Thursday, November 29, 2007

Stupid creationist ideas
--Joe Meert

I've heard a lot of young earth creationist ideas in my life and so compiling the top 10 most idiotic claims/research by the YEC crowd is not easy. So here they are (in no real particular order)

1. Catastrophic plate tectonics- John Baumgardner, an otherwise decent geodynamicist, has proposed a jelly-like mantle during the flood. In this scenario, continents are zooming around like jet-airplanes while the mantle releases tremendous amounts of heat in a global flood. The story of Noah fails, of course, to mention any of this and also to avoid the obvious buoyancy issues of underwater volcanic eruptions with large gas emissions. Noah, in his floating structure never even noticed any of this! So desperate are the creationists to explain all of geology in a flood framework that they've abandoned all reason.

2. Noah's Ark- It's not so much a claim as it is a blind following of a borrowed myth (from the Sumers) about a man building a boat because his god is pretty pissed off. The obvious problems of 8 people caring for all of the created kinds on the boat (food, water, excrement) are all hidden away in some dark 'feasibility analysis' by evolutionist cum creationist Jan Peczkis (aka John Woodmorappe). Woody claims that each of the 16,000 animals on the ark require only 7.2 seconds to care for (that's shoveling a lot of ---- literally and figuratively) John's wonderful statistical analysis manages to convince the brethren that the median size animal on the ark is a rat in order to solve the space problem. Woodmorappe probably borrowed the statistical analysis from his 1995 evolutionary article in the Journal of Vertebrate Palentology (written under his real name Jan Peczkis). There is so much wrong with this story that the mind boggles that anyone would try to show its feasibility.

3. Baraminology- This half-hearted attempt by creationists to develop a Linnean classification scheme for 'created' (bara) 'kinds' (min) was used to make young earth creation sound more scientific. In reality, this is a way in which they can place humans in a distinct classification in order to make them special (the apobaramins).

4. Vegetarian Carnivores- Yes, Virginia, t-rex was a vegetarian along with all the other meat-eaters! Here's what Mark Looy had to say about the T-rex:
"We call him our 'missionary lizard,' " Looy says. "When people realize the T. rex lived in Eden, it will lead us to a discussion of the gospel. The T. rex once was a vegetarian, too."

The Original "Salad Shooter"?

5. Rapid Radioactive Decay: In order to rescue a young earth something had to be done with radioactive decay. The obvious choice is to make radioactive decay not constant! So, the RATE group has worked hard to show that decay rates are not constant and may have been faster in the past. No one seems to wonder that if decay rates can change to be faster, they may also have been slower in the past. Rapid radioactive decay also presents a heat problem. Interestingly, a creationist by the name of Robert Gentry claims that decay rates are constant and therefore the short half-life of Polonium shows that some rocks were created instantaneously!

6. Wedge Plan: Often dubbed 'creationists trojan horse' or 'creationism lite', Intelligent Design is an attempt by creationists to establish a theocracy in America via scientific sounding publications. The Wedge Document, originally a private communique between the ID groups main politicians was leaked onto the web back in the 1990's. The ID folk have since tried to play down its importance, but the poor handling of this document (and the fact that they wrote it at all) has got to be one of the stupidest things the intelligent design creationists have ever done.

7. Evolution is the root of all evil: This argument has various permutations within the creationist community. Creationist Carl Wieland gives us the 'mild connection' argument in the following quote:

Creationists are often accused of making a false connection between evolution and the various social evils of our modern world.

The charge is that we are claiming evolution causes immoral behaviour, holocausts, and the like. Is this AiG’s stance? Do we think evolution causes such things? Not directly; sin is of course responsible. But evolutionary thought permeating a culture will inevitably lead to a magnification of the effects of sin in one form or another. For one thing, it weakens the shared cultural restraints that arise out of a commonly adhered-to basis for morality.

Invariably, this argument always leads to discussions about Hitler, Stalin or any other megalomaniac. Evolution is always blamed for the evil perpetrated by these individuals. The argument is so nonsensical that I always make the point that when creationists trot out this canard, they have already lost the argument.

8. Evolution leads to Atheism: This one is so silly, but the idea is deeply embedded in the creationist mind. The minute someone begins to discuss evolution in a positive way, the creationist will assume (more often than not) that the evolutionist is an atheist. The plot is all to familiar. The creationists with some knowledge of creation literature will try to argue the problems with evolution and those with no knowledge will simply offer to pray for you and tell you about hell.


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At 1:50:00 AM , Blogger Mitchell said...

AGI/consciousness follow-up still forthcoming. I suppose it will be a little underwhelming. I haven't been fanatically finetuning my next statement of principles, I've just been busy in the Lisiverse.

Meanwhile: baramins. It's just too funny. "An evolutionist, a creationist, and an agnostic walk into a baramin..." "Noah, did you remember to take your baramins?" "Did you mean: bambino" asks Google... But the best is that baramin is also a word in "Elvish". I can't tell if it's canonical, but there are several hundred websites which think that "Creoso a'baramin" means "Welcome to my dwelling" (it looks like bara = dwelling, min = mine). YECs, make way for the MECs!

At 3:38:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't understand the concluding part of your article, could you please explain it more?


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