Monday, June 30, 2008

for the 4137891st time Answers In Genesis has endangered its credibility

I hate to sound somewhat overly anti-AiG here, I am not against AiG, really I only disagree some parts of what they say; and the areas in which they reside include science, the philosophy of science, the philosophy of religion, theology, biblical interpretation, and history. Ok so I basically disagree on at least one point on everything. Moving on, as you can guess Answers In Genesis has reviewed the movie expelled. At the same time they have supported much of the misinformation in the film. They did not even catch many of the falsehoods, this is quite disturbing, and it is a fatal blow to the credibility of Answers In Genesis (not that AiG supporting a young earth interpretation of the bible was bad enough, the intellectual world is not especially kind to those ideas I am afraid). Either the author of this review didn't do his homework or AiG is just like Expelled; deceitful. I remember Jesus saying something about that, hopefully this is not the case though, I have too much faith in human nature to believe that.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Christianity's fate at the hand of fundamentalists

I recently read a blogpost on the blog Jesus loves Everything; it was posted on October 10, 2005, at the time it was posted I was a space/astronomy creationist geek blissfully unaware of the enormity of the creation/evolution wars. Now even though it is archaic I am going to respond to it. The article claims science is evil and the cause of sexual immorality (now it is probably a parody but I'm board so I am going to refute it). Being a Christian who loves science, lets just see what this guy has to say.
I ask you, when you look around our towns and our cities, when you watch tv and
go to movies, what do you see? Pornography! It's everywhere, infesting our
public squares with scantily clad, whore-like Jezebells that tempt our sons and
daughters into sin.

Yes, its because society is obsessed with sex among other things.
IT didn't used to be this way. Our children weren't robbed of their innocence by
slickly (and slimly)produced television shows, music videos, and advertisements
beating down on them as surely as the sun beats down on sunbathers at the beach.
Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson -- they gyrate and flaunt their breasts,
practically throwing them in our faces so that we can't even look away. And this
dilemma -- this tragedy -- is even manifesting itself in our childrens' physical
appearance, as girls are growing breasts and menstruating at younger and younger

Alright, subtracting the other parts what does this guy mean by girls growing breasts at younger ages? Does Nathaniel realize that throughout history girls have begun to sexually mature and menstruate in their early teens?
What happened? How did we go from a small town country, where we waived to each
other on the street, worshipped together, and didn't have to worry about our
children being led into sin, into this cesspool? I think I've found the answer,
and it lays in our daughters' breasts. Science. It's science that's been
mutating our children, as we pump hormones and chemicals into our cattle and
poison the nation's food supply. And it's science that brought us television and
movies to warp our children's' minds with pornography, science that has created
a veritable bazaar of abortion to feed the Godless' appetite for stem cells. And
it will be science that creates the first cloned human being. Science,
therefore, is evil.

Science isn't the reason that there is so much immorality in the world. Humans have been given the freedom to use science either for good purposes such as finding ways to end world hunger, care for the environment, and cure cancer. Or to use it for their own selfish ends, it is not science that is the problem it is people that is the problem. And poisoning the food supply? What are you babbling about?
So what do we do? Surely this nation can't live without science, doubters will
undoubtedly say. But we can. Look at the state of America's economy today. We've
been outsourcing so many jobs to India and China, why wouldn't it be possible to
give them all of our science jobs. They are heathens and will always be
heathens, so let them be tempted by the sin that will surely follow.

Greeaat!!!! Lets not even try, lets just give up our position as one of the leading scientific nations in the world to become a third world country; famine, disease, and all! Welcome to Redneckistan!!!!! With people like you around, our nation and my religion is in deep trouble. Once we give up our economy is finished, when the next generation comes to take our place we will fall behind the rest of the world because they will not have adequate education. the United States will become just like Saudi Arabia, the scientific backwaters. Also the military will become less advanced with time because there will be no scientists to develop new technologies or sustain old ones; without science, America is doomed.
Instead of biotechnology and computer science, we can focus on Jesus Loves
Everything Superstores, reforming our economy so it's better prepared for the
end times.

And how are the two mutually exclusive? Haven't you ever read Genesis, if you have I think you need to review the creation mandate. God also tells us not to be like an ox and lack understanding like you clearly do.
Then we will no longer need to teach science in schools, thus depriving
our children of the seeds of doubt in the power of our Lord, that He created the
world in six days, and that we did not descend from apes.

You are pathetic, science is good, and compatible with the bible. You can believe in both, also we only share a common ancestor with apes.
Instead of science, our children can be taught the Bible and how to respect
authority; and when they get a little older, we can add instruction on how to be
a better Jesus Loves Everything Superstore Employee, so that when they are ready
to be sent off to work, they will be the best employees the world has ever seen.

The bible is for sunday school and comparative religion, science is for the science classroom, I believe in both the bible and science and I respect authority. And not every citizen of the United States can work in your stupid superstore (Note: this article may be in fact a parody considering he wants them to work at his store, or he could in fact be describing the church).

If Christians do not embrace science and reason, this is what shall become of us, irrational anti-science, cave-dwelling blockheads. We must not let this happen, God gave us brains for a reason, it is about time we used them and took science back. Nathaniel, the one who wrote the article is causing far more damage to his own religion then he thinks.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Unfortunatley wrong answers with Ken Ham

After hearing about how harsh I am towards my fellow believers who believe in a young earth i decided to be a little nicer to young earth creationists. Now I just have to respond to this message by Ken Ham, where he states "living fossils" are a problem for evolution because a certain type of fish (the coelacanth to be precise) is still around which has been around for the past 400 million years. In answer to that, its not really one species of fish (it would be pretty incredible for a single species to survive 400 million years), it is an order of fish, and currently there are only two species remaining and they are critically endangered. It is not entirely unlikely that an order an animals could survive for so long, crocodillians have been around since dinosaurs.

Now one interesting thing he said is that some kids ask him if he's a living fossil, now what I am about to say is terrible but I am going to say and I apologize to my creationist audience in advance; because when he says he's a living fossil, he does look like our pre-human ancestors, and he sometimes acts as smart as them too so it would appear Ken Ham is a living fossil!

Anyway, that concludes my answer to Ken's answer, And Mr. Ham if you are reading this please take it in good humor (I have attempted to make this criticism as constructive as possible).

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Both a skeptic and a Christian

I find myself in a very unique position, I am both religious and skeptical. Well obviously I am not a hardcore skeptic however I do disbelieve many things my family and people doesn't necessarily disbelieve, now I am not saying everyone I know takes the idea seriously, many of them don't but I do know people personally who do take these ideas seriously;

Bermuda Triangle paranormal activity
9/11 conspiracy theory
Apollo moon hoax
New World Order Conspiracy
UFOs are of Satan

Members of my family take the Bermuda Triangle, Apollo moon hoax, and of course creationism (the concept not the geographic location) seriously. Their acceptance of Creationism is fine but the fact is that their creationism is Hovindian makes it out on the far fringe of creationism. It appears that I come from a very different school of thought then they do, the school of skepticism, and yet I am a believer in spirituality and the supernatural, so therefore I am not a hardcore skeptic. But I am skeptical enough to get by rationally. I have found at least one person who has a similar situation.

Now you may decide if what it means to be a skeptic and a Christian, if you are one are you;

(a) reasonable

(b) inconsistent

(c) or completely consistent with biblical teachings?

Well I think that I am consistent with the bible, however you may make your own opinions.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Ray Comfort: Adequate evangelist, lousy logician, scientist, philosopher, theologian, and even theoretician

You all remember Ray Comfort. Well on his blog he has written another not-all the way-thought-through post on his blog. Now before I explain the parts which I thought were dumb I will fist clarify that I think as far as evangelism goes, Ray is rather gifted, and that he's doing a good job.

However there are several problems which I cannot ignore in his ministry, one being his flawed attack on the evolutionary theory, and weak and the fact that his method of evangelism (appeal to fear) only really works on those who have already accepted the faith. Yet his ministry is addressed towards atheists.

Now lets analyze his blogpost, not everything he says is flawed but some of it I must address for the sake of his ministry's credibility. Here is the first question he answers;
Q1: Do you believe in microevolution? OF COURSE. WE SEE EVIDENCE OF IT ALL

Well, good to know you believe in microevolution Ray, however I am not sure if you know the only distinction between macro and micro evolution is time.
Q2: Do you believe in natural selection? THAT DEPENDS ON YOUR DEFINITION.

Well, I am we agree on at least one point in science I have no problem with this part.

Q3: Do you think that one can be both a Christian and an evolutionist? A

Tell that the Francis Collins, many Christian converts believe in theistic evolution and reject his brand of creationism
Q4: Do you believe that the book of Genesis calls for a literal interpretation?

I believe he is referring to the time when Jesus said to the pharisees, "Don't you remember that man was created in the beginning of creation male and female?" This seems compelling but on the other hand it seems to contradict young earth creationism, since even they say that it was at the end of creation that Adam and Eve were created, this probably not what Jesus is referring to. As I remember Paul said he believed in the flood, but I don't remember him saying he believed in a six day creation, in other words; [Scriptural citation needed]
Q5: Do you believe that the earth was created in 6,000 years? IT TOOK SIX DAYS.

This one is the first of-the-wall statement made, first of all the creation did not necessarily take six days, and he may not know but most creationists believe it is between 6,000 and 10,000 years old and most old earth creationists/theistic evolutionists and secular scientists understand it to be 4.55 billion years old.

Questions 6 through 9 aren't necessarily bad, I can accept them but question 12 I have several comments;


Now it is true that we can never truly know anything, but we can to an extent know something. Science cannot absolutely prove something but it can provide enough evidence that it is almost beyond a shadow of a doubt true.

Some of the questions were good, however a few were a bit insufficient, hopefully he will be able to do better next time. Way of the Master could become a good organization but first they need to get all that anti-intellectualism out of their system. God created the human mind and he gave us good reasoning powers to understand him, there is no reason that we should oppose science.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

ASA answers Expelled

This is an essay from the American Scientific Affiliation on the anti-evolutionist movie Expelled which came out a few months ago (I humbly refer you to my review of Expelled). It is critical of the videos points and written from a Christians perspective.

The point of the essay is whether Expelled is breaking down walls or raising division. It can clearly be seen that how divided the church let alone the American public are about the video it does appear to cause more division then unfettering.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Theistic Evolutionists and ID proponents go to war!

Just was over at William Dembski's blog after reading his article on theistic evolution. I am afraid I will have to agree with Evolved on this one, Willie doesn't make himself look like the sharpest crayon in the crayon box. He makes the claim that theistic evolutionists think Intelligent Design is dangerous to the moral fabric of society. Well if you mean intellectual honesty and scientific accuracy is threatened by the tactics of ID proponents then I agree. However ID is not as much dangerous to morality as much as it is to the credibility of Christianity as large.

Now let us examine the next claim;
Miller has called himself an Orthodox Christian and an Orthodox Darwinian
(cf. the 2001 PBS Evolution Series). But one has to wonder which of these
masters he serves more faithfully. A year or so ago, when Richard Dawkins’s
website posted a blasphemy challenge (reported at UD here
— the challenge urged people to post a YouTube video of themselves blaspheming
the Holy Spirit), I asked Ken Miller for his reaction. He pooh-poohed it as “a
clumsy attempt to trivialize important issues.” The obvious question this raises
is whether systematic efforts by atheists to trivialize (and indeed denigrate)
important issues is itself an important issue.

Could it be that the evolutionists’ assault on both science (by
perpetuating the fraud that natural selection has unmatched creative powers) and
religion (by using evolution as a club to beat people of faith) is undermining
America’s soul? Not according to Miller. He’s got other fish to fry. For him,
it’s the ID proponents’ assault on evolution that is undermining America’s soul.
Forget about Dawkins and his blasphemy challenge. Let’s shaft the ID community.

Alright first of all it does not matter whether Ken Miller serves evolution or Christ more faithfully, what matters is that he is right on scientific matters, his religious sincerity is between him and God. Evolution is only an ideology if Gravitivism and Plate Tectonism are also ideologies. As for the blasphemy challenge, I thought it was stupid, so I pretty much agree with Miller. Besides the blasphemy challenge was for people who were already atheists to profess their unbelief. Now to the embarrassment of the Rational Response Squad which sponsored it that is not actually the unpardonable sin, of course that is a different subject.

"Evolutionists" are not attacking science anymore the ID is attacking religion, and yes Natural Selection with help of mutation does have near unlimited creative powers, yes proponents of atheism do use evolution to attack religion, of course they also use similar tactics when saying that religion can't be true when religious believers used to believe earth was flat or was geocentric. I think we have gotten over that, eventually we will be over creationism and will be able to give a straight forward defense of our faith. What Miller means by "America's soul" is not a spiritual soul but the fact that to Miller an attack on science is an attack on the American way of life, he is not making a statement on spirituality of any kind, of course ultimately the ID debate is over intensely important philosophical issues. Now for the real whopper;
In this powerfully argued and timely book, Ken Miller takes on the fundamental
core of the Intelligent Design movement, and shows with compelling examples and
devastating logic that ID is not only bad science but is potentially threatening
in other deeper ways to America’s future. But make no mistake, this is not some
atheistic screed — Prof. Miller’s perspective as a devout believer will allow
his case to resonate with believers and non-believers alike.”

The reason I and many other Christians oppose Intelligent Design is because they are missing one crucial component of a scientific theory its called EVIDENCE. IDers have so far failed to come up with any straight forward, reliable, peer-reviewed proof of Intelligent Design. If ID proponents are able to do this single feat then I will wholeheartedly support Intelligent Design, we are not as hard to convince as you might think. The reason we say it is as dangerous as atheism is that until ID can substantiate itself as a legitimate scientific theory it is at best pseudoscience and unreliable, and damaging to ones credibility. If Christian apologists are to align themselves with such questionable ideas such as Intelligent Design then we have basically made it easy for atheists to disprove our position because we have taken a flawed position. No doubt in the future atheists will use the stubbornness of some Christians not to accept the evolutionary theory against future Christians apologists because of our mistakes.

Dembski also goes on to state that one of the foremost critics of the ID position were in fact other Christians (oh I wonder why!?). Will and his colleagues need to understand that they have so much opposition from the religious community for one reason -- lack of, say it with me -- E-V-I-D-E-N-C-E, On the other hand evolution has been the mainstream view for the past 150 years and evidence has continued only to increase. Most educated Christians are rightfully suspicious of a view which does not have much respect at all from the mainstream scientific community. Until Intelligent Design can is proven true it is dangerous to the credibility of faith and it should not be taken as an apologetic among Christians. We should instead stick to Thessalonians 5:21 and remain skeptical.

Here comes the war part;
So here’s the deal, everyone. Theistic evolutionists are implacably opposed to
ID (Denis Alexander, head of a Templeton funded science-religion center in
Oxford recently admitted, in these very terms, that this is his view toward ID
when he asked for my consent to use and edit a video of me — and you wonder why
I didn’t give my permission). They are happy to jump in bed with Richard Dawkins
if it means defeating ID. They are on the wrong side of the culture war.* And
they need to be defeated.

To war! I for one even though I agree with Dawkins on the scientific veracity of evolution there is precious little that we agree on otherwise, we are not going to promote the God Delusion simply because Richard Dawkins makes a good case for evolution. Once again theistic evolutionists would stop being implacably opposed if the IDers gave evidence to support their paradigm.

Of course Dembski makes the obvious point that getting the youth is the way to help the Intelligent Design movement. This is of course how theistic evolutionists should follow suit. We cannot save the older generation, but the young people we can, we can influence them also to be theistic evolutionists and to eliminate this weakness in Christian apologetics. Reaching the you is a game that two can play you know.

I am going to have to read the book "Intelligent Design; everything you need to know in plain language" to see if that book is really the gem his claims it is. I will overlook what he says about his book Godless, it seems to contradict the claims that ID has nothing to do with religion but I doubt they are trying to say that anymore, to close so I can go to sleep (its 1:30 in the morning right now) I will discuss his final paragraph;

You know, I would be happy to sit down with theistic evolutionists and discuss our differences. I think they are wrong to baptize Darwin’s theory as God’s mode of creation. But I don’t think they are immoral or un-Christian for holding their views. But ID proponents, for wanting ID to have a place at the table as a scientific alternative to Darwinism, are, according to Miller, Collins, Alexander, etc., immoral, undermining Western civilization, and destroying America’s soul. Well, you want this fight, you’ve got it.

Alright Will, your going to have to explain how theistic evolutionists think you are immoral besides the fact that you don't seem to be the most honest person around. Now I would be more then happy to let you have ID as an alternative to evolution but first you need this little annoying thing called evidence, if you can make it there then you have my attention. Until then consider us mutually disconcordant.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

33-48,000 year old tree stump found in Permian rock?

I was just reading an article on the AiG website where a 33,000 year old tree stump was found in Permian rock. The tree stump was dated with Radiocarbon (although obviously one shouldn't be using radiocarbon dating to test a 250 million year old rock). The notes after the creationist article claims that it most certainly was not due to contamination as well as in the article itself. The author seems pretty confident that it is genuine.

As many of you know the amount of C-14 in an atom becomes unnoticeable after 50,000 years, so the rationale is why is this C-14 has not become untraceable being that the rock it was found in is supposed to be 250 million years old? Being that it was written in 1998 Talk Origins probably already has a response to it. Otherwise could this be the "Cambrian bunny rabbit" that we have been asking creationists for? Young Earth Creationists don't get too excited but this could be something that genuinely contradicts the geological record as seen by modern science.

And to my fellow old earthers who may or may not also be creationists; it is your duty to debunk this.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Alright, I'll join in.

Just following in another more experienced blogger's foot steps. Although you should be warned these questions are addressed to atheists so I might seem a little out of place here.

Q1 How would you define "atheism?"

As the lack of belief in God or gods, and a philosophical basis for any philosophy which leaves a supernatural power out of the equation in the formation of the universe.

Q2 Was your upbringing religious? If so what tradition?

Yes, I attend a fundamentalist non-denominational evangelical Church every Sunday however I do interpret Genesis differently then most Christians who go to that church.

Q3 How would you describe "Intelligent Design", in one word?


Q4 What scientific endeavor really excites you?

Space Exploration, I hate to sound like a plagiarizer but its true, we are alike I want to be an astronaut.

Q5. If you could change one thing about the “atheist community”, what would it be and why?

Since I am not part of the atheist community what could I change? Although For one thing I (Note to self: Try really hard to make this not look like a rant) think the "being polite to theists at all is appeasement" system is flawed. There is a difference between being polite to someone and helping their cause. But I can't change that, that is an intrinsic quality of the new atheist movement. If I were to change that I would have caused atheism's soul to be damned.

Q6. If your child came up to you and said “I’m joining the clergy”, what would be your first response?

I would be relieved that my child has independently chosen to follow my religion.

Q7. What’s your favourite theistic argument, and how do you usually refute it?

Being that I am not an atheist I will give my favourite atheistic argument. But then again I don't really a favourite after all I have heard most of them and well, I remain unconvinced.

Q8. What’s your most “controversial” (as far as general attitudes amongst other atheists goes) viewpoint?

Well I'm not an atheist, but as far as controversial views go it can be summed up like this; I am a Christians who believes in evolution. That is pretty controversial at least among the faith and atheistic community.

Q9. Of the “Four Horsemen” (Dawkins, Dennett, Hitchens and Harris) who is your favourite, and why?

Well I don't have a favourite of the four horsemen, I'm not even sure if I have least favourite, oh well.

Q10. If you could convince just one theistic person to abandon their beliefs, who
would it be?

Well if I were like this (which I am not) It would be guy who got the bright idea of the inquisition, then Christianity would not have that embarrassment. If you ask which atheist I would like to convince to change his beliefs, I am shooting high; RD himself.

Now name three other atheist blogs that you’d like to see take up the Atheist
Thirteen gauntlet:

Well I am not an atheist so I don't really have collaborators, I am all alone, and I think atheists have done a good enough job defending themselves without a theist helping them.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Rael takes on the blasphmey challenge

Now this you would probably expect, I was surfing the Internet and I ran across this video. Forgive me for saying this but its frankly ridiculous. Rael, the founder of the Raelian movement which believes that humans were intelligently designed by aliens; now I have no problem with believing you are designed, I believe in God you have just as much right to believe in aliens who created humans.

Well although they do say that they apparently have evidence, its the same evidence the Intelligent Design advocates have however. The entire video is pretty silly, I am trying very hard to hold back any sarcasm over one thing which really stuck. Rael is apparently opposed to today's calender because its based off the Christian calender.

Oh pulleeze! Who cares not even the most paranoid atheists want the calender changed. Its not even really a Christian calender anymore, rather then "BC (Before Christ)" and "AD (Anno Dominae = Year of our Lord)" its BCE or Before Common Era and CE or Common Era. And its a useful calender, there is no need to change it. After all is there anyone who really cares? If you really care say so in the comments.

And atheists who think unlike myself he is truly one of you; ignore his rationalistic rhetoric, he's religious through and through despite the fact he doesn't believe in God.

The entire video is rather strange, go ahead and make your own judgements of it.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The inquisitors are at it again...

I was on the Evolved and Rational blog, and I commented on one of her articles in a discussion with another supposed Christian (he's probably a joke though). Well, he has this to sat about me after I asked what his real name was since he claimed to be scientist at AiG.
CHRISTIANS BEWARE, Created Rationalist is a Darwinist supporter of the
EXPOSED Shalini Sehkar (Evolved Rationalist LIAR)!!!Beware his heretical,
unGODly lies!!

Ok, lets grind through this comment point by point;

And yes he actually does write almost everything in all capitals, and being that I am a Christian I should probably beware to, but for different reasons. Christians should probably be aware of this guy (whose user name is creationist). because what he says is so amazingly ridiculous Creationist is most likely making fun of Christians who actually are young earth creationists who support Answers In Genesis
Created Rationalist is a Darwinist...

Like anyone who went to my blog doesn't already know that. I let people disagree with me, its fine if they want to have their own views of the creation.
supporter of the EXPOSED Shalini Sekhar (Evolved Rationalist LIAR)!!!

Alright, first of all Evolved Rationalist =/= Shalini Sekhar, and second of all I am not a supporter of evolved rationalist anymore the Kent Hovind (and whats hilarious is that Hovinds last name is not in my computers dictionary) is a supporter of Hugh Ross. I agree with her on certain scientific issues (such as the fact of evolution) but I disagree with almost everything she says in regards to philosophy, God, religion, and even social conduct.
Beware of his heretical unGODLY lies!!

Alright Creationist, stop accusing people of being liars and actually try to discredit what I and ER say about evolution, the age of the earth, and the Big Bang. Or I could just as easily call Creationist a liar since he is either closed to ignoring obvious truth or mocking the Christian faith. Either way I would distance myself from him, and I would suggest other Christians to do the same.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

politics...and by the way my writer's block is over!

You are probably wondering why why I have not written much on this blog in past few days. It is because I had a serious case of writer's block and was unsure of what to write, sorry for the inconvenience, also I am blogging from a hotel room in Hawaii and have not felt like working. I was perusing through Splendidelles blog and found an interesting article about Obama and McCain. Now in order for you to understand this article you are going to have to watch the videos , so watch them and then we can continue this discussion.

This loosely relates to creation and evolution but more importantly it relates to Christianity and its role in society. McCain apparently thinks it is our duty to uphold Judaeo-Christian values and Obama thinks the opposite; he thinks that we should keep society as pluralistic as possible since not everybody has the same religion.

Many Christians would agree with McCain on saying our nations duty is to uphold Christian values, however I am not sure if it is the government which should be upholding Christian values as much as it should be the church; now I understand that church has done a lousy job at that in recent decades. Many churches are complacent, stuck up, intolerant, or just plain nuts; and have failed to show the Christian love that we Christians ought to show to others. Many Christians myself including have from time to time done a shabby job at upholding Christian values ourselves, but of course the are the churches (such as mine, no arrogance intended) which have done a pretty good job. Now the question is, if the church has such trouble upholding the teachings of Christ then how do you expect the government to do any better? The other problem is pointed out by Obama that the United States is not a Christian nation; most Christians myself including would agree the United States is pretty far from being a Christian nation despite the fact that three fourths of the population claims affiliation with Christianity. The United States is also a nation belonging to Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and Atheists; so in the public arena you can't just quote bible verses saying abortion or euthanasia is wrong (note: I will be suing abortion as an example of a practice which Christians want to be outlwed but it doesn't quite agree with the general public, go a ahead and insert any roblem you like). You have to give other reasons unrelated to faith to oppose things which your faith rejects as immoral. If you don't give a good reason not to do something outside the bible you might as well be trying to convince someone not to do something because the Harry Potter books say not to; first Christians must convert the population to their point of view, then they can start making laws endorsing the bible.

And one thing must be said about universalization; if a prayer is put into schools it would have to be non-sectarian thus it would really be a prayer to any God let alone the Christian one because it would have to be open for people of all faiths. Now Jesus told us Christians only to pray in his name, so a non-sectarian prayer would be a prayer which a Christian would not be able to take part in, so to Christians; its either a prayer to a deity other then the Christian God or no prayer in school endorsed at all, take your pick. The same thing would go for many other areas; for example having the bible taught in schools, it could be taught in a comparative religion class which would mean other religions would be taught as well. I think that most Christians are comfortable with this idea (I sure am) but some of the most conservative who usually lead the Christian right would probably not like this idea. So its either the bible, the Hindu scriptures, the Qu'ran and all other major religions being taught in schools or none of them at all; take your pick, because that's the only thing the public is going to accept.

To close this discussion I must say that we as Christians must stand up for our beliefs, however before we start making laws endorsing Christianity we must make a successful case for the legitimacy of Christianity. There are many churches that need to wake up and start working for God. Otherwise Christianity is going to go down and out, now the warning I gave in this was that the bible although useful among Christians, might as well be a roll of toilet paper to people who are not Christians. We must first convince them that our view is correct. Before you can outlaw abortion you must give extra biblical reasons not to have an abortion otherwise you are just forcing your own beliefs on people, and that is not acceptable.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Why the earth is 4.6 billion years old

This issue has been brought up many times, mainly I have given a theological perspective on why to believe in a 4-billion year old earth, of course that is getting old (no pun intended). In this article will explain why most scientists believe earth is 4.6 billion years old. Now I do not accept the current scientific thinking in these areas simply because I lack faith or because I don't want to "obey God's word," I would like nothing more then to have a belief on origins more consistent with my religious beliefs, but young earth creationism is not an option atleast not from a scientific perspective. And in this article I will show you why I think this way.

Proof 1; Radiometric dating

The first proof I must bring up is radiometric dating, now I can already hear some people saying, "The dating methods are completely inaccurate! The R.A.T.E. proved it. "

I hear your plea and will get to that in a moment, but first let me explain how radiometric dating works to those who are in the dark about it. Lets take the most famous type of radiometric dating which is known widely throughout young earth creationist circles, you've guessed it; Radiocarbon dating (I also left a link for those who want to know more about it from more professional sources). Radiocarbon dating is used to date objects within the realm of 60,000 years of age (so it obviously wouldn't be prove of a billion-year old earth). There are two stable carbon atoms in nature; carbon-12 and carbon 13. When cosmic rays enter the atmosphere they hit the stable carbon 12 atoms which become carbon 14 atoms. C-14 is ingested by plants for photosynthesis, they receive C-14 at a constant rate throughout their life, so do the animals that eat the plants. Now when an animal or plant dies no more C-14 is being consumed; what happens? You remember that C-14 is unstable and will eventually decay back into C-12. Well it has been calculated that it has a half-life of 5,730 years, meaning that in 5,730 years half of the C-14 in the organism will have decayed back into C-12 (this is an unsatisfying brief explanation if you want to know more about C-14 dating go the link I provided ). Other methods work about the same way; during a volcanic eruption the argon gas which Potassium (40-K) decays into escapes from the lava, then when the lava hardens all you have is potassium which decays into Argon (Ar-40) in 1.26 billion years, (a little longer then 10,000 years) this method is called Potassium-Argon dating.

Now I am sure several of you are exploding with anxiety especially since the two examples I gave are favourite targets of young earth creationists. One thing that is often brought up is wildly inaccurate dates. For example rock that had formed in the mount Saint Helens eruption in 1980, was dated at several million years. This has a simply explanation however; xenoliths are foreign sections of rock torn of a lava conduit during an eruption. The rock may be millions of year older then the lava itself. When the lava around the xenolith hardens it causes the otherwise young rock around it to look older then it really is, it turns out Mount Saint Helens incident was where a xenolith had hardened in the crust. There are many times where this happens; geologists recognize there are limitations to dating methods and do indeed understand they can be innacurate. However only about 100 out of 100,000 are inaccurate. This is in fact actually quite reliable; plus they are crosschecked with other dating techniques and as a result you get a pretty reliable date. Now that we know they are reliable, lets look at the problem for young earth creationism, the problem is blaring obvious. if these method are accurate then why do we have elements in the soil which form so slowly? Now you might also ask just how slow are we talking? Very, very slow;

Potassium-Argon = 1.26 billion years

Uranium-Lead = 4.47 billion years

Rubidium-Strontium = 50 billion years

These methods are also discussed here at the American Scientific Affiliation website.

If young earthers are right, then there shouldn't be anything which looks older then 6500 years. If you look at potassium it should look like only 6500 years worth of decay has been happening, not billions. And yet we do find elements which have been decaying for millions even billions of years. Now you could just say, "God created the universe to look old," and that's fine. But its not any more scientifically relevant then saying Queen Maeve the house cat created the universe last Thursday and created the world to look far older. Both positions are unfalsifiable. These beliefs are fine for believing something but if you want to make a scientific theory it needs to be testable. The "Appearance of Age" hypothesis is not testable and anything in science which is not testable cannot be inferred as a scientific idea, or a viable alternative to any scientific concept.

So the fact that the dating methods show an old earth is inescapable.

Proof 2; varves, sandstone deposits, and coral reefs.

Varves in case anyone doesn't know are bi-annual layers of silt that are deposited in lake bottoms. They have two layers, a thin fine layer and a thick coarser layer; the coarser layer is from the summer months since more water enters the lake from the heavy rain fall so larger particles can be moved into the lake. During the winter months there is less rain comes so there are smaller particles and finer layers. Now the obvious problem for young earth creationism is that there are lots of them, far more then would be expected if earth were 6,000 years old. One location where there are lots of varves is the green river valley formation; it has 3 million years worth of varves. If earth is only 6-10,000 years old it should have no more then 3-5,000 varves. Now there are many objections to this, most of them are covered here.

Sandstone deposits such as the Coconino sandstone were formed by wind deposition in a desert environment. It could not have formed during catastrophic flood. The problem comes in when you consider that over many sandstone deposits such as the one I just mentioned, where there are marine fossil deposits which were supposed to have formed in the flood; How could this be if they were formed in a world wide flood?

Coral reefs grow a little annually, in fact we can tell how old a coral is by how much it has grown. There are many coral reefs far older then the flood date (4400 years ago) that would be completely destroyed in the violent events of the flood and definitely not preserved. This appears to be an ever nagging problem for young earth creationists.

Proof 3; The universe indicates earth is old

The third and final proof I will give involves the entire universe. As you may know the universe is pretty large, the farthest galaxies being almost 14 billion lightyears away. The question that comes to mind when you consider this is, how the universe can be so young and look so old? Young Earth Creationists have scrambled to come up with the answer. Sure you can say God just made the universe to look that way; but when it comes to science that is irrelevant since it is non-falsifiable, now if you want to believe this go ahead, but when it comes to science we need to consider something which can be proven with science the Appearance of Age hypothesis cannot.


By the looks of it earth must be millions if not billions of years old and there isn't an escape hatch in sight. Hopefully this will be insightful, I may not have changed any of your minds but perhaps I have caused you to think about it.

Now of course if you disagree respond and debate (and yes Chris, that means you), perhaps you will change my mind, and perhaps you won't.