Sunday, January 30, 2011

No one ever found Noah's Ark

The hard-core fundamentalists love forwarding links to sites like this one, alleging to provide archeological proof of various fantasies from The Bible -- such as Noah's Ark.

Here is a good resource for understanding the bunk behind these alleged findings.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Why do creationists distance themselves from flat-earthers?

Firstly, let's remember that creationists say they take the bible literally.  Well, what about all the evidence in the bible that supports a flat earth?  And in the event you did not know -- the flat-earthers are not a novel piece of ancient history.  No!  They are still active.  You can see their website here!

"Teaching the Controversy" is total nonsense.

This is the first I've heard of creationists attempting to push bunk science masquerading as "Intelligent Design" into Ohio's public schools. Since I'm from Cincinnati, this struck me, and I thought it even more interesting because the TalkOrigins web page features an article from the Cincinnati Enquirer in 2002 as emblematic of the creationist perspective, along with details for debunking that nonsense.

There ARE transitional fossils

Creationists love to pretend there are no "transitional fossils." See for yourself. But they are lying. It's maddening.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Debunking Creationists

Have you seen the TalkOrigins web site? They have a great resource, showcasing TONS of claims by creationists, and then documenting why they are complete nonsense.

Why is evolution called a "theory"?

Here is the big secret creationists don't want you to know:  the word "theory" has a different definition when used in science than when used in casual conversation!  So why is evolution a "theory"?  Well, it's not... Not really.  It is a fact, in terms of what is plainly observable.  It's pretty easy to understand the terminology, which means creationists who try to make people confused about this word are dishonest!

The Science of Denial

My perspective may be different than most because I was a young-earth creationist for a good part of my adult life. Sadly, I wasn't much for hunting the truth, I was happy to accept my faith and trust in God.

To be honest, I didn't really think about it much until later but was a fairly fundamentalist Christian, accepting the Bible as inerrant, special creation, and even "speaking in tongues" which is also part of scripture. So when presented with the argument that we must believe Genesis literally, including that the Earth is young, that seemed like a natural. I had nothing vested in evolution or the age of stuff so it wasn't a big deal. In fact, it was fairly easy to accept the arguments presented by religious sources and look no farther.

That changed when a series of events led me to first doubt my beliefs about creationism then discover that they were pure and utter fantasy. Through the help of an Australian friend who answered some of my questions with specific examples, and the "Evolution 101" podcast of Zachary Moore, I realized that I'd been hoodwinked.

I was pissed.

It turns out that the scientific evidence for an old earth, for an evolutionary progression of life, and the validity of dating methods, is extremely well understood and well accepted by essentially everyone outside of religion. It says a lot that 95% of all working biologists accept evolution and an old earth, but it says even more that the remaining 5% are almost exclusively defending their religion. That's not science.

Geologists are another group that overwhelmingly accepts a billion+ year old earth. It's telling that even most Christian Geologists accept this as apparent by looking at the Affiliation of Christian Geologists website. Here's their statement about an old earth.

Since tossing the "god glasses" I've been thrilled to discover an incredible world of science that, as a method, has advanced our capability in everything from feeding a growing population to making really cool stuff like cars and powered paragliders. I've also learned that there's quite a science behind belief.

When someone has lots of social connections they are looking for ways to reinforce their core beliefs. That makes sense, of course, nobody wants to think of themselves as "close minded"; we want to think that we have good reason for those beliefs. So we seek out "supporting" evidence which is exactly what I did.

Answers in Genesis was where I turned for those questions that seemed intractable. And frequently their non-answer was disappointing but I always chalked it up simply not knowing the mind of god. "We'll find out in heaven" was a common refrain. It wasn't until my social circle changed that I was able to finally start looking elsewhere. When my Australian friend questioned my blind belief in a friendly but direct way, and I had no good answers, I started looking at other evidence.

Wow. That evidence is truly overwhelming for those who are interested in knowing, not just believing. It takes a lot but the trappings of reality are worth the journey.

Happy hunting.