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Los Angeles Times Chastises Creationists

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The Los Angeles Times editorial board decided recently to join the debate raging between creationists and evolutionists, siding squarely with Darwin and the gang. But the Times did not merely position itself along a spectrum of the controversy. Instead it stood on one end and launched a criticism of creationists that was the most contentious, condescending, and contemptible I have ever read.

The LA Times editorial titled "Yabba-dabba Science" was a response to the opening of a new $27 million 60,000 square-foot “Creation Museum” in Petersburg, Kentucky — but given the venom spewed from the pages of the Times one might be persuaded to believe those Christians had erected a gallows for hanging witches.

The Times began its denouncing of all who believe in the literal translation of Genesis by stating the Creation Museum promotes “earth science theories that were popular when Columbus set sail.” Other highlights from the Times’ furious name-calling fit include:“animatronic balderdash” and “‘The Flintstones’ is a cartoon, not a documentary.”

The editors launched into this tirade only to evolve their argument into one that targets three Republican candidates for president, closeting them all with folks the Times calls, “a lunatic fringe.” The editors then examined the beliefs of the three by stating none of them believe in evolution. This appears to be the straw that broke the back of the Times’ editorial board’s patience.

It lambasts them all in one sentence: “Three men seeking to lead the last superpower on Earth reject the scientific consensus on cosmology, thermonuclear dynamics, geology and biology, believing instead that Bamm-Bamm and Dino played together.”

Taking a deep breath after the expenditure of an awful lot of hot air, the Times’ editors decided to educate their dwindling readership on a particular “fact” of earth science. Fact: The LA Times editorial team takes exception with those who believe the earth is “about 6,000 years old, as opposed to the 4.5 billion years estimated by the world’s credible scientific community."

It is interesting to note that creationists admit they have placed their faith in the scriptural texts contained in the Bible — a book that has taught more about philosophy, love, hate, joy, charity, emotions, and various relationships than all of the sciences put together in all of the years scientists have studied human behavior. Creationists also have solid footing rooted in texts that have withstood several thousands of years of scrutiny, and that also offer mankind a deeper understanding of what lies both within this world and beyond it that no scientist can explain.

The meaning of life and death is a central component of the Bible that science has yet to begin to figure out. Yet, this subject is core to every human being. Biblical texts are taken quite literally by millions of Christians, which includes the description of how the earth came into being. Many of those Christians are also scientists.

Given the fact that humans cannot discern between that which is good or bad or right or wrong from scientific data, nor make daily decisions on the basis of statistical information, the Bible’s perspectives and credible logic outweigh any science when moral dilemmas come into question and the question of life and death is considered. No one will recall the geology and biology exams they studied hard to pass, but most all of us remember the love we shared with others and the decisions we’ve made from a foundation of belief in something more powerful than ourselves.

The LA Times editors apparently have difficulty coming to terms with their own beliefs, as well as determining what is, and is not, a fact. The fact is the earth is not 4.5 billion years old, as the Times editors suggest, is a consensus among “credible” scientists. In fact, scientists estimate everything. Nothing is absolute for them.

Therefore, the LA Times has no “facts” upon which to base it convulsive critique. In fact, the Times might do a little research of its own, if there’s time and room in its lofty tower from which it peers down upon us ignorant folk with snide pity. Ask 100 “credible” scientists to give an exact date of the earth. None can. Then ask them to estimate the age of the earth based upon whatever data they desire. You won’t find they all agree.

“Is it 4.5 billion or 3.8 billion, Ralph?”

“Hmm … good question, Gentry. I believe the latest revision of several hundred estimates was 4.2 billion years.”

“Is that the agreed upon answer from the rest of the scientific community?”

“I think we’re all going to agree, at least for now, that the earth is 4.2 billion.”

“Well, alright Ralph. I just want to have my facts straight when those pesky editors from LA call me again.”

“Well, don’t worry, Gentry. They’re on our side. Over the past 50 years our estimates have ranged from a few million to a few billion years, as of today. Isn’t it a riot? In less than a half-century we’ve revised our estimates numerous times and each time it is accepted as fact. Who knows? In another decade we’ll all agree the earth is 5 billion years old. All it takes is one of us to start the ball rolling.”

The LA Times editors aren’t as angry with the creationists who built the museum as they are with the fact that evolution science — and particularly global warming, or as it has evolved into its new name “climate change” — is being challenged by anyone. The LA Times views the climate change debate as non-debatable. It believes that “climate change may have caused the extinction of dinosaurs 65 million years ago ….” That “factual” figure would, of course, not be 64 million or 70 million or 47 million or especially not 64,000 … it is most definitively … maybe 65 million. In other words, the scientists don’t know and the LA Times’ editors know less.

The argument over the data in which scientists place their faith isn’t the challenge upon which creationists focus, although the methodology of creating the data isn’t an exact science. Thus we have a ton of postulates floating around until the “scientific community” agrees on promoting one. Christians also study the earth, space, physics, and as much of God’s creation as we can.

The many industries produced in various societies — agriculture, transportation, architecture, medicine, the arts, etc. — have seen Christians within them all. Christians are not exempt from the field of science. But if you read the data bubbling around inside the pages of the LA Times, you would be hard-pressed to believe that Christians had a logical, rational-thinking cell in their entire bodies. In fact, you would believe the LA Times separated the “credible” scientists from the “non-credibles” according to faith. Those who placed their faith in accepted data, statistics, and peer-reviewed journals would find respect and reverence at the Times.

Meanwhile, those scientists who dare to believe in a Creator — rather than an explosion of matter billions of years ago that developed from nothing and created all that we see today — aren’t fit to toss the Times on a paper route in Los Angeles.

It is indeed strange to read vitriolic rhetoric from the editors of the LA Times as they rely upon such nebulous sources as “the world’s credible scientific community.” But it is understandable as one reads the sentiment beneath the words. It is filled with anger and hostility … and fear. Fear? Yes, fear. Consider this line near the closing of the editors’ diatribe that seeks to push, “the fact that today it [climate change] poses grave peril to the Earth as we know it.”

The LA Times cannot see the forest for the trees. While it lambasts presidential candidates and ordinary Christians for their faith and belief in biblical revelation, it places its own faith and belief in what it considers scientific data, which continues to change. Moreover, the data is interpreted differently within the very “credible scientific community” which the editors faithfully follow. Thus, the consequences of data gathered for climate change scientists to analyze may be accepted by a consensus of experts as credible, even while the interpretation and prediction of what the data means varies wildly.

The LA Times, like the rest of us, can believe what it wishes to believe. But it is walking on shaky ground when it sharply criticizes the bible, the faith of Christians, the intellect of the Christian community and the overarching integrity and leadership capability of those who place their faith on solid Christian ground. The editors would be better off taking a look at their own footing, as they stand on shifting sand that will feel solid one moment and suck them in the next. As the scientific wind blows, so go the editors of the LA Times, spewing their heat upon all who fail to place their faith in line with the beliefs of the Times.

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About Mike Green

  • sr


  • The debate needs new titles. Call Evolution, “Theory of gradual appearance of life” and Creation, “Theory of sudden appearance of life”.

    What would you do with “Scriptural Physics”? Is it science or religion? It offers valuable insights in physics. Should students be “exposed” to it or “protected” from it?

  • sr

    Doc, that’s the best ammo you have. Intellectual laziness. You truly are a funny guy.

  • Dr Dreadful

    #85: So that’s what lies behind creationism: intellectual laziness.

  • Elroy Balgaard

    Wondering if Adam and Eve had belly buttons, is a smaller hoop to jump through than a lizard giving birth to a bird.

  • sr

    If Adam and Eve were created as adult’s did they have a belly button or a need for one? Should you not believe they were created and your belief is in the theroy of evolution their would be no need to respond.

  • sr


  • sr

    SteveS. I hate freaking monkeys. Where I live in Florida the Rhesus monkeys run all over the forest and bite the crap out of you. I have shot many of the little shits. Come to Florida and I’ll take you hunting for the varmits. If your not into hunting you can toss them a few grapes.

  • MBD

    #74 — June 3, 2007 @ 23:59PM — SteveS

    Steve S commented…

    “Oh, sr, now I understand. No, it wasn’t the numbers of the chapters that confused me. I didn’t know that was an actual question, I thought it was rhetorical.”

    #75 — June 4, 2007 @ 00:09AM — MBD

    MBD responded…

    “Oh, sr, now I understand. No, it wasn’t the numbers of the chapters that confused me.”

    No. It’s just everything else.

    #79 — June 4, 2007 @ 18:11PM

    sr interjected…

    “MBD stopped being confused”

    sr couldn’t comprehend who said what to whom…

    Let’s see if sr can figure it out now.

  • No, not a born again Christian, I don’t recall ever saying that. If I did, I must have been having a vision.

    I was raised as a Christian and on true Christian principles, and I have my own faith. I do not go to church as I do not believe in organized religion.

    I can’t comment on the other thread anymore, it won’t load for me for some problem, once it gets up to about 190 comments. However this could be proof of evolution:

    Monkeys can comprehend economics and use money for sex.

    …During the chaos in the monkey cage, Chen saw something out of the corner of his eye that he would later try to play down but in his heart of hearts he knew to be true. What he witnessed was probably the first observed exchange of money for sex in the history of monkeykind. (Further proof that the monkeys truly understood money: the monkey who was paid for sex immediately traded the token in for a grape.)

  • sr

    SteveS. Just one thing. You say your are a born again Christian. How in the world did you arrive at this. Most people say Jesus is a fable/fantasy. That being true how can you be a Christian. This is not logical. Im confused. I also dont know about God talking to anyone. I wasen’t their. Like I said if God didn’t write the bible put in in your outhouse. Why would you put your trust in what man writes. Why should I put my trust in this thread. Why would anyone in their right mind put their trust in fallible humans and use the bible as a guide. A guide for what? Just trust me SteveS. I’ll be glad to guide you. I am all knowing. Doc and Clavos, my work is not done. I rest on the seventh day funny men. MBD stopped being confused and thanks again. I put my trust in guns and gold. Lets go hunting boys and girls.

  • It does seem that legitimate discussion is discouraged by some now, and that others want to just make comments but not debate anymore. Is that why this site is much slower than a few years ago?

  • Props to Dr. D. for #76.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Comments #65 through #75:

    …And sr’s work is done.

    Steve and MBD, by this time you should really see him coming.

  • MBD

    “Oh, sr, now I understand. No, it wasn’t the numbers of the chapters that confused me.”

    No. It’s just everything else.

  • Oh, sr, now I understand. No, it wasn’t the numbers of the chapters that confused me. I didn’t know that was an actual question, I thought it was rhetorical.

    You are asking me if God was talking to scum or Adam and Eve. This is the question?

    The answer is neither, because:

    1) Adam and Eve are a parable or a fable, or as you put it, a fantasy. They never existed. We evolved.

    2) God never talked to anybody. That part of the bible is no more literal than the whole 6 day thing. It’s odd that God talked to everybody in the Bible on an almost daily basis, either by burning bush or by blasting his cliff notes into the mountainside or whatever but then just quit talking to humans?

    The answer to your question is none of the above, sr. I am not a literalist. God did not write the bible, humans did. Fallible humans. We can use the Bible to guide us, but not to dictate to us verbatim.

    I hope I answered your question now. If you really want to know who he was actually talking to, then you will need to ask someone who believes the bible literally. That would not be me, nor would it be a Creationist, as they only take Creation literally but pick and choose parts of the rest of the bible.

  • sr

    My comment#65 should be corrected from Genesis 2 to Genesis 1 but still the same verses. 26 and 28. Sorry about that SteveS. Now I understand your confusion. The rest of my comment is still good to go. Thank MBD for pointing this out to me.
    Hey blogcritics why dont you correct this for me. Im not about to type this again. If you do I’ll send you a free bible and cookies.

  • sr

    MBD, Your right dude. My mistake. Genesis 1 verse 26 and Genesis 1 verse 28. Sorry about that to all I have cofused including SteveS. Like I said Im no student of the bible. MBD thank you for pointing this out to me. Sincerely, sr

  • MBD


    In #65 you refer to Genesis 2 verse 26. Chapter 26 doesn’t exist.

    The last verses in Chapter 2 are 24 and 25:

    “24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. 25 The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.”

    In #70 you refer to Genesis 26-28. That doesn’t make any sense in this context.

    It reads:

    “26 Meanwhile, Abimelech had come to him from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his personal adviser and Phicol the commander of his forces. 27 Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me, since you were hostile to me and sent me away?” 28 They answered, “We saw clearly that the Lord was with you; so we said, ‘There ought to be a sworn agreement between us’–between us and you. Let us make a treaty with you.”

    Perhaps these references make sense in the bible you wrote.

  • sr

    Another day SteveS. My question as I stated was concerning Genesis,verses 26 and 28 and I wanted you to respond to the question that perplexis me. You know, Adam and Eve and the scum thing. Simple enough dont you think. In other words was this God speaking to scum or did he wait for Adam and Eve to evolve and speak to them. Of course this all depends on your trust if the bible is the word of God or should it be used in your outhouse like a Sears catalog. Of course you may perfer corncobs like me. Except you cant read corncobs doing your duty. Later dude.

  • sr

    Goodnight Sir.

  • I believe I answered your questions. If there is one I missed, feel free to point it out.

    Where I come from, debate and disagreement do not equal fighting, but then again I’m not a Creationist, so perhaps that’s where the lines of communication break down. For them it’s pretty clear that disagreement or debate = attack and fighting.

  • sr

    Dear SteveS. That was the answer I expected from you knowing you never would answer the questions I asked you. Lets just call it a night. Many years ago this man told me he was about to get in a fight and told the other man just go tell your friends you kicked my ass and I’ll tell my friends I kicked your ass. No blood shed. Makes sence to me. Take care my friend and have a great weekend.

  • One thing I do know sir is never get into discussions over politics and religion.

    But then what do you discuss here at BC?

    So my dear sir, why are you a Christian?

    There is faith/spirituality, and there is religion. They are as different as night and day. This thread really isn’t the place to discuss my theology, but quickly, since I do discuss religion on the appropriate threads here, I was raised a Christian and I do believe in the Christian principles. I also believe that God gave us free will and the ability to think for ourselves.

    I think organized religion runs counter to that, so I do not go to a church. I don’t pray before every meal, nor do I clasp my hands and pray at night. I don’t believe in fire and brimstone and Adam and Eve. I believe these are like psalms or parables for us.

    Organized religion is handing your beliefs over to another to shape and mold, and that certainly isn’t what ANY diety would want. Organized religion is evil, and always causes oppression and suffering in the world. There is not one instance where it does not.

    A person’s faith belongs to him and him alone and any society built on faith is a society of oppression. Never has it been otherwise.

    And that is why I always fight people who would instill their beliefs in the public square.

    I do not believe in Creationism, and I know it for what it is, nothing more than a belief system, which has no place in science or the public school system.

    You can tell when a person’s faith is their own, or when it is dictated to them by others, for when it is put on trial, it is the latter who feel persecuted and attacked.

  • sr

    SteveS#51. One thing I do know sir is never get into discussions over politics and religion. Does Christions beliveing in evolution surprise me. Of course not. It’s called theistic evolution or evolutionary creationism. Sure I should get out more, however, I’m afraid to leave the confines of my cave. I do not call myself a Christian nor am I worthy of being a Christian. Very seldom do I pick up a bible let alone read it. Due to your comment which I sincerely thank you for, I read something from Genesis today. This is from Genesis 2 verse 28. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful,and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: In Genesis 2 verse 26 God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Now not being a student of the bible by any means this is what perplexis me. In saying “our,” did God tell this to primordial scum that wouldn’t know a roll of toilet paper from the library of congress, did he say it to Adam and Eve after they evolved millions of years later and had an understanding of lanquage, or did God tell the scum to stay out of the fruit trees. I know Adam and Eve are just a fantasy and so do you, and I also think the Bible is a fantasy. So my dear sir, why are you a Christian? As for what the pope belives, Frankly Scarlett I dont give a damn.

  • SteveS next question. Heck if I know. What question would you like me to ask?

    It was rhetorical. Evolutionists are not anti-God. The majority of evolutionists believe in a God.

    We have the Theory of Relativity being taught in school. We have the Theory of Gravity being taught in school. Both are theories, both are unproven. Both are unchallenged in school board battles across the nation.

    Only ONE theory is being challenged, and that is the theory that they perceive as conflicting with the story of Creation in the Bible.

    The whole motive behind this Creationism drive, sr, is fear. Unfounded fears that a lifelong belief system will be proven false.

    Evolution is not anti-God, nor does it teach that we are souless, nor does it delve into any afterlife. It simply covers the ‘how’ of life, not the ‘why’.

  • #62:
    What Mike does with his Bible is up to him but, yes, I think everybody should get educated.

  • sr

    Mr. Richards do you think Mike should throw is stupid bible in the trash and get educated as yourself?

  • No one will ever be able to persuade Mike to change his mind;you can’t reason someone out of a position they didn’t reach by reasoning in the first place.

    His mind was closed when he decided to accept the revelations of the Bible as the end all and be all. Of course, that’s not quite true, because he does pick and choose which parts of “God’s holy word” still apply to Christians. Interesting that the Bible is supposed to be our revealed source of truth, knowledge and morals, and show the way to salvation, but Mike says we don’t have to actually follow ALL of it anymore (just the parts he likes and agrees with.)

    If he were to try ever again to think for himself rather than just blindly believe and follow all of the myths, metaphors, and figurative language of a book filled mostly with fictional characters and symbolic stories, he might see that:

    Some statements–facts, scientific theories–can be true or false because they are empirical, observeable, demonstrable, or objective propositions. Since they can be shown to be true or false, they constitute what we know. (And, yes, it does take time, evidence, and a lot of work and thought to separate true from false.)

    Some statements are neither true nor false, such as propositions about love, hope, taste. They’re not “knowledge” as we generally understand the term;they can’t be shown to be true or false propositions that convey the same meaning to everyone.

    Some statements give us no way to discern whether they are true or false, such as propositions about gods, man-gods, heaven, supernatural forces. Such statements depend only on faith and are NOT knowledge(although their followers are always convinced they are the highest order of knowledge.) Saying “the Bible says so” is a subjective declaration of belief, without a shred of proof of the proposition.

    Confusing knowledge and faith has proven to be one of the most costly mistakes in all human history, and creationists want to replay it again in America. Mike doesn’t need any proof what for he believes;his mind was made up without any. He now relies on sophistry to try to disguise that true fact.

  • sr

    I dont give a hoot about the pope. He’s just a dude like us except he wears tons of gold on is head. The vicar for Christ my ass. SteveS next question. Heck if I know. What question would you like me to ask? Carl Sagan was a fool and talked like he had a banna up is rear end. I never made mention concerning a christian God. I just asked a question.

  • Good point and it may even explain that foul odor coming from Polarissima Borealis.

  • Dr Dreadful

    Wouldn’t that imply vanity?

    Vanity is a human emotion. My cat announces his presence to other cats by occasionally (the little bastard) spraying urine on the front door. That’s not vanity, just ‘here I am’.

  • That’s not what I mean, but I get your point. There are religions like some of the Native American ones that think you need to take halluceno….halluc… er, peyote in order to have spiritual visions. And most Christians will tell you that the commandment against masterbation was when it was important to populate the earth. Now that we are up to 9 billion, masterbation may end up being a requirement soon.

    I am cut off by rude drivers all the time. People swear and shove in malls. People call each other names and hurt feelings in high school. Being intentionally cruel and selfish is common in this country, not that it’s right but it’s common. And fundamentalists will tell you that the majority of people in this country are Christians so ergo…the majority of those that do this behavior believe in God.

    This is my point. Instilling a fear of the afterworld into people in order to get them to modify behavior hasn’t worked so far, so let’s not give them that one because it’s already proven to be a falsehood.

  • zingzing

    hmm. i tend to contradict myself. (much like the bible!–blasphemy!)

    i dunno how i can explain that.

  • zingzing

    “This type of talk motivates them zingzing, it’s what they want to hear. If you don’t harm other people and respect others, there isn’t much else to change.”

    i’m not a highly moral person. i’ve been a bad boy in my time. i have never harmed any other person… well, that’s not true… and i have done things that caused other people pain out of selfishness. i curse, i blaspheme, i drink copious amounts of liquor and i’m sure most any god would be rather appalled at what i have put in my body… i can be intentionally cruel, i masturbate and have premarital sex at alarming rates… let me see… i have broken several of the commandments… most of them, i would say. i’m sure there’s some christian loophole that puts me in hell. but i would have a hard time believing in such a cruel god. merciful? read your bible.

    overall, however, i am a very moral person who believes in the dignity and freedom of other people. i just don’t apply such things to myself.

  • oh, hell yeah, it would. i’d be frightened for my imortal soul.

    This type of talk motivates them zingzing, it’s what they want to hear. If you don’t harm other people and respect others, there isn’t much else to change.

    You smoke? (rhetorical, don’t answer) God doesn’t forbid that. You drink? Switch to wine and you’re fine. There isn’t much to change if you respect other humans.

    It’s important to point out that the faithful are not the only ones who are moral. They seem to think men are animals who need fear to keep us in line, that if we were free to be ourselves we would be savages, but then want us to believe that we are spiritually made “in God’s image”, and they don’t put two and two together.

    Carl Sagan speculated that if there were a creator, he/she/it/they might leave some kind of signature

    Wouldn’t that imply vanity?

  • Dr Dreadful

    Carl Sagan speculated that if there were a creator, he/she/it/they might leave some kind of signature deeply embedded in the fabric of the universe, in such a way that it could be found and interpreted for what it was by a civilization sufficiently advanced to be able to cope with the information in a mature fashion. For example, you might be calculating pi to trillions of decimal places and suddenly come across a recognizable pattern, a regular, logical sequence of digits not explainable by chance – a code.

    Or more likely – since we are a mere Stage Zero civilization – something far cleverer than that.

    Such a being would be a far cry from the Christian God, so unfortunately that notion ain’t going to fly with creationists either.

  • zingzing

    “If creation became a proven fact would it put a crimp on your life style?”

    oh, hell yeah, it would. i’d be frightened for my imortal soul. hell (and the basic threat of “you don’t believe in hell, therefore you will go there,”) is a pretty scary thought. but i don’t dwell on it. (i’m assuming you are talking about the christian version of creation, because there are lots of versions, and my reaction would differ if another culture’s creation myth proved correct.)

    if some unknowable being created the universe long ago, i’ll probably never know about it anyway.

    “Would you rather believe in evolution over creation and why.”

    not really. evolution doesn’t real touch on the afterlife question… but i do have to logically conclude that once i’m dead there isn’t much left to do but rot. that doesn’t sound too fun. but, whatever. i’m not fooling myself.

  • SteveS#45. Most people who believe in evolution also believe in a soul. WHY?

    Because most evolutionists in this country are Christians. Does that surprise you? Get out more.

    If creation became a proven fact would it put a crimp on your life style?

    No, because I am a baptized Christian. I have accepted Jesus into my life. But that doesn’t require me to take the Bible literally.

    Lets put that in perspective. Would you rather believe in evolution over creation and why.

    Because there is nothing to support creationism and there is enough data to support evolution to fill up the library of Congress. Even the Pope (the last Pope) came out in support of evolution.

    So I would rather support reality over fantasy because God gave me a brain with which to think for myself.

    Next question?

  • sr

    If creation became a proven fact would it put a crimp on your life style? Lets put that in perspective. Would you rather believe in evolution over creation and why.

  • People often misread the word theory in this context. Calling a scientific idea a theory does not mean it’s speculation or an unproven notion. All modern science is described as a set of “theories.” Some, like String Theory, are hotly debated among scientists, but some, like evolution, are accepted as established fact by 99% or more of reputable researchers.

    In science, a theory is:
    “A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena.”

  • Dr Dreadful

    As this (and the other related) thread lengthens, I’m beginning to appreciate why many scientists refuse to debate creationists.

    They’ll misrepresent science, misrepresent the arguments of scientists and misrepresent their own arguments in order to twist things their way.

    The point has been well-made elsewhere that it is only in the question of origins, cosmological and biological, that most creationists seem to have a problem with science. All except the most lunatic fringe now accept that the Earth is a sphere and that whales are not fish, for example, even though the Bible asserts otherwise. Such things are obvious. But when you go beyond the obvious – you can’t go to a cliff somewhere on Earth and read, carved into the rock, ‘EST. 4,500,000,000 B.C.E.’* – that’s when certain Christians of limited imagination and brittle faith start to have problems.

    Yes – brittle faith. I’ve read on cosmology and quantum theory quite a bit, and it does seem to me that the deeper you get the more there seems to be the hand of a designer at work (of course, I’m also broadminded enough to realize that this could just be my anthropocentrism talking). So no, there isn’t necessarily a problem with there being a God just because the universe doesn’t turn out to have been created in 4004 B.C., as Archbishop Ussher claimed. It’s very sad that people feel so threatened in their faith by this concept (or are just scared by the sheer scale of it) that they feel the need to use every means necessary to deny it.

    I find more believable a Creator who fashioned the awesome observable universe I see around me with its sublime physical laws, its possibly irreducible quantum intricacy and its immense vistas of space and time, than one who got bored splashing around in the dark by himself a paltry few millennia ago and cobbled together a lump of rock with squabbling things living on it.

    To put it bluntly: if the Almighty King of All Creation fashioned the universe as described in Genesis – and made me into the bargain – how come I’ve got a better imagination than him?

    *Or to a glacier in Norway and read the designer’s signature in the ice – thanks, Douglas!

  • sr

    SteveS#45. Most people who believe in evolution also believe in a soul. WHY?

  • Gravity is taught as a theory too (the theory of gravity, anyone?). Many of us accept it as fact though.

  • I simply promote the premise that it ought to be taught to kids as a theory that can never be argued as fact.

    Evolution IS taught as a theory. Those of us who accept it as fact are not the scientists.

    If that were taught, you and I would be sipping a cup of coffee comparing discussing our beliefs, not whether one is right or wrong.

    No, I would still say you were wrong, but in a friendlier manner.

    If Christians were the rotten people some of us have been cast as being

    Let’s stick with calling them Creationists and not lumping the whole faith in with the extremist views of a minority.

    No sweeheart. We all evolved and when you die we just rot.

    sr, that’s not what evolution teaches. You get false information about evolution from Creationists. Most people who believe in evolution also believe in a soul.

    See Mike? Slams and assumptions go both ways.

  • duane

    Thank you for consolidating your essential points, Mike.

    Thus, the evolutionist begins his argument with an inclusion of all sciences.

    This is true in the modern era. Wouldn’t you see this as a strength? Problems in science are now approached along seemingly disparate lines of inquiry, with all the implied possibilities for refutation and corroboration. For example, if stellar evolutionary theory predicted that the age of the Sun was 100 million years, but the age of the Earth was 4.5 billion years, then either the theory of planetary formation or the methods of Pb/Pb isochron dating would be called into question. If the Bible implies than mankind is less than 6000 years old, but humanoid bones are dated at over 3 million years, then either the Biblical timeline doesn’t tell the whole story or radiometric dating is bogus. If you prefer the latter alternative, then you must be willing to take on the subject of nuclear physics and show the world why it’s wrong. Good luck with that.

    An approximation cannot stand up to scrutiny. It is merely a guess.

    Not true. Approximations arise simply as a result of the measuring process involved. If I asked you your age, you might say 45 or 35 or whatever. I would ask you, “Is that exact?” You would search your memory and say, “I was born at 8:33 AM, August 3rd, 1966.” I would ask, “Is that exact?” You would have to relent at some point and say, “No, that’s an approximation.” Only someone more pedantic and literal than I would then say, “Aha! So you are just guessing at your age!”

    Any idea how many stars are in the Milky Way galaxy? The best answer is “a few hundred billion.” How would anyone know this?

    Do you know the speed of light? according to the US National Bureau of Standards, the speed of light is 299792.4574 +/- 0.0011 km/sec. See the +/- symbol? That shows the uncertainty in the measurements. No one knows exactly what the speed of light is. Would you call it a guess? No one will ever know exactly the value of a quantity that can, in principle, assume any value from a continuum of possibilities.

    You can ask, “How many McDonald’s franchises are in Chicago?” and get an exact answer, because there is not a continuum of possibilities. It must be some integer value. Someone could simply count them. But if you want to the age of distance of something, you can only approximate it, then report the measurement uncertainty. Does that make you dissatisfied with science? That’s the nature of the beast. It’s the best anyone can do.

    The transcendental number pi is not known exactly. It can’t be known exactly. Does that leave you feeling dissatisfied with mathematics?

    You seem to have an issue with “facts.” The scientific method does not live on facts alone. The facts are, for example, that there are stars of various colors, sizes, distances, luminosities, etc. Them are the facts. It takes “theory” to understand why the facts are what they are. Enter the theories of star formation and stellar evolution.

    And just to be clear, the word “theory” has a different meaning when used by a scientist than when used speaking colloquially. A theory is not a guess. A guess is referred to as a hypothesis in science. A theory is a unifying structure, a picture or scenario, sometimes expressed mathematically, that purports to account for a wide range of observed facts. Stellar evolution theory makes sense of the observed facts. Is stellar evolution a “fact”? Stars do evolve, but is the whole theory, with it’s hundreds of equations that model a bewildering array of interacting physical processes a bona fide “fact”? No, it’s an approximation, or a model.

    Theories are not to be confused with facts. That the Moon orbits the Earth is a fact. That the Moon does so because of gravity is a theory, known as Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation (note the improper use of the word “Law” — it’s colloquial), or, to come up to date, Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. “Just” theories? Nope.

    Theories are subjected over and over to tests and extreme scrutiny. Why? Because scientists are motivated by integrity? Nope. Because scientists are in the business of adding more and more decimal points? Nope. The answer is that scientists, to a large extent, are motivated by ego and ambition, like many other professionals. They want to shoot down the prevailing theory and become famous. That’s what Einstein did. If you can show that you’ve uncovered an error or if you’ve conceived a better idea than some historically famous science bigwig, you can call your shots after that. So, if you think there aren’t thousands of biologists out there gunning for Darwin, geologists who need to toe the party line, astronomers who are intimidated into silence by the graybeards, then you don’t understand human nature or the history of science. That’s why theories are tested and tested — someone is hoping to find fault with the theory.

    So, would you care to reconsider your statement, “An approximation cannot stand up to scrutiny. It is merely a guess.”?

  • Mike, it’s known as the theory of evolution. It’s our best attempt at explaining the world we find ourselves on.

    Christians do try to prevent evolution being taught but their power is weakening as more people see the light. In the past, Christians used to kill people who spoke “heresies”.

    Jesus Christ probably did live in the Middle East some 2,000 years ago, but he was human, just like the rest of us. Christianity is clearly false, as there are no gods or anything to suggest their existence. The single god theory is only about 5 to 7 thousand years old but humanity is far older. Faithists ARE the bad guys, because they do all humanity a disservice.

  • Regarding who said life was developed on earth by accident …

    Perhaps you, sir, did not say it. But that doesn’t mean it has not been said by anyone. Indeed, many evolutionists subscribe to the notion that life did indeed form on earth through a process that can only be described in a single term as “accidental.”

    And, as you readily admit, such a notion requires that man create his own meaning of life. And many people believe that is exactly what man did, culminating in fables that turned into religious dogma.

    The individuals who deem themselves more evolved and “mature” as you put it, maintain that they do not subscribe to any specific dogma or religious doctrine or belief, thus lifting themselves above the fray where the rest of us fight over which religion is the right one.

    Those who believe in nothing or only themselves, or even perhaps some universal power that no one can yet understand are the ones who believe they are right.

    Oh, wait!

    It appears we all think we’ve got the right way of thinking. So I am wrong. No one is above the fray. We all believe something.

    I believe I’ll go eat lunch.

  • sr

    Im your typical evolutionist. When my child lay dying, she asked me “What will happen when I die.”
    I asked her if she wanted the truth. She said “Yes daddy.” I said remember when we would take a drive and see various animals lying dead along the road side. “Yes daddy I remember” she said. What do you think happened to them. “Daddy they went to heaven.” No sweeheart. We all evolved and when you die we just rot. The good part is your mom and I will have great memories of you. Good bye sweetheart.

    Evolution is a trillion dollar business. The day will come soon that the theory of evolution,NOT A FACT, will be shown as the biggest hokes ever perpetrated on mankind. When this happens, evolution being a trillian dollar business, will fall and crumble.

  • LOL.

    I apologize in advance for not running down the preconceived path.

    I absolutely DO send my child to a private Christian school. And I still have problems with a number of the pagan ideas even that school has adopted and indoctinate into my child’s head.

    That notwithstanding, your argument that majority wins is a hypocritical one if you also adopt the notion that the minority ought to submit to the majority.

    If the minority did indeed submit to the whims of the majority, your child would NEVER have been taught the theory of evolution because it did not originate with the establishment of public schools. It was a minority idea.

    But the evolutionists fought daily, weekly, yearly … decade by decade. They fought in communities, on school boards, in the schools and in the courts.

    They did not give up and go create schools where evolution could be taught aside from the public venues. No, they did exactly OPPOSITE of what you have advised me to do.

    Thus, if you wish your child to be taught evolutionary theory as a FACT that he or she will BELIEVE through a process of FAITH in reams and reams of texts they have never read (nor ever will), then so be it.

    I have no problem with that. And when the reams of data change and their children (your grandkids) learn a different evolutionary theory, that is okay by me as well.

    I do not despise the teaching of evolution. I simply promote the premise that it ought to be taught to kids as a theory that can never be argued as fact.

    If that were taught, you and I would be sipping a cup of coffee comparing discussing our beliefs, not whether one is right or wrong.

    If Christians were the rotten people some of us have been cast as being, evolution would have never become established in schools becasue it would have simply been forbidden. Instead, many Christians had no problem with teaching one theory alongside another more widely accepted theory.

    Instead, the rotten part comes in when evolutionists sought the backing of the government. And it was GOVERNMENT that took over the textbook industry and forced the schools to adopt only government-approved textbooks while simultaneously moving to rid the schools of biblical texts.

    In true hypocritical government style, the schools had to forego prayer, biblical texts and any monument related to Christianity, while prayer continued in legislative venues and bibles remain in judicial courts.

    The necessity to paint Christians as the bad guys is understandable, but if science had the wherewithal to check history, the facts would prove otherwise.

  • Wrong again, Mike. Nobody has said that the development of life on Earth was by accident. I tend to believe, given the complete absence of any evidence of gods, that life is the universe exploring itself.

    As such, all life has much in common. That’s why it is so exciting when DNA reveals how much is shared by seemingly completely different lifeforms. I swear sometimes I can feel the shared heritage between myself and other non-human genotypes.

    Your other point also reveals a further confusion. Science doesn’t explain the meaning of anything, it explains how things work. The challenge for a mature species is to supply its own meaning. I hope to live long enough to see humanity attain that blessed state but suspect it may take rather longer than the time available to me.

  • Whoever has the highest stack wins.

    Actually, whoever has the most votes wins. I forget, was it in Kentucky or Georgia that the school board decided to teach creationism and the whole community voted them out of office?

    I don’t have to prove that Jesus existed, YOU have to prove your claim, that he is the Risen Son of God.

    The problem, Mike, is the Creationists insistance on teaching Creationism in the public area. It’s a religion and we don’t want it crammed down our throats. Put your kids in private school, teach them whatever the hell you want and be done with it.

    And as for the forthcoming counter argument that you don’t want evolution rammed down your throat, evolution is the chosen theory by the majority, so again the solution is for you to put your kid in private school to be free of evolution.

    Society in general, and certainly the majority of educated folks do not want Creationism in their lives, why do you insist on beating us over the head with it? We don’t want it. Period.

  • Actually, I do not subscribe to the notion that having an understanding of how life began on earth is tantamount to believing life has no meaning.

    My point is that if one subscribes to the particular notion that life originated on earth by accident or without deliberate creation or design, then such a belief offers no meaning for the existence of life outside of an UNintended accident.

    And if evolutionists do derive the meaning of life from some other scientific theory, perhaps someone could educate me on what science provides the answer to the meaning of life, and exactly what is that answer?

  • Biblical texts have been disproven?

    Your point doesn’t stand on its own. Perhaps you have some empirical proof of the theory you proffer? But rather than wait until you come back with data that points to irregularities, contradictions and outright errors in biblical texts, may I offer you the following understanding?

    I already know the bible contains such things. What those who point to such things have consistently failed to do is to rid themselves of the person Of Jesus, Yeshua, Christ, Messiah, etc.

    Center your argument there and prove He did not exist and substantiate the notion that He never said any of the things within the bible and that His life as chronicled by biblical texts doesn’t match, and then I will be most certainly willing to listen and engage in a discussion of such matters.

    But if you find that Jesus existed and His words and His life are accurately portrayed in the bible, then toss out whatever else you wish and you cannot shake my faith.

    Regarding your opinion of scientific data that isn’t gathered from tea leaves, might I suggest that despite reams and reams of data that have supported past scientific theories, such theories have been disproven and revised through a process of gathering more reams and remas of data.

    Eventually, someone will get the bright idea of using all those reams of data as filters for making tea.

    Sorry. couldn’t resist.

    In any case, you, sir, or ma’am, also make the false argument that repetitive claims of having data you cannot substantiate will support your premise.

    Unfortunately, it supports mine.

    You believe in something you have no knowledge of, people you’ve never met and texts written by folks you’ve never heard of … and reamsand reams of information derived form a process with which you are unfamiliar.

    Not to mention the fact that you have been convinced by a pile of papers that you have never read.

    The sheer volume of collected data and opinion and analysis by folks of which I have no knowledge cannot convince me of anything. But if that is your argument, then I’m sure I could stack all of the supportive books written about the bible, along with all the science that supports biblical history against your reams of scientific data that says everything came from nothing merely by accident.

    Whoever has the highest stack wins.

  • Mike, you are completely incorrect to state, as you do in your para 3 above, that understanding how life has evolved on our planet also means believing that life has no meaning. That is just another faithist construct to attack the evolutionary perspective.

  • that there is nothing after death and life has no meaning.

    Evolution never addresses this.

    As I said on the other thread, evolution teaches us the how, religion teaches us the why. Evolution is the same for all of us but religion varies according to the individual and their beliefs.

  • Interesting comment. Perhaps to some it may seem that I am arguing many points. But in fact, I am steadfastly arguing one main point.

    Evolution is a theory that seeks to offer us an explanation of the evolvement of man. In doing so it relies heavily upon geology, archeology, astronomy, etc. In essence all the sciences are wrapped up in a single argument. Even psychology and sociaology are found within the debate.

    An evolutionist parrot will attempt tp promote the notion that the earth is 4.5 billion years old, it originated from an explosion, that all nature, species and even mankind is accidental, that there is nothing after death and life has no meaning.

    Thus, the evolutionist begins his argument with an inclusion of all sciences.

    To state that I am offering a smokescreen is to imply that you have lost sight of my argument, which was to refute the LA Times editors’ excorating criticism of creationists, when in fact, those we believe as the editors of the Times do, place their beliefs solidly upon scientific processes with which they are unfamiliar and that change, which ultimately means two things:
    1. The LA Times editors have FAITH in a process that is imperfect
    2. The one FACT that can be claimed by both sides is that both sides claiming factual evidence of an approximation of the earth’s age are wrong.

    An approximation cannot stand up to scrutiny. It is merely a guess. And it cannot even be found to maintain the approximate boundaries some purport. Thus BOTH sides of the argument are based upon FAITH, while only ONE side readily admits that FACT.

  • My process is biblical texts that have withstood several thousands of years of scrutiny.

    Actually no, many have been disproven time and time again, you just dismiss the fact.

    I do not believe that scientists offer facts regarding the age of the earth and its origin. I believe that scientists offer us hypothesis, theories and accepted jargon that changes when another scientists discovers the previously accepted theory was wrong. Thus, no evolutionist is offering fact. All are merely proffering the accepted opinion of the day.

    It is not opinion gathered from tea leaves. It is opinion gathered from reams and reams of SUBSTANTIATED data correlated against itself and other data that has been proven to be true. There is a huge difference.

    We can read a CNN article about a murder and get an OPINION about who did it. We can also analyze DNA, footprints, fingerprints, hairs, blood samples, etc. and get an OPINION about who did it.

    Both are opinions, but are as different as night and day.

  • duane

    That’s “you’re throwing,” not “your throwing.” I hate when I do that.

  • duane

    Wow. You’re all over the map, Mike. What’s bugging you, really? Is it the age of Earth? That’s geology and astronomy. Is it Evolution? That’s mostly biology. Is it the existence of Jesus? That’s mostly archeaology and religion. Is it the teaching of creationism in the classroom? That’s government. Is it the lack of civility among those who argue at BC? That’s human nature, sociology and psychology.

    Why not stop repeating yourself and try to stick with one point at a time. Otherwise, it looks like your throwing up a smokescreen to save you from arguing anything substantively.

  • Aside from the Creationist/Evolutionist debate, there is no point at all in such an argument when there is zero evidence for the existence of any gods at all.

    It is sheere foolishness to surrender to the demands of faithists and accept their idea based on blind faith alone.

    As I’ve said before, I wish there were gods, but can not accept the idea any more than anybody would believe that I am the supreme creator and made you all up just last week. Your memories and all human history are some things I created to give you all an interesting back story.

  • One of the problems in arguing a point with such contentious responses on both sides is that the point can easily get lost.

    To clarify:

    I am not against science. I specifically believe that the study of God’s creation is not only a good thing, it is what God intended. That is my belief. Not a fact.

    I do not believe that scientists offer facts regarding the age of the earth and its origin. I believe that scientists offer us hypothesis, theories and accepted jargon that changes when another scientists discovers the previously accepted theory was wrong. Thus, no evolutionist is offering fact. All are merely proffering the accepted opinion of the day. The crux of the evolutionists’ argument is that the opinion, hypothesis, theory or whatever one wishes to clal the notion that the earth if several billions of years old (give or take as many billion as you’d like), is that there is complete faith in the PROCESS by which the unknown individuals came to such a conclusion. Other equally unknown individuals chime in as they read the information in peer-reviewed publications.

    (I call them unknown because the end result is that their theories live on and are parroted by believers in evolution throughout society who have no idea who came up with the information they spew nor are familiar with the process by which the unknown individual came up with the conclusion that through repetition becomes accepted as fact).

    I would remind the scientists that when I speak of evolutionists, I am not referring to simply the scientific community that researches, digs and determines what is and is not relevant to the ultimate conclusion. Instead, I am referring to the societal conglomeration of people who accept the process with which they are unfamiliar, accept the data that emanates from places unknown and derives their opinion not form any scientific process, but rather from repeated propaganda that masquerades as fact because “the scientific community agrees.”

    When I hear the same worn-out phrases I can easily discern that the individual is not speaking from any knowledge of the process in which that individual has placed his or her faith. Instead, he or she is robotically mouthing off without substantial data to support his or her view.

    I readily accept the notion that some scientists believe the world’s age has a span between X billion and X billion. I also readily accept the fact that many scientists, including some of those who now accept the billion+ year theory, also accept the notion that the world’s age is in the millions.

    I also accept the fact that the only facts are that scientists BELIEVE … not that scientists have proven.

    As some have accurately argued, the process is what gives scientists support for their theories. And there is respect for the process, which is flawed since it cannot compute anything exact. To be sure the process itself is evolving and changing. Therefore it seems prudent for scientists to step away from the word FACT and rely heavily upon the words OPINION, BELIEVE, HYPOTHESIZE (guess), etc.

    Meanwhile, the evolution parrots who lurk on the blogs and attack religious folks with fervor, do so because they too rely upon the process of scienctific discovery, but fail to understand that process is not a home built upon solid rock. Instead, it is built upon shifting sand, causing the home to be destroyed when the winds of change blow.

    But the evolution parrots will inevitably build their next home once again upon the shifting sands and hold fast to the BELIEF that what they have is FACT and TRUTH.

    So how is it that students come out of high schools and colleges with a BELIEF that the earth is indeed X billion years old and that it all came into being from a particular theory that isn’t based in FACT?

    The reason is simply that while the LA Times and others who staunchly believe that creationists are a threat to their belief system, promote theory as fact.

    It is as simple as that.

    Then I get grief from scientists who charge me with a lack of understanding of science. I find that interesting, since I have both an understanding of science and biblical revelations.

    I do not purport to promote that science is irrelevant. But you wouldn’t know that from the accusations made. And I do not claim that science has no place in the classrooms, although you would think that listening to the science supporters that lurk here.

    My point is consistently that I have a faith in the words of Jesus, which is completely rooted in a belief in the words written in the bible (66 texts compiled into a single book).

    The bible, like the processes of science, is prone to scrutiny. And it has anamolies in it. It has contradictions in it. Yet take away all of those items in dispute and Jesus remains.

    His words remain. His teachings remain. His anaylsis of life, mankind, relationships, the inner being, death and the hereafter all do not change no matter what you do to the bible.

    And since science has sought to prove that jesus never lived, and instead discovered through scientific finds and processes that He did, it stands to reason that even science has some measure of acceptance of some of what the bible purports.

    Thus many scientists are also Christian believers.

    Now what can you do with the teachings of Christ if you cannot do away with His very existence?

    You have to choose either to believe that He existed and the information contained in biblical texts has validity or you can dismiss the very notion that He ever existed all. but you cannot separate the texts of His life and teachings from the belief of His existence. The two go hand-hand.

    You can, however, accept that He lived. And discount His teachings. You can accept that He existed and disbelieve He was who He said He was. You can accept that He existed and discount the miracles He performed.

    You can do anythign you wish.

    But you cannot claim that science has PROVEN the world is billions of years old. You can only claim the process (and please know what that process is) has suggested that the earth is between X number and X number.

    But be prepared for a guy like me to ask, if the process suggests the earth is between 4 – 4.5 billion years old, could the earth possibly be between 2-3 billion? And if it could possibly be between 2-3 billion, is it possible for it to be between 1-2? And if that is possible, etc. etc.

    In other words, I will scrutinize YOUR process, as you scrutinize mine. My process is biblical texts that have withstood several thousands of years of scrutiny.

    I will accept that in the end it is what I choose to believe. Yet, I will point out how significant what I choose to believe is and its influence and relevance in the lives of individuals around the globe.

    In the end, evolution parrots will also have to defend the process by which they conclude anything. And in the end that process, too, is flawed. They will have to admit they CHOOSE to BELIEVE that process over any other. And when that process changes, they, too, will change their parroting.

    Thus, we can conclude that both evolution science and creationism are two methods of BELIEF. And while I have no problem with evolution being taught in schools, let us not pretend that is the norm. Evolution is a relatively NEW science being taught in schools. It attacked Christianity, which was taught BEFORE evolution.

    Evolutionists are the aggressors, not Christianity.

    And instead of seeking to install an alternative method of thinking and a scientific belief system to a religious belief system, the evolutionists sought to rid the schools of Christianity.

    In that process they also ridded the schools of any foundation of morality, sound judgment, knowledge of good and evil, right and wrong, etc.

    In other words, in an affort to promote scientific theory as FACT (let’s not pretend evolution parrots aren’t influenced to believe what they crow isn’t absolute INDISPUTABLE fact), evolutionists needed to get rid of any competing ideology.

    And once they were successful in removing bibles, prayer, 10 COmmandments, and any vestiges of religious doctrine, dogma or belief form the schools, they found there was a vaccuum in which a plethora of assorted BELIEFS invaded the campus.

    Today, the only thing in schools that offer a division between right and wrong are school policies and government laws.

    And some scientists and evolution parrots would say that’s the way it ought to be. Man decides what is right and wrong. Man decides what is good and bad.

    And whoever we elect to lead us can change our society to whatever rules they wish.

    Unless, of course, Christians get into office. Then the process must be changed!

  • Dr Dreadful

    Mike, you mischaracterize science, and like all creationists you do so willfully. If a scientist gives you an age for the Earth s/he is not plucking it out of the air but is basing the estimate on observation and data.

    To clarify, no reputable scientist claims any longer that the Earth is only millions of years old, because the evidence does not support that hypothesis. Current consensus is that we are looking at an age of 4 to 4.5 billion years, which is a pretty tight window considering the immense stretch of time we’re talking about. As someone commented earlier, you can’t seriously expect to be given the exact date and time of the Earth’s creation. It would be like me expecting you to identify the exact date and time you turned from an embryo into a fetus.

    If you feel that ‘science supporters’ (which I hope we all are, BTW) often take a dismissive tone towards creationists, well, I imagine you would feel a bit exasperated if someone kept insisting that your house belonged to them even after you’d shown them all the deeds, bills of sale etc that proved otherwise – offering as their ‘proof of ownership’ the statement that they’d read it in a book.

    You ask “How can [science] take all info into consideration while discounting some of it?” That’s how science works. You take the evidence under consideration, then, if it doesn’t support your hypothesis, you discount it. Which is what’s been done. The infuriating thing is that creationists keep coming back with the same old discredited ‘evidence’ and expecting science to consider it as if it were new.

    So you didn’t like the LA Times editorial’s tone. I for one understand their exasperation. And conversely, to insist that the Earth is 6000 years old and brazenly lie about the evidence for that claim is also not, in my opinion, considerate or respectful.

  • Guest

    And speaking of being respectful, there is another thread here at Blogcritics about Creationism. CLick over there and read the Creationists screaming (as a counterpoint in a debate) about how non-believers will burn in hell. And they expect that to be a valid response to statistical fact.

  • Guest

    Christ did not come to earth to help us figure out how the principles of physics work or to explain how God created all things.

    He does, however, explain the things science does not.

    What amazes me, is how Creationists cannot grasp the simple concept that you cannot teach in school the words of Christ as fact. Should a child of Buddhists (Muslim, Hindu) raise his hand and ask a question, do we want the teacher to respond, “well, Christ tells us….”

    No. We don’t. Creationists do.

    So while each side seeks to influence, my point is that both sides ought to be considerate and respectful.

    That is what Creationists would like of course, they would like science and non-Creationists to be respectful of a theory/premise that has no foundation in fact or reality.

    It’s one thing for you to believe it and keep your faith to yourself, but Creationists are working VERY hard to instill their theories into the public square. This SHOULD open their theories up to scrutiny and a tearing down. After all, that is exactly what they do to theories that do not coincide with their religious dogma.

    Imagine you had kids in school and I came very close to instilling in the school system a structure that would teach the kids that ritual animal sacrifice was necessary in order to gain further knowledge. Would you respect that? Would Bill O’Reilly, Fox News, Pat Robertson?


  • Thank you all for your eloquent — and not so eloquent — responses.

    I find the criticisms of Christianity peculiar. The notion that Christians would even think of stoning their children to death and a number of other egregious examples expressed by science supporters on this blog convinces me that a number of commenters here do not have a thorough understanding of the bible.

    I cannot take the time, nor would I be successful in a single blog entry, to explain the difference between the Old Testament’s historical annotations and revelations of how people lived and co-existed in expectation of a Messiah and the New Testament’s description of man’s encounter with the Messiah.

    Christians believe in Christ. Christ believed in the “creation” of the world, since He was part of creating it. That is what we believe. How long ago that process occurred is up to interpretation and likely would be wrong by any guess. In the end, it is a moot point. It is irrelevant.

    Christ did not come to earth to help us figure out how the principles of physics work or to explain how God created all things.

    He does, however, explain the things science does not. And these things pertaining to life on earth and death that is inevitable, affect us all. He does explain the hereafter, along with the pros and cons of life on earth (the things we choose to believe or not believe) impacting life (or death) of the soul.

    Some science defenders on this blog are nasty, mean and condescending to the degree of being offensive. Since science doesn’t teach its students how to treat others, it is understandable that no such protocol is exemplified by the science supporters, beginning with the LA Times.

    But by the admission of every science supporter, science cannot prove the age of the earth. And its approximations are so wildly varied (from a few million to a few billion years) that it is not to be taken into account as a credible argument against those who purport the earth is 6,000 years old.

    As a science supporter why would you accept the argument that the earth isn’t 6,000 years old because it just isn’t? That’s what science supporters are saying. They have no source of belief outside of the propaganda promoted consistently by other science supporters. Not one has pointed to a single accepted data derived from a scientific process (i.e. the earth was determined to be 4.5 billion years old in 1996 in an updated revision of the previous accepted data due to a technological advancement in the age data process which involves carbon testing, etc, etc).

    Instead, science supporters have acted in the exact same manner as they accuse creationists of acting. They have steadfastly stood on the premise that the earth is certainly NOT 6,000 years old. It is AT LEAST millions of years old, if not billions.

    Again, how is it that such an unscientific argument is accepted by science supporters, yet the very SAME argument is rejected when proffered by creationists who claim the earth is no more than 6,000 years old. Neither side can definitively prove their point.

    I find it peculiar also that science supporters place their faith in things unseen and unproven to the point that they cast derogatory remarks and look down their noses at those who do not accept their faith, which as every science supporters knows, changes.

    If, therefore, science does change, then each generation of science supporters who seek to cast aspersions on faithful creationists, they should use the scientific method of recognizing patterns to see that the sand they are standing on today will shift tomorrow. Thus, the hardcore rheotric spewed by the LA Times and others will be deemed a passionate defense of science overall, rather than a specific defense of a single piece of data.

    I am not casting doubt on the value of science. I am specifically reacting to the notion that science supporters have the audacity to paint religious faithful into a corner and not recognize they are standing in the same place!

    In regard to earth science, no scietist can determine definitively how old the earth is nor its origin. Therefore, to claim that the evidence that is promoted by creationists ought not be taught side by side with science while simultaneously stating that science ought to consider ALL information is an oxymoron. How can it take all info into consideration while discounting some of it?

    In the end, neither side can claim to know the facts or the truth. Both sides are merely promoting one process of BELIEF over another.

    So while each side seeks to influence, my point is that both sides ought to be considerate and respectful. Science supporters seem not to have learned this simple lesson, as demonstrated by the LA Times and those responding on this blog.

  • MD

    One more annoying thing I would like creationists to understand before I leave this place and stop babbling.

    I respect your faith in God completely. I admire you for it. I don’t think you should ever give up what you believe in, because honestly, I myself would rather think of heaven than align myself with the view that I am a complicated animal.


    Science is science because it looks at ALL evidence. Evolutionists, geologists, astronomers, etc., begin with the assumption that they don’t know the answers, but that the evidence will lead them to make the best conclusions. I trust these conclusions because they begin with the notion that they can be wrong, and that is the beginning of all knowledge: Admitting that what you believe might not be true, and trying to discover that truth by looking at ALL angles.

    Creationists are bound to their faith and therefore cannot look at ALL evidence and make an objective conclusion. They begin with the concrete belief that they are CORRECT, and all evidence to the contrary is ignored. I don’t want to live in a world where “science” ignores half of the evidence because it contradicts what a creationist already believes in true. Why investigate anything if you’re going to ignore 50% of truth??

  • MD

    Another added note here: I believe in God, but I don’t believe the bible is meant to be taken literally. If you took the bible literally, it would be a frightening world. Parents would stone children to death, people would live to be 800 years old (Do they?), and men would often decide that having a dozen wives and prostitutes nearby is better than having only one.

    There might be some evidence for creationism. Great. Let’s hear it. But pretending that the consensus in the scientific community is that the earth is about 6,000 years old is a lie. There may be SOME scientists who accept that, but the overall consensus is that the earth is billions of years old, and while science may one day discover that to be false (Thank God for people who are willing to investigate and change their mind), for now, that’s the general belief and we accept it in schools because there is the most evidence for that viewpoint.

    To be argued scientifically, creationists would have to accept that there is a possibility they are wrong- and that can never co-exist with Christian faith.

    I want to learn about the world from someone who can admit when they are wrong, and creationists are incapable of being those people.

  • MD

    “Science doesn’t know a lot of things it purports to know. Imagine how silly you would think a person is if they told you their age was between 4 million and 4.5 BILLION years old! Not only is that unscientific, it is downright idiotic.”

    Um. It would be idiotic to say “I’m 6000 years old” too?

    Your writing is beautiful, but I don’t think you understand WHY people are upset about this museum. I have no problem with someone who believes in God. That is the strength of your belief: Faith. The problem with faith in something is that your assumption can never change. Your assumption is: There is a God and he’s never wrong. No matter how much evidence there is to the contrary, you are bound to that belief. And that’s why religious beliefs have no place in the scientific realm. Science’s function is to DISPROVE, not “prove.” Science will always be wrong at times, but it has the capacity, and desire, to correct its mistakes. It’s willing to change.

    Christians don’t have the ability to change their beliefs based on evidence and logic because the fact is BIBLICAL EVIDENCE DEFIES LOGIC. IT IS PROVEN FALSE EVEN BY ITS OWN “EVIDENCE.” God is all-loving. God is angry. God commands you to stone your children to death if they misbehave. God commands you to love your children no matter what.

    Since Christians are bound to their original assumption “I believe in God and everything in the bible is true,” they can’t change their fundamental assumption without rejecting their faith entirely. And that’s why I don’t want science classes full of “Because the bible told me so” lessons.

    Your article is more proof than ever why Christian “Science” needs to stay out of the classroom. Faith is not science. Religion belongs in church and science belongs trying to figure out what is true or untrue. You can’t get anywhere if the bible says the world is flat, all evidence to the contrary says it isn’t, but Christians refuse to let everyone in on the round world gag because it would mean their religion is no longer true.

  • Interesting isn’t it that the science and scientific thinking you so readily disparage provides you with clean potable water, ready access to medial care, fixed that cavity in your tooth, gave you a well-balanced food supply, provided the ability to transport yourself vast distances very rapidly, and allowed the tools with which to shape your life – including incidently the computer and the network upon which you have just shared your thoughts.

    The fruits of scientific inquiry are all around you – you are wearing them, eating them and living among and with them. Yet you are perfectly willing to effectively and selectively jettison it in favour of a narrow interpretation of creationism and religion vs. science and reason?

  • duane

    Here’s a bit of cherry picking:

    Mike (#11) says:

    Science is in the business of forever proving itself wrong

    This clever aphorism is undeniably true. But, from the context of your
    article and followup posts, the negative connotations you wish to impart are misleading at best, and simple minded at worst.

    Would you have it any other way? Would you prefer a more dogmatic approach? Aristotle, anyone?

    Please forgive me if I am misunderstanding those of you who seem to accuse me of dismissing science in my article.

    So, would I be wrong to state that your assessments here are dripping with derision?

    And when the old textbooks are tossed out and the new revisions are brought in, how do you go back and update the information imparted to the generation that has already received a diploma/degree under the old knowledge system?

    Working scientists don’t read textbooks. They read journals (as SteveS has pointed out). That’s part of the job. Getting a doctorate in science is only the beginning of a scientist’s continuing education. What’s your point? Back to Aristotle?

    The problem evolutionists run into is not that they can’t co-exist with other religions, but that they refuse to admit that evolution IS a religion based upon faith in things unseen but yet believed.

    Again with this old canard. Unseen things? Like bones? Rocks? A supernova? Blips from a particle detector that records the decay of radioactive nuclei?

    The only religious folks who count themselves as above everyone else in intellect … are evolutionists.

    Evolutionists are scientists, so, by extension, I assume you think that all scientists “count themselves as above everyone else in intellect.” Of course they do, but only in matters of science related to their specialty. Would you dispute the validity of such an opinion?

    Evolutionists do not know of any power outside of themselves and therefore launch attacks at creationists and others who have faith in God.

    Again, I assume that your comment applies to all scientific subfields. By contrast, faithists disavow the power of the human intellect, concluding that the Universe is permanently unknowable, and, therefore, launch attacks at scientists and others who rely on the tools and methods that they have developed to look behind the comforting shroud of superstitious dogma that has impeded the scientific advancement of civilization.

  • duane

    Mike (#11) says:

    Science is limited in both knowledge and capability.

    Well, you might have walked out of your hut one fine evening 30,000 years ago, looked up at the sky, and scratched your head, wondering why the black dome had little holes in it, and guessed that above the dome there must be a source of illumination whose light leaked through the holes. You might have mentioned this to your hunting buddy Og, who would have scoffed at you, and said, “Mike, don’t think such foolish thoughts. Our science is limited in both knowledge and capability. We will never be able to discover a mountain high enough that we might look above the dome.”

    You might have given Og an appraising stare —matted hair, nearly toothless, with swaths of ragged fur covering scarred flesh — then said, “Yes, Og, perhaps you are right. The Sky God must be loathe to provide his servants with the means by which His inscrutable creations might be revealed. At first sight of the yellow fire, let us sacrifice Ung’s daughter Beatrice that we might be worthy of the Sky God’s ever merciful grace. For is it not He who has provided us with the black dome that we might more easily surround our foes, that which gives us respite from the yellow fire, that which brings on the sleep after a tiresome day of stalking our prey, that which permits concealment as we steal upon the hut of the maiden for the sexy time? Speaking of which, do you have Beatrice’s address? I must prepare her for tomorrow’s ceremony”

    Og looks at you skeptically, then grins his toothless grin.

  • Credible scientists include scientists whose work is subject to peer review. A consensus is what happens when scientists review the work of other scientists and form a general agreement over what their experiments and observations mean. If there are any other simple English terms you’d like explained to you, please let us know.

  • Anyone who takes creationism seriously is a yabba-dabba-dumbass.


  • bliffle

    The bible is so full of error and contradiction and mistranslation that to state that one believes it to be literally true is to risk being thought childish.

  • 1.) You have given no factual justification for preferring the Christian God and religion over all the others past and present. This entire article is just a statement of your faith–that there is only one, absolute truth.

    You make a number of claims, but ignore your burden of proof to demonstate that those claims are true. For instance, justify your claim that your particular Christian God exists, using some other source than the Bible which you take to be true just because it says it is. That is, after all, exactly what is in question.

    2.) You appeal to the like beliefs of “many” others as if that were evidence, although numbers of believers prove nothing;remember the prevailing opinion used to be that the sun revolved around the earth.

    3.) If your logic demands that everything requires a designer, then who or what designed your God? Creationism is a thinly-disguised attempt to get the Christian religion into mainstream education. Science uses evidence to identify a process;creationism ignores or distorts evidence so it can claim a lack of a process. It is the death of free, critical thought.

    4.) Your facts are missing, your reasoning is unsound, your arguments are unconvincing. The evidence for evolution is there;you just refuse to be persuaded, choosing fiction over fact. Again, the burden of proof is on you to factually and rationally justify your claims.

    May The Force be with you.

  • We are free to believe what we want to believe, however someone who takes a literal interpretation of the Bible is unfit to be President.

    And when the old textbooks are tossed out and the new revisions are brought in, how do you go back and update the information imparted to the generation that has already received a diploma/degree under the old knowledge system?

    I’m not sure if there is a degree in evolution, so let’s take chemistry for example…a chemist who got a degree, reads scientific journals and so gets the new knowledge that way.

    When something is discovered to be erroneous, it is usually found to be slightly different, not completely different. Thinking the earth is 4 billion years old, then finding something 4.5 billion years old and then modifying your previous notions is not only done in science, this type of modification is done in everything from business to parenting.

    Thinking, based on the evidence before us, that the earth is 4 billion years old, and then modifying it to say “no, wait, it’s only 6,000 years old”, just doesn’t happen.

    Evolutionists laugh and ridicule those who hold the idea that the earth is 6,000 years old or less. My point is that the LA Times editors and other such folk have no clue how old the earth is.

    We don’t know how old the earth is, but we have ample evidence THAT IS UNDISPUTABLE, that shows it is at least millions of years old.

    The teachings of Christ have not changed since He walked this earth.

    No, but his followers sure have (specifically talking about those who use religion in their politics). They don’t follow his teachings AT ALL. Or else their issues at election time would be poverty, hunger, and the sin of the hoarding of wealth. Instead, they attack people who love each other (gay marriage), support war, want government to control women’s bodies and other things that have nothing to do with the teachings of Christ. And that is why they cannot be trusted. Beware the believer who says one thing while doing another. Far more evil than a scientists who modifies his findings.

  • methuselah

    What a silly article. Just a rehash of old-fashioned religious notions.

  • Please forgive me if I am misunderstanding those of you who seem to accuse me of dismissing science in my article. I do not believe I have done anything of the sort. In fact, I state unequivocally that Christians study not only God’s Word, but also His Creation. In all fields of study there are Christians advancing the knowledge of mankind, understanding that it is with God’s help and with God’s grace that we are able to do the marvelous things we do and create the wonders we create.

    Nevertheless, man’s wonders can’t compare to those of God. We study the simplicity of the seed, that in its death it gives way to new life that provides nutrition for animals and mankind alike. Can Science create a seed from nothing and have it grow into a tree that bears forth specific fruit? I think not. Science is limited in both knowledge and capability.

    God is not.

    Science is in the business of discovering what God has already created … and seeking to know better how such things operate. Can the created come to know more than the Creator?

    So to be clear, belief in God does not preclude and understanding of science. But Christians understand science within a set of contextual boundaries — realizing that the best guesses of scientists do not equal fact, as history shows us with clarity.

    I do not discount the advances in science, but when it seeks to diminish the Word of God or ridicule God as it exalts itself above the Creator, then it is time for science to be told it has gotten too big for its britches.

    Science doesn’t know a lot of things it purports to know. Imagine how silly you would think a person is if they told you their age was between 4 million and 4.5 BILLION years old! Not only is that unscientific, it is downright idiotic. A better answer would be to simply state, I have no idea.

    But there are those who will argue on behalf of science that the earth is far older than 6,000 years. Well, I have to say I don’t know how old the earth is. I don’t think the creationists know, and I am quite certain the wild guesses proffered by laymen scientists that rely on such data as “all scientists agree” actually have no earthly clue either. They just want to appear to know something by fostering a silly notion that has changed several times with each generation of evolutionists.

    Today, science isn’t under assault, as the LA Times would have one believe. It is religion that has come under direct attack by the evolutionists. If one were to do even a modicum of research it would be revealed that evolutionists did not write the Constitution of Massachusetts (oldest legal document in our nation). Christians did. Evolutionists did not create public schools in America (Christians did). Evolutionists challenged the status quo over the past several generations. Evolutionists are the new kids on the block attacking Christianity and any other religious beliefs in order to find some elbow room for their own beliefs.

    The problem evolutionists run into is not that they can’t co-exist with other religions, but that they refuse to admit that evolution IS a religion based upon faith in things unseen but yet believed.

    All religions rely upon some source that provides some proof of the rationale behind their belief. And yet, the source does not contain all answers and thus requires some measure of belief. Christians don’t deny their faith. Jews don’t deny their faith. Muslims don’t deny their faith. Neither do Buddhists, Hindus, etc.

    The only religious folks who count themselves as above everyone else in intellect, yet deny their own faith are evolutionists.

    My point is not that Christians don’t believe in science. We do. But we recognize where the power to interpret and understand and explore and discover and advance our knowledge stems from. Evolutionists do not know of any power outside of themselves and therefore launch attacks at creationists and others who have faith in God.

    The LA Times did not laugh and mock creationists alone. It mocked God. It lauched at the very notion that a God exists.

    I find that insulting.

    I do not believe all that creationists offer. But I respect their belief. I am not a Muslim, but I respect their belief. The same goes for all other religions. I even respect the beliefs of evolutionists. And I have done a healthy bit of study on my own about Mr. Darwin (who often recited form the bible that he carried around for years).

    I take offense at the editors at the LA Times who tossed the first stone despite living in a glass house.

    Evolutionists laugh and ridicule those who hold the idea that the earth is 6,000 years old or less. My point is that the LA Times editors and other such folk have no clue how old the earth is. They simply have FAITH in the evolving pronouncements of scientists.

    And when the old textbooks are tossed out and the new revisions are brought in, how do you go back and update the information imparted to the generation that has already received a diploma/degree under the old knowledge system?

    Science is an ever-changing animal. And scientists themselves rely on data from methods that are uncertain. That is why they approximate, hypothesize and outright guess, albeit an educated guess.

    And in every generation we can look back and find that in some way in some field of science, the data was wrong or the conclusion was wrong.

    Science is in the business of forever proving itself wrong.

    Thankfully, God is not. The teachings of Christ have not changed since He walked this earth. That’s quite a track record. And by the way … Jesus was a Creationist who believed in the scriptures of the Old Testament, which He stated foretold of Him.

    So let’s all just have a civil discussion of our faiths. If you have faith in evolutionary theories, so be it. I personally have faith in Jesus Christ. And I’d match Him against any scientist any time.

  • MCH

    “And that is just one reason why a Creationist is unfit to be President.”

    While a Creationist who’s also a Deserter is doubly unfit…

  • Lets forget evolution or creationism for just a moment.

    But creationism is the topic of this whole thread.

    Are we the highest order of being or are we not capable of even recognizing a more evolved animal?

    We are capable of recoginizing a more evolved animal. Evolution does not teach that man is the pinnacle if that is your fear.

    Is it not plausible for us to think for just a moment that our planets are analogous to ant houses surrounded by a larger being or order.

    We may think that. We should not build a society based on that premise without proof. The Bible (which I read, I have accepted Jesus) is NOT proof on which to found a society.

    What we don’t know shouldn’t lead us to irrational answers.

    I don’t understand this double negative. Can you rephrase?

    Religion is not morality. Morality exists without self-identifying segregating traits. For then we are all human, not separated by make believe.

    Again, this is rhetoric, too. What does this have to do with respecting someone who believes something disproven? And before you go on about proof again, consider that Genesis leads people to believe that the earth is 6,000 years old and that man walked with dinosaurs. At least that is what the Creationists tell us, see the new museum in redneck country for proof.

    Personally, Mike, I believe that evolution and the Bible coexist and walk hand in hand. I think it is foolhardy to dismiss one on the premise of the other. And I will call it out. I have yet to be given proof otherwise.

  • Mike

    Lets forget evolution or creationism for just a moment. Maybe the answer to this issue lies in the following question:

    Are we the highest order of being or are we not capable of even recognizing a more evolved animal?

    Is it not plausible for us to think for just a moment that our planets are analogous to ant houses surrounded by a larger being or order.

    What we don’t know shouldn’t lead us to irrational answers.

    Just like the earth is not flat nor the center of the universe.

    Religion is not morality. Morality exists without self-identifying segregating traits. For then we are all human, not separated by make believe.

  • Spoken like a true Creationist, sr.

  • sr

    Thanks Mike. Excellent blog and you speak the truth. Old sr belives and thinks like Mr Green. Unlike Mr Green I have a dirty mouth. So if I say up your ass to the rest of you Im sure you will understand.

  • There’s an election in a year and a half. It’s gettin time for this bee to get back in the hornet’s nest and stir things up again.

  • MCH

    Where ya been??

  • Let me put it this way, now that I’ve had a minute to calm down from your rhetoric.

    Should a Creationist want respect for their ‘literal’ interpretation of the Bible, then they need to not pick and choose which parts of the Bible to literally interpret.

    When you burn oxen in your backyard and smear doves blood all over your walls, THEN you are someone who literally interprets the Bible.

    Until then, a Creationist is nothing more than a hypocrite who picks and chooses which parts of the Bible to believe in and who dangerously disregards the scientific community for the sole purpose of turning this country into a theocratic regime.

    And that is just one reason why a Creationist is unfit to be President.

  • You seem unsettled that science changes. Science is not absolute, we learned that in 4th grade.

    There might be debate as to whether the earth is 3.8 or 4.3 billion years old, but clearly there is evidence that it is not less than 100,000 years old. There’s a huge ‘leap of faith’ going on here, clearly and solely to fit an agenda.

    What do you expect, scientists to say that the earth was created on a Tuesday 4.113 billion years ago? Come on.

    It is sad that when science disproves religion, that religion must reject science.

    I, for one, believe in a Supreme Being but am smart enough to understand that we humans know so little about our universe. Clearly science is much better able to figure it out, than a book written by a bunch of humans 2,000 years ago who assumed that volcanic eruptions or earthquakes were caused by dieties and not pressure under the earth’s mantle.

    A Creationist is not fit to lead a nation filled with diverse people of all faiths and of no faith. Period.

    And it’s odd that someone would expect others to respect their view that disregards hundreds of years of scientific data, gathered by people around the globe. This is like me being surprised that people would laugh at me, a 42 year old man, for saying I believe in Santa Claus. There should be no surprise there at all.

    I was raised a Christian, but fortunately God gave me common sense too.

  • Other than the snarky Flintstones jokes, which some of us may think are funny and well deserved, the L.A. Times editorial is much more reasonable than Mr. Green’s description of it would lead you to believe. And Mr. Green indulges in some unfortunate overstatements and generalizations of his own.

    It might be noted that:

    The Bible is not a science book. Creationism is not science, it is a religious belief.

    The Kentucky creationist theme park has plenty of elements that many people would find laughable, and not nearly all of those people are anti-Christian bigots. There’s certainly nothing in the Bible about dinosaurs and humans coexisting.

    Many Christians believe in evolution and accept the explanations of science, not finding them threatening to their faith. Many scientists are religious. The Big Bang is not incompatible with belief in a creator.

    But insisting that the earth is 6000 years old is not a scientific theory, and shouldn’t be misrepresented as such. People who tie their minds in knots trying to rationalize why it’s ok for Christians to eat shrimp cocktail or ham sandwiches despite Biblical admonitions, or why they don’t endorse the Biblical commands to stone adulterers to death – well, people who do that are free to try to add up all the time periods mentioned in the Bible to come up with an exact age for our planet.

    But wouldn’t they be better off feeding the hungry?