By indexer
108 days ago

Creationist nonsense

A great deal of fun can be had by listening to Creationists – particularly the “New Earth” variety – and marvelling at the amazing arguments they come up with to, for example, debunk evolution, support the idea that dinosaurs coexisted with humans, and generally claim that every word of the Book of Genesis must be taken to mean exactly what it says and that it states nothing short of the absolute truth.

When challenged with evidence that contradicts their assertions they come up with all sorts of weird and wonderful ways to justify their opinions. These can be categorised under a number of headings, including refusing to consider scientific evidence, putting forward highly dubious “evidence” of their own, and making extraordinary claims to show that the evidence, far from refuting their claims, actually supports it.

Refusing to consider the evidence

The evidence that Planet Earth is vastly older than the 10,000 years that Creationists claim it to be is surely irrefutable. You only have to look at the geology of the land we stand on and the hills and mountains all around us to see that. The story of how various rock layers are formed and transformed is a complex and fascinating one, and is surely clear evidence that many processes have taken place over a vast period of time, simply because it is impossible for them to have happened any more quickly.

However, the Creationists would have us believe that the world was created almost exactly as we see it, with all its complexity, a mere 10,000 years ago! The only changes to the original that they are prepared to accept are a modicum of erosion and the effects of Noah’s Flood!

We can date the age of rock layers formed by volcanic activity (which include the very oldest ones we can see today) by analysing the chemical elements found in them. In particular, the method known as radiometric dating works by looking at certain radioactive elements, each of which has a definite “half life” which means the time during which half of a given quantity of that element will have decayed into other elements that are more stable.

The dating process involves measuring the quantity of undecayed radioactive material in a rock sample and setting it against the amount of its decay products. Because the half lives of all radioactive elements and isotopes are known, it is then possible to work out at what point there would have been a different proportion of decayed to undecayed material. This can be done for a number of radioactive elements within a given rock layer, and if the calculations produce the same results, there can be no cause for doubting the conclusion.

The method shows conclusively that the oldest rocks currently visible to us (i.e. the Precambrian) are around 4 billion years old.

However, this sort of evidence is completely ignored by Creationists, and it is by no means the only example of deliberate ignorance on their part.

Dubious evidence

If the entire Universe was created in six days, for the sole purpose of amazing a certain species called Man, then clearly nothing in the animal kingdom could have evolved and all species that have ever existed must have lived together from the day of their creation. That day, according to Genesis, was Day 6.

But what about the dinosaurs? How could they possibly have lived alongside Man, given that they are not around today? The Creationists claim to have found evidence that shows this to have been the case.

One such piece of presumed evidence is on a bed of limestone at the Paluxy River in Texas. There are several places around the world where dinosaur footprints have been found, and others where footprints of early man can be seen, but in this instance they appear to be in the same place – walking alongside each other imprinted in rock that is 120 million years old!

Of course, the Creationists deny absolutely that the rock is that old – because they deny that any rock is more than 10,000 years old despite all evidence to the contrary (see above) – and they therefore regard the Paluxy footprints as cast-iron evidence of the truth of Genesis.

However, they simply delude themselves if they believe the footprints to be genuine. There is a possibility that the human footprints – or at least some of them – were deliberately carved in the rock as a hoax, or it is the case that the smaller prints were made in the mud (that became limestone) by a different species of creature to the one that created the more obvious dinosaur footprints.

It is only possible to believe that the Paluxy footprints prove the truth of Genesis if you accept the Genesis dating in the first place. If you do not, then the prints will not convince anybody, if only because the fossil record never contains dinosaur and human fossils in the same geological strata.

Another intriguing but phony piece of creationist evidence is a small carving in the stone wall of the 12th century Ta Prohm temple at Angkor, Cambodia. At first sight this looks like a depiction of a stegosaurus – a dinosaur from the late Jurassic (c. 150 million years ago) that is characterised by having a double row of vertical bony plates along its spine. The carving shows such plates along the back of a creature that otherwise looks more like a hippo than anything else.

Some Creationists are utterly convinced by this carving as firm evidence that dinosaurs were seen by humans in early modern times. However, there are – as one might expect – various objections to this claim.

One is that there is no evidence that stegosauri existed in what is now southeast Asia. Fossils have been found mainly in North America and western Europe. Another is the fact that 12th century Cambodia was home to the highly civilised Khmer Empire that was capable not only of building vast temples and palaces, complete with carvings, but producing art in many forms and written records. If stegosauri were around at the time, would there not have been more evidence than a single stone carving?

There is a simple explanation for this error, which is that the “plates” are illustrations of background vegetation and were not intended as part of the animal that is depicted. The fact that the carver has produced similar shapes on the outside of the circular “snake” frame to those on the inside should surely settle the matter once and for all. However, dyed-in-the-wool Creationists are not so easy to convince!

Extraordinary claims

Creationists are so convinced that the Genesis account must be correct in all particulars that they always come up with explanations of how observed but inconvenient facts can be twisted to suit their world view.

One example takes us back to the dinosaurs. They accept that fossil dinosaurs have been found, although they also claim that Noah took two of every species on board the Ark – young and therefore small specimens, naturally! They also accept that dinosaur fossils have been found in large quantities in certain locations and that fossils can only form under certain circumstances, such as sudden burials.

Geologists are perfectly happy to assume that sudden burials can result from flash floods, but when a Creationist gets hold of this notion they regard it as absolute proof – the flood in question must be the one that floated the Ark! According to them, all the dinosaurs that were alive at the time of the Flood perished at the same time, and the rocks in which their fossils are now found were also laid down at the time of the Flood.

Needless to say, this account is so full of holes as to be utterly unsupportable. As mentioned earlier, it is perfectly possible to date rocks as belonging to different ages, and the layers that contain dinosaur fossils cover many millions of years of geological history.

Another difficulty for Creationists is that they claim that God created the lot no more than 10,000 years ago but we know for a fact that we can look out into the Universe and see objects from which the light has taken more than 13 billion years to reach us!

That is not a problem for our Creationist friends, as long as you assume that the laws of physics can be stood on their heads and claim that the speed of light is not the constant we always thought it was! If the speed of light was once a lot faster and has since slowed down (or is it the other way round?) then everything is apparently possible!

And so it goes on. One nonsense follows another and the Creationists tie themselves into all sorts of ridiculous knots as they continuously refuse to understand the nature of Myth. Every civilisation in history has invented its creation myth as a means of explaining to children how things came to be the way they are. Genesis is only one such myth, and it makes sense to recognise that fact. Believing a myth to be the truth only displays the fact that one has refused to grow up and leave such “just so” stories where they belong – firmly on the Fiction shelves!

fortune 4 billion years old.... It's hard to imagine such a long time interval. Interesting how long our Earth will survive till people and nature ruin it completely.
soncee Great artikle very interesting Thanks for the info!
indexer @fortune The planet will be here long after there are no humans left. We are only one step along an evolutionary path - the dinosaurs lasted for a vastly longer period than homo sapiens has been around before they evolved into birds.
Snezana nice