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The Big Picture

'Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates? Morons.' -- Vizzini from "The Princess Bride"

Friday, August 08, 2008

Creationism's simplistic lies

Once again, I have to thank PZ for this link. Go check out this video of Dr. Ron Carlson on Worldview Tube. It would be funny as a parody of creationists like Ken Ham and Ron Comfort if it wasn't for the fact that this guy is serious.

His entire point isn't just wrong because he is ignorant of the truth and facts, it is wrong because he lies about the truth and facts. He is egregariously lying about the truth of science. He leaves out all the significant details which completely destroys his entire argument.

So what is his argument? It is that there is circular logic (solely) being employed in dating fossils and geologic strata. And that circular logic has its end in wrongfully substantiating evolution and the age of the earth. His argument is based on only one aspect, that fossils are used to date geologic strata and geologic strata are used to date fossils. This is plainly a lie. But then again I can almost understand why he would use such a blatant and easily falsifiable lie. The bible tells him he can lie about anything if it furthers the cause for Christ:

"For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner?" [Romans 3:7 NKJV]
At least we know why he lied so willfully and easily. But let us consider the nature of the lie and its sheer magnitude.

1. This is false first and foremost because this is not the only way things are dated. If he had taken the time to read those encyclopedia passages he cited, he would know this. I am sure he did because he had to in order to find those quotes he was looking for.

The truth is there are many ways of dating fossils and the geologic strata. Radiometric dating (and not just radio-carbon dating) all are used to date both rocks and fossils. Now here is the proof. We have roughly 10,000 years of human history where we made a non-natural mark on nature; cave-paintings, buildings, pottery, tools for hunting, etc. We can date those things using history and physical evidence. But further when we turn around and independantly date those things using science -- radiometric dating -- we come up with the same ages. So we know the methods are accurate. Thus we can date almost anything within a relative range of accuracy and trust that those ages are both real and fact. Dr Carlson never tells you this because it destroys his entire argument. He prefers to lie.

2. Dr Carlson's logic is internally flawed, he knows it and ignores that glaring flaw. His entire "circular logic" argument of the geologic strata and fossils would -- by definition -- be entirely relative. In other words, if what he were saying was true, then there would be no way at all, to put specific dates on anything in the strata or the fossils. For if the only way to date strata is by the fossils, and the only way to date fossils is by the strata they are in, then there would be no method to put a numbered age to either.

Either one or the other, or both, must somehow be able to be dated using an independant method which does provide a numbered age in order to provide an age scale for the entire geologic column and fossils. That is done by radio-dating the samples.

So when Dr Carlson says the Jurassic period was 65 million years ago, or the earth is 4.5 billion years old, he is admitting that there is another method to date things, one that is more objective than the subjective method of comparing fossils to strata to fossils.

3. When Dr Carlson is discussing the geologic column and evolution, he fails to mention one very important fact which completely invalidates his entire argument. That the reason fossils have been used to relatively date strata is that complex organisms all appear late in the column and simple organisms all appear early in the column and that has never been found to be untrue in all of the research ever done.

That fact that horses, humans, chimps dinosaurs, etc, have never been found in the earliest strata and only in the most recent strata shows that organisms grew in complexity as time passed.

4. Speaking of the geologic column, Dr Carlson indulges in some tiresome chicanery. He makes the claim that the "entire" geologic column has never been found in one place. What he fails to mention is twofold; one, that the earth is an active body, full of energy and motion, constantly churning up the surface via such methods as plate techtonics and magma discharge, and second that all the layers have been found in various places around the world, proving that they all exist and existed.

Failing to mention that makes his argument dishonest at best.

5. Finally he claims that the world is only 6,000 years old. Not only is there verifiable proof that humans have been around in modern "civilized" form for at least 10,000 years, but his only evidence to the contrary is a book. I don't even trust my science books that much to unequivacably accept them, I like to reproduce the experiments they explain, and find outside proof that their claims are correct. But this guy trusts implicitly a book written by superstitious goat herders written three thousand years ago.

Not to mention that this particular claim, that the world is only 6,000 years old runs into problems with exactly every single area of science, thus by making it, Dr Carlson is saying that all science is wrong, and nothing valid can come out of it. Quantum physics, wrong because the world is only 6,000 years old and thus radioactivity is false. Astrophysics, wrong, becuase the world is only 6,000 years old and thus all light from all stars can only be at most 6,000 years old. So that nuclear reactor and that computer and that microwave oven you have? Those are all delusions in your mind because they cannot exist because the science they are founded upon is false because the earth is really 6,000 years old.

5. Oh, and did I mention that PZ Myers also wrote about this, and picked apart his claims about Charles Lyell? It seems that Dr Carlson cannot help but tell lies and mislead and hide the obvious truth.

Who knew that the "Truth" was maintained by so many lies and deceptions? I guess that is why I prefer the truth, which is comprised of, well, the truth, facts and reality.

[Update:] P.S. At least Answers in Genesis and Ken Ham are --shall we say-- thorough enough to acknowledge that there are other methods of dating; namely radiometric dating. Their excuse turns out to be that we cannot know if radioactivity, that is the radioactive decay constants, are actually constant throughout time (e.g. here). They are and we have proof of that as well. But they use as proof the fact that science while determining another constant, the speed of light, changed the value many times meaning the actual speed of light must have changed. Of course the fact that instruments moved from a state of crudity to a state of sophistication over that same period makes no difference. Again, this is an example of just how horrid their excuses and feeble lies really are to someone who knows the truth.

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At August 22, 2008 9:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Bible does not tell anyone they can lie to further "the cause". In context (a concept almost as important in Biblical interpretation as repeatability is in science), this verse is of course saying the exact opposite: that this sort of action is horribly wrong. I don't really blame you for using it against creationists, as they tend to have as little respect for the actual truth of the Bible as they do for

At August 22, 2008 9:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

...the truth of science. However, this is still an irresponsible way to use texts, whichever 'side' you're on. I'd like to apologise on behalf of all these guys who really have no idea about, well, anything much, and I really hope that you realise that not all Christians hold views of this kind. They are just the loud, obnoxious ones!
Love, Lesley

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