    It's hardly worth any effort arguing against these people (unlike the Intelligent Design anti-evolution mob)

    Anyone with a mind not irreversibly welded shut can look at a core drilled down through the mud at the bottom of a lake, and count the annual deposition layers. If they're a millimeter thick per year (which is quite fast deposition) then one meter is a thousand years, ten meters is disproof of the whole fundamentalist bible chronology in a way that even a ten-year-old can understand, and which anyone with trust issues can repeat for himself using apparatus that any decent mechanical workshop can manufacture.

    There's no record of that biblical flood, either.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      No record of the flood?

      It's in the Bible.

    2. Stevie


      Actually there are several accounts of A flood of epic proportions in ancient literature.

      The reason the Epic of Gilgamesh excited such interest when it was first unearthed was that it contains an account of a catastrophic flood.

      No-one on my side of the screen is suggesting a boat filled with animals, but an end-of-the-world scale flood (from the viewpoint of the people who were inundated)? Easy to imagine, especially when you have no way of telling that what is happening where you are isn't the case worldwide.

      1. Nigel 11
        Thumb Up

        Oh yes, regional inundations no problem

        I'm fully aware that flood legends are common in many cultures. It's not provable, but not unreasonable to hypothesize, that these date back to the rise in sea-level at the end of the last ice-age. In particular, there would have been people living on the floor of what is now the Black sea, around 8000BC when the Mediterranean broke through the Bosphorus.

        Fundamentalists aren't willing to accept that anything in the bible may be allegory, or myth, or legend distantly echoing some real event. They think every word is literally true. If so, it would be impossible to find a 10,000 year sequence of annual mud deposition layers anywhere, and there would be a massive disruption at the time of Noah showing in all of them.

        And their minds are welded shut.

  26. hammarbtyp

    Fine if you don't want to believe in evolution but...

    I would suggest that you also do not take antibiotics, get vaccinated, or partake in many of the other scientific advances that have come about from evolutionary theories. Then we will have a good experiment on natural selection when we see which gene pool dies off first.

    What is more worrying is a geologist can get a advanced degree while at the same time not understanding or believing in the theories the science is based on. I can only assume the degrees come from certain American private Christian universities. In the UK or Europe such degrees would be impossible because of central oversight. Obviously anyone can get a degree in the US as long as they are willing to believe the right things (and pay enough)

    1. Denarius Silver badge

      @hammar* the connection with evolution is ?

      do some reading. Vaccination was empirically researched. Antibiotics was derived from observations of cell culture plates Darwin and devotees had nothing to with it.

      That what makes me sceptical. If your wins are lies, what does that say for your hypothesis ?

      1. hammarbtyp

        the connection with evolution is ?

        Initially yes, but the mechanism and process could not be understood until the process that drive evolution were known. This understanding is what evolutionary theory drove.

        Take a flu vaccine. A new one has to be produced each year because the flu virus mutates into a new form that the old flu vaccine will not treat. Or look at drug resistant bacteria. We kill off the weaker ones leaving the resistant one to flourish. Now I am sure creationists have a mechanism for such things happening (Gods punishment etc), but this does not do anything to treat the illnesses. But creationists are still happy to have a flu vaccine based on, what according to them is created with a flawed theory.

        And that's before we start looking at Agriculture, Biotechnology, etc.

        1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge


          An understanding of evolution was not essential to the creation of the smallpox vaccine. This was developed by observation, hypothesis, prediction, experimentation and conclusion, exactly as the Scientific Method dictates.

          Your example of a Flu vaccine is not a good one, either. Most Flu outbreaks are of known strains, of which there are many. Each vaccine developed is a mix (normally of three strains), and is only effective against a small number of these strains sometimes more than the three target strains), and it is the job of the vaccine producers to make an informed guess about which will be the main threats each year. They then prime the process to produce the vaccine (which are developed in chicken eggs) to produce the vaccine for that year. This process takes weeks to months to get the number of doses for a large population. If they select the wrong strains, the vaccine could fail to protect at all.

          What gets the medical profession worried is new mutated strains of 'flu, for which they don't yet have a vaccine. It is necessary to isolate the virus in order to culture it to produce the vaccine. By the time a vaccine for a new variant is produced, it may be that a sizeable part of the world population has been exposed, reducing the value of the virus.

      2. J 3


        "do some reading"

        Which one is the irony icon again?

        Since I am paid to teach these things, and I don't work for free here, I will just say this: keep quiet and stop embarrassing yourself. It is self-evident that you have no clue about the things you are talking about.

        1. AJ MacLeod

          (@ J 3)

          Ah yes... the good old "you're wrong because I'm me and I have a position" argument - very convincing reasoning there.

          People are paid to teach all sorts of things - regurgitating wrongs doesn't make them right, no matter how convinced you are of their veracity.

    2. david wilson


      >>"I can only assume the degrees come from certain American private Christian universities. In the UK or Europe such degrees would be impossible because of central oversight. Obviously anyone can get a degree in the US as long as they are willing to believe the right things (and pay enough)"

      I would be careful what you assume, both about university systems and about countries.

      Pretty much anywhere, anyone can get a degree if they can do the work, learn enough stuff and say what they know they're required to say.

      It's perfectly possible for a total male chauvinist to get a degree in Women's Studies if they want and have the basic capacity - there's no requirement to actually *believe* what one learns.

      I'm fairly sure I could pass a degree in Homeopathy if I had the time and the inclination.

      It's perfectly possible for a YEC to get a biology degree in the UK as long as they understand what they've been taught.

      One might hope that learning biology would cure most people of creationism, but there's no accounting for the vagaries of delusions. Someone may go through an entire degree course believing that they were learning the tricks that Satan uses to deceive most common people, and be perfectly capable of explaining what the generally accepted theories are, just as a believer might understand other philosophical systems and religions while believing that everything other than their own beliefs is all wrong, or someone of a particular political outlook might understand perfectly well the arguments that other people use to defend their own outlooks.

      >>"What is more worrying is a geologist can get a advanced degree while at the same time not understanding or believing in the theories the science is based on."

      Understanding and belief are two quite different things.

  27. Red Bren

    "Let a thousand flowers bloom, weeds and all"

    In my garden, weeds grow rapidly and overwhelm everything else given half a chance, whereas the flowers and vegetables need careful tending to thrive.

    1. PatientOne


      and if these creationists are allowed to proliferate their beliefs within the scientific community, they will soon be 'peer reviewing' their own papers and so adding credibility to their rather unscientific beliefs.

      Of cause the danger is that the scientific community will be branded Bigots for not hearing out the creationists. Yet the creationists will simply pretend to listen to the scientists and refute all the evidence based on belief rather than scientific fact. This is what will drive scientists into a froth: You cannot counter belief with rational argument, yet to prove the creationists wrong, this is exactly what is expected of them.

      There is no easy solution that I can see that doesn't brand the scientists as bigots.

      1. Denarius Silver badge


        so you despise the work of Pasteur ? Odd that a philospher of science has suggested that the scientific approach came from the christian concept of an orderly universe that was consistent and knowable. But then, you only read to support your own beliefs, don't you ?

        1. david wilson


          >>"Odd that a philospher of science has suggested that the scientific approach came from the christian concept of an orderly universe that was consistent and knowable."

          That's *far* from a uniquely Christian concept.

          Muslim and Jewish scholars also formally pondered how rule-based the universe should be, as did ancient Greeks, long before Christianity was even invented.

          Though, of course, it's debatable how much was really a result of any particular religion, and how much was the result of a particular person's mind - would Maimonides have prospered as a Christian scholar if born into a suitable Christian niche rather than a Jewish one?

          However, informally, the idea that the world is consistent is something people rely on every day, so formalising it isn't a *desperately* radical step - really it's just a matter of getting away from too much superstitious reliance on one or more gods continually pissing about with the universe and spraying miracles and disasters around like there's no tomorrow, something that at least some Christians don't yet seem to have evolved beyond.

  28. Bob Sanders

    Planet go Bloop

    Well let's see according to the creationist christians coalition (now known as the CCC phonetically) all but one family was murdered by water which covered the entire planet (and apparently only took 40 days and nights to accomplish that task).

    But from god's perspective it means that inbreeding and incest were permitted by their god to begin to and continue to repopulate the human race and that we are all related. Hmm that could explain man people throughout history. So I guess Hitler was just that crazy uncle in "our" christian family tree.

    Would rather see the creationist museum under water for 40 days and 40 nights or a few thousand years of dirt and let their pet dinosaur dig them out.

    May Kevin Costner save us!

    1. PatientOne

      You're forgetting something

      Way back before the flood there was Adam and Eve. They were the first man and woman, and Eve was made from one of Adam's ribs, yes? If you believe the bible (which kind of dropped a few little details) then you have only one woman: Eve, who is part of Adam, which makes her more than just a sister, more a gender altered clone. She had two sons by Adam, too: Cain and Abel. So you have three men and one woman who are all rather closely related and that, according to the bible, was all there was of humanity in the beginning.

      Okay, one little detail was Eve was Adam's third wife, and the previous two were kicked out while they were pregnant. The story goes on to explain why the serpent sort to tempt Eve, and where the various tribes came from that existed outside of Eden when Adam and Eve were evicted. But it still means that there was some serious incest going on right from the start.

    2. AJ MacLeod


      The main problem with incest (or at least, closely related people breeding) is the accumulation of harmful genetic mutations... with a starting point of "genetically perfect" people, incest would be no issue at all, for a very long time. Which is no doubt why incest was not initially prohibited in Scripture...

      1. Chemist


        With enough inbreeding you get genetically very similar people who are then all susceptible to the same environmental challenges ( infectious diseases for example )

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Paris Hilton

        @AJ MacLeod

        If Adam and Eve were perfect, then they couldn't have sinned. But an infallible God couldn't have accidentally allowed design faults to exist. So what went wrong?

  29. davefb

    should fight back

    I'm assuming atheists can be priests and bishops? Start doing sermons about how god is an invention.

    I don't think the anger is because of being anti xtian, its due to people who are brainwashed trying to stupify others outside of there normal areas. Whats even more insane about this sort of US evangelism is that even the Catholic Church recognises the real age of the earth and real history. Not only that, but the idea of the creation being a story was agreed and recognised by xtian leaders in something like the 5th century, its not only fact, but it's also gospel. So why is it that in the 21st century some people are waving their ignorance like a flag ?

    @nigel, I thought there is , in the black sea, oh hang on that probably is the one from the Epic of Gilgamesh...

    1. Jolyon

      @davefb - how about the CofE?

      I think the CofE is ripe for a takeover - it's been a bit of a 'lite' religion in a lot of parts for a while and congregations are falling.

      A few CofE priests saying

      "You know what? It doesn't matter if you really believe in gods, it's still a good idea to meet up once a week, have a chat about what's going on, reassure ourselves that it's not all bad and check that none of the old people has carked it while we've been at work."

      would push things along nicely and if you could increase bums on pews then the higher-ups might think there was something in it.

      There's a pleasant little church up my way not too far from the Nag's Head - could pick up a pint or two and a packet of salt and vinegar on the way past (or if they want to fund the events with an exclusive wine and biscuit sales setup I'd not complain).

      A bit of a community update with no hymns wouldn't take too long, could carry on any discussions in the pub after.

  30. adnim

    What is scary

    is that if an omnipotent all powerful creator does exist, the whole Universe could be a few seconds old and everything that anyone believes, scientists and god botherers alike, all the memories of everyone on the planet if indeed we are on a planet, plus all the evidence for past events is complete fabrication or creation.

    Alternatively 13.7 billion years ago the most powerful AI ever conceived by man was switched on for the first time.

    But then again it could have been that quantum fluctuations in the void got a bit out of hand and after that conservation of energy/momentum, chance and entropy took over.

    Everyone has a right to believe in what ever floats their boat. What I object to is any one belief system insisting its doctrine is absolute truth and that the believers in that system subjugate, ostracise, maim and kill others just to prove they are right.

    1. J 3

      @What is scary

      Look up "Last Thursdayism"...

      1. adnim


        I only came up with this idea Planck time ago. How could Gosse come up with a similar hypothesis in 1857 if the universe did not exist then?

        I am so confused, perhaps I should seek succor from a god figure.

  31. g e

    Carbon dating proven to be a con

    etc etc

    Agree with hammarbtyp, believe what you like but benefitting from the 'discoveries' of heretics makes you a hypocrite.

    No immunisation, life-saving surgery, or strong cheese for you, m'laddo.

    If humanity was all wiped out 'cept for Noah's bunch and some cute goats & camels & so on then can someone 'Of Faith' remind us how African, India, Asian, American Indian, Samoan, etc, etc people came about from this remarkably tightly defined gene pool. In just 10,000 years (400 generations)... ? With nobody noticing ?

    1. AJ MacLeod

      No immunisation or strong cheese?

      I really think you should learn about the pioneers of immunisation and their religious beliefs (which in many cases were one of the main reasons for their caring about their fellow men).

      Radiological dating is not a con, but is limited in its usefulness by our knowledge of several factors throughout the time concerned. Anyone who truly believes that we can know for certain the absolute age of anything claimed to be millions of years old is employing an impressive degree of faith (or more likely, has never or is unwilling to consider the scaffold of assumptions it employs.)

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Darwin was someone 'Of Faith'

      "can someone 'Of Faith' remind us how African, India, Asian, American Indian, Samoan, etc, etc people came about from this remarkably tightly defined gene pool. In just 10,000 years (400 generations)... ? With nobody noticing ?"

      Firstly I'm an out & out evolutionary, (not a creationist god-botherer).

      Mutations & breeds do not take 10,000 years and 400 generations.

      Each change only requires 1 iteration.

      What does take time, is for that change to become prevalently/statistically noticeable.

      It was Darwin's own, plus his collations of other's, observations of ISOLATED gene-pools, which were the basis of his theory.

      Example From Darwin's notes -

      Spanish had introduced one species of cattle to the Falklands, which over 70 years had evolved into 3 distinct species, (1 v large, 2 small).

      Similarly their horses had evolved into 2 species.

  32. Bob Foster

    Yet more American Christian rubbish

    I've noticed with the History Channel they started with perfectly sensible stuff about Greece, Rome, even some rational biblical period investigation stories (Dead Sea scrolls etc) but they now seem to have been infiltrated by the Southern Baptist nut job type of programming, like programs about the Devil or the end of days where it degenerates into people talking about the Rapture as if it's a forgone conclusion and just a few years away, and programs about biblical characters where they are described more like latter day superheroes and accepting everything in the Bible without questioning, rather than giving a fact based assessment as in "this is what we know archeologically" etc.

    Much of the Christian religions beliefs are proven to come from other Middle Eastern cultures, the god Ra was known as "the way the truth and the light" and the "Good Shepherd", and the sins mentioned in the Ten Commandments appear in the Egyptian Book of the dead.

  33. Mostor Astrakan

    O great.

    Creationist: "When you teach your religious belief that the Earth is million years old (and all the mountains would have been ground to dust in that time, so who are YOU calling stupid), then you must also teach the theories of those who believe that God did it just six thousand years ago! You must TEACH the CONTROVERSY!"

    Rationalist: "But there is no controversy! We have scientific data! We have sound theories, verified, shot at, amended, bickered over, and finally agreed upon. Young Earth Creationists have the Bible, which is not a work of Geology! There IS NO CONTROVERSY."

    Creationist: "Oh. Well, we'll bloody well walk into your labs and MAKE one!"

    Yeah, that's going to go down well. Think *you* are being hard on Evolutionary theories, Mr. Creationist? You're nowhere near as vicious as an evolutionary scientist who smells traces of bias in some bit of data.

  34. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge


    River: "So we'll integrate non-progressional evolution theory with God's creation of Eden. Eleven inherent metaphoric parallels already there. Eleven. Important number. Prime number. One goes into the house of eleven eleven times, but always comes out one. Noah's ark is a problem."

    Book: "Really?"

    River: "We'll have to call it early quantum state phenomenon. Only way to fit 5000 species of mammal on the same boat."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up


      "Bible's broken, doesn't make sense.."

    2. Anonymous Coward

      I believe you are referring to "Schrödinger's Ark".

      Scary to think that when Noah looked inside, there was a 50% chance he'd wipe out all that remained of creation.

  35. John Savard

    Is Deception Harmful?

    Creationists infiltrating scientific circles do real harm: by cloaking their notions with a superficial appearance of respectable science, they facilitate confusing others and deceiving them with regard to the merits of their point of view.

    Bringing sanctions against this sort of dishonest behavior is, therefore, not an option to be discarded out of hand. In the United States, legal advice might well be needed, to ensure that a claim of religious discrimination cannot be made, however.

  36. Saganhill

    You are correct about the USA and faith

    I live in Grand Rapids Michigan, USA and I can tell you all that the USA is doomed to this disease called religion. Here in GR there is a church on every street corner. Everyone goes to church at least 3 times a week and as an Atheist, I am bombarded with damnation and hellfire from idiot, brainwashed people everyday. Its like living in the stepford wives movie.

    These religious idiots think that prayer in public schools will somehow solve all issues that kids have during these years growing up. They think that gays are trying to take over the USA. And what is really sad, especially in my State, are the law makers who somehow think they have power over a womans womb, should be passing laws protecting these unborn fetuses. They waste tax payer money on this issue every year. And what is really funny regarding this issue of abortion is that it's always old, white, evangelical men who deem it in their power over women to make these desisions.

    Then we have the Dominionist who want the USA to be a "christian" nation and are trying to rewrite American history to make their claim. Look up David Barton and his Croney Glen Beck. And what is scary are the stupid people here in the USA who beleive these morons alternative history. If they win, you can kiss freedom goodbye. We will be under the boot of religious zelots who think they have the "ear" of god, or as I say, the invisible sky jockey.

  37. Anonymous Coward

    I'm no geologist...

    But I do suspect it could never rain long enough to cover all the land mass of the Earth - after all, rainwater ultimately comes from the oceans and any falling on land is taken from the ocean. Therefore, huge amounts of rainfall would be preceeded by sea levels falling, exposing even more land.

    The only way to cover more land in water is to melt the polar ice caps and all glaciers, which I believe would raise sea levels by up to 12m - hardly enough to flood Norfolk never mind slightly hilly regions of the world (I may be wrong about the 12m but it's certainly not enough to flood the high plateaus found around the world).

    1. Mike Richards

      As always... is your sceptical friend:

    2. g e


      Ah but wasn't there a huuuuuuuge thing of water towards the end of the ice age when that Canadian glacier thingy bust loose?

      There are some watery incidents in the dim past of mankind upon which I'm quite happy to believe some very backwards & superstitious ancient humans would attribute to a deity cos of their sheer magnitude.

      Do remember though, these are still the ramblings/race memories and interpretations of an extremely primitive civilisation all the same.

      Exactly the same primitive civilisations that thought Gods and stuff lived in the sky.

      Oh. Hang on....

      1. Danny 14


        but maybe god got thirsty. Or went for a big whizz in the pacific only to flush it out to somewhere else. Maybe the earths core isnt molten afterall, maybe its a big toilet.

        mmm bacon.

    3. Nigel 11

      65 meters

      Melting Antarctica and all other ice would raise sea level by more like 65m than 12m. The point that thaere would still be a lot of dry land remains completely valid.

  38. NRT

    The Lobster Pot of theology

    When viewed from the outside creationists & young earthers appear incomprehensible. However when you remember two items of their faith, 1 The only way to heaven is through faith & 2 Every word of the Bible is true then you can see why they twist around desperatly trying to make the facts fit their theory.

    Failure to do so (and indeed believe their strange theories) means that they no longer have faith & will therefore go to hell.

    So, like a lobster pot, it's easy to get in but very difficult to get out of again.


    1. Denarius Silver badge

      every word ?

      even the lies recorded ?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      I'm sorry but

      that doesn't explain the behaviour / pathology of these people. Most of us in that position would have the humility to accept that it was mysterious and beyond us to explain. Creationists, on the other hand, lie, usually ineptly, but persistently. While believing that they will be judged by a God who KNOWS they are lying!

  39. R J Tysoe

    Crucifixion's too good for them.

    @ David Dawson "Violence, that'll change minds. Good idea, well done. After all, its worked so many times before, hasn't it?"

    Maybe a rock to the head will enable your sense of humour?

  40. Anonymous Coward

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion...

    ...and everyone has the right to believe what they want to believe but can we please get the line finally drawn between private beliefs and public responsibilities.

    I may believe in John the floating squid, who comes bearing hats but it is my responsibility to provide services objectively and without my personal privately held believes and discriminations infringing. Scientist provide services to the public that require objectivity and evidence. Geologists should not be spouting out curiosities such as the Earth being 6000 years young unless there is geological evidence for it... otherwise they are not geologists. It is dangerous when officious credentials are used to bolster falsities.

    Secular services unless the services are religious in nature please... God remains in private and the church.

  41. Mike Richards

    As a geologist...

    ...I can't see how you could get a GCSE or A-Level in geology, let alone a degree in the subject from an accredited organisation *and* be a creationist.

    1. Danny 14

      quite easy

      you dont have to believe in something in order to study, remember and pass the exams. know thine enemy?

      Even advanced degrees are just exams. I suspect a doctorate may be harder as you would need a convincing viva voca

    2. aphexbr

      re: As a geologist...

      Simple. Unlike religion, science doesn't demand faith in what you're reading. You can remember facts and utilise them without once believing anything they imply that contradicts your preconceived notions.

      Doing so while studying science to an advanced level yet never questioning your book of mythology makes you at best delusional and at worst insane, but it's possible.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

  42. HP Cynic

    Very upsetting

    America still leads the world in science but it's terrifying that Religion (well Church attendance) is gaining popularity there while it's quite rightly virtually died out in Europe.

    What's upsetting about this creationist nonsense is that we have to continuously waste time knocking down the same insane, straw-man arguments again and again and again just because these nutters are blinded, deafened and confused by faith.

    The only difference between Scientology and Christianity (or any established Religion) is that one of them had a 2,000 year head-start, putting a lot of distance between our enlightened minds and the blatant craziness of those myths.

    That and hundreds of years of indoctrination from birth of previous generations.

    Give Scientology 2,000 more years and you won't be able to discern which is the more insane.

    1. g e

      Blame transferance

      When you can't sue to defer blame for your own shortcomings why, it must be a deity....

      Is just a mental crutch for a shedload of people who don't want to think they might be responsible for their own lives and issues.

      God's Will my arse. It's your own damned failure to try & take charge of your own miserable existence.

  43. Nathan 13

    Must have been a HUGE ark

    to carry two of every living thing in it, a few weeks food and drink etc

    Like about 50 miles long a 5 miles wide?

  44. Anonymous Coward


    Nevermind that these people ARE geologists. Nevermind that they are as highly educated and qualified to form a scientific opinion as anyone else in the field. They MUST not be real scientists despite their advanced degrees and the fact that they make their livings in the geology field.

    Because if they were real scientists that would mean that the ID theory people have been right all along in saying that there are real scientists with valid scientific views that back up the idea that random chance evolution can't exist. And THAT could lead to the end of science as we know it.

    Personally I don't buy the young Earth theory despite my beliefs in a higher power, but when a theory is utterly dismissed simply because it supports the idea that the mainstream might not have it completely right there's something wrong. I could understand the dismissal if we were talking about amatures here, but theres are geologists with advanced degrees. That means that their ideas should not be sumarily dismissed. It's not good enough to say ' that doesn't agree with what everyone else says'. You have to be able to explain why the theory can't be right before you can simply dismiss it when it comes from that level.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Let's suppose for a moment...

      that other scientists have explained the theories to these scientists, who have similar degrees it seems. Don't these "Young Earthers" have the same responsibilities to the other scientists? The scientific method needs to be applied to the "Young Earthers" "evidence of a young earth". Just because it's what they want to believe doesn't make it true and especially not worthwhile to be taught in school. It is an ideology based on a leap of faith. In America, there is a separation of church and state and America seems to failing worse as that separation decreases, but that's another topic.

    2. J 3


      Newsflash for you:

      - not all degrees are of similar quality (see the proliferation of "Christian institutions", for example, mostly the place where these guys in the article hail from)

      - not all scientists are of similar quality (not all Oxford PhD holders are equally good, say)

      - not all ideas are of similar quality (and yes, some are stupid enough to deserve ridiculous and be immediately ignored -- I won't debate with a physician who thinks my disease is caused by evil spirits and the solution if to pray; I will simply run away as fast as I can)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      OK I see you're probably joking

      OK I see you're probably joking, AC 14:43, but this has to be addressed in case we have some really dumb lurkers.

      "Because if they were real scientists that would mean that the ID theory people have been right all along in saying that there are real scientists ..."

      Yes it would, but

      a) So what?

      b) Project Steve

      "... with valid scientific views that back up the idea that random chance evolution can't exist."

      No it wouldn't mean that.

      "And THAT could lead to the end of science as we know it."

      No it couldn't.

      "Personally I don't buy the young Earth theory despite my beliefs in a higher power, but when a theory is utterly dismissed simply because it supports the idea that the mainstream might not have it completely right there's something wrong."

      Absolutely. Let's hope that doesn't happen.

      "I could understand the dismissal if we were talking about amatures here, but theres are geologists with advanced degrees. That means that their ideas should not be sumarily dismissed. It's not good enough to say ' that doesn't agree with what everyone else says'. You have to be able to explain why the theory can't be right before you can simply dismiss it when it comes from that level."


    4. Anonymous Coward

      @AC 14:43

      "real scientists with valid scientific views that back up the idea that random chance evolution can't exist"? ? ?


      ALL scientific views reject 'random chance evolution' because evolution isn't about random chance. The word 'selection' in natural selection is a clue there.


      Don't you think that people who have spent years *honestly* studying a subject might know more about it than people who aren't really interested in it, but object emotionally to the truth about that subject because it conflicts with some crank theory of theirs?


      Many, perhaps even most, scientists have some religious belief. This is not about science vs. religion. It is about honest enquiry vs. calculating hypocrisy.

    5. John Savard

      Dishonest Time-Wasters

      The problem with Creationism per se is that it isn't falsifiable. So it's a last resort, not a first one.

      But the problem with these "infiltrators" is that despite their credentials, their work in support of Intelligent Design is unsound. It can be refuted. By sailing under false colors, though, they hope to sometimes slip it into print, where they can point to it as having authority, by having stuff that's already been refuted countless times slip past unnoticed.

      Geologists are paid to discover new things, not refute old fallacies. This kind of activity either forces people to waste their time doing extra work cleaning up after the integrity of academic journals is corrupted by this dishonesty - or let it be victorious, and let them use the respectability of academic journals to deceive others into falsely concluding that there's something to this young earth stuff.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well just another example..

    of people not understanding the word "theory".

    Just because you have a "belief" (and yes we all have them) in one theory doesnt make it correct or wrong.

    The reason its called a theory is because either the information is unavailable, or contradictory and can not be "proven" one way or another.

    But to simply point and laugh is frankly pathetic, because its usually made by people who dont understand the arguement and dont want to understand the arguement.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "of people not understanding the word "theory" "

      The word theory when used to talk about science means something completely different.

      "Just because you have a "belief" (and yes we all have them) in one theory doesnt make it correct or wrong."

      True. Science = lots of proofs backing each other up. Religion = a magic book (this one written after the fact, by people who weren't even alive when it happened, and never met anyone that actually was. Also was heavilly edited aftwerwards.

      "The reason its called a theory is because either the information is unavailable, or contradictory and can not be "proven" one way or another."

      No. Simply no.

      "But to simply point and laugh is frankly pathetic, because its usually made by people who dont understand the arguement and dont want to understand the arguement."

      In your mind it's pathetic. In others it's perfectly justified.

      ooFie = Must try harder.

  46. Dropper


    Creationism and it's bastard cousin intelligent design both start off with some interesting points, but as soon as they start injecting religious rhetoric into their arguments most of their arguments regress into fantasy.

    There really are some very thought provoking facts about the universe and the origins of life. For example there are about a dozen physical properties of the universe that if changed even miunutely life would not be possible. Also no one has ever been able to create new life in the laboratory using the basic elements we believe created it billions of years ago. Even so these things are not in any proof that the universe was designed by aliens or gods.

    We don't know doesn't equal God did it.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You're all wrong.

    It was the Magratheans who made the Earth, commissioned by the White Mice.

    My own personal belief, for the duration of this argument, is that the Grand Canyon is a doodle done by Slartybartfast on the back of a beer mat. Some other architect pinched it, did a Xerox blow up, and used it for a river in North America.

  48. P. Lee

    what passes for news...

    someone from a society which does PR for evolution, trash-talks creationists...

    A curse on those Christian infiltrators... they're probably Nazis too, and I've heard they eat babies, or is that the Jews?

    The Cheesemakers, they turned me into a newt once...

    Someone proposes a geological theory, publishes their research and conducts field trips so people can see things for themselves! Outrageous! Where will it all end? All *without* mentioning their religion at all! That's not science!

    I demand the right to know everyone's religious beliefs so I can ignore the research and go straight to character assassination. If it doesn't fit with what I already believe, it can't be true. We can't have people doing science and drawing conclusions without authorisation! Casting doubt on accepted theories? Not on my watch!

    I've just realised that I've made a mistake. It's not the Cheesemakers, it's the old earthers who think I was once a newt... but that I got better.


    Just love being rude and confrontational?

    > Just love being rude and confrontational?

    Of course! Why else would anyone be here?

  50. Demosthenese

    Only in the US

    c.f. Monsignor Georges Lemaître - who first hypothesized what came to be called the 'Big Bang' theory, and Gregor Mendel, Augustinian monk, father of genetics.

    Science and religion not so incompatible after all.

  51. cjcox

    Science anyone?

    For, the problem is that science isn't being done. Science is all about experimentation and observation... but now, if somebody has a "title", hypothesis can be promoted to theory and theory can be promoted to fact. Personally, I think it is wise that scientists bring differences to the table... but let's also be willing to do the hard work again... hard... sometimes long and painstaking work... and instead of basing new work on bad "scientific" assumption made by those with "titles", let's at least be willing to call a hypothesis a hypothesis again...

    Theories really need to have a lot of repeatable observable data ... and then... we need to remember, it's still only just a theory. When we build large ideological structures (thories and sadly, apparently, facts) on top of a foundation of mostly theory (or worse, hypotheses), then we make almost all observations null and void.

    Science anyone?

    Theories are NOT popular feelings or generally accepted ideas.... (repeat that 3 times everyone). Creationists are motivated by what they believe God has said. Non-creationists (often) are motivated to disprove God (sad, but very true). And sometimes, that leads to bad reasoning and jumping to conclusions without doing the hard work mentioned earlier.

    For those peuedo-scientists that place much of their belief is something they mistakenly refer to as "Darwinism", I dare say (can't prove this) that if Darwin were alive today, he would chunk most if not all of what he wrote.... but in all fairness, most "Darwinists" don't even understand what Darwin wrote to begin with (they're kind of a cult IMHO).

    1. Blakey

      oh god, this again.

      Go here.

      See the part about "In scientific and medical circles"?

      Scientific theories are NOT hypotheses that we are a little bit more certain about. They don't graduate to become "facts". A theory is a body of knowledge that describes empirically observed data, and remains valid until contradicted by data. "Fact" is not a term that has much of a place in real science.

      What these people are advancing are not by any means "theories". They're not even useful hypotheses because they aren't based solely on observable phenomena and are, therefore, unfalsifiable. What these people are advancing is religion, not science. It has never been science. It will never be science. Science does not work that way.

      It is insulting to people doing actual science to have these hypotheses advanced as scientific, not least because if the people advancing them are PhDs, it is entirely reasonable to infer that they're arguing in bad faith - aware that what they are advancing is untestable, and refusing to advance testable hypotheses, rather preferring to chant "But what if goddidit", ad nauseum. It distracts from useful discussion and is

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Please read Blakeys reply.

      My reply = you're a moron.

    3. david wilson

      @ cjcox

      >>"Creationists are motivated by what they believe God has said. Non-creationists (often) are motivated to disprove God (sad, but very true). "

      Creationists are *partially* motivated by what they believe the particular god theyve been told exists told long-dead people, though obviously, the massive correlation between upbringing and belief shows that if they'd been brought up in a different religion (even one they currently think is Wrong) they'd probably believe in that instead.

      Though to be honest, from what I've seen of them online, they also seem to be significantly motivated by antiscientific arrogance - they're often just another subset of mouthbreathers who seem to believe that "you think you're so clever!" is the most profound possible insult.

      'Non-creationists' (in the sense of 'educated biologists and geologists and autodidactic laypeople) that I know actually seem vastly more interested in science than in creationists or in disproving one or other deity.

      They do /react/ to creationists, and in particular to the worst lies of creationists, but that's only a reaction.

      If, faced with someone providing a retarded argument to support their unsteady belief in a deity, someone else shows how that argument is retarded, that's not 'attacking' or 'disproving' the deity, it's really pointing out that the supposed supporter is no bloody good at providing arguments.

      It's perfectly understandable that the retard in question might want to inaccurately portray the situation as an attack on their particular deity, if only to allow them to sidestep any blame for providing a crap argument, but that really just makes them look even more laughable and pathetic.

      And of course, Christian creationists trying to portray Christian creationists as effectively the sole defenders of God does great injustice to those people of belief who've developed beyond a simplistic juvenile image of an old white guy with a beard on a throne and clearly illogical biblical literalism, and who manage to combine faith with an honest and adult approach to reality.

      But then, few people would expect much better from them.

  52. Stevie


    The problem with the "Blossoming Weed" approach is that though scientists can distinguish science from hogwash (when they aren't too busy doing useless stuff like reclassifying Pluto as a nonplanet and trying to declare Huron a Bulge instead of a Lake), politicians can't or won't, and from such paragons of leadership fount forth the funds.

    I encourage all sensible and knowledgeable geologists to visit these lectures and to burst out laughing where appropriate.

    A few Geological Laugh-ins will send the ark brigade back to their home state (denial).

  53. Cyfaill

    Faith is not science

    by definition.

    I find the argument taking place here interesting. And a little disappointing.

    If the Creator of the universe were to have a face, perhaps we could call it life itself. Mysterious Unknowable is an American Native expression.

    But that expression of respect for what we don't understand was clever enough, by the expression of its presence... gave us a mind to be used to figure out what truth is... the method of its presence expressed as...

    humans call it, is science... it removes the element of faith getting in the way of finding out what truth is.

    Real science was an invention of the human mind to try and understand how the real universe works. Clever this Mysterious Unknowable force.

    If you find that the answers do not jive with what you want to believe by faith, then perhaps an adjustment to the faith may be called for.

    Science is also not absolute in is conclusions so the theory gets modified until it works... that is how science is suppose to work.

    Faith allows no such instrument of self correction.... Unless it is faith in the mechanism of science.

    When an institution of learning or a government allows incursion into itself with a bias towards unquestioning faith, based only on unvalidated religious documents designed only to control human behavior... then trouble in reality sets in.

    Thereby slowing the evolution in reality by the human race.

    Its not that religion is poison but its inclusion into science is.

  54. Alan 43

    ernst haeckel

    I learned to tack scientific `fact` with a pinch of salt when i learned that the pictures we were shown in our biology gcse (well scottish standard grades actually) of fetus development in various animals and humans showing vestigial gill slits in baby embryos turned out to be falsified photos by ernst haeckel which were proven false hundred years ago yet were being peddled as facts in biology classes and text books - i didn`t find out these photos were false until a few years ago , 10 years after i had left school.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I have no idea what you're talking about there - or even if it's true or not (no time to google it either).

      Your argument seems to be = since I was lied to once, then it's all rubbish?

      Nice one. Wave to me as you float past, since you don't believe in gravity either.

    2. david wilson

      @Alan 43

      >>"I learned to tack scientific `fact` with a pinch of salt ..." "...a few years ago , 10 years after i had left school."

      Personally, I'd have thought that progressing through basic chemistry would be sufficient education for most people -

      "Atoms are like billiard balls..."


      "...Well, they're really more like solar system..."

      and then on to

      "...Except that the electrons are kind of everywhere, probably, and the protons and neutrons are made of other particles. Or should I say waves."


      Simplification is all over the place, and as long as it can get cleared up before it gets to be a problem for someone going more deeply into a subject, may be of of relatively minimal significance to science, even if it might leave some people who didn't pursue science with an oversimplified picture.

      >>"...the pictures we were shown in our biology gcse (well scottish standard grades actually) of fetus development in various animals and humans showing vestigial gill slits in baby embryos turned out to be falsified..."

      Though, of course, while human and other mammalian embryos don't develop gill *slits* as such (no breaks in the skin) they *do* go some way along the road of gill development.

      >>"...turned out to be falsified photos by ernst haeckel which were proven false hundred years ago yet were being peddled as facts in biology classes and text books - i didn`t find out these photos were false until a few years ago , 10 years after i had left school...."

      Then let me be one of the first to continue your education by pointing out that you're talking

      about illustrations, not photographs.

      Illustrations frequently are done so as to emphasise one or other feature, so there's a somewhat more fluid boundary between 'inaccurate' and 'falsified'.

  55. LaeMing

    My all-time favorite is...

    ...the bunch of (loudly) Christian tourists observing a mural of a Chinese creation story exclaiming loudly "they don't seriously believe this stuff, do they?"

    I was there. It amused and depressed me at the same time

  56. Peter Stone


    Every time I hear this argument, I'm reminded of Issac Asimov's short story, "The Last Question".

    1. K.o.R
      Thumb Up

      Great story, that.

      And probably the most literal Deus ex Machina ever.

  57. Anonymous Coward

    It always amazes me that....

    ....people can attain degrees but completely miss the education-bit.

  58. Head


    Explain the Aboriginal cave paintings in Aus please.

    While your at it, explain tape worms too.

    Seriously, there should be a law against fucked up people.

  59. solaries

    Gran Canyon Follies

    Unfortunately for the creationists the bible is not the only origins of earth story no matter how many other origins stories have been suppressed by the creationists,

  60. WissG
    Big Brother

    Creationism is Right?

    Prove it!

    Without referring to an old book which just maybe was written as a moral fibre guide, by a few undoubtedly well meaning men (so no female point of view there then and immediately half'sh of the population not represented, some would say the better half) about a small number of people within a particular religion that represented a small percentage of the world population at the time.

    Their morals and ideals are things you either feel are right and proper, or not, but I for one know of no proof that the 'geological' content is in any way true nor that it needs to be, to support the morals it prescribes.

    Pretty soon, they will be telling us the universe rotates around the Earth and you'll go blind if you, oh what's that word that can also describe a fool...

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If Darwin had been American...

    ...then maybe the nutters would take the time to understand why his theories are supported by every RATIONAL scientist. By Rational I mean you may have religious beliefs but you leave them outside the lab. Rational religious scientists have no problem with the fact that books written thousands of years ago may need a bit of updating, they were not written by a supreme being but (arguably) by humans under the influence of their god.

    In any case where a religious belief is based on a historical book then it is actually based on a selective reading and interpretation of that book - hence we see muslims using a selective interpretation of parts of the Koran to justify terrorism while other muslims will quote (interpret?) other parts which "prove" islam to be non-violent, peace loving etc.

    And there are rational religions, I'm an occasional church goer but the day my church gives any credence to creationism - or the day they attempt to treat the contents of any religious book as immutable fact rather than an interpretation of a mythology based loosely on historical events that supports an ethical, selfless, non-violent lifestyle would be the last time I attend.

    By the way I don't believe in Father Christmas, Little green men, The tooth fairy, the easter bunny, alien abductions or any attempted literal interpretation of any historical religious tome either. Any institution that gives creationist myths a platform equivalent to proven scientific theories should in all fairness give equal time to father christmas myths. I don't "believe" in science either, there is bad science and good science. I do accept "good" science, that's scientific theories that are peer reviewed, comprehensively tested by often generations of credible researchers with strong supporting evidence and no particular axe to grind. As for religious beliefs - well I have some but they are mine, I accept that they may be completely wrong (read "Hitchhiker's guide the galaxy" - the restaurant at the end of the universe for enlightenment) but they serve a purpose and I don't go around trying to force them on other people.

    Literal belief in interpretations of the Bible is as dangerous as some interpretations of the koran and adherents to any such manipulation of the underlying texts is a demonstrable danger to society and to the credibility of these religions. If the creationists want to engage in religious debate then why not engage with other religions to show them the error of their ways and leave the scientific community to get on with their business. Is it because the scientists are open minded and are soft targets because they place enquiry, investigation, testing above belief. They are open to wild ideas because sometimes they hold a grain of truth but their expertise lies in determining what any grain of truth might be and testing it experimentally. Whereas in a belief versus belief debate both sides are closed minds, the other party is wrong because : "look it's written down in our book of ancient myths, it must be true."

  62. Equitas

    Oh dear! ...........

    Plenty of heat but precious little light.

    If most of the contributions on this thread establish anything, they make it clear that conventional scientific thinking may claim to have a rational basis, but in fact produces rabid rantings whenever certain of its assumptions are challenged.

    Come to think of it, many of the above contributions undoubtedly constitute hate crimes under current legislation.

    Not much of a recommendation for what passes as conventional scientific thinking.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Geology is a science.

      One that shows creationist claims to be false. So, creationists who become geologists can only promote creationism in a personal capacity. They can't make pro-creationist statements in their capacity as a geologist. When they use their status as geologists to lend false authority to creationist claims, they are clearly hypocrites. That is what offends people (and God, if the bible is to be believed!)

      1. david wilson


        >>"When they use their status as geologists to lend false authority to creationist claims, they are clearly hypocrites"

        But then hypocrisy and lying seem to be the hallmark of the professional creationist.

        Just look at the Dover trial transcripts.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        The lady doth protest too much..

        Give the guy a break, he's got himself a job and he can begin to pay back his student loans, buy a house, start a family...

        For heaven's sake, it isn't as if he were successfully defending rapists in a law court or something.

        P.S. El Reg, give your artist a beer for the new icons.

  63. Tom 13

    Steven Newton got one bit wrong in the quoted matter.

    A Young Earth is not critical to Creationism. For the Creationist, evolution is known to be false because death did not enter the world until after Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Evolution depends on death well before that event could have occurred. Evolutionists on the other hand ARE rather dependent on the Old Earth hypothesis. Without an Old Earth (in point of fact, a very, very old Earth), there is insufficient time for variance yielding the full realm of observed species. And one of the things observed during the Mt. St. Helens eruption is that both erosion and material deposition can occur far more quickly than the steady state rates assumed to derive the initial Old Earth dates. These might not yield a 10,000 year old Earth, but they could shave a few million years off the Old Earth estimates, which is far more damaging to the religion of evolution.

    Far more problematic for Creationism is continental drift. There is no observed phenomena that sufficiently speeds up drift to account for the distances involved there.

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Re: evolution is known to be false

      "death did not enter the world until after Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil."

      Oh, so they *know* that, eh? Good for them, good for them...

      Wait a second, what about the little worms eaten by little birds or little rabbits eaten by big bad wolves? Have they also started eating each other only when Eve bit the apple? Do we also have the deaths of countless food chain members on our conscience?

      What an intelligent design - you spend days creating all those perfect creatures, individually crafted, one by one, then one woman eats a wrong fruit and the whole ecosystem goes banana! I would call it an awful design. Full of bugs, no redundancy on system-critical functions, no fail-save provisions. If God will find out it is being pinned on him he will not be happy, mind my words...

    2. M Gale

      "Far more problematic for Creationism is continental drift."

      You forget that at the root of creationism is "God Did It."

      You think God can't hit the fast forward button on a bunch of rock?

      Etc, etc, ad nauseum. Amazing what you can "prove" when you have an omnipotent sky daddy,

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Their main problem

        Is that in their opinion God is so inept that he has to manually create each single species, move every continent, place fake fossils, cook up and store hydrocarbons etc. on every planet throughout the Universe.

        Even though they suppose that God is omnipotent, they nevertheless insist that he prefers to give up his omnipotence and be bogged down in the paroxysm of micromanagement instead of using his powers in the first place to create a logical and evolving Universe, which could take care of the minutia of its development and growth on its own.

  64. david wilson


    >>"These might not yield a 10,000 year old Earth, but they could shave a few million years off the Old Earth estimates, which is far more damaging to the religion of evolution."

    What are you talking about?

    For a start, long-term dating isn't really done by looking at erosional processes, it's done by radiometric methods among others, and even if it wasn't, it'd be dodgy reasoning anyway to look at an intense local event and jump to any kind of conclusion about rates of slower global processes.

    And "shaving a 'few million years" off the scientifically accepted age of the Earth would be about as threatening to the science of biology as finding out that the average height of humans was a millimeter less than we thought it was.

  65. sparkywonderduck

    Religion is not logical.

    Like the old story about the guys who were planning a rocket to the sun. When asked if they wouldn't be burned up they answered smartly, "We have that figured out. We are going at night."

  66. sparkywonderduck

    Religion is not logical

    Like the old joke . Some guys were planning a rocket to the sun. When asked if they wouldn't just burn up they answered smugly, "We have that all figured out. We are going at night." That is the logic of Creation Science.

  67. thecakeis(not)alie




  68. Dog Faced Boy

    As Bill Hicks said

    “You ever noticed how people who believe in Creationism look really unevolved? You ever noticed that? Eyes real close together, eyebrow ridges, big furry hands and feet. "I believe God created me in one day" Yeah, looks like He rushed it.”

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