At least if there is a hell, there should be a place in it for frauds like this guy:
Duane T. Gish dies
- March 6th, 2013
The young-earth creationist Duane T. Gish died on March 5, 2013, at the age of 92, according to Answers in Genesis’s obituary. Born on February 17, 1921, in White City, Kansas, he served in the U.S. Army from 1940 to 1946 in the Pacific Theater of Operations, attaining the rank of captain. He earned a B.S. in chemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1949, and then a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1953. After a stint as a postdoctoral fellow and then assistant professor of biochemistry at Cornell University Medical College, he returned as a researcher to the University of California, Berkeley, from 1956 to 1960, before joining the Upjohn Company as a researcher from 1960 to 1971. In 1971, he became the vice president of the Institute for Creation Research, founded in 1970 by Henry Morris. In 2005, Gish retired, becoming the ICR’s Senior Vice President Emeritus. A prolific writer, his most famous book was Evolution: The Fossils Say No! (Master Books, 1973), entitled in later editions Evolution: The Challenge of the Fossil Record (Master Books, 1985) and Evolution: The Fossils Still Say No! (Master Books, 1995). His most recent book was Letter to a Theistic Evolutionist (ICON, 2012).
But Gish was famous, or notorious, principally on account of his debates with scientists, including such opponents as George Bakken, Kenneth R. Miller, Massimo Pigliucci, Kenneth Saladin, Michael Shermer, and William Thwaites. “If the mild-mannered professorial Morris was the Darwin of the creationist movement,” wrote Ronald L. Numbers in The Creationists (2006), “then the bumptious Gish was its T. H. Huxley.” Gish boasted of having engaged in over three hundred debates. He was certainly a lively debater, whose style involved a rapid delivery of arguments on widely varying topics; his debate style was dubbed the “Gish Gallop” by NCSE’s executive director Eugenie C. Scott in 1994. But scientists quickly concluded — in the words of Karl Fezer, writing (PDF) in 1993 — that “Gish will say, with rhetorical flourish and dramatic emphasis, whatever he thinks will serve to maintain, in the minds of his uncritical followers, his image as a knowledgeable ‘creation scientist.’ An essential component is to lard his remarks with technical detail; whether that detail is accurate or relevant or based on unambiguous evidence is of no concern. When confronted with evidence of his own error, he resorts to diversionary tactics and outright denial.”
Creationism, especially the Bible based kind, never had any legitimacy. To understand why, just read this.
Opposing Views is a website that generally presents different opinions on various topics and allows its users to debate then freely. So it was a surprise to see the Creationist propaganda mill known as Answers in Genesis publish this rank nonsense for all to see on that site:
First, read what Ham, the founder of Answers in Genesis, wrote about Bill Nye, the Science Guy:
First, the AP article quotes Nye as saying the following:
If we raise a generation of students who don’t believe in the process of science, who think everything that we’ve come to know about nature and the universe can be dismissed by a few sentences translated into English from some ancient text, you’re not going to continue to innovate.
So, here is my challenge (one that I gave to the reporter a few times). I want Bill Nye to name one invention—one piece of technology—that would not have been able to be invented without the inventor believing in evolution. Just name one!
But Nye said nothing specific about man-made technology or invention relating to evolution in his quote, did he? I looked up the word “innovate” in an online dictionary.
transitive verb1: to introduce as or as if new2archaic : to effect a change in <the dictates of my father were … not to be altered, innovated, or even discussed — Sir Walter Scott>intransitive verb: to make changes : do something in a new way
There are many ways to innovate, but the surest way to do so is to have a mind unfettered by dogma of any kind. Thus anything that limits free thinking limits innovation. It’s not just about Bible based religions. Communist states in the 20th Century also limited innovation and interfered directly with scientific advancement if it seemed to contradict Marxist dogmas.
Ken Ham continues:
Usually, when I have challenged an evolutionist to come up with one example of something invented for mankind that would not be possible without accepting evolution, I get the following response: “Understanding resistance in bacteria and thus being able to invent drugs.”
But as we have written on our website many times before, antibiotic resistance has nothing to do with molecules-to-man evolution. Whether one is an evolutionist or a creationist, a researcher can observe the resistance and even understand issues of mutations and other things that can cause the resistance. Such research is dealing with observational science.
The bastard just does not get it, does he? Bill Nye was not merely talking about defending evolution, opposing Creationism, or even rejecting religious dogmas of any kind. He was talking about the dogmatic, bigoted thinking at the very root of Creationist and fundamentalist views.
antibiotic resistance has nothing to do with molecules-to-man evolution.
Perhaps, but what about all those Bible verses that depict people as being demon possessed, when they could have merely suffered from mental diseases? Had we never looked harder at such people in the real world we all live in, we might not have found ways to treat brain disorders and we would still be in fear of demons. Indeed, we have found no evidence of demons, but we have clear evidence of mental disorders and have used science, with its INNOVATIVE thinking, to enable people with these disorders to enjoy productive lives. THAT is what Nye could have been talking about!
Screw you and your (bowel) movement, Ham! Your challenge is bogus!
- Ken Ham: Still Ranting About Bill Nye (sensuouscurmudgeon.wordpress.com)
- Ken Ham Challenges Bill Nye to a Debate (patheos.com)
- Ken Ham Wants To Debate Bill Nye (sensuouscurmudgeon.wordpress.com)
- Bill Nye the Humanist Guy vs. Ken Ham the Creationist Man (marccortez.com)
- Ken Ham is an unreliable guide [Thoughts from Kansas] (scienceblogs.com)
At the Panda’s Thumb blog, a commenter asked a simple question:
Does anyone have an example of something which is not “intelligently designed”? In Paley’s exposition of the “watchmaker” argument, he contrasts a watch with a stone. But the problem for a traditional theist is that God is the Creator of all things, including rocks. So, to be fair, I suppose that the request should include also unreal, hypothetical things. But the only unreal things that I can think of – centaurs, for example – are intelligently designed. (Which, by the way, shows that intelligent design is not sufficient to explain existence.)
So, what is the difference that intelligent design makes?
He got this reply:
Later, my seeing that hit me like a truck going 100 MPH. I then said:
- Who Designed the Designer? (borne.wordpress.com)
This is the direct sequel to:
Once again, P Z Myers and Jerry Coyne have decided to push for the elimination of all mentioning of religion in scientific organizations, including the NCSE (National Center for Science Education, the American organization defending evolution) and the BCSE (British Centre for Science Education, the version of the NCSE in the United Kingdom).
Open letter to the NCSE and BCSE
Although we may diverge in our philosophies and actions toward religion, we share a common goal: the promulgation of good science education in Britain and America—indeed, throughout the world. Many of us, like myself and Richard Dawkins, spend a lot of time teaching evolution to the general public. There’s little doubt, in fact, that Dawkins is the preeminent teacher of evolution in the world. He has not only turned many people on to modern evolutionary biology, but has converted many evolution-deniers (most of them religious) to evolution-accepters.
Nevertheless, your employees, present and former, have chosen to spend much of their time battling not creationists, but evolutionists who happen to be atheists. This apparently comes from your idea that if evolutionists also espouse atheism, it will hurt the cause of science education and turn people away from evolution. I think this is misguided for several reasons, including a complete lack of evidence that your idea is true, but also your apparent failure to recognize that creationism is a symptom of religion (and not just fundamentalist religion), and will be with us until faith disappears. That is one reason—and, given the pernicious effect of religion, a minor one—for the fact that we choose to fight on both fronts.
The official policy of your organizations—certainly of the NCSE—is apparently to cozy up to religion. You have “faith projects,” you constantly tell us to shut up about religion, and you even espouse a kind of theology which claims that faith and science are compatible. Clearly you are going to continue with these activities, for you’ve done nothing to change them in the face of criticism. And your employees, past and present, will continue to heap invective on New Atheists and tar people like Richard Dawkins with undeserved opprobrium.
We will continue to answer the misguided attacks by people like Josh Rosenau, Roger Stanyard, and Nick Matzke so long as they keep mounting those attacks. I don’t expect them to abate, but I’d like your organizations to recognize this: you have lost many allies, including some prominent ones, in your attacks on atheism. And I doubt that those attacks have converted many Christians or Muslims to the cause of evolution. This is a shame, because we all recognize that the NCSE has done some great things in the past and, I hope, will—like the new BCSE—continue do great things in the future.
There is a double irony in this situation. First, your repeated and strong accusations that, by criticizing religion, atheists are alienating our pro-evolution allies (liberal Christians), has precisely the same alienating effect on your allies: scientists who are atheists. Second, your assertion that only you have the requisite communication skills to promote evolution is belied by the observation that you have, by your own ham-handed communications, alienated many people who are on the side of good science and evolution. You have lost your natural allies. And this is not just speculation, for those allies were us, and we’re telling you so.
Let’s look at some excerpts from this open letter:
There’s little doubt, in fact, that Dawkins is the preeminent teacher of evolution in the world. He has not only turned many people on to modern evolutionary biology, but has converted many evolution-deniers (most of them religious) to evolution-accepters.
Note that Coyne does not specify that Dawkins has converted all these former evolution-deniers into atheists.
Nevertheless, your employees, present and former, have chosen to spend much of their time battling not creationists, but evolutionists who happen to be atheists.
How so? By not openly supporting atheism?
you have lost many allies, including some prominent ones, in your attacks on atheism.
HA HA HA HA HA HA! So not affirming atheism is the same as attacking it? REALLY?! Show me ONE official statement by the NCSE or the BCSE that attacks or denies atheism. Just one!
your repeated and strong accusations that, by criticizing religion, atheists are alienating our pro-evolution allies (liberal Christians), has precisely the same alienating effect on your allies: scientists who are atheists.
Coyne, you are alienated only because you are so convinced that only atheism is true. But that has nothing to do with teaching science. The fact remains that many children from Christian backgrounds will be learning evolution in schools and if they see a conflict between evolution and the Bible, they will remain Creationists rather than give up their faith and accept evolution. The efforts at accommodation by the NCSE and the BCSE are intended to show that you can choose to be religious and deal with science as it is also. It is YOU that is being intolerant, Coyne! It is YOU that choose to be alienated. You can still advocate atheism on your blog while promoting evolution too. No one in the NCSE or the BCSE is saying you cannot. So what is the problem?
Then P Z says on his blog:
How often do we have to repeat ourselves? There is no goal of turning the NCSE or the BCSE into an atheist organization; we think having an organization that is honestly neutral on the religious issue is extremely useful in advancing the cause of good science education for all. We want the NCSE/BCSE to support neither atheism nor religion.
You know what? The atheists in this argument have a crystal-clear understanding of the difference between atheism and secularism, and are saying that the science education organizations should be secular. It’s these sloppy accommodationists who have allowed liberal christianity to become their default position who have violated the distinction.
First, no one is asking Myers and other atheists to repeat themselves, so that is just rhetorical crap. Second, the NCSE has made clear its own religious neutrality.
What is NCSE’s religious position?
None. The National Center for Science Education is not affiliated with any religious organization or belief. We and our members enthusiastically support the right of every individual to hold, practice, and advocate their beliefs, religious or non-religious. Our members range from devout practitioners of several religions to atheists, with many shades of belief in between. What unites them is a conviction that science and the scientific method, and not any particular religious belief, should determine science curriculum. (Emphasis mine)
Sorry, but until atheists become the vast majority of American and British people, the screaming about accommodation by atheists is pointless. I just don’t accept it. If the atheists wish to have all science organizations never mention religions or treat any religious people with respect again, they can push for that. And once they get their way, the political support for scientific organizations will most likely dry up. And the only ones who gain from that would be Creationists. The atheist fanatics are giving them exactly the talking points they need to fight longer and harder the public relations war over science education!
Please support both the NCSE and the BCSE. Here are their websites:
For years, I’ve had a YouTube channel, but lacking a webcam I was unable to make actual videos. So I was content to favorite videos by others and make comments. But that all changed when I finally bought a webcam after several months of hesitation and learned how to edit files on my computer to make videos too.
Here is my first, made purely to test the systems.
Satisfied with that result, I produced this one a couple of days later about one of my favorite topics:
And this will be just the beginning!
This is a bio of Answers in Genesis “scientist” Georgia Purdom.
Quotes from it will be in red and my responses will be in green.
Dr. Georgia Purdom is a compelling and dynamic lecturer and well qualified to speak on the relevance of Genesis to the issue of biblical authority.
So she has the gift of gab. You need that to be a successful preacher, but that has nothing to do with being an effective scientist.
She is the only female Ph.D. scientist engaged in full-time speaking and research for a biblical creationist organization in North America.
This actually violates Biblical teachings! 1 Timothy 2:12 – “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.”
Dr. Purdom states, “A proper understanding of Genesis is very important because it is foundational to biblical authority and a Christian worldview. It’s about so much more than the creation/evolution controversy. It’s about the truthfulness and authority of God’s Word.”
Sure, as long as you ignore that verse from 1 Timothy. Or maybe she thinks it is not God’s Word? After all, it IS in the Bible. So can she, her boss Ken Ham, or other Creationist advocates specify what parts of the Bible are the Word of God and what are not?
First, read this:
Japan’s most powerful earthquake since records began has struck the north-east coast, triggering a massive tsunami.
Cars, ships and buildings were swept away by a wall of water after the 8.9-magnitude tremor, which struck about 400km (250 miles) north-east of Tokyo.
A state of emergency has been declared at a nuclear power plant, where pressure has exceeded normal levels.
Officials say 350 people are dead and about 500 missing, but it is feared the final death toll will be much higher.
In one ward alone in Sendai, a port city in Miyagi prefecture, 200 to 300 bodies were found.
The quake was the fifth-largest in the world since 1900 and nearly 8,000 times stronger than the one which devastated Christchurch, New Zealand, last month, said scientists.
Thousands of people living near the Fukushima nuclear power plant have been ordered to evacuate.
Japanese nuclear officials said pressure inside a boiling water reactor at the plant was running much higher than normal after the cooling system failed.
Ever ready to take advantage of opportunities to mislead the public with fallacious arguments, Answers in Genesis (AiG), the Creationist propaganda outlet, made this statement:
News stations worldwide are reeling at the devastation in Japan due to a massive earthquake—unequaled in the country’s recorded history—and the huge tsunami it produced, which has swept across cities and farmland leaving a trail of rubble and ruin in its wake. The death toll is still uncertain, but is expected to exceed 1,000.
In the face of such destruction, suffering, and death, many people question how a good and loving God could allow such evil to happen. However, this is just another painful reminder of how the curse of sin has affected our world. For biblical answers to this topic, please see the following resources:
- Why Does God’s Creation Include Death & Suffering?
- Why Is There Death and Suffering
- tSINami—lost without Genesis?
Please join us in praying for the victims of this disaster, as well as the families of those affected by it. Also, take this opportunity to share with others the reason for death and suffering, and the answer to the problem of sin—salvation through Jesus Christ.
Seeing this, I was suddenly reminded of this incident on P Z Myers’ blog, Pharyngula.
philos —- Being a demented fuckwit and world-class asshole —– In an unbelievable act of crass, vile smugness, this petty twerp rushed to my site after the fatal 35W bridge collapse to sneer at atheists. “Contemptible” isn’t a strong enough word for vermin like this, who use tragedy to push their lies on the bereaved. His kind are what make me despise religion.
- So that’s what a tsunami looks like [Pharyngula] (scienceblogs.com)
- Japan earthquake leads to state of emergency at Fukushima nuclear power plant (mirror.co.uk)
- Tsunami Hits Japan (hindu.com)
Behold the arrogance of this Christian writer, Dr. Hugh Ross:
Take a look at this interactive display of the relative sizes of things in the universe, going from subatomic levels all the way to the entire universe itself.
Now, look at this alternative scenario:
Look ridiculous, doesn’t it? And yet this claim is equally ridiculous: that the Earth, instead of being 4 1/2 billion years old, is probably about 10,000 years old.
How wrong is that? First review this:
Then see this:
Here’s the YouTube channel those videos came from. There are many more!
Science is based on the idea that there is a definite order and consistency to the universe we live in. So if there are patterns to nature and laws to its operations, then we can investigate those patterns and laws, work out from them the nature of the universe itself, and thus increase our knowledge of it.
Creationists will deny this. They claim instead that the only “truth” that matters is what some ancient scriptures say, but that is an absurdity. Anyone can make up scriptures. But only God could have made the universe itself. If God is a consistent being, then the laws of physics and chemistry must be applicable to all of it, throughout space and time. Thus, even if you believe in God, you must conclude from the study of the universe that the timelines and descriptions of certain events given in the Book of Genesis cannot be literally true. Otherwise, if you don’t believe in a consistent God, then you might as well believe in a chaotic, senseless universe like the one in the second link I posted here.
And that is exactly why I call both Young-Earth Creationism and Biblical fundamentalism blasphemous dogmas.
Answers in Genesis has a guide to how to brainwash children so they might not accept the clear conclusions of modern science on how life forms arose. Let’s see it. I’ll post passages from it in red and my responses in blue.
- The futility of Intelligent Design | Andrew Brown (guardian.co.uk)
- John Farrell: Intelligent Design: Losing the Catholics (huffingtonpost.com)
- Five years ago, “intelligent design” ruling in Dover case set a legal landmark (philly.com)
- Intelligent Design: pseudoscience or a challenge to evolution? (newhumanist.org.uk)
One of the biggest frauds committed by Creationists, especially of the “Young Earth” variety, is to assert that dinosaurs existed as part of God’s creation as depicted in the Book of Genesis, that they were on the Ark of Noah, and that they died out after the flood. They do all this without a single shred of evidence for their claims, nor do they give any clear statements from the Bible as support. So from both a scientific and a theological perspective, they fail miserably.
The Imminent Demise of Evolution: The Longest Running Falsehood in Creationism (via The Word of Me…)
Whenever you wish to appeal to popular prejudices, lie. And the bigger the lie, the better. The biggest lie of all being that evolution is a theory about to fail. It never has, actually.
via The Word of Me…
According to the creation myths of the Book of Genesis, humankind is descended from two bottleneck or founder events. The first was when man was created as Adam and Eve (and even Eve was created from a tissue sample from Adam). They had thousands of descendants, including Noah, his wife, their three sons and their sons’ wives. All of humanity after the flood depicted in Genesis at Noah’s time are thus said to be descended from five people at most (Noah, his wife and his sons’ wives, assuming none of the sons’ wives were closely related to Noah or his wife). But remember that they were ultimately descended from ONE PERSON, Adam, who lived only a dozen or so generations before them, so even their genetic diversity would have to have been lower than people living today.
The reduction of a population causes a loss of genetic diversity and makes inbreeding more likely, which itself limits genetic diversity among offspring until mutation and natural selection has had time to increase that diversity.
Considering the diversity of humankind today, one would expect that humans evolved very rapidly after the flood, which would make rejection of evolution by believers in the Bible pointless. How is it that fundamentalists can beleive in rapid evolution within “kinds” over thousands of years, yet deny unlimited and slower evolution over many millions of years?
Because they reject science, of course. Dogma is everything to them, and that’s inexcusible in a society that depends on science for almost everything we have.
The dishonesty and ignorance of the Creationists becomes obvious here:
By comparing DNA from different humans around the world, it has been found that all humans share roughly 99.9% of their genetic material—they are almost completely identical, genetically.7 This means that there is very little polymorphism, or variation. Much evidence of this genetic continuity has been found. 8 examined a 729-base pair intron (the DNA in the genome that is not read to make proteins) from a worldwide sample of 38 human males and reported no sequence variation.
These results are quite consistent with a recent human origin and a global flood. Evolutionary models of origins did not predict such low human genetic diversity. Mutations should have produced much more diversity than 0.1% over millions of years. And yet this is exactly what we would expect to find if all humans were closely related and experienced a relatively recent event in which only a few survived.
Bull$#it. If humans were NOT genetically almost identical, they would not be able to interbreed at all and would have already diversified into various species, like humans and chimps did several million years ago. The fossil record shows that species more closely related to us than chimps became extinct long ago and that our species is only a few hundred thousand years old, having evolved from older ones.
We should also seek to understand genetic evidence in the context of the tower of Babel event. 12 This too seems consistent with Biblical events in Genesis 11. Surely, much research is needed to expand ideas about such genetic evidence to determine its consistency with the Bible and its inconsistency with, for example, the various evolutionary out-of-Africa models. 13
When scientists debate issues, they start with the evidence they have and make their different hypotheses fit the evidence, then look for more evidence to rule out competing ideas. They don’t start with a creation myth that can never be ruled out and assume that any evidence must be forced to fit it!
Check out this science news article:
Geologist investigates canyon carved in just three days in Texas flood
June 20, 2010
In the summer of 2002, a week of heavy rains in Central Texas caused Canyon Lake — the reservoir of the Canyon Dam — to flood over its spillway and down the Guadalupe River Valley in a planned diversion to save the dam from catastrophic failure. The flood, which continued for six weeks, stripped the valley of mesquite, oak trees, and soil; destroyed a bridge; and plucked meter-wide boulders from the ground. And, in a remarkable demonstration of the power of raging waters, the flood excavated a 2.2-kilometer-long, 7-meter-deep canyon in the bedrock.
According to a new analysis of the flood and its aftermath—performed by Michael Lamb, assistant professor of geology at the California Institute of Technology, and Mark Fonstad of Texas State University—the canyon formed in just three days.
A paper about the research appears in the June 20 advance online edition of the journal Nature Geoscience.
Our traditional view of deep river canyons, such as the Grand Canyon, is that they are carved slowly, as the regular flow and occasionally moderate rushing of rivers erodes rock over periods of millions of years.
Such is not always the case, however. “We know that some big canyons have been cut by large catastrophic flood events during Earth’s history,” Lamb says.
Unfortunately, these catastrophic megafloods — which also may have chiseled out spectacular canyons on Mars—generally leave few telltale signs to distinguish them from slower events. “There are very few modern examples of megafloods,” Lamb says, “and these events are not normally witnessed, so the process by which such erosion happens is not well understood.” Nevertheless, he adds, “the evidence that is left behind, like boulders and streamlined sediment islands, suggests the presence of fast water”—although it reveals nothing about the time frame over which the water flowed.
Shrewd commenters noticed the irony of that article:
yyz – Jun 20, 2010
I don’t have exact figures, but the discharge flow/volume rate of moving water required to carve out the canyon, on young earth timescales simply doesn’t exist, and there is no documented megaflood precedent that could even come close to camparing- and even at that at least a couple orders of magnitude too small.
The Grand Canyon simply dwarfs any of the other megaflood sites- Washington state’s Channeled Scab Lands, the English Channel, and the McKenzie River megaflood features, after repeated episodes, are HUGE- but still tiny in comparison to the Grand Canyon.
- Taking real phenomenon out of context to support something that is only distantly related to it (There is a HUGE difference between a local flood like what was referred to in the science article above and the mythical flood of Noah).
- Ignoring details about something to make a Creationist claim about it plausible when in fact it is not (Have you ever seen flood waters carve out a meandering river course? Also, how could a single flood both make the layers of rock that make up the sides of the Grand Canyon and carve out the canyon itself?)
YECs are deluded liars, of course. And since one of the Ten Commandments of the Bible forbids bearing false witness against one’s neighbor, that must mean Young Earth Creationism is actually unbiblical, right?
Here are some tips on how to promote Creationism:
- Align yourself with a religion accepted by most of the population you are trying to reach. If in the United States, that would be Christianity. In Turkey, that would be Islam.
- Be willing to lie outright about the evidence for evolution. For example, since it is common knowledge that certain fossils like Archaeopteryx are recognized as transitional, deny that there are any transitional forms and that the fossil record actually does not support evolution. Some among your audience will be so desprate to cling to their delusions that they will blindly believe you and pay for your nonsense to be fed to them.
- Run for school boards as a “pro-family” advocate, but keep your Creationist beliefs hidden until you are elected.
- Slander your evolutionist opponents by painting them all as atheists or promoting “anti-religious bigotry”.
- Say you are trying to “teach the controversy”. Appeal to principles of freedom of speech. Never mind that fraud is actually illegal.
- In debates with evolutionists, states many, many claims in rapid sucessions without stopping to clarify anything. Your opponent won’t be able to keep up, because it takes time to rebut a prejudicial but appealing claim with facts that debunk them.
If you want more damning proof that Creationist overlords are willing to tell the most absurd lies to their own children, read on. Continue reading →
It’s modern astronomy as well, as this one verse makes painfully clear:
Genesis 1:16 – “God made two great lights – the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also.”
Of course, one looking at the night sky with no knowledge of modern astronomy would assume that the stars are nothing more than a decoration to add to the light provided by the Sun and the Moon. But in fact, many stars are far bigger and brighter than the Sun and ALL stars are also suns, greater lights in their own star systems.
Had that Bible verse been inspired by the true Creator of the universe, it might have been written: “God made billions of great lights, one of which we call the Sun that rules our days, and also made a lesser light to rule the night.”
Ironically, in another part of the Bible, we read:
Psalms 19:1-2: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.”
If that is true, then clearly we need to toss out the references to the Sun, the Moon, and the stars in Genesis, since they fail to “declare the glory of God” and also fail to “display knowledge” like the heavens are supposed to do according to the 19th Psalm.
A skeptic is defined as someone who reserves judgement on an issue until enough evidence is found to support a claim beyond a reasonable doubt and also clearly defines what would make him disbelieve a claim. This is scientific thinking.
By contrast, a denialist has no such defined limits, either of belief or disbelief. The denialist starts from a position of dogma, asserting opposition to an idea by presenting a contrary idea as absolute truth and interpreting all evidence according to that unalterable dogma, rather than draw conclusions based only on the evidence. This is the opposite of scientific thinking, although denialists often use scientific terminology to make their positions seem legitimate to fool the ignorant.
Denialism vs geuine skepticism is found in debates over evolution vs. Creationism, global warming, religion, and politics. If there were no denialists, most of those debates would have either ended long ago, or would be a lot more cordial than they tend to be.
The crazy thing about debating with Creationist hypocrites is that they have ZERO facts that actually support their case, but plenty of rhetorical tricks. I was reminded of that by a “Sirius Knott” who plastered some lame comments on one of my blogs. Here’s the confrontation between him (SK) and me (DH), for those who care to follow it:
I’ve always known that the dogmas of Intelligent Design are unscientific and thus do not belong in any science class, but when I discovered how far some of its promoters were willing to go to trick people into reading their crap, I nearly blew a gasket in my brain!
First, look at this:
The home page has the title, “EVOLUTION NEWS & VIEWS” but this site is about anything but that. In fact, it contains news of, and arguments to promote, Intelligent Design.
To illustrate the incredible stupidity and dishonesty of the people running this website, I will cut and paste two articles from it. Continue reading →
The concepts of “young-Earth” Creationism and Intelligent Design, which may seem halfway plausible in the field of biology, completely fall apart when attempts are made to apply them to the field of planetary astronomy. The very structure of the Solar System casts doubt upon the notion that an Intelligent Designer created it only a few thousand years ago.
- The orbits of the planets do not exist as circles, but as ellipses. In ancient times until the 17th Century, most astronomers insisted that the planets moved in circles because circles were held to be “perfect”.
- The surfaces of most solid bodies in the Solar System are battered with craters, indicating a violent and chaotic process of formation.
- As the recent controversy over the (dwarf) planet of Pluto showed, it is almost impossible to consistently categorize the various bodies of the Solar System. Several moons of the gas giant planets, for example, are bigger than Mercury.
- The space between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter are filled with thousands of rocky masses known as asteroids. They serve no practical purpose and even pose a serious threat to life on Earth. The extinction of the dinosaurs, for example, is thought to have occured due to the impact of an asteriod 65 million years ago. Many asteriods even have orbits that take them dangerously close to Earth.
- The Earth’s rotation period (the basis of our “day”), the moon’s revolution period (the basis of our “month”), and the Earth’s revolution period (the basis of our “year”) do not match up precisely, making the formulation of calendars a very complicated business.
- There is no consistency to the rotational period of the planets. Earth and Mars have 24 hour days, but a day on Jupiter is less than 10 hours long, while a “day” on Venus is 243 times longer than that of Earth. In addition, Venus rotates BACKWARDS!
- Venus itself is a planet so hostile to life that astronomers, including the late Carl Sagan, have compared it to the Judeo-Christian vision of Hell.
- Far beyond the orbit of Neptune, there exist millions of tiny comets, some of which are drawn close to the Sun, resulting in a spectacular display as its ices sublime, producing the comet’s “tail”. But these comets could also collide with Earth, posing another threat to life on that planet.
- All four gas giant planets have rings, but there is no consistent pattern to them.
- Most of the planets have an axal tilt, but Uranus and Pluto are turned more than 90 degrees from the vertical.
If I were an Intelligent Designer, would I have made the Solar System only a few thousand years ago in such a chaotic way as to fool scientists into thinking that it had formed billions of years ago of entirely naturalistic forces?