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Absurd Creationist Beliefs
Creationists must go through extreme contortions to cling to their ancient superstitions. Here are some of the things they believe:
- People who lived 4000 years ago knew much more about science than we do now.
- Nameless authors living 4000 years ago were so enamoured of their writings they claimed they were the literal words of God. Creationists believe these bullshitters without any evidence whatsoever.
- There are thousands of inconsistencies in the bible. Creationists presume there must be some explanation for them all even if no one in thousands of years has been able to come up with an acceptable set.
- God must have faked the sediments to make the earth look much older than it is.
- God must have faked all the radioactive clocks to make the earth look much older than it is. They believe this even though their bible claims god never lies.
- All the thousands of scientists who have done experiments to demonstrate evolution must have faked the results.
- No microorganisms have evolved immunity to drugs. The drug companies adulterated all the drugs so they would no longer work and thus could no longer be sold.
- God carefully faked the fossils to make the earth look far older than it is and to make it look as if new species evolved extremely gradually, not all at once as the bible claims.
- The fact that there are no frogs on oceanic islands has nothing to do with evolution. God can’t stand the sound of frogs croaking, but only on oceanic islands.
- Creationists who take the bible literally believe the earth is flat and square with the earth in the centre of the universe. If you are not vigilant, you can fall off the edge.
- God must have faked the light coming from the stars to make the universe look much older than it is. If he had not done that there would be only some the stars in our galaxy visible (those within 6000 light years). We would not even be able to see all the stars in our local galaxy.
Clearly God wants Creationists to believe the earth is 4.543 billion years old. All the evidence that he clearly created (according to creationists) points to that. The only evidence that points otherwise comes from some desert dwellers who had no clue how the universe is constructed. Creationists spit on all of God’s evidence preferring the word of unwashed, uneducated desert dwellers.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Accurate Bible Science, Cough
Creationists claim that the science in the bible is more accurate and more useful than the science we have today, including evolution. We should return to it and abandon our own godless science. They are far more extreme than the Amish, at least in the way they talk. In the 14th century, Christians ran Europe and had full access to biblical science. It was the century of the bubonic plague. Would you rather live then, or in the science-based world of today? The creationist claim is patently absurd. Recall some of the bible’s infallible scientific claims:
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- The world is flat.
- The world is the center of the universe.
- The sky is a crystal dome upon which the stars hang.
- Dove’s blood and animal sacrifice cure leprosy.
- Rabbits chew their cud,
- If you want a striped calf, show its parents white branches while they are copulating.
- Disease is caused by demonic possession or Yahweh being pissed with you.
- Evolutionary theory is a demonic plot to make people hate Yahweh. You obviously cannot use it in preparing pharmaceuticals.
- It is impossible for diseases to evolve defenses. Animals cannot change, except for animal husbandry.
- If you need anything done, just pray for a miracle. It is infallible except when it isn’t.
- Volcanoes and earthquakes are punishment for sexual immorality.
- Bubonic plague is nature’s punishment for taking Christianity too seriously.
Achievements of Creation Science
Achievements of Creation Science Achievements of Creation Science Achievement Count Elements discovered. 0 Hormones discovered. 0 Useful chemicals discovered. 0 Improved plant species. 0 Antibiotics discovered. 0 Communications devices invented. 0 Fundamental computer techniques discovered. 0 Barrels of oil discovered. 0 Green energy technology discovered. 0
Even if creationism had a grain of truth it in, it would still be utterly useless. God did it gives you no insight into how to do things for yourself.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
According to creationists, Adam looked like a European with light-coloured skin. Reputedly, the Garden of Eden was in Iraq. Wasn’t that rather impractical? He had no clothes or sunscreen. He should have been brown like a modern Iraqi and had clothes to protect him from the sun. A modern European running around naked in Iraq would be burned to a crisp.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Age Of Creation
Creationists claim the universe, earth and all species of life in the universe are 6000 years old. The reason they think that is because of Bishop Usher’s analysis of Genesis. They have no other evidence.
Science says the age of the universe is 13.8 billion years. We mainly know that by looking at ancient starlight just arriving now on earth. This lets us look backward in time to the big bang. Science says the age of the earth is 4.543 billion years. We mainly know this by studying the patterns of decay of all the various radioactive elements and their relative abundance. This can be measured with mass spectrometry without having to detect faint radioactivity. Science says that primitive life started on earth 3.7 billion years ago. We can date the rocks in which the microfossils are embedded. Science says our species, homo sapiens, first appeared 200,000 years ago. DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) from such fossils has its own internal clock. We also have dating information from ice cores dating back 800,000 years. We have tree ring data in living trees going back 10,000 years. We can overlap tree ring data from a set of dead trees. We can integrate erosion rates. We can count sedimentary layers. There are many more dating techniques. The y all give the same answers and it is nowhere near 6000 years for the age of the universe, the earth and all species.
Thus, for purely religious regions, creationists insist all these dating methods must be flawed, but mysteriously give deceptively consistent results. Some creationists insist god faked the universe to look old to deliberately discredit himself. (It is pretty clear then what god wants them to believe.) Besides the absurd improbability of all dating methods having identical systematic flaws, the other problem with the creationist claim is these dating methods work fine on things 6000 years old and younger. Why would they work perfectly on young objects and suddenly fail for some allegedly 6000 year old objects but not others?
How could there be ice cores 800,000 years/layers old if the earth is only 6,000? The creationists are not just a little bit out, they are 133 times too young to account for just the ice cores, let alone sediments, rocks etc. There are living bristlecone pines 10,000 years/rings old. They add one tree ring each year. How could they have possibly started growing 4,000 years before creation?
Creationists grasp at straws, but there is no evidence at all to support their claim and mountains of evidence against. They are motivated to make up lies by religious desperation (or in Ken Ham’s case from profit from selling creationism). They have no respect for the methods of science. They think if they can cast the tiniest doubt about any dating ever done on any sample with any dating method, they have proved the creationist thesis. This is ridiculous. There is nothing at all to support the creationist story, which includes a global flood that did not and could not happen.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Age Of the Creationist Earth
If the creationists were correct nothing should date older than 6000 years. Yet we have starlight, fossils, living trees, ice cores, sediments, human artifacts, DNA all dated with variety of means considerably older than 6000 years.
The best creationists can come up with is God faked the universe to look 13.82 billion years old and earth 4.543 billion years old. Just because in theory your magic god could do that is not evidence he did. If he did such a thing, surely that is what he wants you to believe in his perfect deception. How impertinent to pretend you have detected some flaw in his work! I would think in creationist logic the there is no doubt about the authorship of mountains, but a tiny weeny doubt about the authorship of the bible since fallible humans were admittedly involved. So the mountains are a more certain authority than the bible. Non-fundamentalist Christians are comfortable with an age of the earth and an age of the universe that matches the observations, so why are creationists embarrassing themselves with endless lies to cover up the obvious truth?~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Age of the Earth
Creationists claim the earth is only 6000 years old. There is only one reason to think that. The bible says so. There is no physical evidence to support that. Here are some of the ways you know that is not true:
- Count the sediment layers.
- Count the ice-core rings.
- Count the rings in long lived trees.
- Trace the ring patterns back in trees that live a few centuries.
- Note that most of the light that comes from the cosmos comes from further away than 6000 light years. It must have been created more than 6000 years ago.
- Use radiometric dating of rocks.
- Use carbon 14 dating of ancient plant and animal life.
- Measure the expansion of space and work back to calculate how long it would take to get to the big bang.
- Measure the rates at which evolution occurs and calculate how much time it would have taken for the earth to develop the life it has.
- Use the DNA clocks in plants and animals to determine the ages of various species.
- Study the formation of other stars and planets and see how long various stages take.
- The bible is wrong on every science claim it makes. E.g. dove blood cures leprosy. rabbits chew their cud, π is 3. Showing a goat a painted striped board will cause it to have striped offspring. Disease is caused by demons. Volcanoes are caused by Yahweh’s wrath. The world is flat, square and rests on four pillars. The stars are holes in a metal bowl. There was a global flood that covered Mount Everest. If the bible was wrong on every other science claim, why would you expect it to be correct on the age of the earth? The authors of the bible know absolutely nothing about science even though the creator of the universe would have to be a consummate expert. Therefore the authors of the bible had nothing to do with creating the universe. That the creator of the universe authored the bible is a ridiculous lie. To claim that sloppy piece of mythology was written by the creator of the universe is the highest blasphemy.
Sometimes creationists acknowledge that all the evidence indeed points to the earth being 4.543 billion years old. They claim Yahweh faked it to fool people into thinking it was old. I think that is a silly argument because:
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- Reputedly, Yahweh does not lie.
- If Yahweh went to all this painstaking work to convince you, you had damn well better believe him.
- If you are a Christian, I would assume you are more certain that Yahweh made the Grand Canyon than penned the bible. It would be quite easy for crooked humans to counterfeit a bible. They would have a heck of a time faking the Grand Canyon. I would think then the Grand Canyon trumps the bible as an example of legitimate divine handiwork. The Grand Canyon says the earth is billions of years old.
Age Of The Earth
Creationists claim to know the precise date and time Yahweh created the universe. Bishop Ussher (1581-01-04 1656-03-31 age:75) computed it by adding up the longevities of various biblical characters. He claimed the earth was created on 4004-10-22BC at 6 PM i.e. 6,020 years, 1 month and 2 days ago. Scientists measure the age as 4.543 billion years.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
The Age of the Earth
Creationists have a problem with the age of the earth. Clearly the Grand Canyon, coral reefs, light from distant galaxies, mountain ranges, loess deposits, continental drift, ancient trees, river deltas… all are much older than the 6000 years that the creationists claim. Creationists get their figure from the estimates of desert dwellers 3000 years ago. They trust these ancient scientists over modern ones, because they believe these desert dwellers had a special connection with god.
You can see the slow rate at which these natural features grow and work backwards to figure out when the processes started. Creationists defend their estimate by claiming god must have tricked people by making the earth look older than it is. There is no evidence for this. They consider this gambit plausible solely because it makes the bible work out correctly. By that logic, the universe could have been created only 15 seconds ago, and Yahweh faked everything to make it look millions of years older.
That bit of silly apologetics accuses the creator of the universe of deception. That is hardly the behaviour you would expect of a perfect deity. It seems to me, to a Christian there is no doubt who created the Grand Canyon — a god. However, even Christians admit ordinary humans composed the bible. Even if the bible’s authors were inspired by a god, they could have erred. So it seems to me that Christians should trust the Grand Canyon more than the bible as the work of a god. The Grand Canyon is what god wants you to trust if there is a disagreement with the bible. Anyone can write a bible, but it takes a deity to create the Grand Canyon, right?
It strikes me as insulting and dangerous to prefer the work of men to that of a god, if you are trying to curry some god’s favour.
Coral reefs are particularly problematic. Corals are animals and according to the bible were created 4000 years ago. Yet working backwards from growth rates, we discover they are 10,000 years old. The bible leaves no wiggle room here for god to have faked old reefs.
A god may have created the universe, but 13.82 billion years ago, not 4000 years. The bible simply got the time wrong, just as it got hundreds of other facts wrong, such as the shape of the earth and the value of π.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Age Of The Earth
Here is a way to get an idea how old the earth is you can do all on your own. You don’t have to take anyone’s word for it. Find a deep canyon, e.g. the Grand Canyon. You will see that the river laid down a layer of soil each year. Count the number of layers in 3 meters or 10 feet. Ask how deep the canyon is. Compute years = ( height / 3 meters ) * layers It will be considerably older than 6000 years. The creationists will make up some kook-ass excuse to explain that. Remind them if the god Yahweh perfectly faked the earth to look very old, he obviously wanted you to believe it was.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Age of the Earth
The notion the earth is only 6000 years old is absurd. How do you know?
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- There are paintings on cave wall tens of thousands of years old.
- Rivers lay down one layer of silt each year. There are millions of layers.
- We can see light that left its star 13.82 billion years ago. If the universe were created only 6000 years ago the light from nearly all the stars would not have got to us yet.
- We understand radioactivity very well. We know exactly how fast each element decomposes and into what. If you study the composition of the rocks on earth we can tell how long this process has been going on since the earth cooled. It is 4.543 billion years old.
The Age Of the Earth
Scientists tell us the earth is 4.543 billion years old. But how do they know? They used dozens of techniques, and they all gave the same answer. Here are a few of the easier to understand:
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- Counting tree rings lets us know the earth is considerably older than the biblical 6000 years.
- Study of ancient artifacts, monuments and buildings lets us know the earth is considerably older than the biblical 6000 years.
- Radioactivity decays at a slow, predicable rate. There are dozens of different radioactive clocks.
- Calculating how long it would take the earth to cool.
- When a river floods annually, it leaves a layer of sediments. You can count the layers.
- By looking for layers of volcanic ash. If you know roughly how frequently a volcano erupts, and if you know the depth of silt above each ash layer, you can count the layers and compute the age of each layer.
- By studying the age of asteroids which were formed at the same time as earth.
Alternate to Evolution
Creationists imagine that any flaw they can find in evolution is valid scientific proof for creationism. This is not the way science works. For creationism to become a valid scientific theory, there must a large amounts of evidence for it and no evidence against it. Creationism cannot even get to first base as an alternative theory. Every critique of evolutionist or support for creationism I have heard from the creationists was based on straw men, lies and deception. That does not meet the bar as evidence.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
American Religious Beliefs 22% Believe with certainty Jesus will come down out of the clouds within the next 50 years. There is no evidence whatsoever this will happen, not even biblical. 44% Think it probable Jesus will come down out of the clouds within the next 50 years. 44% Want to stop teaching science and teach creationism instead in the schools. 62% Want teach creationist myths in science class along with evolution. 44% Believe modern day Ashkenazi Jews had every right to invade Palestine and take their land because Yahweh promised it to the ancient Sephardic Jews.
America has a serious problem, similar to Iran’s. Religion made the majority of the population nuts. You can’t remain a world technological leader when the majority rejects science.
I have complained for decades about American hegemony. Ironically, America has decided to resign as a superpower, taking the route of a mass mental suicide.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
To An Arrogant Young Creationist
Imagine a 12-year-old creationist told you that all science is crap. Obviously the big bang could not have happened. Obviously a rat cannot turn into a monkey. Climate science is a hoax…
Dear youngun. I bet a lot of things don’t make any sense to you, e.g trigonometry, calculus, relativity, quantum mechanics, evolution, cosmology, abiogenesis, climate science… There is nothing wrong with these fields of study. The problem is you have not studied them yet. You are being an arrogant ass if you think you are supposed to know everything just with common sense without any work. Science is far from intuitively obvious. You are claiming superior understanding to those who have studied these fields for a lifetime.
Your current views were given to you by deceptive and/or ignorant people who filled you up with straw men. I get the suspicion you have carefully avoided even casual study because some evil old creationist convinced you all knowledge is wicked. Before you can accurately criticise something you first have to learn what it is, not what its enemies thoughtlessly say about it.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
An Curious Asymmetry of Christians and Atheists
Have you noticed something odd in debates between atheists and Christians?
The atheists in general know the bible (and some other religions) quite well, far better than most Christians. Many have read it cover to cover. They have also usually read about the history and anthropology of the time and period.
In contrast, Christians tend to shield themselves from knowledge about science, particularly cosmology, geology, paleontology, archaeology, anthropology of human religions, embryology and, of course, evolution. They are generally only familiar with a few top-ten bible verses. Usually they deliberately absorb parodies of science composed by ignorant creationists in the 1800s to mock science and then parrot them, complete with archaic vocabulary.
How then can Christians claim to be such experts on matters of science and the bible? Whence came the chutzpah to demand that atheists should defer to them based on nothing but faith/trust in their intuition and their proclaimed sense of unshakeable certainty based on nothing? They remind me of those fat black Christian lady contestants who assure the game show host they are 110% sure they will win because of their in with Jesus. What Christians are doing should be mortally embarrassing.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
An Honest Creationist
I would imagine an honest creationist on studying the evidence, particularly the biology of islands would conclude that the Creator seems to have gone to an extraordinary amount of work to make it look as if species evolved over millions of years or to have set it up so that species did actually so evolve. He would be completely sure that a god created the mountains and the sediments, but would have at least a sliver of doubt that He authored the King James bible — knowing how many people meddled with it over the millennia. Taking God’s word contaminated by man over God’s direct communication in the form of the creation, I would think, should be considered a slap in God’s face.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists have a problem. If the universe is only 6000 years old, how is all that starlight getting to us from millions of light years away? According to the creationists, we should only be able to see light from stars within 6000 light years — not even our whole local Milky Way galaxy. Clearly that is not so.
They postulate a rather strange explanation. God faked the light to make it look as if the universe were 13.82 billion years old. They claim what we are seeing are not stars, but god’s illusion made to look like ancient light from ancient stars. This suggests to me, that even if the creationists were correct, god wants us to believe the universe is 13.82 billion years old. The illusion is perfect. Who are we to spit in the face of god?
The whole idea is ludicrous because god is supposed to be the epitome of Truth. What is god doing playing such an elaborate cosmic practical joke? Why would anyone even propose such a nutty idea? — to defend the perfection of the primitive science of bronze age desert dwellers, people who had never even seen a telescope.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
And God Made The Sunsets
I thought creationists were just being poetic when they said that god created the sunsets, but the issue comes up so often, I have come to the conclusion creationists are legitimately incredulous that sunsets could come about any other way than via daily divine intervention.
The creationists must have been asleep during the science class when the process was explained. At any point in time, there is both a sunset and a sunrise appearing at some point of the globe. If they required god’s painterly skills, they would be a full time job. Even if there were a god, and he wanted to entertain his favoured species, man, with a twice-daily celestial firework display, like Disney, you would think by now he would have worked out some way to automate it.
So how do sunrises and sunsets work really? The key is rather mundane — dust in the air. Sunsets are more spectacular after a volcano tosses dust into the air. At noon sunlight hits the earth perpendicularly via a short direct path. At sunrise and sunset, sunlight hits the earth at a steep angle via a long path. At sunrise and sunset, the light thus has many more opportunities to hit a mote of dust.
Dust is better at scattering blue light (short wavelengths) than red light (long wavelengths). The more dust, the yellower and redder the light that gets through. The dust is not evenly distributed. That is why you get those beautiful flowing patterns. You don’t get sunsets on the moon because it does not have a dusty atmosphere, not because god is lazy.
A related question you might ask is why are sunrises and sunsets so beautiful. I will speculate. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Those times of day are the safest to relax and enjoy beauty. It is not safe to run at sunset around because you cannot see as well.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Another Creationist Lie
Creationists pretend not to understand atheists. They claim atheists believe in god, but rebel against him because of a desire to do wicked things. It is not like that at all. Atheists believe the bible is a forgery. No god had anything to do with its composition. Further, they think it extremely unlikely or impossible that a god exists. Atheists combat human creationists who claim knowledge they do not have. That has nothing to do with rebelling against god or morality.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
The biggest problem with Christians, creationists in particular, is they don’t think the constitution applies to them. They believe should have special dispensation to force their religion on others and to push the government to teach their religion to other people’s children. If they did not do that, they would just be harmless crazies like the Mormons. It is that sense of special entitlement that makes them so obnoxious.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Appeal of Creationism
It is amazing that creationism manages to attract any adult converts. Everything it predicts is wrong. It has no evidence to support it. So what is the appeal?
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- Childlike simplicity?
- The promise of eternal bliss if you subscribe?
- The threat of eternal torture if you do not?
Appearance of New Species
Creationists repeatedly lie that science has never seen new species arise outside the fossil record (macro evolution). Even though it is a very slow process, scientists have seen it dozens of times both in the lab and in the wild. It happens so often, scientists had to invent new vocabulary to describe the various kinds of speciation: allopatric, peripatric, parapatric and sympatric.
Read Evolving: The Human Effect and Why It Matters by Dr. Daniel J. Fairbanks for details. In addition to seeing evolution happen in modern time, we have the fossil record to demonstrate both macro and micro evolution.
In particular, a new bacterium has evolved that eats nylon. Nylon did not even exist until 1935-02-28.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69) Observation of evolution in the wild
Arguing Science vs Arguing Religion
In the debate between the evolutionists and the creationists, the evolutionists are arguing science. The creationists have no serious interest in science, just religion. Creationists have no hope at all of changing the current scientific world view. They don’t even care. What they are really interested in is a way to indoctrinate other people’s children with Christian fundamentalism masquerading as school science. That is why they pitch their nonsense to the least educated segment of society. They are fully aware it has zero scientific merit.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Argument from Ignorance
Creationists are extremely uncreative in their arguments to debunk evolution.
- They start by telling me all kinds of falsehoods about evolution (a straw man fallacy).
- They garble all the terminology.
- They assert evolution does not work even though scientists use it every day.
- They assert the only thing they could conceive of that could account for life on earth is a sky fairy named Yahweh. They do not understand how evolution could do it. (an argument from ignorance)
The problem is they know almost nothing about evolution. They have scrupulously avoided learning anything about it, except for lies. They improperly presume they know far more than I do. It is a bit like a four year old lecturing to me about sex.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Argument From Ignorance
In debates, creationists often use an appeal to ignorance fallacy I don’t understand how evolution could explain variety of life we see on earth. So it must be untrue. This is such an idiotic argument. The debater appears to be an elementary school dropout who would not understand algebra, trigonometry, calculus, geometry, atomic theory, set theory, how to calculate forces with Newton’s laws… much less evolution. Surely she is not claiming they are all wrong too just because she has avoided studying them.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Arguments for Creationists
I have argued with creationists and I have watched others debate. I have seen people present what I would consider irrefutable arguments against creationism that just bounced off without any effect. It does not matter how sound an argument is if it does not convince. I thought I would explore the various arguments creationists argue in favour of god, the inerrancy of the bible, creationism and against evolution and science in general to discover what sorts of argument that creationists might find convincing.
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists often argue, without god, there would be no absolute morality and people would rape and pillage at will. One way to interpret this argument is you know there is a god because the world is so orderly with its god-given morality. Without a god, the world would be a very different place, therefore there must be a god.
The counter argument is societies that do not accept Christianity, such as Sweden, are much more peaceful than ones that do, like the USA.
Christians rebut like this, but the argument is not really for the existence of god, but for the submission to the will of god and accepting his absolute morality, even if it sounds bonkers. At least god’s morality is not arbitrary and man made. It also sounds like an argument for pretending there is a god with an absolute morality even though all intelligent people know there isn’t one. This is a common theme in creationist arguments. It does matter what is literally true. What matters if how people behave if they believe something. This suggests arguments to creationists need to show them how their delusions are leading them to behave badly. For them, whether they are true is almost irrelevant.
They will say something like I had an personal experience with the lord. He told me that… Christianity is giving them a grossly exaggerated sense of importance. They equate truth with a feeling of certainty. They will cling to this delusion tenaciously because otherwise they are just a schmuck. With it, they are one of the elect worthy to lord over their fellows.
I suppose you have to show them others like themselves to act as a mirror for their vanity. Are they truly vessels of divine wisdom, or deluded self-important prigs? You can confront them with John 5:37 which lets them know they are deluded pompous asses.
They will say something like What scientists say about the origin of the universe makes no sense to me. It therefore must be wrong. The only explanation I know that I can understand is the Genesis story. Therefore it must be true.
Of course it makes no sense. They have adamantly refused to study it, but that never convinces them. They distrust all science. I suppose you could hit them with a fire hose of errors and inconsistencies from the bible, and just say, If this book is of god, it should be simple enough for any human to understand. It make no sense. It must be of the devil. II Corinthians 11:13-14
Creationists are like a group of arrogant five year olds who insist on presenting their paper at a conference where all the speakers are Nobel prize winners.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
I can’t believe that creationists would try to lecture me about evolution when they know absolutely nothing about it. They have read no textbooks on evolution. They don’t even know the difference between the big bang, abiogenesis and evolution. The don’t know the difference between natural selection and random chance. Their smugly delivered arguments are beyond infantile. Their arrogance is mind boggling. It would be like me critiquing the bible without ever having read it.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Ask an Expert
If you wanted to know what rock musicians had to say, you would ask rock musicians not people who hated them. Ditto for evolutionists.
However, creationists prefer to ask fellow creationists who tell them tall tales to make evolution look utterly silly. It never occurs to them to ask the evolutionists directly how evolution works. Christians don’t really want to know. They might change their minds. It never occurs to creationists that scientists with IQs (Intelligence Quotients) many times theirs would never say the sorts of silly things that liars like Kirk Cameron and Ken Ham do.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Christians claim atheists are motivated by a desire to lead Christians into temptation. It is the very opposite. We atheists are to trying to disabuse them of their delusions in order to break them of their nasty habits like hurting gays and beating and threatening children and interfering with science (education, climate change, environmental protection…) If they would give up their bad behaviour, many atheists would be quite happy to leave them to stew in their imaginary hell and creationist twaddle the way we leave those who insist on the reality of fairies in peace.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Thank God I was raised an atheist. Had I been born into a JW (Jehovah’s Witness) family, I would be a raving creationist!~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
More and more atheists are refusing to debate Christians simply because the Christians refuse to debate fairly.
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- They misrepresent the atheist/evolutionist’s position.
- They manufacture phony facts to support their position.
- They ignore the debate topic and blather on preaching about how Jesus died for your sins or some other irrelevancy.
- They try to use science without the remotest understanding of what they are talking about. They make up word salads of scientific jargon that sound intelligent to the uninitiated. Deepak Chopra is the master of this.
- They rely exclusively on ad hominem and straw man attacks. They refuse to present evidence for their position.
- They use a debate with a famous atheist to increase their own prestige. They use the debate as evidence they are taken seriously by the scientific community.
- They have already publicly vowed to ignore all evidence, observation and logic. Scripture always trumps everything.
Creationists make sure they never learn science. They know full well understanding it could well shake their faith. Atheists debating with them understand both science and creationism. Who is in a better position to judge the relative merit?~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists like Ben Stein use their own baby-talk jargon when talking about evolution. For example: evolution becomes Darwinism: speciation becomes macro evolution. Imagine if evolutionists did the same thing back to the creationists: gospel becomes story; testament becomes myth; Christian becomes Jesusist.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Believe Does Not Always Mean Believe
It is a good idea to avoid the word believe when talking to creationists. They use it to mean be utterly sure despite the evidence, a view I will hold forever and ever no matter what. Scientists mean by it my current hypothesis based on the evidence. You can explain that to creationists, but they won’t believe you.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
The Beverly Hillbillies Theory of God
In the 1950s there was a sitcom called The Beverly Hillbillies about a family from the Ozarks who moved to Beverly Hills California. They found everything, including doorbells and running water miraculous. Was this stuff truly miraculous? Well, it depends on your expectations. Christians stare at the universe and it seems somehow to them more amazing than it ought to be. Others might look at say What a hopeless place! Most of it is empty space. Only the most minute fraction of it can support any sort of life at all. What a dump!
Consider what intuition tells you about whether universes should be self-creating. In your experience, bowls of strawberries never just pop into existence, so you presume this must be true of universes too. If your mom told you when you were young that universes never pop into existence but gods do, that will seem intuitively obvious to you. If your mom told you universes must be created by gods, but gods have existed forever, that will seem intuitively obvious to you. If your mom told you that the universe popped into existence, that will seem perfectly ordinary to you.
There is no a priori reason to think universes should or should not be self-creating, but there is evidence to indicate how ours actually came to be, which is quite non-intuitive, as is most of high energy physics. Consider for a second how unintuitive that one element could turn into another, e.g. uranium into lead, but it does. Because it is not part of our day-to-day experience, we tend to label it impossible.
Because creationists have completely isolated themselves from science, they have not had the experience of having their intuition boggled over and over, for example with the Einsteinian time paradoxes. If Einstein got it wrong and time behaves sensibly after all, then GPS (Global Positioning System) satellites would not work. Creationists have an unwarranted complete trust in their own intuition. Even though they have done no study or experiments, they believe they know far more about science than the scientists. Professional creationists flatter their audiences with this delusion.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69) Quantum Leap: how matter behaves at the atomic level
Bible as Advanced Science Textbook
Creationists such as VenomFangX make the strange claim that the bible is years ahead of science and the bible is a great science text book. This is logically improbable. I think this is one of the most outrageous, transparent and easily debunked lies the creationists have ever produced.
If the publicly distributed bible contained any advanced science, it would have been incorporated into mainstream science during the Renaissance. Why the bizarre claim, that we never learned a thing about science in the last 3000 years?
Just what were scientists living 3000 years ago able to do with all that advanced bible science? Lifespan was 25. Most babies died. There were no phones, computers, cars, running water, hot water, plumbing, TVs, Internet, furnaces, washing machines, refrigeration, sanitation, bathing, GPS, lice-free beds… If you got leprosy, the bible-educated doctor would sacrifice a dove and daub its blood all over you. If you wanted some dappled baby goats, the bible recommended waving some white branches while the parents were copulating. The bible taught you the world was flat and rabbits chew their cud.
It is really crazy the way creationists lust for this time period. They have such a romantic view of it. How often do you think a robe was ever washed or deloused in a desert? It was a freaking nightmare. Somebody should make a movie about what life was really like back in those days.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Bible is Errant
Creationists claim the bible is inerrant, 100% true, 0% error. But then when you point out the bible says the earth is flat and the sky is a solid dome and the earth is the center of the universe, they backpedal and say god deliberately put errors into the creation to match the thinking of 3000 years ago.
Even if people believed the biblical misconceptions 3000 years ago, it does not make them true.
You can prove to yourself whether the bible is inerrant. Pick ten verses at random. Research/test whether they are each indeed true and consistent with the rest of the bible. If you find even one error, the entire bible cannot be said to be inerrant.
Even if a god could, in theory, have made the earth look older than it is, it is not evidence he actually did so. The bible clearly contains errors. Claiming the bible is inerrant is just a filthy lawyerly trick to avoid an embarrassing truth. It is part of the Christian con man’s breezy patter. When a Christian claims the bible is inerrant, they are not only mistaken, they are lying.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Bible Errors Happen
Creationists tell us that the bible is absolutely perfect, inerrant and infallible. It does not even contain any spelling mistakes. Since bibles are manufactured by ordinary humans, how is this level of perfection achieved? Though the bible does not explain this, god apparently supervises the process and miraculously makes it impossible for anyone to err. However, this is clearly not true. A version of the bible was published with an embarrassing error: it said Thou shalt commit adultery. The bibles were recalled and destroyed. So clearly it is possible for errors to occur.
Prior to the invention of printing, the problem of errors was much worse because each bible had to be me made by copying it out longhand. There are 400,000 significant differences between all the ancient copies of the scriptures, not to mention the spelling mistakes.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
The bible claims you can cure leprosy with dove blood. Leviticus 14:1-8 Rabbits chew their cud. It claims you can breed multicolour goats from solid colour parents by having the parents look at white poles while mating. Genesis 30:37-39 Without any doubt these are false claims. That means without any doubt the bible is not inerrant, blowing the fundamental claim of the creationists out the water.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Bible ≠ God
Creationists cannot conceive that there is any difference, even in principle, between what god said and what the bible said.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
The Bible, Absurdly Wrong
How absurd, taking the bible, a book admittedly written by people who had no first hand knowledge, who admit they just made it up, while ignoring objective ways of learning about the past such as geological layers, carbon 14, DNA, ice cores, fossils, magnetisation patterns… Creationists, without evidence, falsely claim scientists just made everything they know about history all up out of their heads the way the authors of the bible did.
If you want a theological way of looking at this, Christians claim god made the geological layers, carbon 14, DNA, ice cores, fossils, magnetisation patterns… They are clearly the work of god without any interference by humans. They are thus far more authentic than the bible as god’s word. In contrast, the bible offers no such irrefutable provenance.
The bible is wrong in almost every detail, poorly written, inconsistent, endlessly edited, recopied and retranslated. It was written a couple of generations after the events it describes, without eyewitnesses, from oral tradition. That should be sufficient to utterly discount it as god’s work. Creationists are pathetically, irrationally and emotionally attached to the bible. The are happy to spit in god’s face to persist in this bible idolatry.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Biblical chemistry says that there are no atoms. Air and water are elements. There is no such thing as radioactivity. How come creationists don’t insist universities teach the controversy? Insisting on teaching creationism is just as silly.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists have failed to notice that there is evolution in the bible. God creates Adam and Eve, who look like they came from Sweden. They have babies and in a few generations we have black people with curly hair, Arabs with dark skin and brown eyes, Chinese people with yellowish skin… We had people as tall as the Masai and as short as the Indonesians. We had Inuit Arctic-ready and Amazon tribes ready for a tropical jungle. There were no such genes in Adam and Eve. They had to come from mutation and evolution, evolution far faster than anything Darwin ever claimed.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
The Big Bang
Even though creationists reject the big bang in favour of the more comic book creationist hypothesis, they often use it to support their notion of god. They would say something like You can’t have something created out of nothing in the big bang. That requires a god.
They are using a scientific argument that they don’t understand. The universe did not appear out of nothing with the big bang. The entire universe, including space and matter, was compressed into a point smaller than an atom. With the big bang, space just expanded, rapidly with ever increasing speed, faster than the speed of light. There was no explosion. Big bang was Fred Hoyle’s term to mock the theory. He favoured the steady state hypothesis. He felt the big bang smacked too much of Genesis. We have not figured out a way to explore what happened before the big bang. But that does not mean there was nothing.
Further, in the quantum world, particles pop into existence all the time. Matter/anti-matter pairs appear then soon annihilate, but not always. Read up on Hawking radiation and black holes for how long-lived particles can just pop into existence. Lay people refuse to believe this because objects the size of apples don’t ever spontaneously appear. The intuition of creationists was never tuned to include quantum or cosmic events. Their intuition just assumed everything behaves the same way at the microscopic, midrange and cosmic scales. That is completely wrong. However, they are arrogant twits who cannot conceive they could be wrong and are too lazy to study up on why they might be wrong. Their working assumption is man has learned nothing of value in the last 4000 years.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Every single piece of science in the bible, including medicine, is wrong. Creationists sweep that under the rug and try to pretend the bible is inerrant. The bible did not even get the value of π correct. There is not one single invention that relies on bible science. So what then are the odds the bible’s cockamamie bearded-man poof-into-existence hypothesis and age of the earth hypothesis are correct? Pretty remote, especially when you consider the massive scientific evidence stacked against them?~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
The Big Bang
In the popular imagination, the universe was created out of nothing in the big bang. It is not quite that simple. Einstein’s General Relativity equations go squirrelly when you project them back to 13.82 billion years ago. This is similar to the way equations go squirrelly in a computer program when you try to divide by 0. We have not yet invented the math to describe what happened before that. In the information vacuum, many cosmologists jumped to the simplest conclusion that nothing at all happened. The big bang is when space and time itself first happened. However, according to the math, there are many other possibilities. The universe may have had a history before that. There may always have been a universe. In that case, the creationists have no creation, so need no creator.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69) Sean M Carroll on Origin of the Universe
The Big Bang was Silent
Creationists have a problem with the big bang because they have a mental picture of a giant puff of magician smoke and poof, there is the entire universe as it is now, the way deity would do it. It was not like that at all! It started out unbelievably small, a Planck size, a billion trillion trillionth of a centimeter. At this scale, quantum effects allow particles to pop in and out of existence randomly. From then on space itself smoothly and rapidly expanded. It took the universe over 13 billion years to reach its current state. The astounding part is not the creation of a speck smaller than an atom, but rather the smooth and spectacularly rapid expansion of space itself which continues to this day.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69) source
A creationist believes that his brain is big enough to answer any question he can conceive. If he can’t, he will make up a phony answer, god did it, that does not explain anything.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Biggest Liars on Earth
With the possible exception of used car salesman, the biggest liars I have ever encountered were creationists. This is odd since they froth so to assure me creationists are the only moral people on earth.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Blinded To Science
The evidence from DNA sequencing for evolution is absolutely convincing to those who understand it. The catch is, creationists carefully shield themselves from learning the science that would let them understand the argument. Further, they promise themselves, that no matter what evidence they are presented with, they will discount it. Whatever evidence that will eventually unseat creationism, has to be able to smash through those defences and be irrefutable even to the aggressively ignorant.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69) Observation of evolution in the wild
Bogosity of Irreducible Complexity
One of the most often repeated lies from the creationists is the notion of irreducible complexity. They claim an eye could not have evolved through intermediate stages since only a complete human eye has any useful purpose.
They pretend not to notice that all manner of intermediate forms of eye can be found in creatures living today, including light sensitive patch, light sensitive patch in a cup, light sensitive patch in deep cup, pin hole camera without a lens, camera with a fixed lens, camera with a lens that can focus and of course eyes that work even better than human eyes like the hawks with flat retinas.
They pretend they do not know that Darwin himself refuted their argument.
They claim anything less than perfect vision is useless for survival. They ignore the fact that even 5% vision still lets you avoid getting run over by a bus. They ignore the fact that people who need thick glasses can still see better than if they close their eyes. Complex, image-forming eyes have evolved independently 50 to 100 times. There are several types including compound eyes and eyes with a reflective mirror.
The irreducible complexity argument is not only wrong, it is dishonest. Creationists don’t care if the argument is bogus. They throw it up anyway, over and over, to defend their nutty religious superstitions.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists are annoying as a bratty five year old who says In my opinion 2 + 2 = 5. Why should your opinion have any more weight that mine? My way is better.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Bronze Age Science
As science progresses, creationists have successfully lead the American people to reject it and embrace the science of desert dwellers living 3000 years ago. The advantage is the ancient science is simple and intuitive. The disadvantage is it is wrong. Though Americans reject modern science, they happy to embrace its fruits such as medicine, computers, cell phones, improved crop yields, air travel…~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Bulgarian Phrase Book
Monty Python once did a sketch about a Bulgarian phrase book that taught people to ask where the train station was by saying Let me see your bottom. The creationists have perpetrated a similar hoax on the public teaching people complete nonsense about what science has to say on various topics. The culprits include Kent Hovind, Ken Ham, Kirk Cameron, William Dembski and Ray Comfort.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
There are obvious design flaws in the creation. Zoologists found them years ago.
- Your optic nerve is attached to the wrong side of your retina resulting in a blind spot. Birds get it right.
- The laryngeal nerve takes a 4.57 metres (15 ft) detour in the giraffe.
- Most animals have vestigial organs.
- Humans can easily choke to death because food and air use the same pipe. Crocodiles do not.
These are arguments against intelligent design. Even a designer with human-level intelligence would not make these mistakes. Claiming Yahweh designed all creatures is insulting to Yahweh.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
But You Can’t Explain…
Christians ignore all that science explains and homes in on the things science is still not 100% sure about such as abiogenesis (the origin of life) and the big bang. They jeer. Yet Christianity cannot explain a single fact of the material world or make any predictions. If the Christians can’t explain anything, why do they expect science to explain everything? Further, Christians ignore the fact that every year scientists peel back more of the mystery of the big bang and abiogenesis. Creationists make no progress at all. There is not a single invention or drug that makes use of the creationist view of the universe. Not only is creationism untrue, it is utterly useless. It simply does not work.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists have some very naïve ideas about cause. There are two kinds of cause:
- I drop a glass and it breaks. Here the cause is a sentient being.
- An earthquake happens. Here some tectonic plates have gradually shifted, stuck, and released. No sentient being is involved. You could say the laws of physics are the cause.
When creationists claim everything has a cause, they are talking about (1), when that is not necessary at all, even for something like creating a universe.
Over a hundred years ago we discovered many things happen without even a (2) cause. For example:
- radioactive decay
- The quantum position of an electron
- A quantum particle popping into existence out of nothing.
These things happen purely spontaneously and unpredictably with no pattern whatsoever.
At the big bang, the universe was scrunched to a point smaller than an atom. Quantum rules apply at those tiny sizes. Causality (either (1) or (2)) is not required and not even possible.
Everything we observe in the physical universe either has a (1), (2) or no cause. The only reason to assign a god as a cause is a lack of understanding of the mundane cause. The universe is far more capable of being amazing than Christians imagine. Over and over they falsely ascribe the wonder inherent in the universe to their imaginary, petty tyrant of a god, Yahweh.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Cheeky creationists taunt when they can find even one thing science does not fully understand. They claim that proves creationism. It does no such thing. Creationism does not explain anything at all. Explaining must provide a framework for the observed facts. Creationism utterly ignores the observed facts.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
It can be frightening to discover the religious right has elected mouth breathers to the boards of education of every town in Texas, people who believe public education is the work of the devil, people who were home-schooled who never graduated nor learned the first thing about science. Yet take heart. There was a time when everyone was a creationist. There were no atheists at all. As of 2015, 23% of Americans are non-believers. Non-believers are the fastest growing group, even counting the rabbit-like Catholics and Muslims.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
What I find really dishonest is the way creationists accept some of the science in the bible (the global flood) but ignore other parts of it, e.g. the flat earth. Similarly they accept most of science, and rely on it in their daily lives, (such as electronics) yet pretend bits of it such as evolution and geology are satanic conspiracies. Science is an interconnecting whole. You can’t trust pharmacology while rejecting evolution. You can’t trust oil exploration while rejecting geology. You can’t have one without the other.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Oddly, creationists do not trust Darwin as an authority on what his original evolutionary theory had to say. I don’t mean that they disagree with his theory, but they think his books don’t actually describe his own evolutionary theory. Instead, they consult child actors like Kirk Cameron, or creationist theme park owners like Ken Ham to inform them about what the theory says. (Remarkably, Darwin is still an easy read, even for a 15 year old.)~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Choose to be Gay
If gays can choose to be straight then obviously straights can choose to be gay. I challenge anyone to make the opposite choice, for even five minutes. They don’t have to have sex, just be more strongly attracted to the opposite sex from the one they usually are. No sinning required. Nobody, not even the craziest people ever claim to be able to do this, but creationists are certain all gays can do it. At most, a prayer to Jesus is required.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Choosing a Hospital
All else being equal, I would like to avoid a hospital with a name like Mt. Sinai, St. Jude’s, St. Paul’s or Our Lady of Perpetual Indulgence. I don’t want anything to do with potential creationists who might believe in biblical medicine such as demonic possession, laying on of hands or praying.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Christian Argument For God
When Christians debate, they have four main arguments for god:
- Pascal’s Wager.
- Incredulity the universe could start naturally.
- Incredulity about abiogenesis, that life could start naturally.
- Incredulity that evolution could be responsible for the variety of life we see today.
Pascal’s wager is not an argument for the existence of god, but an extortion attempt to get you to pretend to believe in god or to try to convince yourself he exists. The incredulity arguments are based on science over a century out of date. They are also based on fraudulent probability estimates concocted by creationist con men. Creationists also use straw men caricatures, particularly of evolution, falsely claiming it is a random process.
No one disputes that both the universe and life started, only how. Given that we observe evolution happening in the fossil record, in the wild, in the lab and in the body (where viruses rapidly evolve immunity to drugs), am baffled that anyone could doubt evolution, unless they lied to themselves or avoiding learning anything about evolution It is as solid as the theory of gravity.
The various natural explanations for the big bang and abiogenesis are not complete, and they are puzzling, but nowhere near as mind boggling as quantum mechanics or relativity. Christians want to replace natural explanations with something an order of magnitude more astounding and mysterious and immune to mathematical analysis. That is a backward step in understanding. Further, Christians ignore the fact that every year scientists peel back more of the mystery of the big bang and abiogenesis. Creationists make no progress at all.
We also have a pot calling the kettle black problem. On every page of the bible are incredible (in the sense of non-believable and impossible) stories. The stories have no first-hand witnesses. They were transmitted anonymously orally, then hand copied for centuries introducing tens of thousands of errors. There is no evidence these stories even happened, much less how. Strangely, Christians seem to think these stories are much easier to swallow than the big bang, abiogenesis and evolution.
The answer to every question for a Christian is God did it. This is no more useful than claiming Leprechauns did it, again without any evidence. Note Christians have never produced even a single invention as a result of their revelations. The Christian explanation is an explanation only in the sense of a Just So story, not something with practical use.
Bit by bit, Christians have given up on believing their god is responsible for tides, lightning, rain, hurricanes, volcanos, earthquakes, tsunamis, crop yields, disease, mental illness… They are hanging on with their toenails to the big bang, abiogenesis and evolution. If they would but read a few books on these topics, written by scientists, they would discover these subjects are not nearly as mysterious as they imagine. They are difficult and complicated but not inscrutable. It is quite overconfident of Christians to claim to know more about the big bang than Stephen Hawking before they have read even a single textbook.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Not only do creationists claim to know more than geologists, cosmologists, evolutionists, physicists, chemists, astronomers… with PhDs, they claim all these people are completely incompetent. They do this without any study of these fields. Their arrogance is beyond belief. It is amazing they don’t similarly claim to know more than the acknowledged experts about opera singing, classical music conducting, ski jumping, car racing, writing mystery novels, gymnastics, injection moulding… too.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists they don’t believe in evolution. Yet they tell me their god wiped out all humans on earth except for Noah’s family. Then they tell me within a few hundred years there were white, black, Chinese, Australian aborigines, North Americans, Inuit, Central Americans… all over the world. Where did all these types come from if not from evolution? Science says it takes hundreds of thousands of years for such evolution to occur. We know evolution cannot go that fast because today’s peoples are not even changing fast enough to notice, so ironically Creationists are claiming super-evolution.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Christian Inability To Comprehend the Universe
The average Christian is nowhere near capable of understanding the universe. It is hard even for people like Einstein and Hawking. It is far too subtle and complex for the simplistic Christian mind. Christians are convinced everything should be simple enough for a 4 year old. There is no more reason to assert that than saying the universe should be fully comprehended by a dog or ant.
Very few Christians understand any science discovered after 1600, in particular evolution, genetics, embryology, cosmology, paleontology, quantum mechanics and radioactivity. They claim to believe only the science of 1000 BC in the bible, but they have never read the bible, so they really do not. Nearly all of them have given up on the flat earth and a starry sky made of holes in a metal plate.
Christians are aggressively ignorant. They shield themselves from science. They prefer the straw men depictions of science offered up by charlatan creationists. They will boldly assert things like, There must be a first cause., There must be a prime mover. or Nothing can come from nothing. What they mean is their paltry, deliberately-kept-ignorant minds cannot conceive of reality being any other way than the ancient Greeks conceived it.
In 1686 Newton discovered objects keep on moving by themselves, without cause, in a straight line unless a force acts on them. Anyone who has watched tools floating about a space capsule understands this intuitively. We have known for over 100 years Christian intuitions are simply not so. Particles pop in and out of existence all the time. Atoms radioactively decay perfectly randomly without cause.
The word Christian and cretin have the same root. Christians have always been proud of their ignorance. These cretin Christians cannot handle reality so prefer children’s fables they can understand, but which explain nothing give no insight and predict nothing — anything to excuse themselves for laziness and avoiding the work of learning.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Christian Monumental Ignorance
Most Christians seem to have less than a grade 2 science education. They say some of the most ignorant things. They have absolutely no idea how mountainous the evidence for various scientific assertions is. Further, they have no idea how interconnected it all is. Parts of it can’t be wrong without the whole thing being wrong.
Further, they don’t realise the consequences of it all being wrong. None of our technology would work. But it does work. If creationists were correct and the earth is flat and four cornered, modern navigation of airplanes and ships would be impossible. GPS phones could not work. But they do work. So the creationists must be wrong.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
What’s the difference between a creationist and a Taliban. They are both sure they are right without evidence. Both are eager to punish those who disagree.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
It seems likely the early Christians who wrote the gospels were just as loose with the truth as modern day creationists.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Christian Twist and Shout
A creationist, on finding a bit of old wood in Israel, claims it must be either part of Noah’s ark or Jesus’ cross. When he finds a pottery box, he declares it an ossuary that must have held the bones of Jesus. When he discovers the images of the Beatles impressed on the lid of the ossuary, he declares it a miracle prophesy fulfilled.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Christians Waste Others’ Time
One rarely-acknowledged damage creationists do is distracting so many intelligent people extinguishing their endless lies. It is quite ridiculous to have to waste the minds of people like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris on such nonsense.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Claiming to Already Know Everything
Creationists often accuse scientists of taking on faith that they already know everything and that they take on faith that nothing exists outside current scientific knowledge. In the next breath, they chastise scientists for changing their minds about the big bang when new data came in.
Scientists merely claim that science reflects the best explanation we have come up with given the current evidence. It is subject to change with new evidence or a better idea.
Creationists are the ones who claim they have known everything there was to know for 4000 years and have not changed that view one iota since, despite ample evidence they are wrong.
Scientists looking back over the decades, can see all manner of new discoveries. They fully expect an accelerating rate of discovery in the coming decades. This is hardly a belief that all is already known.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Climate Change Denial and Creationism
Climate change deniers are creationists in disguise. It is not any evidence that persuades them. It is their religious belief that Yahweh would never permit such a thing. I find that trust odd given that in a fit of pique Yahweh allegedly wiped out nearly all life on earth in a flood.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Aggressively ignorant creationists think space is nothing at all. Yet it can twist, bend and ripple. It can push with the Cassomir effect. It can direct planets. It can expand.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Completeness of the Fossil Record
Less than 0.1% of all species left behind even one fossil. Creationists foolishly imagine every animal fossilises so expect there to be a 100% complete fossil record.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Con Men, Don’t Forget
When scientists debate creationists or Christians, they usually forget they are dealing with professional con men. They treat their opponents as ignorant and stupid. Lay Christians are ignorant and stupid. Professional Christians are cunning and polished con men, skilled in the art of deception.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Constitution on Teaching Creationism
Just as it is constitutionally forbidden to indoctrinate students with a religion in school, it is forbidden to teach them Intelligent Design which is just Christian fundamentalism thinly disguised.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
A scientific theory has to be both true and useful. It has to make predictions. It should contribute information useful in practical life. Further, it has to be testable.
Creationism is neither true nor useful nor testable. It has yet to come up with a single piece of useful information or a single invention in its 3000-year life. It is so useless, that it does not even rate as a scientific theory. Creationists think all it needs is to be possibly true, that a theory in science is just a hunch. God did it is completely useless information even if it were true. To be serious, creationism would have to concern itself with how god did it.
On the other hand, science has created our entire technological society including medicine. We know it is true because it works.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Every scientific discovery reinforces the view that we humans are not special. The universe is indifferent to us.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Covering a Lie With a Bigger Lie
When a little boy is challenged in a lie, he will typically tell an ever bigger lie to cover the first. Creationists are the similar, making up ever more preposterous excuses to explain the evidence counter to their claims.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
The Cowardly Christian
A Christian posted a YouTube video, and barred any comments to make sure he would never learn about his errors. He showed a picture of tulips that said I cannot imagine how these tulips could exist without a god designing them.
The tulips were designed, but not by a god. The Dutch have been using artificial selection to create colourful tulips for hundreds of years.
This man is not bright. I am pretty sure he has not the first clue of how computers work, how calculus works, how tectonic plates work, how evolution works, how astronomy works… He refused to put out any effort to learn. He idiotically presumed a sky fairy is the best explanation for everything, when he has not even gleaned the rudimentary understanding of the alternatives that scientists have discovered as the best explanations. This twit should first at least study and learn the alternatives before pontificating that the only possible alternative for everything is an invisible, undetectable, wizard.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Even creationists must now surely concede that god created earths, not the earth.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
The Creation of the Universe
Why Creationists Misunderstand
Creationists have a lot of trouble understanding the scientific explanation for the creation of the universe because:
- They believe the biblical account must be true in every detail.
- Creationists have told them straw man versions of the scientific account.
- They have no scientific background to understand. They harbour hundreds of superstitious misconceptions, basically how the universe appears to a five year old’s intuition. For example, they imagine everything has to have a cause. We have known that is not true for well over a century.
How Could Science Know Anything?
How could scientists possibly now anything about an event that happened 13.82 billion years ago? It turns out that the universe is so big, the light from the big bang is just arriving now. We call that the microwave background radiation. Ken Ham dislikes to dismiss any scientific knowledge about the past by saying Were you there?. In this case, we were. We have a ring-side seat.
Edwin Hubble noticed that the universe is expanding. It is not just that the stars are flying away from each other, space itself is growing. Georges Lemaître, a Belgian Catholic Priest, reasoned that if you go back in time, the universe would be smaller and smaller, eventually so small it would be smaller than an atom. This singularity would the seed of the whole universe.
We have been studying the universe for centuries. Thousands of people like Newton, Einstein, Schrödinger and Hawking have been discovering math that describes what we see happening. They can then apply that math to the conditions near the big bang to model how it would behave.
We have particle accelerators that are so high energy, they mimic the conditions of the big bang. We can perform experiments.
We discovered quantum mechanics a century ago. We found out to our astonishment, the particles the size of an atom or smaller behave completely counter to intuition. Here are a few examples:
- They disappear and reappear somewhere else without going in between.
- They just pop into existence out of nothing, randomly without any cause.
- They become entangled. If you touch one of a pair, the other is instantly affected, even if it is a 1,000 megameters (621,371.19 miles) away. Normally no affect travels faster than the speed of light.
- If you try to measure a particle’s position accurately, it is impossible to simultaneously know its accurate velocity.
The singularity is so small, it would be subject to quantum effects. It could just pop into existence for no reason.
We have an extremely detailed picture of the big bang right down to a femtosecond after the big bang. That is one quadrillionth of a second. But science has not yet figured out for sure what happened before that. The singularity might:
- have just popped into existence by quantum fluctuation.
- have existed forever.
- have been spawned from another multiverse.
- be one of an eternal series of big bangs.
- something else.
Various scientists are pretty sure they know the answer, but they cannot prove it, so they shut up until they can. We will have to be patient and let them do their work.
It is childish to claim God did it is the final, definitive, adequate answer to any question we have not decided scientifically yet.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationism has absolutely nothing going for it except a biblical endorsement. But since the bible is a forgery, a document written by ignoramuses, fobbed off clumsily as the work of the creator of the universe, the endorsement means nothing. There is no evidence a supernatural being had anything to do with its composition, and a ton of evidence ordinary lying humans did, perhaps with the best of intentions. Christians are as pathetic as 12-year olds who cling to their teddy bears and insist they have magic powers, merely because they wish they did.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationism is Backward
The Christians of the 1800s were not young earth creationists. They knew the earth was millions of years old and the earth was a sphere. They explained the various layers of different types of animals in the strata by multiple creations. Within 20 years of publication of Darwin’s Origin Of Species the scientific debate about evolution was complete.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationism Explains Nothing
Aside from the fact it isn’t true, creationism explains nothing about the animals, not even why their genetics forms a family tree, why different sorts of animal live on different continents and islands, or why some animals have such vibrant colours. Science has a coherent explanation for all this.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationism is Not Even a Theory
Creationism is not a true theory. It is not even a false theory; it is a story and not even a true story at that!~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationism is not even a Theory
Creationists are not in the least bothered by the fact their theory makes utterly no scientific sense. They have no interest in defending it as plausible science. It was the best guess of people living 3000 years ago and they put it in their bible. That endorsement is the only thing that matters to a creationist.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationism Is Not Even A Theory
A theory must:
- make predictions. This helps you discover new facts and test if the theory is true.
- The predictions the theory makes must turn not out to be false.
- must describe in precise mathematical language what it claims is so.
- tell you something useful, let you do something you could not do before, at least help you delve some other mystery.
- that there could be no light reaching earth from further away that 6000 light years. It does.
- there should be evidence in the DNA of all species of a massive population collapse 6000 years ago. There is not.
- there should be evidence of the massive weight of water on the rocks from Noah’s floods. There is not.
- there should be no layers of sediment or ice cores more than 6000 years thick. There is. In Greenland we can drill down 680,000 layers of snow, each representing the snow for one year.
- No rocks, igneous or sedimentary, should date older than 6000 years. They nearly all do.
- fossils of various animals should be randomly found at all depths. They are in evolutionary order oldest at the bottom.
- canyons should be no deeper than erosion can dig in 6000 years. They are all much deeper.
- there should be no surviving fresh water fish. There are.
Creationism does not even get to first base as the theory because all its predictions are false. So if creationism is not a theory, what is it? — a Just-so story.
Creationists often try to explain away the failures by resorting to a desperate move, claiming Yahweh faked his creation to make it look like it happened the way science says it did. But this cannot be true. Yahweh reputedly cannot err and cannot lie. But let us say, through some loophole, he did fake the universe for the purpose of fooling mankind. The illusion is so perfect and so painstaking, surely Yahweh wanted people to believe the scientific view, for mysterious reasons of his own. How impudent it would be to reject his handiwork.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationism as Stage Magic
Creationism tells you no more about how something works than a stage magician does about how he performs his tricks. It does not help you do anything new yourself, not even create illusions of magic. Creationism is purely a Just-so story.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationism is Wrong and Useless
Aside from the falseness of creationism, aside from the lack of any evidence for it, consider its utility. How is it used in healing people, in creating new medicines? How is it useful in finding fossil fuels and minerals? How is it useful in reducing pollution? How can you use it to design a computer? How is it useful in slowing the population explosion? How is it useful in agriculture? How does it help you design a healthful diet? It is useless. In contrast, science which is based on experiment and evidence rather than believing ancient myths is very useful.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationism: Religion of the Stupid
Those who succumb to creationism tend to have a below average IQ (Intelligence Quotient). They are optimistic and gullible. They fall for all manner of scams, conspiracy theories and whacky ideas, not just creationism. Wishful thinking guides what they believe. They believe in eternal life just because someone has promised it to them, not because they have reasoned out that it is likely.
They want it badly. That overrides any skepticism about the salesman’s ability or intent to deliver. Creationism is just a specific type of weak sales resistance. Science has little appeal to the creationist because it makes no grandiose promised benefits in return for belief. Creationists are like a teenage girl in love with a guy who has divorced four times previously. Wishful thinking overrides everything else.
Christine O’Donnell, the Tea Party candidate for senate in Delaware in 2010 is a classic example of such a flake.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationist arguments presume there have been no advancements in science since Newton. Why would this be?
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- Creationists are like Boko Haram. They consider science a tool of the devil and so avoid learning anything about it.
- They are not bright enough to compose their own arguments, so they quote ones from the time of Darwin, when the possibility that there was no god was first extensively explored.
- Creationists studying science quickly learn it contradicts Genesis. Without any checking to see which is correct, they decide all science is wrong, and recoil.
Creationists are so insulting the way they drag up the same lame arguments over and over and over. Pascal was born in 1623. Why doesn’t it occur to creationists Pascal’s Wager may have been hashed and rehashed thousands of times over? They talk about first cause. This sort of thinking dates back to Sir Isaac Newton born in 1643.
A lot has happened since. In the 1800s we discovered radioactivity. In 1920 we discovered quantum mechanics and particles that randomly popped into and out of existence. Then in 1970 we first discovered black holes. That blew the notion of causality out the water.
But dildo-brain creationists talk as though no scientific discoveries have been made since 1700. What is even more infuriating, is they keep repeating the same obsolete claims about what the latest science says, no matter how many times you correct them.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists have terrible trouble when trying to persuade scientists. They think the way you persuade is to:
- express how deeply you believe.
- quote scripture.
- explain why you will be a more conscientious citizen if you believe.
They never get it that scientists want reason, evidence, precision and math. Creationists don’t understand that scientists abhor inconsistencies, white lies, vague hand-waving and loose ends.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists often bring up very abstract arguments for the existence of god by ignorant, morally debased, old farts like Aquinas. I don’t believe the Christians even understand the arguments much less find them persuasive. They fear god torturing them for eternity so they cannot take the chance of disbelief. They are frantically throwing out crappy arguments like jelly beans to lions hoping one will be convincing. They have absolutely no reason at all to believe that god exists.
It is simply they were traumatised as children and on a very deep level. They are terrified sick of Yahweh. They have Stockholm syndrome, imagining they love their tormentor. It is as gut-wrenching as a phobia of spiders. Simple logic will not make the phobia go away. Christians are blind to how much harm this delusion does to themselves and their families. If they understood how toxic it is, they would never dream of passing it on to their children even if they could not get rid of it in themselves.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
The arrogance of the creationists astounds me. They think they know all there is no know about evolution without ever reading a book or taking a course. It is as preposterous as pontificating on trigonometry without even knowing what a cosine was.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
A door to door salesman once told me that he welcomed no salesman, solicitors or pedlars signs because the people who put them up have weak sales resistance. I wonder if a similar motivation is behind so many creationists so boldly advertising that no conceivable evidence could shake their faith in the infallibility in the bible, (including, of course, errors and inconsistencies in the bible). They want to avoid the ugly sensation of cognitive dissonance.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationist Book Burners
Hitler ordered burned all books written by Jews, even Einstein and Freud. What the creationists are aiming for is effectively burning or sidelining all books written about science since 4000 BC.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists argue like bratty, ignorant children — naïve, rude, mocking, without substance and full of error. They are irritating primarily not because of their ignorance but because of their arrogance, to spit at august scientists who know hundreds of thousands of times more than they do.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Use Google to look for cartoons penned by creationists. What will you discover?
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- They will refer to anything a creationist says as God’s word even when it flies in the face of the facts, e.g. claiming the earth is flat. They will refer to anything that disagrees with them as man’s fallible word even when it is solid and well-tested as Newton’s laws. Nearly all of what they say is something they just made up. A fraction of it comes from the bible. I have argued elsewhere where is impossible a deity authored the bible so even that is just made up my ordinary mortals.
- They depict famous atheists saying things they never said, in fact saying the exact opposite of what they actually said. When someone lies and cheats like that, it destroys their general credibility.
- They claim atheists are motivated by a desire to rape and kill. They refuse to acknowledge that atheists are simply after truth. Christianity is the religion for rapists and murderers. It is the religion of soldiers. They believe you cannot really kill people. They believe rape does not really matter compared with an eternity of bliss. They believe they are forgiven any crime by a prayer and a wafer.
- Creationists refuse to acknowledge the blatant con artistry of the televangelists and faith healers.
29% of Catholics are young earth creationists. Craziness is not just for fundamental protestants.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Oddly, when a creationist is backed into a corner, proved wrong and proved a liar, they don’s slink away in shame. They believe that countering with lies, slanders, bafflegab and deception is all justified because they are so sure they are right. It is an extreme example of thinking the ends justify the means. They don’t seem to notice their ends must be wrong too if all the evidence points that way. The confuse the emotion of certainty with evidence. We all know people who made foolish longshot bets absolutely certain they would win. That is what creationists are doing trusting the feeling of certainty over evidence.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists do not make good scientists. They are not objective enough. Before writing down any observation, they have to check the bible to see if their finding might in some way conflict with scripture. If it does, they modify or censor it. An atheist does no such thing. He does not ask himself I had better be sure this observation does not confirm the bible before I write it down. The bible is irrelevant. He just writes what he observed. Atheist means god is irrelevant, a non-entity, not that god is an ever-present enemy.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Imagine a contestant on American Idol who refused to submit himself to the various level of audition and elimination. Because his uncle was Simon Cowell, he insisted on going straight to the final round. In science, contenders have to publish in peer review journal their evidence, and the results of their experiments. They have to subject themselves to scrutiny by experts in the field. Creationists refuse to do that. They cheat to win the prize of being included in textbooks as legitimate tested science without doing any of the work.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists every day in their YouTube debates with me try to convince me they know far more about the big bang, in particular the alleged rôle Yahweh played in it, than Stephen Hawking does.
The creationists have never read even a single book on physics or cosmology. They probably don’t even know who Dr. Hawking is. The chutzpah is mind boggling. Creation science is incompatible with relativity too. Thankfully, the creationists have not taken to claiming to know more than Einstein.
Their reasoning is: I don’t understand it; I don’t want to understand it; Therefore it must be wrong. I don’t care if the experts do understand it. I don’t care if it works. I don’t care if modern civilisation depends on it, I must protect myself from learning about science, like a sort of virginity, in case understanding changes my mind about the reliability of the bible.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationist Complaint About Evolution
The creationists froth at the mouth because evolution does not teach a moral code comparable to the Ten Commandments.
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- If it did, they would froth even more because it would conflict with the Ten Commandments.
- Why should it concern itself with morality? Very fields other than ethics and religion do. Creationists don’t get upset about chemistry, library science or furniture refinishing having nothing to say about morality.
Creationist Con Men
Professional creationists are just ordinary con men. It is a very lucrative con. You can’t prove god does not exist, but it is trivially easy to prove creationism is not true. They know that perfectly well, so they lie and misquote and use straw men to sell their nonsense.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists conflate three areas of science: evolution, abiogenesis and cosmology under their term evolutionism. They persist in doing that despite being repeatedly corrected. Why do they do this? They use this deliberate confusion for generating straw men arguments. For example, they can use an argument against evolution against cosmology.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists believe they are in a war with science and atheists, defending god and morality. They see straw men arguments and lying as completely legitimate tactics of warfare, much as we did during WWII (World War II). It sounds crazy, but I see no reason they will not eventually graduate to murder. We have seen it happen in Islam.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists are the final authority on what it would take to get them to abandon creationism. It might well be unreasonable, insane or impossible.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
If you show a creationist a new species forming in the lab they will say But they didn’t change into people. That is the sort of nonsense Creationism predicts. Evolution predicts no such thing, only very gradual changes.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
When I watch creationists and atheists debate, I never see a creationist acknowledge the holes in his own argument. He just throws up an ever more desperate defence, then changes the topic. This suggests the creationist actually has been scotched. It suggests then atheists should keep up a barrage, pointing out untruths, inconsistencies and malice in the creationist arguments, the apologists and the bible itself. Creationists won’t acknowledge anything until they have been completely disillusioned (freed of their delusions).~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
A creationist is someone who yearns to live 2000 years ago using 3000 year old science. The simplest way for them to get their wish would be to move to one of the poorest third world countries.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
What if the creationists succeed in taking over the curriculum, banning science and teaching creationism and biblical twaddle instead? Whether you are a Christian or an atheist, your children will not be able to get into good universities and will not be able to get good jobs. Employers will bring in foreigners to take the jobs. The USA will become more and more like a third world country with you living on the low economic rung.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists are betting all their eggs on the bible being the literal word of god despite the fact it looks like the drooling ramblings of some ancient ignorant desert tribe, nothing like the work of a being capable of creating an entire universe. Whoever wrote the bible knew zip about how universes work. Whoever wrote the bible were rather poor authors, hardly superhuman quality.
All the creationists have already long ago publicly conceded they ignore science, reason, observation, logic. They just emit a bit of a smoke screen to keep their hand in. They have admitted they have no case.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Darwin explained how complex life forms could have evolved from very simple ones. Creationists, claim to solve this same problem, by saying The god Yahweh did it without providing any evidence for their hypothesis. Further, they leave behind an even more mysterious question, where did this highly complex supernatural being Yahweh come from? If you are satisfied with the answer He was always here then it would seem you should be equally happy to accept the answer that complex animals too have always been here and that question too does not need an answer.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists favour a logical fallacy called argument from ignorance. They will say something like I don’t understand how evolution could create a new species, therefore the theory is all wet. Of course, they have never tried to understand by reading a textbook on evolution. They have carefully avoided reading any such textbook to preserve their religious virtue and ignorance. Just because they do not understand does not mean nobody does.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
The Creationist Game
Creationists like to play a game. They ask some question they know science has no answer for yet, e.g. Why is there an imbalance of matter and anti-matter in the universe? You respond We don’t know yet. Then they claim I know. God did it! That proves god exists, Jesus is the son of a virgin and Jesus rose on the third day.. But they don’t know that. They just speculated it. If all they wanted was speculation, I too could have given them a plausible non-theological answer. Further, God did it does not answer the question. That is just a way to dismiss an inquisitive child. Even if that answer were true, it gives you no insight into how the process happens. It is not a serious answer. It explains nothing.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists pretend to reject all science, yet they use all modern technology just like everyone else. This technology depends on science that creationists pretend to reject. There is no alternative. None of the science in the bible works. There is not one single invention that uses bible science. To be consistent, they should reject all modern technology and medicine, including central heating.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists claim evolution does not happen. Then how is it possible that?
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- Adam had blond hair, Eve had blond hair, but the world contains people with black, brown and red hair.
- Adam had light skin like a European. But the world contains people of colour ranging from white to black.
- How did all the types of dog appear descended from wolves?
- How did all the types of cattle appear descended from aurochs?
Creationists are so inconsistent. They claim evolution works millions of times faster than it does to take a small sample of animals on the ark to create the explosion of species we see now all in a few thousand years. But they claim regular speed evolution is impossible. What?? They are just jerking our chains.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists assert that an intelligent deity designed the universe including man with divine perfection. What sort of designer would install teeth and vertebrae designed to wear out by 50 in a being specified to live until 80?~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
A new idea about how things work goes through three stages:
- Somebody gets a hunch.
- They check to see if is really true.
- Other people also check to see if it really true.
Creationists believe that step (1) is all you need. You can skip steps (2) and (3) if you have enough faith that you are right.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
The best argument creationists use is the fine tuning argument. Atheists have a number of ways of refuting it, but it is still a sensible and logical argument. The irony is the creationists did not come up with it. Scientists gave it to them.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationist Language Abuse
One of less dishonest creationist debating tactics is to use very vague words, or to define words in a unusual way. Then they make statements using those words using a variety of definitions. They will get agreement on one definition and then pretend their opponent conceded another. I think anyone debating should simply refuse to comment on things like absolute truth as being insufficiently well defined.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists are very much like lawyers. It does not matter if they personally believe the cases they plead. They are paid to convince people of biblical literalism using any dirty trick imaginable, including, of course, bald face lying. Creationism is big business that defrauds people of billions of dollars each year not even counting the property and income tax exemptions. The people who hire creationists desperately want to protect that income.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists swear that the bible in the inerrant word of god. Every word is just as he penned it. They know this is a giant lie, but that does not stop them from asserting it over and over as if that would make it so. They know perfectly well that:
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- We have no originals of the bible, not even copies in the original language. So even if Yahweh did write the original, that is not what we have now.
- The copies we have differ in tens of thousands of significant ways. For example none of the early manuscripts contain the verses at the end of Mark about how Christians should be able to handle poisonous snakes safely. Scholars agree somebody quietly added it.
- When we tell stories orally, we embellish them, modify them and adjust them for the audience. Up until quite recently, people felt much the same way about books when they recopied them. Copying a book could be thought of as like composing a new book based closely on an existing book or doing a cover of a song. In particular, copyists felt it was their duty to correct what they thought were errors or to add relevant recent information.
- The bible contradicts itself in tens of thousands of places. That happens when you have multiple authors and no editor. If the bible were the unaltered word of god, how could it possibly have even more contradictions than a book written by a single human author?
I have never encountered a group of people such compulsive liars as creationists. You would think someone ostensibly peddling Absolute Truth would be much more careful about telling lies. The way I look at it is, almost everything they have told me that I could look up was a lie. That implies the rest that I could not check up on was probably a lie too. What are the creationists thinking that they expect us to believe and trust them when they behave this way? What are the creationists thinking that they expect us to want to be like them? Perhaps they hope to appeal only to the very stupid, very gullible, the very wishful thinkers. They don’t want any intelligent people in their churches asking questions and spoiling their con.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Why would someone lie about evolution? Why would they studiously avoid learning anything about it, then go on a crusade to trick people into thinking evolution was untrue? For them, truth is irrelevant.
What counts is people believing the bible and following its alleged rules like stoning homosexuals, making life miserable for women who have children out of wedlock, bombing infidels etc. They are afraid of the bible losing all credibility as its creation story becomes widely discredited.
They know the bible is wrong but they don’t want anyone else figuring that out. The bible is one the most vicious and incompetent moral guides ever composed. It would be a very composed. It would be a very good thing for public morals if it were discredited. The creationists refuse to conceive of anything better because they believe contrary to all evidence, that it was penned by the creator of the universe.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
One of the strange things creationists claim is that all of science is a gigantic lie constructed by the world’s scientists as part of a war against Yahweh. The paranoid are typically grandiose, imagining everyone else is conspiring against them. How do you know this is nonsense?
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- Science works. Everything from airplanes, to computers, to sewage plants all depend on science. It can’t very well be untrue and still work.
- Not even one scientist has broken ranks and exposed the conspiracy.
- Scientists are fascinated by science, not myth. Not many of them have any interest at all in Christianity or voodoo. Making war on a fictitious deity is as irrelevant as lobbying for new plots in Archie comics. It is just not the sort of thing that would interest a scientist.
Creationists make statements of the form I don’t understand how the big bang could have happened., I don’t understand how one species could evolve into another, I don’t understand why simple fossils are always found deeper than complex ones, I don’t get DNA. It makes no sense to me, therefore god exists and the bible is inerrant. Huh?
That is like saying I don’t understand calculus., Einstein makes no sense to me at all, Quantum mechanics rapes my intuition, I don’t know the first thing about Greek history, I don’t know how to program my microwave oven, therefore god exists and the bible is inerrant. Your ignorance simply means you have not studied or you are not intelligent enough to understand. There is no shame in that. Most humans are similarly incompetent. Basically what you are saying, is the more ignorant you are, the higher the probability your god exists. That makes no sense at all. There is no relationship between the two. That is a logical fallacy, technically known as an argument from ignorance.
On the other hand, creationists have no explanation at all. They just say god did it to every question as if that were an explanation.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists refuse to show any evidence for creationism, or any refutations to problems with it. Instead they claim if they can find any flaw or incompleteness in evolution, then their theory must be true. That is a non sequitur.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
One of the favourite ways creationists have of lying is to twist definitions. They know for example the Theory of Gravity, the theory of the 12-tone scale, the Cell Theory, Evolutionary Theory, Germ Theory… are all rock solid collection of observations, facts, explanatory math, testing… To undermine science, creationists like to claim by theory, scientists mean a hunch. They also like to redefine mutation, evolution, species, irreducible complexity, It is possibly legitimate to redefine a term so long as you announce what you have done. But it is illegitimate to claim others have been using your new definition all along.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
A creationist is someone who publicly lies about scientific matters. Why?
- They believe if others believe this lie they will behave better.
- They materially gain from the rubes they take in.
Basically it is holding truth in low regard and holding the Christian rules of behaviour extremely highly.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
One of the favourite creationist lies is that all evolutionists are atheists. Nearly everyone in the USA is Christian, including scientists and evolutionists. Nearly all Christians are creationists. The Pope asked all Catholics to reject creationism. Most of the creationists in the world are Muslims or Hindus. Creationists pretend that rejecting Creationism is the same as rejecting Christianity.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
What bothers me most about Christians criticising evolution is that they invariably say half a dozen things that indicate they have not the first clue what they are talking about. They need to learn about evolution from evolutionists so they understand it properly, then listen to the criticisms and straw man attacks of the creationists. Then they can ensure the creationist authorities understand it properly too. Imagine atheists behaving the same way as Christians, attacking the bible without ever having read even a single verse.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationist Quote Mining
Creationists are fond of quoting evolutionists out of context, most famously quoting Darwin on why the eye seems preposterous, without the following paragraph containing his explanation on why the evolution of the eye is actually quite plausible. What is this significance of this?
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- Creationists are resorting to deliberate deception. They have no compunction about lying.
- Creationists must not have been able to find any actual quotes to make their point.
- The point creationists are trying to make is not true.
- The creationists are fully aware the point they are making is not true.
Creationist Secret Weapon
The secret weapon of the creationist is that he can lie with impunity. People rarely suspect that someone promoting god could be up to no good.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationist Straw Men
Everybody knows that offspring are not that different from parents. Evolution proceeds by accumulating just such tiny changes. Creationists keep trying to sell the lie that evolution works in giant leaps from mouse to cow, or by merging two existing species e.g. the crockoduck. These are dishonest straw men.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationist Termites Derail Education
With education cutbacks, it is so frustrating watching each generation get stupider and stupider when it comes to science. Then we have the creationists working tirelessly to make people aggressive ignorant, closed minded and misinformed. They have no conscience. If there were a hell, they are among the first people I would consign there.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
I have noticed that creationists have great difficulty telling the difference between what is real and what they or others imagined. They also have great difficulty distinguishing between what is plausible and what is impossible. I have noticed that I have the same problem, but only when I am dreaming.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
The problem with the creationists is twofold:
- They are willing to believe any event so long at the word God is attached. I was quite amazed at how easily Christians discounted hundreds of impossibilities in the Noah story. They simply dismissed them with With god, all things are possible. (even if the workarounds were not mentioned in the bible). They think of the god Yahweh as like a cosmic script writer for Star Trek who can realise any idea without regard to practicalities or consistency.
- They imagine the entire universe, throughout all time and space and scale is constrained to behave the way their intuition thinks it should with their very dull intuition honed at their time, space and scale.
It may be easier to crack them by showing them how mind-boggling the universe is on a day-to-day basis. Historically that it what has always made the notion of god take a step in retreat.
It might also work to out-Christian them, by satirising them, while insisting you are sincere, making ever more silly and extravagant claims for the god Yahweh, challenging them to prove you wrong using the standard Christian debating tactics.
It is really quite odd how Christians are willing to believe the wildest things about the acts of Yahweh the god and are so skeptical about how amazing the universe is on a day to day basis if they would but look or read a text book. They seem to think a no-limits god would create only a pedestrian universe.
Creationism is a bit like mathematical reasoning. You make up some postulates. Then you ask, if you presume the postulates are true, what else follows? It makes no sense to question the postulates. It does not matter if they are true. What counts is what must also be true if they are true.
A creationist postulates the bible is true, then reasons from that what else must be either true or false. This leads him to some extremely strange locutions, e.g. god manufacturing shells and hiding them in mountains to test faith. He forgets that the whole reasoning system is based on the huge presumption that the bible is indeed the word of god and contains no faith-testing falsehoods. He refuses to even consider the question.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69) Quantum Leap: how matter behaves at the atomic level
There are no stranger people on earth than creationists. They ask questions but act as if they never hear your answers, like some sort of toy robot. They say things that make utterly no sense. They love to claim things that are obviously untrue. If you point that out to them, they just repeat, even when you ask for evidence why they think that. They threaten to torture you if you do not agree with them. They claim you are exceedingly wicked for not agreeing with them. They hold themselves in extremely high regard. They believe themselves far greater masters of all sciences, more than any famous scientist or group of scientists, even though they have done no study. Any crazy conjecture they have is by definition Truth without any need to test it.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists and Aliens
A new generation of SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) has started seeking infrared laser beams from other parts of the galaxy. If they are successful, how will creationists react to aliens with technology much superior to ours having no belief in or interest in Yahweh? In human history, when two cultures clashed, invariably, the religion of the less technologically advanced group was abandoned.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists and DNA
Even a creationist on a jury will convict someone to execution based primarily on DNA evidence. They apparently don’t appreciate that such testing is based on evolution. Genetic testing maps inherited and fresh mutations. That is how it can identify people and their relatives.
Similarly, DNA paternity tests are another product of the theory of evolution. If people were not evolving, as creationists believe, they would all have the same DNA and none of these forensics would be possible.
Evolution primarily is the fact that children do not have identical DNA to their parents. They may have better or worse survival potential from their parents. The losers have no children at all. The winners found a large family tree. Obviously the traits of the winners prevail. They are the survivors. How can you possibly disagree with that, unless you misunderstand it?~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists Ask Me To Distrust My Eyes
Creationists on the Internet assure me that a deity wrote the bible and that it is inerrant and thus we must do as it says literally and believe what it says trumping any other source of information including common sense, science or direct observation.
I personally have found many errors and contradictions in the bible. I have read of thousands more oopsies others have discovered. Creationists tell me that despite appearances, these errors and contradictions are not actually there. They say I should trust anonymous creationists on the net more than my own eyes.
When I ask them for a reason to believe this strange assertion, they say they cannot provide one. I must take it on faith. If I refuse their offer, they also threaten to have their imaginary god torture me for eternity, but only starting after I die. (So what? I will be just a pile of cremated bones by then. I won’t feel anything.)
In general, taking things on faith without any reasons is folly. For example, I could take it on faith I will win the Spanish El Gordo lottery without even buying a ticket and discard all my furniture and other belongings in preparation for buying new. Why then should I make an exception for this Christian wackiness which makes even less sense than winning a lottery? The creationists can offer no answer.
The only way I can see they could ever win a convert is to brainwash them as an infant. However, I know they do bamboozle adult converts every day. Why, is a complete mystery. Maybe some people take the threat of after-death torture as at least a thin possibility. To me, the creationists are as crazy as Charles Manson. I would ignore them if it were not for their success in the highest rungs of political power in Canada and the USA.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists Believe in Evolution
Creationists believe in evolution, but they don’t recognise it as such. Creationists tell us that at one point all the kinds on earth fitted into Noah’s ark. This was a tiny subset sample of the world’s species. You would need thousands of arks to hold all the species. Creationists tell us that all animal life on earth died except the contents in that ark. (They are silent on the survival of plants.) What is amusing is the creationists tell us that after the animals disembarked from the ark, those kinds evolved at a breakneck speed to form all the species we have on earth today. Evolution usually takes place over hundreds of thousands if not millions of years. Yet creationists are claiming tens of millions of new species evolved in a mere 6000 years. Creationists believe even more strongly in evolution than evolutionists while protesting such a belief is the highest imaginable evil.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists Cannot Grasp Long Times
Creationists cannot conceive of processes that take longer than 6,020 years. In geology, something as slow as a movement of less than a 1 mm (0.04 in) a year, over a hundred million years, can split a continent into two. Evolution too astounds with what can happen given enough time. All it takes is elementary school arithmetic to see how that is so.
The creationists lie to themselves. They can see, year by year, rivers laying down a layer of silt. They can count the layers, but they refuse to acknowledge the cumulative effect of what they see. The invite Christianity to deliberately blind them.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists Cheat ⇒ Creationists Insincere
When creationists debate, they use all manner of dishonest debating tactics, otherwise known as logical fallacies and also outright lying. This suggests to me they are fully aware their arguments have no merit. In other words, they don’t even believe in creationism themselves. They are just trying to sell it to others for ulterior motives, most commonly money.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists Don’t Believe Creationism
Given that creationists are so outrageously dishonest in debate, it leads me to conclude they know they don’t have a case and believe they must lie to prevail. They know they are lying. They know creationism is a crock. Why then do they persist?
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- Some of them make money off it, lectures, tithes, museums, movies etc.
- Perhaps some just enjoy jerking chains, making people jump through hoops to debate ever sillier crap.
- Some are just very low IQ who parrot what somebody else told them. They yearn for the experience of besting someone much smarter than they are. Creationism gives them an excuse to imagine they are much smarter than Stephen Hawking. Professional creationists pander to this motive in lectures.
Creationists Don’t Believe Their Own BS
Professional creationists do not believe the shit they sling. This is not gullible swallowing of the usual creationist swill. This is carefully constructing deliberately deceitful trickery. This is out and out lying. To them, creationism is a lucrative con, not a holy mission.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Christian hypocrisy around lying.
Creationists Don’t Believe Their Own BS
When you debate creationists, from all the dishonest tactics they use, you come to the conclusion that they don’t seriously believe the BS they are trying to fob off on others. Why do they do this? Do they believe sincerely in the immoral parts of the bible, e.g. Leviticus and his injunctions to torment and kill homosexuals but ignore the nearby commands to butcher Sunday shoppers. They desperately want everyone to accept these notions.
They are a bit embarrassed at having to pretend to believe the earth is flat. There is no logic or evidence to support any of this nonsense. Selling their moral code depends on persuading people that a vindictive deity made up the rules. When any of the alleged deity’s pronouncements on science are shown to be false, this undermines the moral authority of the creationists. So they fight it tooth and nail, ruthlessly and dishonestly. They want the power to dictate other’s behaviour. It is not really an attachment to prehistoric science.
Not that long ago, much of the tenacity was an attachment to the biblical justification for the persecution of black people and women.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists Know They Are Lying
Surely the creationists are aware they are lying. How do they excuse themselves? Perhaps it goes something like this. Mummy said the bible is 100% true. Mummy is always right. Yet the bible appears to me to be bollocks. I can’t think of a legitimate argument to support it. But there must be one. The problem is I am too stupid to think of it. It would be terrible if the bible were maligned because of my incompetence, so I will temporarily shore it up with some mud of lies.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists as Lazy Lawyers
Imagine you hired a lawyer to represent you in a civil lawsuit. Your lawyer kept shooting down statements your opponent never even made. You discovered your lawyer was totally unfamiliar with the facts supporting your opponent and made an idiot of himself with his confusion. Might you want a better lawyer? Whenever I watch creationists try to debunk evolution, the creationist comes across like this lazy incompetent lawyer.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Not only are creationists wrong, oddly, they lie about it.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists Pick on Biology
Darwin’s theory of evolution has been tested for over a century. Every new scientific discovery confirms it and fills in more detail. Yet still creationists meddle with its teaching. They don’t meddle with other branches of science that conflict with their religious superstitions just as much. Perhaps they imagine they are competent enough to understand biology where they are humble enough to recognise they have not the first clue about physics, chemistry or geology.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists Prefer A Talking Snake
Creationists have to be kidding. They believe in Yahweh, ostensibly because they can’t understand evolution, when they have not even a single book about it, yet they happily swallow a talking snake.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists Refuse to Play By the Rules of Science
Creationists want to participate as scientists and enjoy the prestige of science, but they refuse to abide by science’s rules of evidence. That is like Creationists writing books on chess where they refuse to acknowledge that bishops can only move on the diagonal. If you don’t follow the rules, it isn’t science; it isn’t chess.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
If you debate creationists, they will thump their bibles and assert every single word therein is the literal word of god and must be blindly obeyed to the letter. It trumps everything — logic, science even your own eyes. All you have to do is toss out one of the crazier verses, then watch them squirm, trying to explain why it doesn’t mean what it says, why it doesn’t count, how you have to interpret it correctly and why the person who brought the bible verse up is thus evil and hates god.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
A Creator God
If there were a creator god, he would have to be very different from Yahweh.
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- He would not communicate with his creation in any way.
- He would be completely familiar with all science, plus considerably more. He would surely know in minute detail how the universe works.
- Earth would be just one of his trillions of concerns.
- He would be indifferent to suffering. All he would care about is the gradual improvement in reproductive fitness.
- He would have no interest in morality or microcontrolling individual creature’s behaviour. He would have no interest in punishment and reward.
Creator Of Universe Flunks Geometry
According to I Kings 7:23 Π is 3.0 not 3.1414… This is flat out wrong. You can check it yourself by calculating the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of any cylinder. That alone disproves the notion the bible is inerrant. A creationist US politician once tried to get the bible’s erroneous value made the official value in civil law.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Credibility of Creationists
Sometimes, all of us take other people’s word for it. Usually it is on unimportant matters. We double check unlikely claims. We are far more likely to take the word of someone we consider more intelligent and better educated that us. Creationists are thus at a great disadvantage. They usually have IQs below 90. Thus intelligent people will never trust what creationists say just because they say so.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
When you discover you have been lied to and conned, you don’t let the guy off the hook as mistaken. When we catch creationists lying and conning us, we should never let them live it down. They are criminals. They must be treated as such ever after.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
spacer Crocoduck Archaeopteryx
Evolutionists back in Darwin’s day suggested birds evolved from reptiles. In 2007, the noted creationist paleontologist and child actor, Kirk Cameron had prepared a reconstruction of what he imagined the intermediate creature must have looked like. He dubbed it the crocoduck. He basically glued a modern day reptilian head on a modern day avian body without any integration. His intent was to heap scorn on evolution. Contrary to Cameron’s claim, evolution says this sort of thing cannot happen. On the right is Archaeopteryx, an intermediate reptile-bird reconstruction prepared by mainstream paleontologists based on fossils first found in 1861.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
If you go on YouTube and listen to the creationists, you discover they are worse that used car salesmen when it comes to lying, dishonesty, deception and dirty tricks. They are transparent con men. Why then do so many people believe the anonymous creationists who either wrote or relayed hearsay stories for the bible were 100% truthful? They hold this view without knowing anything about these people, or their reputations, not even their names.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Darwin the Creationist
Darwin started out as a creationist, but unlike modern day creationists, he bravely examined the evidence even when it contradicted his cherished beliefs, even when he knew it would mean his fellows pelting him with rotten vegetables or attempting an assassination. He was dedicated to the truth.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Darwinism is a Rude Word
Darwinism is a name creationists like Ben Stein use to refer to evolution as a way to disparage it, making it sound like a personality cult around a historic figure rather than a living science. However, even Richard Dawkins now uses it too.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
One of the creationist lies endlessly repeated is that the lower leg of a Fairbanks Creek mammoth had a radiocarbon age of 15,380 RCY (Radiocarbon Years), while its skin and flesh were 21,300 RCY.
They claim from that one alleged failure there is no way to date a fossil. They are correct in that the half-life of carbon-14 is 5,730 years, so carbon dating is only relevant for dating fossils less than 60,000 years old.
The samples came from two different mammoths. Besides there are over a dozen different ways to do dating besides carbon 14. But even if the samples had come from the same mammoth, it would be much more likely a lab sample labeling error, than a complete failure of all age testing that has been used for decades without problem. Then there is the possibility the creationists made this lie up from whole cloth.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69) source
Dating via Radioactivity
Most creationists are unaware that there are about a dozen different ways to date objects using radioactive decay. Different methods can be used to cross check each other. Each has certain conditions where it works best. Radioactive decay is extremely predictable. It does not depend on temperature or chemical environment. It decays exponentially according to a precise mathematical formula without any variation over time. Here are a few:
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- Fission track dating method
Death Valley Evidence
Death Valley widens by 0.51 cm (0.20 in) a year. If the creationists were right, in 6000 years it would have had time to grow only 30.48 metres (33.33 yards) wide. One creationist explained this to me that god faked the geology to make it look billions of years old. This is a calumny against god without any supporting evidence. God is not some cheap prankster, but if he were, who are you, arrogant worm, not to believe what he clearly wanted you to believe.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Debates about creationism vs evolution are not really debates. They are more a courtroom drama where the con man creationist tries to defend himself and incidentally gain more marks, and atheist prosecution attempts to prove the creationist’s malfeasance. The creationist has no truth on his side. He must win by arm waving, obfuscation, rhetorical tricks and out and out lies. The evolutionist is frustrated because the audience has such poor scientific training, that they can understand only a minute fraction of the evidence. There is no point in presenting any but the most elementary arguments.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
It can be frustrating debating with creationists. You explain science, and they can’t hear you. They think like this. Whatever is in the bible is true, even when contradictory, even when it violates common sense. When science conflicts with the bible, science is wrong. There is no need to learn or understand the science. There is no need to even listen to an explanation. If it contradicts the bible, it is by definition wrong.
When you point out errors and contradictions in the bible, creationists will assert that they are not there. They know this because the bible is inerrant. There is no need to check.
When you point out the evidence that the bible is a forgery, and why it is not an authority, they will ignore you. To them, questioning the divine authorship of the bible is like questioning their existence. To them it is just blindingly obvious. Everyone in their social circle agrees. It does not need evidence.
It is very much like visiting a mental hospital. People hold beliefs that are obviously false, but cling to them tenaciously.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
It is tempting to assume all creationists you debate with on the net are mentally ill. However, the professionals are not. They are polished con men. They spin their crap for a living. They are just as aware what they are saying is crap as Bernie Madoff was, and like him, they have to sell it anyway.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Debating With Christians
I have noticed that Christians often misquote science, or make up evidence. What are they thinking?
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- Are they genuinely misinformed? Are they just naïvely quoting some charlatan?
- Do they know they are lying, but proceed anyway, imagining the Truth needs lies to support it?
- Do they gain some pleasure from being contrarian? Do they enjoy spreading disinformation? Are they vandals at heart, getting some sick pleasure from leading the world to its ruin over climate change?
- Were they brainwashed as infants to trust anyone who claims to be a friend of Jesus and distrust science?
- Which counts more, the actual truth, or what the bible says? The bible says the earth is flat. Photos from space say it is a sphere. Which do they believe?
- Do Christians distrust themselves to examine evidence? Do they believe deeply in their own incompetence to tell fact from fiction? Do they believe it is virtuous to always support the creationists no matter how idiotic what they claim?
Debating with Creationists
Creationists are such liars and cheats. They refuse to admit you have scored a point against them. It takes so much self control not to blurt out Shut up you ignorant, lying twats.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists keep trying to debunk evolution with hoary, misinformed ideas from the 1800s. We have discovered far more about evolution than Darwin ever dreamed of. He had no idea about Mendelian genetics or DNA. Creationists cling to a hopelessly out-of-date picture of what evolution claims. Almost everything they say about it is either out-of-date or simply wrong. Fighting Darwin is like attacking Hippocrates to debunk modern vaccination. They make themselves look like idiots by confusing evolution, abiogenesis and cosmology. They seem to be proud of their lack of understanding of basic science.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists cling to thousands of absurd beliefs. The problem is not the beliefs but how they decide what to believe. They believe what an authority figure tells them. They believe despite the evidence. They believe what they wish were true. They don’t do this in all areas of life. What would happen if they use faith-based finances, faith-based medicine, faith-based education, faith-based housekeeping? It never seems to dawn on them how unreliable faith is. They have been sold it as the highest virtue. It is just another word for insanely gullible.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Imagine a creationist came up with an argument that blew evolution out of the water. I think this highly unlikely for three reasons:
- Creationists refuse to learn how evolution works. Without understanding it, they cannot very well debunk it.
- The smartest scientists have been hammering away on evolution for 158 years looking for flaws. They have not found any.
- Evolution fits the data perfectly.
However, imagine it happened. Scientists would have to go back to the drawing boards to come up with a replacement. There would still be no evidence whatsoever to support creationism, and there would still be the tens of thousands of flaws in creationism that prove it could not be true. The creationists would still have to come up with evidence for creationism and apologies for all the flaws.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Debunking Intelligent Design aka Creationism
I have several responses to the Intelligent Design con men:
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- You fully accept that man can create a faster racehorse by controlling which studs get to sire the next generation. Yet you reject the possibility that wolves could accomplish the same thing, somewhat less efficiently and without intent or intelligent design, by chasing and killing the slowest horses.
- You claim nothing complex can exist without a designer. Doesn’t that make Yahweh, the most complex thing going in your scheme of things, impossible?
- You claim eyes are too improbable to come into being by chance. You compare them to a 747 forming from junk in a hurricane. Natural selection is the very opposite of chance. It is a meticulous, patient, extremely time consuming, pruning of the incompetent, like a school that shoots the worst students each year. The 747 story is a straw man argument. You claim randomness where there is none.
- You claim complex things like eyes cannot come into being without intelligent design. Some very stupid unskilled labour still manage to produce them without conscious effort in 9 months.
- Quite probably you are simply too stupid to even understand the arguments on either side. You could not have thought very deeply since there is no evidence for Intelligent Design and there are libraries full for evolution. All you can do is parrot the arguments without understanding. Debating with you is pointless. You don’t even understand your own position.
- If you have read the scientific literature well enough to create straw man arguments, then you understand it well enough to demonstrate that you are not merely mistaken, you are lying, pulling a con perhaps because you think it is necessary for people believe the Christian lie to behave or because you line you pockets this way. This in an extremely despicable thing to do.
Religion does speak to deep questions, however, it fobs off mere guesswork in its answers as absolute truth. This is obviously so or all religions would tell the same truth the way scientists do. Deep questions can rarely be answered with no more than the understanding of our ancestors who lived 3000 years ago. Imagining you can crack the mystery of the origin of the universe without learning any advanced mathematics is naïve. Creationists imagine all the mysteries of the universe are necessarily comprehensible by five year olds. Even as adults, they are satisfied with fairy tales that explain nothing, such as God did it and declare as a satanic conspiracy anything even a little over their aggressively-ignorant heads.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Any creationist who debates for any length of time soon learns that the creationist arguments are:
- straw men.
- arguments by repeated assertion.
There are no valid arguments. If there were, we would have heard them ad nauseam. In the process, creationists start to learn a little about cosmology, abiogenesis and evolution. They discover the amount of data and math to back them is overwhelming. These theories are not just guesses. If they were to be wrong, you would have to find alternative explanations for tens of millions of individual facts.
Creationism hangs on one very questionable assumption — that the creator of the universe wrote the bible. That is clearly not so. How do we know?
- The only reason ever given to believe this is that millions of Christians believe it. That is just evidence of the gullibility of Christians. Millions of people believe that small quantities of pure water can cure disease (homeopathy), but that does not make it so.
- The writers of the bible were utterly ignorant of the science integral to the structure of the universe. The true creator had to be expert in the fine structure of the universe.
- The quality of the bible is atrocious, full of error and inconsistency, if you read it cover to cover, as almost no Christian has done. No deity would be so sloppy except perhaps Dionysus.
At some point, the creationist has to face the fact the only way to defend creationism is to lie. So how can creationism possibly be true? At that point, some creationists persist, primarily to make money or for social standing. The honest ones are painfully forced to abandon creationism.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
If you are a creationist, at some point you will try to defend it against evolution. The only way to do that is to lie outrageously. At first you might excuse your lies by telling yourself, I am know I am right, but I am not bright enough to defend creationism, so I will have to cheat a bit to defend the truth.
However, after a while, you have a look at the arguments of all fellow creationists. You discover everyone is lying massively. At that point it has to dawn on you that not only are your arguments lies but so is creationism as a whole, and also the bible and Yahweh. Why on earth do you keep defending it, knowing for certain, it is a lie?
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- The Kent Hovinds do it because they make a living selling creationism to the ignorant.
- The Pat Robertsons of the world sell it because it is the authority by which they trick stupid people into giving them money.
- Dumb people do it because even though they realise Christianity is a crock, they still can’t rid themselves of the fear of Yahweh the bogey man.
When we discovered the earth was a sphere, creationists argued it was flat, not because they had any evidence, but because the bible said so. When we discovered the earth was not the centre of the solar system, creationists argued it was, not because they had any evidence, but because the bible said so. When we discovered dinosaur fossils, paleontologists pointed out these animals had been extinct for 65 million years, but creationists claimed god was perfect, hence no species could be extinct. They asserted all species of dinosaur must be alive on earth somewhere even though nobody had seen even one, much less all species.
When creationists argue by reasoning how they think god should have done things, without regard for any evidence, they are always wrong.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Definition of Evolution
Evolution is about how the tree of life grew in diversity on earth. It not about geology or cosmology or the origin of the universe or even the origin of life. Its creationist critics usually don’t understand that. They lump it together with the science of the big bang theory.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Definition of Truth
Christians may claim they use the same definition of truth that scientists do, or they may think they do, but in actuality they have completely different definitions. To a Christian it would make sense to say Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is true. A scientist would say it is neither true no false because it makes no assertions. A Christian would say it is true because it is beautiful [Beauty is truth, truth beauty, —that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know. ~ John Keats Ode on a Grecian Urn]. They would say it was true because it was thrilling and generated intense positive emotions.
Christians use a variant definition of truth, especially when they are talking about the bible. Christians claim a scientific hypothesis is true if it can be understood by a first grader, and if there is no better explanation that can also be understood by a first grader, that is compatible with the bible. Even if there is a ton of evidence against the hypothesis, it still true if it is the best anyone can come up with.
For a scientist, true requires that all observations be in accord with the assertion, that the assertion be in accord with other accepted truth and that several neutral people have verified the assertion. Hearsay, anonymous testimony, anecdotal evidence and the bible do not count. Faith has no part in it.
The Christian definition measures emotional attachment. The scientific definition measures predictive value.
By the Christian definitions of true, creationism is true. By the scientific definition, it is false. By the Christian definitions of true, evolution is false. By the scientific definition, it is true. By the Christian definition, Yahweh does exist. By the scientific definition, there is no evidence for any god.
The frustration and fury comes when Christians claim to be using the scientific definition. From the point of view of science, the Christian definitions have no practical significance determining which theory creationism or evolution actually predicts how nature behaves.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists assert that every single word of the bible is correct, including a model of the earth shown to the right. It is clearly nonsense. Granted it was the prevailing view of ignorant people at the time the bible was written.
However, even back then, the Greeks had figured out the earth was a sphere, and they even had an accurate estimate of its diameter. From space travel, telescopes and satellites we know for sure the earth is quite different from this ancient view.
Creationists are as fully aware as you are how wrong the ancient flat earth picture is, but that does not stop them from asserting it is the absolute truth. This delusion, this denial of reality, should be treated as a mental illness.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Delusions of Grandeur
One of the pernicious features of Christianity is it induces delusions of grandeur. For example, Creationist William Lane Craig, a man who does not even understand algebra, pontificated that he knew better than Einstein about relativity. I have seen children lecture PhDs on evolution, convinced by the bible of their infallible knowledge.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
It is funny that even knuckle-dragger guests and the audience on the Maury Povich show, accept without question DNA paternity tests, but the creationists in the audience reject even more detailed DNA testing that shows that chimpanzees, bonobos and humans share a common ancestor. It seems the drunker, the more dissolute, the more incestuous a man is, the more strongly he protests he is not related to the other animals. Evidence does not matter. Pride is what matters. He wants something, anything to justify feeling superior and special.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists deny evolution, but to do that they have to carefully avoid ever looking at the fossil record. If they looked, they would see gradual change in the fossils. Instead of purposeful design, they would see meandering development without foresight. They would see how everything comes about by modifying some previous organ, sometimes repurposing it. With a bit of study, they would see how the changes are always reacting to adapt to the current environment. You would see how fossils are laid out in thin layers, with the more advanced plants and animals on top. You would see a tree of life. You would see 90% of species going extinct.
You could learn how to date fossils with radiometric dating, tree rings, volcanic ash layers, proximity to other well-known fossils.
All you would see is in perfect agreement with the theory of evolution. On the other hand, nothing about what you would discover matches the creationist view.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Believe it or not, I dislike creationists even more than I dislike drive by shooters. Drive by shooters don’t pretend to be more virtuous than everyone else. Drive by shooters don’t persist in lies as blatant that something red is actually green. Drive by shooters don’t don’t pretend to be deaf just to annoy you.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists claim there is no evidence of intermediate forms when a new species splits off an old one. Yet there is an absolutely complete record for the evolution of one species of diatom into another. The diatom has the advantage of fossilising massively. Diatom fossils are so numerous that they are used for filtering swimming pools and aquarium water.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Did God Create DNA?
We have seen atoms form nucleotides all on their own. We have seen polymerisation all over chemistry, including nucleotides to form RNA (Ribonucleic acid) chains. DNA is just two intertwined threads of RNA. Where is god’s tinkering required? This process (plus the wrinkle of protein synthesis) took a billion years.
If god had done it, it would have happened lickety split in one day. If god did it, why did it take so long? Christians cannot debate DNA because every fact about DNA came from science. Not a single fact came from the bible. Whoever wrote the bible did not know the first thing about DNA. How could they possibly take credit for creating it?
If god created the universe, he would have had to know about: advanced mathematics, atoms, black holes, DNA, elements, evolution, exoplanets, expansion of the universe, galaxies, gamma rays, germ theory, gravity, ions, metallurgy, Newton’s laws of motion, paleontology, plate tectonics, quantum mechanics, quarks, radioactivity, relativity, spectroscopy, speed of light, stars, String theory, thermonuclear reactions, X-rays…
But he never mentions this knowledge anywhere in the bible. Instead, he fills it with all manner of nonsense such as:
- π is 3.
- dove blood and animal sacrifice is the best way to cure leprosy.
- the earth is flat.
- the stars are holes in a crystal dome.
- there is a crystal clear ocean up in the sky.
- demons cause mental illness.
- showing goats a striped board will cause them to have striped offspring. Clearly, god has no clue about DNA.
- all species on earth went through a genetic bottleneck of only two individuals.
- a global flood covered mount Everest with non-existent water that later just disappeared.
If this creationist story had appeared instead only in some other holy book, even creationists would have dismissed it as too absurd to consider as science. Creationists do not reject DNA and evolution because of scientific inadequacies, but because, as a side effect, they expose the holes and contradictions in their absurd religion. (The fact the stories appear in the myths of many earlier cultures does not bother them in the least.)~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
How do creationists account for dinosaurs? There were many enormous species such as Argentinosaurus that were 35 metres (38.28 yards) long. You could not fit many of those (and food) in Noah’s ark. So what’s the deal. According to paleontologists they went extinct 94 million years ago. What do creationists claim? Before or after the flood? Why does the bible not mention them and their disappearance?~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Disagreeing with Evolution Means You don’t Understand It
Why do children have different DNA from their parents? Children get half their DNA from their mother and half from their father. Which DNA ? It depends on which sperm wins the race to fertilise the egg and which egg dropped down from the ovary into the Fallopian tube. It is effectively a random blend. The child starts out with unique DNA, never before seen on earth.
They may be lucky and it makes them healthy, strong, handsome and intelligent, or it may make them a loser in life’s lottery, or somewhere in between. They may leave no children, or they may leave a large family tree. That, in a nutshell is the theory of evolution.
People think they disagree with it, but that is only because they have some misconception about what it says, e.g. that it requires rocks to turn into spiders, or because they have been told belief in evolution leads to devil worship.
Creationists deliberately confuse people to confuse single step and cumulative evolution, random and non-random selection. They want it to sound silly, not because they disagree with the science, but because the science shoots their idiotic religion out the water.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Christians in Louisiana are seeking the right to discriminate against gays, beat them up etc. Let us say they are given such a get-out-of-jail-free-card. Do you think the gays will just politely go along with this, or should Christians be on the lookout for urine in their coffee and feces in their gumbo? Will churches become susceptible to spontaneous combustion?
Do you think the rest of the country will continue to enjoy tourism to Louisiana? Will others look kindly on goods and services from Louisiana? At the next big hurricane, will their wallets flop open to help?
Christians do not seem to understand one of the key teachings of their own religion, do unto others. There are practical reasons for the golden rule.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69) source
As we have sequenced the genes of plants and animals we discovered a hierarchical pattern recreating the evolutionary tree that you would only expect to find if evolution were true. How can a creationist explain this? Perhaps Yahweh faked the pattern to trick people into thinking evolution were true, for one of his mysterious reasons. If I were a creationist, I would imagine if Yahweh went to all that work to trick me, it would be disrespectful to thwart him.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Don’t Trust A Creationist
Every creationist website has a policy page announcing they promise to ignore all evidence that does not support the bible. What does this imply?
- The have already made up their mind. No evidence, past, present or future could conceivably change their minds.
- They deny the existence of all evidence in favour of evolution.
- They make up false evidence to support the bible.
- They make up false evidence to discount evolution.
- They create straw men versions of evolution to make it sound ridiculous.
This notion that lying to promote the faith is virtuous goes all the way back to Martin Luther.
What are the practical consequences?
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- If you want a discussion of which parts of the bible are true or false, there is no point in going to a creationist.
- If you want to learn about how evolution works and the evidence why science supports evolution, there is no point in going to a creationist. You must consult a biologist.
The Effects of Creationism
Creationism is like Alzheimers. The brains of once bright intelligent people that it infects turn to jelly. Creationism is caused by severe childhood trauma. Parents threaten their kids with being burned eternally if the child does not unquestioningly believe the Christian faith. These traumatised children learn that they must ignore logic, ignore reality, ignore even their own eyes. It is not enough to lie, they must actually believe to be safe. Because this brainwashing occurs prior to being able to use logic for defence, the children cannot later use logic to root out the malicious programming. Even when they logically convince themselves Yahweh is just a fictitious bogey man, they cannot root out the unconscious terror of him.
I think parents who do this should be jailed for child abuse and their kids should be given to new parents. Because this abuse has gone on for centuries, most people, even non-Christians, see brainwashing as a fundamental right of Christian parents, just as a century ago nearly everyone felt Christian parents had the right to beat their children to death.
When people embrace creationism, they are forced to ignore the fact that every single scientific claim in the bible is wrong. Creationists are required to embrace the notion the bible is inerrant even though it has thousands of obvious errors and contradictions. Creationists are required to believe an invisible sky fairy created the universe then wrote the bible, even though the bible contains not a trace of information a creator of the universe would have to know, and a ton of misinformation about universe creating (such as the flat earth). They are browbeaten to ignore the fact that every single aspect of the creation myth is counter to fact. They are commanded to ignore the bible is cram full of tall tales and impossible events without any evidence to support them.
They never learn that science is checked and rechecked by thousands of scientists. Science has to make sense theoretically, mathematically and experimentally. It has to be consistent with all other scientific knowledge. The information is very solid compared with the other information we absorb such as: history, politics or current events. Creationists are required to ignore all of science for no reason.
When I debate with a creationist, it is like debating with a parrot. They can repeat phrases but cannot understand a word I say. I feel so frustrated, I find myself wanting to smash their teeth in. Then I remember seeing videos of pre-schoolers who have been brainwashed by creationists. They looked like normal kids, but they had been lobotomised. The kids are victims and so are adult creationists. The horror is, the adults are programmed to repeat the abuse they endured, on their own kids.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
I wish creationists would study a little math and physics. They would understand and elegant the math is in a scientific theory. They would understand how like a down-at-the-heels carnival Christianity appears by comparison with its geeks biting the heads off chickens.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationist Eric Hovind, says Jump in. Suspend disbelief. Eventually Christianity will make sense. The inducement: You will be like me. But why would I want to? Nearly all Christians I have encountered are dishonest, cruel, stupid, irrational, hypocritical, callous, homophobic and smug. If I were looking for a role model, as a way to select a religion, I would pick an atheist or a Buddhist. The appeal of atheism for me is its truth. The religions are all blithering nonsense.
To me, a Christian is like someone who dropped a few tabs of acid, and went to see Avatar and came out convinced it was a historical documentary.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
If you are a creationist, I can understand that you may be too terrified of Yahweh and his threats to roast you alive for eternity. There is no way you would dare try to escape. You have to hang in there — just in case. But consider giving your kids a chance. Don’t indoctrinate them. Let them grow up without fear and then let them decide for themselves when they are old enough to take the task seriously. Whether you are going to indoctrinate them or not, kids grow up to evaluate a religion by how well their parents behave.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Even Creationists Reject the Bible
Even creationists reject some things in the bible and trust modern science instead:
- The earth is round, not flat.
- The earth goes round the sun, not the reverse.
- Domestication of animals is possible, gradually creating creatures quite unlike their ancestors.
- Mental illnesses are caused by faulty brain chemistry, not demons.
- Diseases are caused by germs, not god’s wrath.
- Lightning is caused by static electricity in the clouds, not god’s wrath.
- Hurricanes are caused by hot air rising over warm oceans, not god’s wrath.
- Earthquakes are caused by slowly shifting tectonic plates slipping, not god’s wrath.
- The world did not pass away in Jesus’ generation as predicted.
- Creationists eat all manner of wicked things, most notably shrimp, clams, crab and other seafood that science made safe through the modern miracle of refrigeration. The bible condemns people to death it considers these dietary rules so important.
- They don’t kill their kids for sassing them.
- They no longer eliminate those who lend money at interest.
- They use the fruits of many things not mentioned in the bible, such as physics, chemistry, satellite communications, medicine, evolution, manufacturing, computers…, so they are not totally resistant to change.
In summary, creationists accept most of the benefits of science while spitting on and impugning those who offer them these gifts and the processes by which the gifts are created. If they had any integrity, they would live like the Amish, rejecting the benefits of the science they condemn as untrue. How can they believe in the products but not the process of creating the products? What hypocrites!~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
You creationists claim to have evidence for your fairy story stolen piecemeal from previous cultures. Where is it? All I have seen is your tired, incompetent, old bible full of error and inconsistency.
Science has shown me the tree of life, DNA, fossils, observations of micro and macro evolution in the wild and artificial selection which is type of evolution.
Further, evolution is a just common sense . How could it not be true? Obviously, animals are not identical to their parents. Obviously, the most fit have a better chance of survival. Obviously, then over time, superior traits will predominate. How could it be otherwise? This is exactly what happens with domestic animals, where humans interfere, like super-picky nature, in deciding fitness.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Evidence for the Big Bang
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- We can see the light just arriving now from it. That is what the cosmic background microwave radiation is.
- We can measure the expansion of the universe. Work backwards. Originally the universe must have been very small. Scientists say smaller than an atom.
- We can simulate events less than a second after the big bang in particle accelerators.
- We have math that explains it that is consistent with observations.
Instead of admitting they were completely wrong about creationism and evolution, many Christians have come up with a weasely capitulation. They pretend Yahweh guides evolution despite the fact there is no evidence for guidance and no need for guidance. It is just less obviously wrong than creationism. It is so rude of the Christians to desecrate an elegant theory with their revolting bronze age superstitions. It is not their theory. They have no understanding of it.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Evolution has all the Evidence
It is a wonder creationists have not given up long ago. Their claim the bible is inerrant and hence must have been written by a deity is laughable.
The bible is wrong on every single pronouncement of science; it is nearly always wrong on every matter that can be cross-checked with the secular record. The bible is blatantly inconsistent with itself. And further the writing quality is dreadful, hardly the work of a superbeing.
Creationists have been reduced to claiming god faked the interstellar light and fossil beds to deliberately make the bible appear false and cosmology and evolution true. Evolutionists have shown creationists all the evidence they asked for including seeing new species appear as we watch.
People like Ken Ham persist because no matter how wrong he is, he can still bilk the rubes with the creationist twaddle they crave and earn a good living at it.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Evolution is Killing Me
I have to take five different HIV (Human Immuno-deficiency Virus) drugs because my HIV viruses are so good at evolving immunity to them. Evolution is the biggest threat to my life and creationists refuse to even acknowledge it exists.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Evolution Is Not About the Origin Of Life
Creationists debunk evolution by expressing their disbelief life could have originated naturally. Since they have never studied the theory of evolution, they don’t seem to understand it does not even attempt to explain the origin of life. It is about how life changes.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Evolution is not about Religion
The theory of evolution does not say anything about invisible beings. It does not say anything about what constitutes moral behaviour. So you are free to believe or not believe in any invisible beings you choose and you are free to adopt any moral code you please. All that evolution claims to know is how animals gradually change over generations. Its area of application is quite narrow. Creationists like to fool people that it is a competing religion, commanding atheism, perversion and wickedness. Read the texts about evolution. They say almost nothing that creationists claim they do.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Evolution ≠ Abiogenesis ≠ Cosmology
I am not sure if creationists are being aggressively stupid or merely rude when they repeatedly confuse the big bang, abiogenesis and evolution.
They will say things like According to evolution, the universe just appeared out of nothing. How could that happen without Yahweh waving his magic wand to make it appear out of nothing/ That’s laughable. Or According to Darwin, a rock just turned into a fish one day, without god even waving his magic wand to make it happen. That’s laughable.
Cosmology is concerned with the origin (the big bang) and early history of the universe; evolution is not.
Abiogenesis is concerned with how the first life form appeared of developed on earth; evolution is not.
Evolution is about how animals slowly change over the generations, gradually adapting better and better to their changing environment.
These are three quite different branches of science. Evolution is well-developed. The other two still have many mysteries to solve, such as dark energy and dark matter and whether life formed on earth or arrived from elsewhere on a bit of cosmic debris. Unsolved problems means unsolved problems, not the throwing up of hands and saying I give up! I don’t want to work on this problem any more. Make Julia do it. I confess God did it.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Evolution, How Depressing!
Creationists tell me they find it unbearably depressing that humans are just a colony of single-celled animals. Whether they find it depressing on not, it is still true. Denying reality does not change it. Surely they don’t want their physician to ignore this foundational fact of medicine. Would they feel happier if there were no cells, just a balloon of blood and bone goo? Perhaps they are happy with the cells, but also want a cosmic baby sitter who does nothing but torture them for eternity after they die. Surely not.
I don’t find being composed of cells in the least depressing. I am amazed at how many different kinds of creatures including myself work on this basic pattern. I think it is way cool.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
In terms of evolutionary time, the oldest pyramids were only a eyeblink ago. Evolution is far older than the time when The Americas and Africa were one continent. You can mathematically understand deep time, but your intuition has no hope of grasping its vastness. Creationists imagine time is way smaller than it really is. That pathetic view of the universe is part of their faith. This is fundamentally why evolution seems so improbable to them. They worship a very petty god in a very petty tiny universe.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Explaining Killer Bees
Creationists tell me a benign, loving god individually designed each creature. How do creationists account for mosquitoes, black flies and killer bees?~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists smugly explained lightning by saying God did it and sat back grinning at their brilliance for having plumbed the depths of knowledge. But this explanation explains nothing:
- Who gets hit? Is it associated with particular sins? Or is it random?
- Why is it always associated with rain?
- How do you protect your home from a lightning strike?
- What things must you do to avoid being hit?
The god explanation has nothing to say about how lightning works. It does not even rate as an explanation. It tells you absolutely nothing. Creationism is equally useless, and in addition, completely counter to fact.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
The Eye Is Not Irreducibly Complex
Creationists claim the eye is irreducibly complex, i.e. that it could not possibly have evolved in stages because anything less than a fully formed perfected eye is useless. Yet even existing creatures have various types of primitive eyes. Phytoplankton through flatworms can see no images at all. They can just detect light and dark. The chambered Nautilus has a pin-hole camera eye without a lens. It can see images, but they are dim and blurred. Ask an optometrist what range of vision she sees in her practice. Any vision at all is clearly better than none. Taking this assertion literally, even the human eye is useless because it is quite pathetic in acuity compared with the eye of a hawk.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Failed Creationist Prediction
Creationism predicts that god’s beneficence would provide animals with the common sense not to defecate or urinate near their water holes. Evolutionary theory predicts they would not likely evolve that capability without intelligence.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists like to imply there must be something wrong with the theory of evolution because museums don’t have a sample fossil skeleton of every species that ever lived. Fossilisation is a quite rare event. We only have fossils of about 0.01% of all species. The following all have to happen:
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- get buried quickly after death
- have hard parts (in most cases)
- not get deformed or melted over the (usually) millions of years after burial
- get exposed on the rock surface
- get found by someone before it is crumbled or carried away
Finding God Where He Is Not
Creationists say that scientists can’t find god because they don’t want to. Christians find him even when he is not there, by making him up. So, naturally, none of the places the creationists have suggested to look bore any fruit.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Christians wanting to prove the existence of god often resort to a quaint argument called First Cause or Prime Mover. They assert that everything must have a cause, so there must have been a First Cause to get the universe jump-started. Then they leap to the conclusion the First Cause was supernatural, wore a white robe and called himself Yahweh, favoured Israelites and impregnated a virgin without breaking her hymen. He was necessarily omnipotent and omniscient. The way I see it, this First Cause needs only one property, having the ability to jump start the universe. It need not even be supernatural. All the rest is fanciful decoration hoping you will let the non-sequitur slide.
This sort of thinking dates back to Sir Isaac Newton born in 1643. A lot has happened since. In the 1800s we discovered radioactivity. We discovered that radioactive decay occurs without cause. Listen to the random clicks of a Geiger-counter. There is no pattern or predictability to them. If things can happen without cause, then surely they can also happen without a First Cause.
In 1920 we discovered quantum mechanics. We discovered that particles pop in and out of existence randomly all the time. We discovered that is there is no causality in the realm of the very small, just probability. Since the early universe was smaller than a proton, quantum effects cannot be ignored.
Christian tend to ignore any science discovered after 1900. Further, even when we science buffs explain it to them over and over, they keep rehashing arguments based on the science of Newton’s day. They refuse to learn advanced mathematics, atoms, black holes, DNA, elements, evolution, exoplanets, expansion of the universe, galaxies, gamma rays, germ theory, gravity, ions, metallurgy, Newton’s laws of motion, paleontology, plate tectonics, quantum mechanics, quarks, radioactivity, relativity, spectroscopy, speed of light, stars, String theory, thermonuclear reactions, X-rays…
If you look at even more recent and more tentative science, it may well me there are multiverses, and ours formed by budding off existing ones when they bumped into each other. If that is so, there is nothing special all about our big bang.
The notion that the universe appeared out of nothing is a Christian idea. They claim God created the universe out of nothing by thinking it into existence. Science does yet know that detail. Christians falsely keep asserting that science agrees with them.
The Christians are peddling a fallacy argument from incredulity. They are saying I cannot understand how a universe could get jump-started by natural means. Therefore my god Yahweh must have done it, and Jesus was tortured and rose from the dead to atone for my sins that Adam committed on my behalf. I, with my lack of scientific training, cannot think of any other possible way it could have happened.
Creationists usually have a less than grade two understanding of science. They don’t even know the sun is a star. So it would be quite astounding if a Christian could understand even the most elementary cosmology. They have done zero study because they consider such study wicked and because it takes work. What they are doing is as idiotic as saying Calculus makes absolutely no sense to me. Therefore it must be wrong. Mind you, I have not studied any arithmetic beyond addition.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
First Evolution, then the World
Evolution is the beachhead of the creationist attack. Every science conflicts with the bible, so creationists must eventually attack them all: geology, astronomy, physics, chemistry, animal husbandry, agriculture… I can only hope they lose their followers by going ever more extreme and silly. Perhaps we should taunt them for flagrant violations of hypocritical biblical injunctions until even they are disgusted by it.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
The bible is clear. The earth is flat. It is covered by a metal bowl called the firmament. The bowl has holes in it to let the light in. These holes are the stars. Above that is a celestial ocean. It also says in another part of the bible that the stars are small fires that will all fall from the heavens onto the earth at the end times.
We know the earth is not flat because GPS, satellites, space stations, navigation, astronomy… would not work unless the world were a sphere. We also know there is no edge to the earth.
However, creationists tell us the bible is inerrant. They believe that no matter how strongly it conflicts with common sense, yet most creationists spit on the bible when it says the earth is flat. How can they do that and simultaneously assert the bible is inerrant? It is insanity to believe two mutually incompatible things.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Flavours of Intelligent Design
Let us assume the creationists were right and life on earth is a result of intelligent design. Surely activity of intelligences from other planets is far more plausible than an invisible, omnipotent, omniscient, perfectly beneficent god. It would not require that much intelligence. Even we humans have already built single cell life in the test tube.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
There are thousands of hominid fossils, mostly fragments. Creationists try to discredit them all by quoting Piltdown Man, a fraud perpetrated by a priest, Teilhard de Chardin, very early on in the game.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Four Kinds of Religion
There are four rough categories of religion:
- No beliefs outside consensus reality. The appeal is fellowship, music, ritual, festivals, special foods.
- Insisting as absolutely true absurd things where there is no way to tell for sure if they are true.
- Insisting as absolutely true things that are provably false.
- Irrational beliefs causing adherents to harm others and/or their children.
You might say people who insist they have eternal life belong in category (2), but that belief makes them more prone to risky behaviour and to kill others. You might say that creationists who block science education belong in (3), but that belief effectively takes a society back to the middle ages and prevents those affected from getting good jobs.
So when atheists do battle with religion, (1) and (2) are not the target. Sometimes atheists go after (3) because of the general negative effect of spreading lies. If believers did not try to convince others of falsehoods, there would be no problem. Atheists are primarily after (4).
The harm religion does is more important to atheists than the nuttiness. However, the handle to fight religion is its looniness.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Four Types of Religion
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- speculative. For example, Buddhists speculate reincarnation. They admit the evidence is weak and do not insist their adherents believe it.
- counter-rational. For example creationists who blindly refuse to even read the scientific evidence against their beliefs about the age of the earth or evolution.
- bat-shit crazy. People who handle poisonous snakes, live with rats, flagellate themselves, poke holes in their bodies, refuse medical treatment…
- criminal. Fundamentalists who encourage the flock to persecute, beat up and kill homosexuals. Female circumcision cults that attack and circumcise young women.
Fred Hoyle (1915-06-24 2001-08-20 age:86) was an astronomer who used dishonest tactics to fight the big bang theory and evolution. Oddly, he understood such things as the speed of light. He is the one who mislabeled the beginning of the universe as the big bang in order to poke fun of the theory. It was not an explosion. It was not an expanding ball. It was a smooth expansion of all of space itself that is still ongoing.
He never read Darwin, and did no study of evolution, but not stop him from pontificating based on his misconceptions. He asserted that evolution was comparable to the chance that a tornado sweeping through a junkyard might assemble a Boeing 747. He completely missed the point that natural selection is not random, any more than who wins the Eurovision song contest is.
He is perhaps the most disgraced scientist in all history. You would think he disgraced himself because he was a Christian, but he was an atheist. He was just an asshole who overvalued his intuition and opinions.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Poor creationists. They have been taught evolutionists want them to start worshiping the devil, attending homosexual orgies, sacrificing their first born, bumping off granny, aborting all their babies, taking drugs, becoming a Wiccan… No wonder they so desperately resist. All we want them to do is stop teaching children in schools:
- The wrong age of the earth.
- A global flood that did not happen.
- That offspring are identical to their parents.
And to allow evolution to be taught unmolested, the same as any other science. Like physics and chemistry, evolution has nothing to say about gods one way or the other. It simply describes the processes of drift in differences between parents and offspring guided by natural selection. The tiny changes add up to significant differences over hundreds of thousands of generations.
The irony is, the story of Noah is told as fiction embedded in six different poems that predate Genesis. It is a children’s story. It was never intended to be taken literally.
It is odd creationists used a Roman soldier, famous for throwing Christians to the lions, to symbolise the fight with evolution.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists complain that there are questions that science cannot yet answer such as what happened in the first femtosecond after the big bang? or how did the first single-celled organism come to be? Science explains perhaps 90% of the big problems. Christianity explains 0%. Christianity gets everything wrong from the age of the earth, to astronomy of the solar system, how husbandry works, how to cure leprosy, the cause of mental illness, to the value of π. So why is Christianity supposedly preferable at explaining how our world works? There is not one single invention that works on bible science.
Oddly, creationists don’t get too percited that science has not yet figured out dark matter and dark energy.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationist Geoffrey Simmons wrote a book called Billions of Missing Links: A Rational Look at the Mysteries Evolution Can’t Explain. The problem is, he does not know even the most elementary things about fossils. He is unaware of the Tiktaalik series of fossils, the most famous fossils in the world. He believes there are no fossils showing the evolution of whales, even though he claims to have read a Scientific American survey article on them. He is a liar and a fraud. He has no business posing as an expert on a subject he knows nothing about.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Geologically, 1 in a billion = Certain
Creationists laugh. There is only a 1 in a billion chance that could happen. The age of the Earth is 4.543 billion years. The creationist thinks it is only 6000 years. The earth had a lot more time for improbable things to happen than the creationist imagines.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Those who shepherd flat earth creationists work very hard to keep them from learning anything about the world least it shake their faith.
I read a story about a creationist traveling on a steamship in the 1800s. He struck up a conversation with the captain. He asked whether they used the flat earth or global earth model to navigate. The captain explained that navigation required the global earth model. Accurate navigation would be impossible otherwise. At that very sentence, the creationist rejected his whole teaching.
A Christian is like someone who voluntarily wears a bag over her head to prevent knowledge like that from getting in. But every once in a while it leaks. You never know when that leak will appear, so you have to be patient, feeding the Christian knowledge about the world, repeatedly.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
The Global Flood
Creationists assure me the global flood actually happened and it was planned by most intelligent being in the universe. That is a laughable claim. Consider:
- The intent of the flood was to kill all the people on earth except Noah and his family. As an unwanted side effect, it killed all the animals, all the plants and nearly all the fish (Only the brackish fish such as mollies might survive. Fish both fresh and salt water are extremely sensitive to salinity and would all die.) It saturated the soils with salt, making them barren for generations. Yahweh could have sent a plague that killed only humans. He could have killed them with lightning bolts. He could have possessed their minds and made them kill each other. His plan was far from efficient.
- There was no plan to preserve plants or fish. They were just as vulnerable as animals.
- The ark was far too small to contain all the animals and food for a year. Noah would need an whole armada of arks.
- Every time an animal died on that year-long voyage, that species went extinct.
- There was no ventilation or lighting. The ark was similar to a slave ship. Animals cannot survive a year under those conditions.
- Yahweh had no plan to collect animals from the continents unknown at the time namely North America, South America, Australia and Antarctica. He had no plan to return them either.
- Carnivores eat living animals — considerable quantities of them. Yahweh did not plan for that.
- When the ark disembarked, the earth was barren. There were no plants or animals to eat. The animals would have all starved to death after eating their arkmates. The soil was barren. Yahweh made no plan to deal with this.
This goofy story is just an embellishment of an account of an actual local flood where a king took some of his livestock with him on a barge. It has nothing do with a deity at all. That is why the story is so cretinous. It was made up by the same liars who wrote the bible.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Gnats and Camels
Creationists have no problem believing that the descendants of a wolf could become the chihuahua within 6000 years. Yet even in a billion years, 1,666,666 times longer, they insist it would be impossible for a descendants of a common ancestor to look like both foxes and wolves, despite the fact the fossil record and the DNA record shows that did happen, but much faster. The common ancestor lived 34 million years ago.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
God and the Universe
The universe is all that exists. Therefore, if Yahweh exists, he is part of the universe. Creationists are thus telling us that the universe started out not existing. Then a part of the universe that did not exist yet, spontaneously popped into being and created the rest of the universe in a two-stage process.
Science has a different story. The universe started out as a singularity (an infinitely dense point, smaller than an atom). Space itself expanded. Energy condensed into matter and formed the stars and planets.
I prefer the science story, because all the requisite pieces can be observed today, even if you need a particle accelerator to see them. In contrast, there is no evidence a sky fairy exists or ever existed. The sky fairy hypothesis tells me nothing about the shapes, behaviour and development of galaxies and stars. God did it is not very informative.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
God Free Evolution
The theory of evolution has nothing to say about god. Though most atheists are evolutionists and most evolutionists are atheists, it is not necessarily so. It is the creationists who picked the fight. They are the ones who say evolution is incompatible with the existence of god because it contradicts the Genesis story about Noah’s ark. However, there are lots of Christians who believe in God and treat Noah’s ark as a children’s story borrowed from 6 different poems that predate Genesis.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
God of the Gaps
Creationists tell me that if atheists (not necessarily scientists) cannot answer all their scientific questions to their satisfaction, then they have no choice but to unquestioningly accept the bible as the inerrant source of all knowledge and ignore all science. They refuse to read even one book on science or take a university course. They demand answers even to trick questions such as What is the ultimate purpose of the universe? which only has meaning if there is a god to have a purpose. It is essentially the same question as asking Why did god create the universe? Debating with them is like trying to explain to a toddler who does not yet even understand what addition is why 2 + 2 cannot equal 5. Creationists would sniff derisively at anyone who pontificated on the bible without ever reading it. Yet that is precisely what they do when they pontificate on evolution without reading any text books. It is very hard not to despise such intellectually dishonest and arrogant people.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
God of the Gaps
One of the silliest ideas creationists promote is that anything they don’t understand must be the work of Yahweh the god. No it doesn’t. It just means they don’t understand and don’t want to. They don’t understand geometry, algebra and trigonometry. Yet they don’t try to pretend that Yahweh invented them too.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
God of Ignorance
Creationists have a habit of claiming that anything they don’t understand as god did it. This gets sort of silly when they claim god must have created trigonometry, calculus and tensors.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
God of the Ignorant
Not that long ago, rainbows were absolute proof of the existence of god. The thinking was: They are amazing. They are beautiful. I don’t know how they work, so god must have done it.
We did not stop to wonder if there might be some other possibility. Thing after thing that seemed magical turned out to be wonderful, but perfectly understandable, e.g. lightning, tornadoes, hurricanes, storms, floods, St. Elmo’s fire, meteors, meteorites, comets…
Today creationists keep playing the same game, pointing at anything they don’t (or won’t) understand, e.g. origin of life, speciation, eyeballs while shouting I don’t understand it; god must have done it. including when there are long-standing scientific explanations.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
God Steers the Planets
Unlike early Christians, creationists seem comfortable that the planets stay in their orbits without requiring Yahweh to constantly push them into orbit. According to creationists, allegedly 6000 years ago, god wound up the planetary clockwork, faked various things to make the universe look much older, then sat back and let it do its thing, including moving space probes in Keplerian orbits, without tinkering.
Why then is it so difficult for creationists to conceive of god firing up the evolutionary process and letting it unfold without tinkering? I think the problem is the bible was much more specific about how god created biology than astronomy. The astronomy in the bible is nonsense, but creationists are even worse astronomers than biologists, so they don’t notice the discrepancies as much as they do with evolution. Perhaps astronomy does not matter as much. It does not impact so strongly on the creationist conceit of human special status.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
God Will Protect Us
Creationists reassure me there is no need to take any action against climate change. With absolute certainty, god will protect us from our folly.
I think this is an extremely naïve view. It completely ignores god’s record of intervening to protect humanity. God’s unrelenting pattern is to do nothing to protect man from natural disasters or his own messes. Where is there any sign god did anything about?
- Mount St. Helens volcano in 1980
- constraining the radioactivity released in Chernobyl in 1986 or Fukushima in 2011.
- the great tsunami in 2004.
- Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
- The massive wildfires in BC 2017 and Alberta in 2016 in Canada.
- Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Jose in 2017.
- The pollution of American lakes and rivers.
- The giant gyre of plastic in the Pacific ocean.
- Reducing CO₂ in the atmosphere.
- ridding the earth of nuclear weapons.
- stopping the explosion of species extinctions.
- stopping the destruction of the Great Barrier reef.
In fact, god never does anything, large or small, good or evil. The universe runs itself. There is absolutely no sign of god tweaking any events. The only evidence of divine intervention is in a book of myths written 4000 years ago — hardly something you can count on. Even if god used to intervene, he does not anymore. Counting on god for last minute rescue is like counting on holy intervention in your suicide. I can hardly imagine god approving of your extortion.
Creationists quote Genesis 9:11-13 where god promises never to create any more global floods. However, he does not promise to stop natural floods, man-made floods or other types of disaster. Further, there is no implied promise to clean up the atmosphere after man pollutes it with CO₂. Further, in Revelation, he promises to destroy the whole world. It is insane to depend on someone who has vowed to annihilate you, and who has a millennia-long reputation of doing nothing for supernatural protection.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
God ⇏ Yahweh
One of the slippery tricks creationists pull is make an argument that a deity must have done something, then try to pretend that argument just demonstrated Yahweh the god must have done it.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Gods or Aliens
Creationists are puzzled that scientists sniff at the notion of creator gods, but sometimes are willing to entertain the notion that life on earth was placed there by aliens. Aren’t they almost equivalent?
Gods violate every known law of physics. We have never seen a god. Nothing else real behaves remotely like them. They appear to be the result of imagination of primitive humans.
Aliens are more plausible that gods. They don’t violate the laws of physics. We know one species of alien does exist (namely us) and we are capable of creating life from scratch (genetic sequencing). We are even planning to generate new life forms and seed Mars.
It may be that primitive life is tough enough to sail the cosmos on asteroids and comets, seeding life like dandelions. When we finally get to study life, even primitive life, on other planets we will have a much better handle on where our life came from.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Ray Comfort is the clown prince of creationists. He and Kirk Cameron did a famous video where they claimed the modern banana was crafted by God for the convenience of humans. No, plant breeders did that, starting with the wild banana which was not very convenient at all.
But why did the wild banana tree go to all the work of producing any food at all, convenient or inconvenient, for monkeys? Evolution provides the answer. If a primeval banana tree produced even a tiny bit of food around its seeds, monkeys would eat it and poop out the seeds far and wide, helping that tree spread more widely than its fellows. Any tree that produced an unusually abundant supply of food would attract more monkeys and would spread more widely.
This same mutual benefit evolutionary process applies to berries, fruits and many vegetables involving all the vegetarian and omnivorous animals.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists tell me a god planted all the trillions of fossils in the world to give the illusion the world was 4.543 billion years old and dinosaurs once roamed the earth. If a god went to all this effort to fool me, wouldn’t it be rude to refuse to go along with His charade? Surely He would not lie to us without some infinitely wise reason for wanting us to believe the earth is 4.543 billion years old. Further I thought God was allegedly incapable of lying. Surely a deception of that magnitude counts as lying.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Going to Pot
Watching the USA go down the creationist path in education is similar to watching a friend gradually ensnared by drugs, becoming more incoherent and impervious to my attempts to talk them out of it. In the modern world, countries who use 6000 year old science just can’t compete. The USA is hobbling itself with creationist science 5700 years behind even Yemen’s. It is a slow deliberate economic suicide.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Around each sun is a Goldilocks zone. Closer to the sun than the zone is too hot for liquid water to exist. Further from the sun than the zone is too cold for liquid water to exist. Sometimes there is a planet in the Goldilocks zone. Our solar system has one planet in the Goldilocks zone namely earth. Most of the trillions of suns have planets. Though planets outside the Goldilocks zone are more numerous that ones inside, there is nothing particularly unusual about Goldilocks planets.
Creationists naïvely think that Yahweh must have lovingly created some astronomical co-incidence because earth is a Goldilocks planet. Since life needs liquid water, life will always find itself on Goldilocks planets. Life would quickly perish on a non-Goldilocks planet. It could not be otherwise that we live on a Goldilocks planet. We should not be in the least astonished that we do.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Consider the difference between a creationist and a geologist on the question of how the Grand Canyon formed.
The creationist would answer the question without even going to Arizona. God did it. End of story.
The geologist would photograph the strata at many different points. They would take samples and chemically analyse them. They would catalog the fossils found in each layer. That would tell them the area had been under the sea eight times. The would measure the magnetic orientation of many samples.
They would construct a detailed scenario of what happened when and check that it was consistent with the data. They would try to come up with other scenarios that would also fit the data. If they found some, they would seek data to ratify one and negate the other.
The creationist is not in the least interested in checking that his claim is true. He does not want to hear about anything that would contradict him.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69) How the Grand Canyon Was Made
Grand Canyon Genesis
Creationists claim that the rain from Noah’s flood dug the Grand Canyon in a matter of days. Do an experiment. Get a firehose and play it on a granite block. See how big a hole you can dig in a week. The Grand Canyon is 1.80 km (1.12 miles) deep. Don’t be daft. Granite boulders in river torrents don’t dissolve away like Smarties.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Ham and Hovind
Ken Ham and Ken Hovind are the most evil of the creationists, because they know the creationist crap they are pushing on a generation is bullshit. They push it for profits. There is no lie they are unwilling to sell.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
If you ask creationist Mr. Ray Comfort why the bible has authority, he will just repeat that it does without any evidence. He just knows with 110% certainty. It has authority only because Mr. Comfort’s mom told him it does when he was too young to evaluate the claim. Other people’s moms told them that all snakes, spiders and rats are deadly. People can’t conceive of questioning such prime directives. Reason has nothing to do with it. It is not a matter changing beliefs, but of treating traumatic, irrational fears.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Here Since Day 1
According to creationists, humans have been on earth since day 1. Nothing happened prior to our arrival. We humans got to see everything of interest that ever happened to planet earth. This includes snowball earth, when the entire earth iced over. It includes the giant meteor that created the Chicxulub crater in Yucatan that wiped out the dinosaurs. It includes the Yellowstone supervolcano caldera that erupted 640,000 years ago. There were 20 ice ages.
According to creationists, animals from the tiny sampling of the ark evolved at unbelievable breakneck pace to the trillions of species we have today. Yet according to creationists, any event that ever happened occurred less than 6000 years ago. But oddly no culture has any record of these things happening.
Creationists are so conceited, they claim facts do not apply to them.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Hitler was a Christian, Catholic, creationist. He explicitly rejected the notion that one species could evolve into another. He said that his racist ideas were derived from his religion.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69) source
Hitler and Darwin
Creationists like to smear evolution by claiming it was the source of Hitler’s toxic bigotry. They forget that Hitler was a creationist Catholic. They forget that Hitler announced that it was impossible for new species to evolve. They conveniently forget that Hitler had all of Darwin’s books burned. They ignore that Hitler himself ascribed his bigotry to religion.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
The Hitler Fallacy
Creationists try to discredit evolution by saying that Stalin, Mao Tse Tung and Hitler were its champions. Hitler may have been a champion of Sachertorte, but that does not mean there is anything wrong with it. But it is a lie, like nearly everything else they claim. Stalin and Mao promoted Lamark and his theory a blacksmith’s son would inherit his fathers acquired muscles. Lamark was Darwin’s rival. Hitler was a creationist.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
If you want to learn about what creationists say, surely you should ask the creationists. If you want to learn what the evolutionists say, surely you should ask the evolutionists, even if you think you will disagree with what they say. Why then do so many people ask creationists to lie to them about what evolutionists have to say about evolution?~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
How Creationists Avoid Questions
If you ask a creationist a question, they will never answer it. Instead they will threaten, insult or say just trust me. Could you imagine a real estate con man behaving that brazenly?~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
How Crooked Are They?
In the Dover trial, creationist biologist Michael Behe testified that science will never find an evolutionary explanation for the immune system. When he was presented with 58 peer-reviewed publications, 9 books and several immunology textbook chapters, he claimed They are not good enough even though he had never read them and was not even aware of them.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
How Did Life Start?
If you ask a scientist, how did life start on earth yet. He will say: We don’t know for sure yet, though we are exploring some ideas. I’ll keep you posted. If you ask a creationist, he will say Its magic. God did it. Don’t ask me how I know, I just know. How is that any more informative than I don’t know. It is just a way for a creationist to refuse to admit he has no clue.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
How Do Creationists Ignore Evidence?
What is really happening when creationists refuse to look at evidence for evolution and against biblical inerrantism. Do the creationists truly refuse to look? But they have to look if they want to debate evolutionists. They need to know something.
Do they look, realise creationism is factually wrong, but pretend not to notice, perhaps out of fear of roasting alive? They behave much like young children, completely unconvinced by any demonstration there cannot be a monster under the bed. The fear is just too strong.
Do they just mathematically postulate creationism is correct despite the evidence the way the AnswersInGenesis people do?
Do they have brain damage? I often wonder how they perform the feat of believing something 100% contrary to the evidence. I would find the strain unbearable, not to mention the embarrassment.
Perhaps they have some conspiracy belief they used to discount all scientific evidence. All science is just a lie of the devil. If that is so, we must get the middle men out the way and let them find and look at fossils, date fossils, watch bugs in the lab etc. for themselves.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
How Hitler and Creationists are Similar
Hitler hired people to create false science to prove his nutty beliefs about the racial superiority of Aryans. He reminds me of the creationists and their phony science to support their nutty beliefs.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
How To Remain A Creationist
How can you remain a creationist?
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- Preserve your virginity. Never read a book or article on evolution unless it was written by a creationist.
- Never read the bible cover to cover. Doing so would expose the overwhelming number of errors and inconsistencies.
- Be proud of your subnormal IQ that blocks you from understanding evolution. Express your ignorant opinions loudly and publicly on every occasion.
- Pretend to believe the creationist myth in order to bilk the gullible.
How Science Works
In science, you make a guess about how the world works. Then you compute, if that were true, what consequences would you expect. Then you do an experiment. If your experimental results disagree with the prediction, your guess is wrong. When we do this to the creationism hypothesis, none of the predictions come true. That means the creationism hypothesis is wrong. When we do this to the evolutionary theory, all of the prediction come true. That is strong evidence evolutionary theory is true. The bible says creationism should work, but it doesn’t. In science, it does not matter how esteemed the guesser. What counts is the result of the experiments.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
How You Know the Bible Is False
You can tell the bible is false, oddly, without even reading a page of it. Just notice how creationists invariably lie and use straw man arguments in debate. They almost never make an honest point. Surely, if they had any evidence at all, they would present it. They have a huge budget to look for and present evidence, so if there were evidence, surely they would find it.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
How You Know Creationists Have Tiny Penises
Males are creationists because they have tiny penises. By creationist logic, that is true unless proven otherwise and contrary evidence does not count because it comes from people who are biased and who hate the Truth, and it does not have to make any sense.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Humans are Animals
Creationists allege If children are taught that they are animals, they will behave like animals. Christians oppose evolution, not because they think it is untrue, but because they think its adoption will debunk Christianity which will cause a wave of immorality. The science is irrelevant. This worry is unfounded for four reasons:
- Morality evolves just like anything else animals do. Our closest relative, the bonobos, behave better than we do. Even the bible is just a recording of the moral code in use 3000 years ago. It evolved just like legal and moral codes are created today, by consensus.
- Nobody actually pays attention to the moral code in the bible. It calls for stoning to death for all kinds if minor crimes such as raking leaves on Sunday, or belonging to a non-Christian church, or being gay. It forbids any sort of image, including magazines, computers and TV. Even though graven images is one of the ten commandments, nobody pays any attention to it. We actually use a much more modern, practical moral code.
- Every society and religion has a moral code. Their societies don’t need terror of Yahweh to function. Visit Indonesia. You can go anywhere any time of day or night without fear. Our society does not need fear of Yahweh either.
- Christians claim nobody behaves morally except them. The stats show otherwise. Christianity makes people behave worse, not better. Christians who are a majority of 75% in the USA, make up 75% of the prison population. Non-believers who make up 25% in the USA, make up 0.07% of the prison population. Atheists are much better behaved than Christians. Christianity is making people misbehave. If you become a Christian, your odds of going to jail are 430 times higher than if you remained a non-believer. It is possible that some of the difference can be attributed to Christians being more inept criminals, e.g. trusting prayer to avoid the police and trusting priests for forgiveness of crimes. Some of it of course is church-sponsored child molesting. Further, the atheist Norwegians are closing prisons from lack of prisoners. .
- The more religious people are, the more likely they are to sexually and physically abuse their children.
more arguments~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Preachers commonly use rhythmic, sometimes rhyming, word salads for hypnotic sermons. It is amusing when creationists mimic the style debating on the Internet. In print, it comes out almost as meaningless as if a cat had typed the post. The effect is a bit like Tourette’s.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Have you ever watched a stage hypnotist? His subjects flap their arms and stomp their feet, convinced they are freezing to death in a winter blizzard. They are like Creationists, utterly convinced their imaginary world is real despite all evidence to the contrary.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
I Distrust Liars
Sometimes when you research something like the evidence for and against Jesus being a historical person, you get conflicting evidence. Whom are you to believe? My tendency is to believe the people who have lied to me least in past.
Creationists shoot themselves in the foot with me by lying about something I know, namely evolution. They deliberately misrepresent what it says. They needlessly destroy their case by destroying their credibility.
What makes it even worse, is they openly announce they believe such lying in the service of protecting dogma, is morally justified and that they fully intend to ignore and hide any evidence that conflicts with their preconceived opinions. They are like a candid used car salesman who announces Nearly everything I am going to tell you is a lie..~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
I Vow To Ignore
Creationists vow to ignore any information that might tempt them to change their mind. 40% of American are now creationists. Originally creationists just ignored information about science, evolution and the bible. Now they have extended it to, well, everything. For example:
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- Americans ignore the fact they have a huge gun problem and other countries do not.
- American ignore the fact they pay three times what universal-health care countries do for their health care and Americans get outcomes comparable to a third world nation.
- Americans ignore the fact they spend more on the military than the rest of the world combined. Whom are they planning to fight?
- American ignore the fact the homosexuals do not cause earthquakes. There is no need to curtail or kill them.
- Americans ignore the fact the bible is chock full of errors and inconsistencies. It is so badly written, there is no possible way a deity was responsible.
When determining the age of the earth, creationists consult a book, written by man. Scientists consult the earth itself, allegedly created by god. Doesn’t that make the creationists the idolators?~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
If Evolution Is Wrong then Almost Everything Else We Know About Biology Must be Wrong Too
If evolution were wrong, then almost everything in biology, physics, chemistry, paleontology, geology, genetics… would also have to be wrong. Creationists have no idea how much hard science they are rejecting with a wave of the hand and zero evidence.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
If Life Were Designed
If life were designed, here is what you would see:
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- You would see things that could not evolve by gradual changes, like wheels.
- You would not see blunders, like nerves on the wrong side of the retina (correct in other species)
- You would see evidence of foresight, e.g. parts useful in disasters that have not happened yet.
- You would see optimisation, e.g. the best possible cycle of chemicals to deliver energy.
- You would see novelties in the design of each species rather that mindless reuse of existing forms.
- You would not see millions of species almost identical.
- You would not see hideous suffering designed in.
Ignorant and Proud
The fundamental way creationists think is this:
I am an uneducated bumpkin and proud of it. I do not understand how vacuum cleaners work and further I flatly refuse to learn anything about them. Therefore god must have created them in a factory in the holy land using pixie dust.
There are other options. Just because vacuum cleaners are mysterious to the creationist does not mean they baffle engineers at Dyson who take the time to study them.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Ignorant Claim Superiority
To design a modern building or bridge, you need to know trigonometry and calculus. Where do these creationists get off claiming that, without even knowledge of basic algebra, they know more about how the universe is constructed than scientists and engineers?~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Ignoring Evidence and Proud of It
Why do creationist websites proclaim they will ignore any evidence, observation, science, logic, reason or anything else that contracts the bible? Because they know full well the bible is completely at odds with reality.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Ignoring the Speed of Light
Andromeda galaxy Andromeda galaxy
If the creationists were right and the universe were created only 6000 years ago, then we could not very well see anything further than 6000 light-years away, could we? Light from anything further away than that, if it were created only 6000, years ago could not have reached earth by now.
But our own galaxy is 100,000 light-years across, let alone the vast distances to other galaxies, such as 2,500,000 light years to the closest one — Andromeda. We would not even be able to see the stars of the local Milky Way. But we do. Therefore the creationists are not only incorrect, they are lying because their apologists are fully aware of this and they sweep it under the rug.
Some apologists have said god created the light in flight to fool mankind into thinking the universe is 13.82 billion years old. If god created such a perfect illusion, would it not be insulting to god to claim to see through it. Why would he want us to believe a lie?~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
A universe generated by quantum fluctuations you would expect to have only fluke regions suitable for life. If the universe were the size of a house, the region capable of supporting life would be smaller than a proton, insignificantly small. A universe generated by a Yahweh-level deity should be perfect for man. We have not discovered any other intelligent life. Life is not everywhere abundant as you would expect in a Yahweh-created universe.
The universe and man itself, is far too imperfect to have been created by conscious design. I present my aching spine with worn out discs as evidence. Further, what kind of pervert would design parasites?~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Implications of Creationism
Why doesn’t everyone have the same DNA ? If God created Adam and there is no evolution (change in DNA ) then all his descendants should have the same DNA as he did. Everyone should be an exact clone of Adam. Yet we know everybody has his own unique DNA. How and when did the changes happen? Where did human genetic diversity come from?
I suppose you could postulate some ad hoc miracle to explain it, but science explains it this way: Your DNA sometimes is damaged in the womb. You might be born with 100+ sites of damage. This could happen from a stray cosmic ray hitting you or exposure to a noxious chemical, e.g. from your mom drinking, smoking or taking drugs like thalidomide. Sometimes the damage is so severe, you will spontaneously abort early in the pregnancy. This damage is called a mutation. Most of the time it does not cause you any serious harm. Sometimes it will give you a terrible deformity. Sometimes the damage happens even earlier to your mother’s eggs or your father’s sperm.
Rarely it will give you a benefit, e.g. resistance to HIV, the ability to eat cholesterol without clogging your arteries, extra strength muscles, cavity-resistant teeth, perfect pitch… Your children may or may not inherit this mutation. If they do, the mutation can be passed on to your children’s children. Mutations, especially beneficial ones, then accumulate over the generations and spread throughout the entire population.
By the way, this process of mutation and differential fitness is usually called evolution. People think they disagree with evolution, but that is only because they have some misconception about what it says, e.g. that it requires rocks to turn into spiders, or because they have been lied to that accepting the science of evolution leads to devil worship.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Importance of Professing
The most important thing for creationists is that people profess to believe the bible is 100% true without contradiction or error. Whether it actually is, is secondary. Believers must pretend not to notice its flaws. Whether the bible has anything to do with a deity is even less important. They worship not a god but a book, one admittedly written by ordinary humans.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Improperly Projecting Intuition
Lay people, especially creationists, have a strong intuitive idea of what sort of structure to expect to occur naturally. They don’t realise they are projecting and extrapolating local intuition to realms where it does not apply. For example, every child is baffled to learn the earth is spherical. Why don’t we fall off? Our intuition fails when we take it outside our human-sized world.
For example, at the quantum level everything is paradoxical. On the geological level our intuition cannot grasp processes that take millions of years. At the evolutionary level we cannot grasp processes that take billions of years of tiny incremental actions. At a cosmological level even atoms disappear.
So creationists grasp blindly for something simple to let them hold onto their familiar expectations. Then they make up idiotic stories about bearded men hiding in the clouds and somehow find that more plausible than the scientific explanations.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69) Quantum Leap: how matter behaves at the atomic level
Incomplete Fossil Record
Creationists claim unless scientists can produce a fossil for every missing link (every species that ever lived) then evolution is a fraud. That is like claiming your family tree is a fraud because you cannot find a photo or painting of every ancestor. When bodies die, especially in the tropics, they immediately rot or are eaten. Some creatures are soft-bodied. The best we could hope for is a mud-impression. It requires a rare fluke series of conditions to fossilise one in a billion.
These fossils are buried by millions of layers of sediments. It requires yet another series of geological flukes to bring them to the surface where they have some chance of being discovered before erosion destroys them. We are amazingly lucky to have any fossils at all. There is no reason to presume a complete record exists, much less that we will ever find it. Why do creationists promote this bogus argument, even though they know it is bogus? Because they have nothing else. They are dedicated to selling the Christian lies at any cost.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Remind a creationist that:
- We have ice cores far older than 6000 years.
- We have tree rings far older than 6000 years.
- We have rocks far older than 6000 years, cross checking the dates with many independent techniques.
- We have starlight arriving far older than 6000 years.
This means than the earth and the universe can’t possibly be only 6000 years old. This means the bible is wrong. This means god did not write it, people did. This means there is no reason to believe in Yahweh.
The creationist will find this unsettling. He will respond by ignoring you and changing the subject. He has no interest in pursuing truth. He has already decided to believe whatever his mummy told him, no matter what the evidence. He is so superstitious, he probably still avoids stepping on cracks as his mother taught him.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists have a pat phrase that it is impossible for new information content to arise in the genome because god created it at the beginning of the world and it never changes, though oddly he never once mentioned this crucial detail of how the creation works in the bible.
Evolutionists scratch their heads. What are they talking about? When new breeds of dog or corn come into being, there is new genetic information about the shapes of their bodies. Maybe evolution-deniers use some creationist definition of new or information. We sequence the genome of thousands of creatures every day. Every new generation is different.
I think the problem is creationists are pontificating without even understanding what a genome is. They will say whatever they think props up their biblical world view, true or not. They are unrepentant liars.
Perhaps they imagine that because all DNA is made of guanine, adenine, cytosine and thymine there is nothing new. That is like claiming there are no new books published because they all use the same 26 letters of the alphabet in different combinations.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69) The Origin of Genes
Insult May Be a Good Sign
If you make an argument to a creationist why his beliefs can’t be true and he just sticks his tongue out at you, it means he cannot think of a response. You may well have created a crack in his armour of wilful ignorance.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Insultingly Idiotic Creationists
Creationists claim they have a valid theory explaining why you find the layers of rock in the Grand Canyon — Noah’s flood killed all the dinosaurs and other extinct species and stirred up their bones.
But why did the bones form in layers with the most primitive species at the bottom? Creationism predicts the heaviest bones should be at the bottom. Why are there millions of years of silt, one laid down per year, as happens to this day? How did a 40-day flood manage to turn millions of years of sediments to a slurry? Why do all the atomic clocks concur on the age of these fossils, millions and billions of years old, not thousands? How does Creationism account for the KT boundary? It ignores everything.
Creationism flatly violates nearly every observation. The motto of creationists is lie or ignore.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Intelligent Design in a proper subset of creationism. It was constructed by stripping out some of the more outlandish and bible-centric claims of creationism. They wanted it to look more scientific.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
To prove intelligent design you would have to come up with a list of attributes life would have to have if it were divinely designed that it would not have if it were materially created.
Creationists say that complexity all by itself is such a hallmark, but it isn’t. Consider a coral reef designed by mindless little polyps. Consider snow flakes. Consider the stalactites, stalagmites and giant crystals you find in caves, designed by dripping mineral-rich water. Consider termite nests designed by insects, hardly intelligent life. Consider a system of prairie dog burrows created by prairie dogs. Consider some of the more elaborate bird’s nests. These were created by mere birds. Consider highly complex cities and space stations created by mere humans. My obvious point is you don’t necessarily need god-like intelligence to create complex things. Even some very stupid things (including natural selection) can also do it.
There is one such test. The bodies of animals and humans should be planned. Body plans should be efficient. They should at least as good as something a human engineer might come up with.
The catch is life massively fails. There is no sign of forethought or planning of any kind. All you ever see is mindless trial and error with infinite patience repeated over the aeons. This is what you would expect from something as mindlessly stupid as natural selection which has an IQ of 1.
Another test is each separate creature should have an optimal design (like a car). It should not be a recycling of 99.99% old designs. Granted where a design from another creature were effectively perfect, you might expect it to be reused.
Again life massively fails this test. In contrast, evolution massively recycles old designs even when they don’t work that well. For example, humans have a spine much better suited to a quadruped.
Even if you showed the universe had been intelligently designed, it need not be a god, need not be supernatural, need not be a single entity and need not be named Yahweh. It could be an advanced alien species.
Here is another quite different argument. Christians claim their beneficent god Yahweh designed every single organism, including diseases such as bubonic plague, leprosy, malaria, guinea worms and animals who kill humans horribly such as black mambo snakes, Irukandji jellyfish, stonefish, Japanese giant hornets, tigers, scorpions, anacondas… Why would Yahweh create the entire universe for the benefit of the apple of his eye, mankind, then populate it with such nasty creatures? That makes absolutely no sense. If these creatures were created by an intelligent designer, it was a fiendish designer. As the allegedly only deity in the universe, Yahweh has to take responsibility.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
I could imagine some Creationist saultationists a million years from now studying the extinction event of our time. Through some new rock-penetrating ray technology they are able to detect delicate frog skeletons. They discovered bullfrog fossils appearing all over North America without any intermediate forms from the previous much smaller frogs, practically instantaneously. They danced about claiming God did it, God did it. Darwin is a stupid monkey. The Darwin of the time would vainly try to persuade them that the bullfrogs were an invasive species, already fully developed elsewhere. He would be right.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists have been crying, But where are the intermediate species? They have been busy ignoring the mother of all intermediate species for 156 years. The first remains of Archaeopteryx were discovered in 1861; just two years after Charles Darwin published Origin Of Species. Archaeopteryx is half way between a reptile and a bird.
They further ignore the logical problem, that when you find a missing link as creationists call them, you create two new gaps to be filled, giving the creationists even more ammunition in their eyes.
If you have ever buried a pet, you know that the remains usually disappear in a decade or two without leaving a trace. It takes rare fluke conditions to preserve a corpse for hundreds of millions of years. We are lucky to have as complete a fossil record as we do.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
It is extremely arrogant for a lay person to say that a universe could or could not have come from nothing. Our intuition works on objects the size of apples. We already know that it is completely wrong when you try to apply that intuition on the atomic scale. So similarly we should not expect to be able to intuit how the universe works on a cosmic scale. We have to trust observation and math. Eventually, once we get familiar with how the universe works on a small and huge scale, our intuition will encompass those laws too.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
The process of evolution by natural selection is estimated to have an IQ of about 1. It works by trial and error, mostly error. It takes hundreds of thousands of years because it is so stupid. In contrast, Yahweh is alleged to have an IQ of ∞. For some reason, he is allegedly extremely partial to humans over all other species.
Evolution works by spawning variants almost identical to the parents and natural selection wipes out all but the best of them. It takes about 200 million years to notice any appreciable cumulative difference in the current generation. This means that the humans who were living at the dawn of agriculture 10,000 ago were for all practical purposes identical to us. Many creationists erroneously imagine evolution is the morphing of a single individual into a new species that takes place over a few seconds.
The animal kingdom exhibits so much bungling in their design, it can’t be the work of a competent designer, much less a divine one.
- Which designer more likely joined the windpipe of a human to his esophagus so that if he is inattentive for even a second he can choke to death?
- Which designer more likely gave much better eyes and lungs to birds than to humans? Humans have the optic nerve attached to the wrong side of the retina causing a blind spot.
- Which designer more likely gave man a spine more suited for a quadruped, meaning he would be vulnerable to back pain?
- Which designer more likely gave women birth canals far too small for extruding babies (or babies with heads too big). Other animals don’t have that problem.
- Which designer more likely gave humans teeth that are prone to cavities and that wear out part way through life?
- Which designer more likely made the laryngeal nerve in a giraffe do a 4.57 metres (15 ft) needless detour?
- Which designer more likely added useless organs like vestigial legs on snakes, appendixes in humans, vestigial pelvises in whales, dew claws on dogs, chestnuts on horses (vestigial toes)?
- Which designer more likely gave the crocodile belly armour, but not the human?
- Which designer more likely gave humans bodies that craved foods, chemicals and drugs that were harmful to them?
- Which designer more likely gave humans bodies that craved a sedentary existence when they needed exercise to survive?
- Which designer more likely gave koalas backward facing pouches tending to dump the young out on the ground?
- Which designer more likely made the female urethra too short, leaving females prone to urinary tract infections?
- Which designer would pack the genome with vestigial genes from ancestor species? Creationists insist there is no such thing as ancestor species. They claim Yahweh created each species from scratch. Any similarity between species (e.g. the various types of rat) is an illusion.
- Which designer more likely put an additional chameleon-style visual system in a human which does not provide conscious vision, along with the usual conscious one? Evolution can explain why it is there. Intelligent Design cannot.
Creationists have a problem. If they ascribe all this incompetence to Yahweh, he will be seriously insulted.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
It is perhaps to be expected that creationists have an incredibly garbled understanding of evolution since professional creationists non-stop feed them misinformation and discourage them from reading science textbooks.
However, it is odd that atheists are nearly always much better informed about the bible and biblical history than creationists.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
The creationist argument about the irreducible complexity of eye is dishonest. Even Darwin himself dealt with the issue. The argument comes up in every debate. It has been debunked tens of thousands of times. Why do creationists keep bringing it up knowing full well it is a bogus? They are hoping to trick a virgin atheist with it.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists since the time of Darwin have claimed evolution cannot explain the irreducibly complex such as the eye, the bacterial flagellum or the cascade of reactions that make blood clot. The idea is there is no way evolution could have built up a complex structure piecemeal. Every example of irreducible complexity proposed so far turned out to be a false alarm. But even if an actual case were ever found, we still would have 99.99999% of structures being formed by garden variety evolution. It would be not that unreasonable to put that oddball case on the back burner to puzzle over than to toss out the entire theory of evolution.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists try to sell bullshit they call irreducible complexity. The argument is the eye must have sprung fully formed, created by Yahweh because what use is a less-than-perfect eye? Eagles have better eyes that us, but most other animals do not see nearly as well, yet clearly they are better off with their imperfect eyes, than with none at all, including some really primitive ones that are just spots only capable of detecting the direction light is coming from or just whether it is light or dark.
irreducible complexity is an endlessly repeated lie. Creationists know it is a bogus argument, but that does not stop them trying to pull a fast one. They make the same claim for wings, even though everyone has seen heavy birds barely get off the ground with inadequate wings, or just use them to break a fall. The argument is so old, even Darwin debunked it.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Irreducible complexity is a very old argument against evolution. Darwin himself tackled it by showing how the eye was not irreducibly complex. The flagellum and the wing have also been shown to be possible via gradual stages of evolution. Further we have the fossil record to see the stages. Irreducible complexity is creationist gibberish to trip up the uneducated. It was never a serious challenge even in 1859. There are no outstanding cases of irreducible complexity, though one you might try to stump the experts with is the dragonfly wing. Dragonflies did not need partial wings for keeping warm or brooding eggs.
When you look at animals, you see and over incompetence of the intelligent designer (natural selection) because the process is constrained to make only tiny incremental changes. If it could do jumps, it could make much better designs. Yahweh in theory could make jumps, but you never see them. That indicates to me a god is not involved.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
When a creationist claims something is irreducibly complex and therefore must have been created by Yahweh, what he is stating:
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- He is personally too stupid to think of a way that thing could have evolved in small steps.
- He is personally too lazy to research if someone else has come up with a way.
- He is too impatient to wait to see if someone can come up with a way now the problem is released into the ether.
- He can’t think of any other possibility for how things might come into being besides evolution and Yahweh designing them.
It Is Just a Theory
The creationist deliberate confusion of hypothesis and theory [Evolution is just a theory.] can be cleared up like this.
Scientists use the word theory similarly to the way musicians do. When musicians talk about music theory they don’t mean they are just taking a wild guess when they say that middle C is 261.626 Hz (Hertz) and treble C is 523.251 Hz. They mean they are talking about the universal math of music, not the practicalities of playing a particular instrument.
When scientists talk about hunches, they do not call them theories, as you might in informal speech. They called them hypotheses. They would say, My hypothesis why the fridge is making a strange noise is the door seal is damaged. You would never catch them saying My theory why the fridge is making a strange noise is the door seal is damaged. That would be baby talk.
Perhaps to defeat this bit of creationist verbal legerdemain, we will have to start correcting laypeople when they use the term theory when they meant hypothesis, even in informal speech.
Scientists talk about the theory of gravity, cell theory, atomic theory, germ theory, quantum theory… They have verified quantum theory to 10 decimal places. When scientists use the term theory, they don’t mean hunch, or rough estimate. They mean an explanation for how something works.
Professional creationists are fully aware of all this since they have had it explained to them hundreds of times. But they still try to fool the naïveby deliberately confusing the terms.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69) Dawkins and Only a Theory
It Is Just a Theory
Creationists mock the theory of evolution, saying It is only a theory. They are, of course, playing dishonest word games by deliberately confusing the scientific meaning of theory with the slang meaning of theory namely a hunch, which scientist would call a hypothesis. Note that creationists have no problem with the theory of gravity or music theory. For some reason, they have no confusion there. To scientists, a theory is the math, the formulas and the explanation of why and how something works. Evolution is both a theory and an observed fact. It is observed all the time in the lab, in the wild and inside people’s bodies, including speciation. I have seen it personally as the HIV viruses in my body gradually evolved immunity to various drugs. This was all tracked with genetic sequencing of my personal set of HIV by Dr. Daniel J. Fairbanks.viruses. For details see Evolving: The Human Effect and Why It Matters ~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69) Observation of evolution in the wild
It Is Just a Theory
Evolution is both a theory and a fact. Contrary to the lies Christians love to tell, evolution is not a theory in the everyday sense of a hunch or a best guess, e. g. I have a theory about where the water on the kitchen floor is coming from. Scientists call those hypotheses. Evolution is a theory in the same sense as music theory, cell theory, germ theory, theory of relativity or the theory of gravity. There is no doubt about which notes make up a C chord. There is no doubt that halving the length of a string bumps the plucked note up exactly one octave. Similarly there is no doubt that creatures evolved and continue to evolve. Theory, in this sense, means a mathematical model that describes and predicts observed facts. Evolution is also a fact because we have watched it happen in the fossil record, in our DNA, in artificial selection that we use to create domestic plants and animals and in the way diseases and pests evolve resistance to our measures to eradicate them. There is no evidence for any competing explanation, including creationism. Even Pope Jean Paul conceded evolution was the best scientific explanation. Even when you explain this to a creationist and you are sure he understands, you will catch him a day later trolling his same old evolution is just a theory bit of dissembling. The problem is more dishonesty that ignorance.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69) Dawkins and Only a Theory
It is Just a Theory
To scientists, terms like belief, hunch, hypothesis, theory… have very particular meaning. In casual speech, a theory is just an hunch or possibility. For something to be a theory in the context of science, there must be considerable experimental evidence support it and almost none to refute it. It must make predictions. Usually it requires some mathematical equations to explain what it has to say quantitatively, not just qualitatively. It must depend on general principles that predict specific results. In science, the word theory does not imply something doubtful as it often does in casual use. Theory is used more in the sense of music theory, or the theory of gravity, a mathematical explanation.
However, evolution is also a fact. It has been observed many times in the fossil record, in the lab, in the wild, in people’s bodies, both micro and macro evolution. It happens right under our noses. We can see it both in change of morphology and change of DNA sequences.
Creationists try to argue that their bible-based beliefs are indeed theories. In the context of science, creationism and intelligent design come nowhere near making the grade as theories to sit along side Newton’s Theory of Gravity, Einstein’s Theory of Relativity or Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, cell theory, germ theory. Creationists have no right to pontificate on what is and what is not a theory in the context of science, because they either don’t know or don’t respect the definitions.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
The people in prisons tend to have naïve religious beliefs. You won’t find many atheists. This is the exact opposite to what the creationists claim. The criminal uses a primitive morality, based on estimating whether he will get caught and how severe the punishment will be.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Christians decide whether chocolate or strawberry ice cream tastes better by tasting then forming an opinion on the matter. There is no absolute truth about which is better. You get to decide for yourself. Christians imagine you can do the same thing to decide whether you like creationism or evolution better. However, it is quite a different problem:
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- You have to know something about both. You can’t decide just by a 2 second exposure. Most Christians decide without any knowledge at all of either.
- You have to check the truth of both, check how they jibe with the facts of the way the universe actually works.
- Which emotionally appeals to you is irrelevant. What counts is which is factually true.
- The other criteria is which is more useful. Which leads to further discoveries and inventions.
Just a Theory
Creationists who reject evolution on the grounds it is just a theory must similarly reject Newton’s theory of gravity for the same reason.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69) Dawkins and Only a Theory
Just a Theory
Is music theory just a hunch? Is atomic theory just a hunch? Is cell theory just a hunch? Is germ theory just a hunch? Is quantum theory just a hunch? Obviously not. Why then do so many people let the creationists deceive them that evolutionary theory is just a hunch? These are all thoroughly tested theories. Modern society could not function without them. Theory has a quite different meaning in science than in slang. It does not in any way imply doubt or guessing. It refers to the explanatory math.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69) Dawkins and Only a Theory
Just a Theory
Theory informally means a hunch. Formally, it means a theoretical framework that accurately explains a predicts a body of facts, e.g. music theory, theory of evolution, theory of gravity, cell theory, germ theory, theory of relativity… It does not imply doubt. Gravity is a solid fact of life, even though scientists refer to it as a theory, ditto for evolution. Nearly every creationist dishonestly exploits this ambiguity to discredit evolution.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69) Dawkins and Only a Theory
It is amusing that Kansas is known both for harbouring creationists who object to teaching evolution in schools and for having an economy based on agriculture that would immediately collapse if evolutionary biologists could not stay one jump ahead of insects evolving immunity to measures to control them.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Keeping Kids Utterly Ignorant
It must be very difficult to raise a creationist. If they learn even the rudiments of medicine, pharmacology, anatomy, genetics, paleontology, horticulture, geology, astronomy, carbon-14 dating…, continental drift, ice cores, tree rings, they soon learn how scientific knowledge all fits together and supports other branches. Evolution is one of the fundamental pillars upon which it all rests. To accept creationism, the fundamentalist has to reject nearly all of modern science.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Ken Ham of Answers In Genesis is so dishonest that in his debate on creationism with Bill Nye, he tried to use the Moon Dust argument for a young earth. The catch is he declared the argument invalid 20 years earlier on his own website.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Kent Hovind, Convicted Criminal
Kent Hovind (1953-01-15 age:64) one of the creationist superstars is currently serving a ten year prison sentence. Here is a man who claimed to speak for god. He is a con man and a fraud. So many people blindly trusted him. People who defraud you have to be good liars. They have to be likeable. They have to come across as trustworthy. Otherwise, they could not possibly pull off their cons. This is why your guts will fail to detect a professional con man.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
The Kentucky Derby and Evolution
Every year, thousands of race horses are born. Only a few of them are good enough to even enter the Kentucky Derby. The winners of the big race eventually go out to stud, and sire a much larger number of offspring than the average horse. Over the centuries, the process makes race horses faster and faster. This is a type of evolution, called artificial selection, in which humans meddle.
Something similar happens in the wild. Instead of a single race there is a life-long deathblow with events like running from predators, fighting other horses for the right to mate, successfully digesting food, enduring mosquitoes and blackflies, withstanding hot and cold weather… The losers die or have little chance to compete for a mate. They leave behind relatively few offspring, compared with the winners. Over the centuries, the horses get more fit. How could it be otherwise if offspring tend to resemble their parents and fitter parents have more offspring? That is a type of evolution called natural selection. Artificial selection works the same way as natural selection, except humans are even more ruthless at elimination than nature and may have more narrow criteria for what constitutes fitness.
Creationists may have told you there is some incredibly improbable game of chance going on. However, there is no randomness involved, other than every year all the colts born are different. The colts are also in general similar to their parents. There is nothing in the least improbable or bizarre going on.
Put the shoe on the other foot. Ask a creationist how it could possibly be that horses would not get fitter over time? What would undo the effect of the fittest horses having the most offspring?~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Imagine your father had decided he wanted to destroy your curiosity. So whenever you asked a question he would just blow you off with It’s magic.
You ask, How do those rainbows on CDs turn into music? He explains, It’s magic. You ask, Why do some twins look exactly alike and others hardly look alike at all? He explains, It’s magic. You ask, Why do wolves have fangs but rabbits do not? He explains, It’s magic.
This is what it is like having a lazy-ass creationist for a father, only he answers every question with That’s how god wanted it.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Kind vs Species
In primitive times, man had a very sloppy way of naming and classifying animals. They thought bats were birds. They thought whales were fish. They thought humans had no animal relatives. They referred to groups of similar animals as kinds e.g. lion, tiger, leopard and cheetah were all the same kind. You could not tell from the names which animals were similar to each other.
Scientists refined the system based on which individuals could interbreed. Each breeding group they called a species. Linnaeus, in 1735, invented a hierarchical Latin naming system. Scientists refined the classification system based on evolution, then refined it again based on the similarity of genomes.
The creationists say Noah preserved only one breeding pair of each kind. They have no explanation of where all the species of that kind evolved from in a mere 6000 years after the ark landed.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
The people who wrote the bible were not good on classification. They thought whales were fish and bats were birds, or sometimes locusts. Science did not begin to get their act together until Linnaeus in 1738. It is no wonder they were wobbly on kind. However, the writers of the bible surely were aware that some creatures can interbreed and others cannot. The purpose of the ark, to preserve breeding pairs sufficient to restock the earth with its original variety. To do that, they needed two of each species. So kind == species. Creationists have muddied the waters on the definition of kind simply to avoid some absurdities.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Kirk Cameron, Professional Goofus
Kirk Cameron is a child actor who became poster child for creationism. He is most famous for holding up a photoshopped picture of a crockoduck (crocodile’s head on a duck’s) and claimed that because such a creature did not exist, evolution must be untrue. Kirk had not the vaguest understanding of evolution. The existence of such a creature would disprove evolution since it would violate several evolutionary laws. Animals breed within their species, so you can’t get new forms wildly different from their ancestors.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Layers of Belief
I would expect creationist belief is not quite so monolithic as they claim. I suspect they cling strongest to the notion of some sort of creator god and almost as strongly that the creator’s name is Yahweh, but much less strongly that their church is god’s favourite church and even less strongly that their church is almost completely a force for good. It might be a more effective strategy to challenge the belief in their church rather than in a creator god.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
When creationists say god did it they are retreating into superstition. Why? Primarily laziness. They don’t want to do any work to dig deeper. They don’t want to take any risk of learning something new that would upset some of their existing beliefs.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists, I have read your bible, cover to cover. You have not. I know it better than you do. Please do me the equivalent favour. Learn science, oh well, just evolution, better than I do. You might start by reading all the books of Richard Dawkins and Evolving: The Human Effect and Why It Matters by Dr. Daniel J. Fairbanks. Then we might have an intelligent discussion. It is getting pretty thick you telling me what evolution says, when you are nowhere near close. You are just wildly guessing or possibly lying. You must remember some of the facts we teach you.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Contrary to Michael Behe, astrology and creationism are not legitimate sciences. A legitimate science must be able to make predictions. Its theories must not conflict with observed data.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Less Probable Alternative
Creationists laugh at atheists when Creationists claim that atheist understanding of how the world works requires impossibly improbable things to happen. Then, oddly, as their improved alternative, they suggest an infinitely more improbable and absurd deistic explanation. Further, their explanation does not explain anything. It is just a hypothesis without predictive power or supporting evidence. To boot, creationists deliberately misrepresent how evolution works, lying that is purely random. Improved species are not remarkable accidents but winnowings/selections. Claiming that chihuahuas became small by a probabilistic accident is the same as making claims that evolution implies aircraft self-assemble in junkyards after tornados.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists tell me in one breath their god Yahweh never lies and every last word in his book is the unvarnished truth. Then in the next breath they tell me Yahweh faked the sediments and fossils to make the earth look older than it actually is.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
When you are discussing religion with a believer and you catch him repeatedly lying to you, what you think is happening?
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- They are just mindlessly repeating lies they have been told.
- They desperately want to convert you because they think you will behave better.
- They want to convert you so they will win a toaster for bringing you into the congregation.
- They make money telling these lies, e.g. running a creationist museum.
- They don’t believe a word of what they are saying. They have some ulterior motive for saying it.
- They have grave doubts about what they are saying. By defending, even with lies, they are hoping to shore up their own faith.
- They believe overall what they are saying is true, but they don’t know how to defend it. So they resort to lies and other dishonest tactics.
Life In The Universe
We have discovered that earth-like planets, about the same size as earth, the same temperature, with water, with the same minerals are found all over the universe. The earth is 4.543 billion years old. Life appeared on earth in 400 million years, relatively quickly. That means the spontaneous appearance of life is not that rare. It is just an inevitable consequence if the chemistry of carbon. It has probably happened on trillions of other planets.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Longing For the Dark Ages
Creationists long for the theocracy of the dark ages, where even questioning a Christian superstition could result in death by torture. If they would but read history, they would learn this was the most miserable period of all human history, hardly anything anyone would truly want to relive.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Where did humans come from? You can follow the steps:
- single celled animals
- multi-celled animals
- animals with backbones
Creationists balk at what science has to say for steps 1 and 9 because the authors of their bible speculated on those steps. The step that took all the time and presumably was the biggest deal for nature was 6. The step that happened fastest and was the easiest for nature was 9. Because of monumental vanity, it is the one creationists erroneously consider to be the grandest chasm.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Louisiana School System
The Louisiana science text books teach absurdities:
- Dinosaurs and man co-existed. (We were separated by 65,000 years)
- The existence of the Loch Ness monster disproves evolution. (There is no such monster, but even if there were, it could well be a plesiosaur hanging on much like the coelacanth, completely compatible with evolution)
- Dinosaurs breathed fire. (There is no evidence of this. The fancy comes from biblical fire-breathing dragons.)
The USA is the world’s richest nation because it leads the world in science and technology. With this sort of creationist silliness they are throwing that lead into the toilet.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Consider the possibility of unicorns on the moon. You can’t prove there are none, but you are quite sure there are none, as sure as you are of anything. You could say you are a unicorn atheist not a unicorn agnostic. All you need is certainty beyond reasonable doubt. After all, unicorns are essentially horses, and horses need air, and there is no air on the moon.
Every day, you make decisions in your life about the truth of propositions without absolute proof either way. Why should you need it on the matter of an invisible man in the sky who watches you masturbate? There is no evidence for him, just earnest assertion from lunatics who swallow all kinds of impossible claims without question. The notion is too absurd to give serious consideration.
It is a filthy creationist trick to pretend that if you cannot disprove every last one of their crazy assertions, then everything they claim must be true. Ask them to prove that even one of their assertions is true or even offer evidence for it. The best they can ever do is argue remote plausibility.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Lying To Children
Creationists are so arrogant they willfully ruin a child’s life by filling him full of lies, thinking they will make him behave better while ignoring the negative consequences of being lied to.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Lying To Children
Creationists say they have a right to teach their children that which they have no evidence for. They have a right to ignore science. They have a right to be wrong. But do they have a right to deliberately lie to their children?~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
It is easy to understand when professional creationists like Ray Comfort lie brazenly. They lie to increase their income. But what about the others? Are they just mindlessly repeating lies they have heard without thinking it through? Do they believe the case for creationism is so weak it needs lies to prop it up? Do they think creationism is untrue, but useful? Do they want to trick people into accepting it? Why do Christians think there are entitled to choose a other people’s religions for them. Why do they think they are more qualified than the person who has to live with the choice?~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Magic Jesus Smoke
Creationists tell me that a sadistic sky god creating each bacterium species fully formed in a puff of magic Jesus smoke is a more scientifically plausible than evolutionary stepwise refinement. If it were not for the bible, no one would ever dream of postulating such a crazy hypothesis.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Google Mandelbrot set on the Internet or on Youtube. You will discover how one of the simplest possible mathematical formulas generates the most incredibly intricate patterns. The more you magnify them, the more detail is revealed. A creationist assumes whenever he sees complexity a designer must be involved. But in this case, there is no designer, no artist. The complexity spontaneously arises naturally from mathematics. Creationists similarly underestimate what complexity nature can naturally create given enough time and natural selection.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Even creationists must now surely concede that god created earths, not the earth.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
The Master Plan
Oddly, selling Intelligent Design or Creationism is not all that important in itself. It is merely a wedge to allow Christians to indoctrinate other people’s young children with Christianity in the classroom. Because of collapsing church attendance, Christians are desperate for new marks.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Math Hates God
Two teams of mathematicians used Bayes theorem to evaluate the claims of Christianity and discovered they were bogus. I suppose we will soon see creationists attacking mathematicians along with evolutionists and cosmologists.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69) Bayes’ theorem
The Meaning of a Flaw
Creationists offer what they consider some flaw in evolutionary theory as proof that creationism must be correct. That logic is flawed. It is as if they had presented evidence that Obama is not president of the USA as conclusive proof that Kevin Bacon is.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
The Meaning of Theory
Creationists like to claim evolution is just a theory. But then so is electricity, gravity and music. Scientists don’t mean hunch when they say theory. They mean mathematical explanation for how something is observed to work.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Behe is a creationist apologist. He embarrassed himself mightily testifying in the famous Kitzmiller v. Dover case with his appalling ignorance. He testifies for creationism by claiming there are many examples of irreducible complexity. There are no known examples of irreducible complexity. Even Darwin figured out why the eye was not irreducibly complex. The key to understanding is the intermediate stages may have another purpose, e.g. an incomplete flagellum acted as a hypodermic. Evolution is always borrowing pieces for a new purpose, e.g. jaw bones for ear bones. The novice makes the assumption that evolution is goal-directed. It has no foresight. It just mindlessly tinkers and tests to see if the new slightly different design is any better for the current purpose.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
The creationists have as astounding ability to block things from entering their brains. For example, they can see a row of skulls of species that predated homo sapiens. They can see the differences. But they can’t see the contradiction with the bible that claims there was only one species of man.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Miracle Dove Blood
In Leviticus 14:1-8 the bible tells you that you can cure leprosy by dipping a live dove in dead dove blood. Rabbits chew their cud. Creationists tell me the bible is infallible and inerrant. Yet they know perfectly well this cure does work. How can they stand there with their faces hanging out and persist in a claim the bible is infallible?~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists routinely and maliciously misrepresent what the theory of evolution says in order to discredit it and puff up support for their non-theory of creation. One common taunt is to claim Evolution says monkeys turned into men. This suggests stage magic where Darwin put a monkey is a box and out popped a woman in leotards or the way humans morph into werewolves in the movies. It is not like that at all. If you have a son, you would not say that you turned into him. He is somewhat different from you. Down the generations, each generation will be a bit different. You can detect some drift in the patterns of change. In general, these are for the better.
What actually happened with monkeys is about 20 million years ago lived the common ancestor of man and monkeys that looked intermediate between the two. One branch of that creature’s family tree became an infinitesimal bit more monkey like with each generation and the other each a bit more man-like. We have the fossils and the DNA clocks to prove it. It is not just speculation like creationism. In 20 million years there is plenty of time for changes too small to notice to accumulate. Think how much change can occur in even ten generations of horse or dog breeding.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Missing Information in the Bible
The bible fails to inform you that for 80% of earth’s life history, there was only single celled life. We know that from studying microfossils. The god of the bible was oddly blissfully ignorant of any lifeforms smaller than the naked eye could see, yet he allegedly created them. Perhaps the problem is Alzheimers.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Pity the poor paleontologist who finally finds the missing link B between two species an and C. He has, as a side effect, created two new missing links, between an and B and B and C. The creationists now have even more clubs to thump him with.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists like to make a big deal of missing sediment layers. Do missing layers imply god exists? Do missing layers imply evolutionists can’t be trusted not to steal sediments? Missing layers are quite common and easily explained. Sediments form only when land is under water. If tectonic plates push the land up, no sediments form. When the plates let the land drop, it goes underwater and sediment creation resumes.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Modern Bibles Have Errors
Creationists tell me that the bible is inerrant. Yet surely they have seen typos in modern bibles, e.g. lions for loins or leaving out the not in thou shalt not commit adultery. If god can fail to keep modern bibles perfectly accurate, why should we presume he did any better with ancient ones, especially when we can see that all 5,600 copies of the new testament in original Greek disagree with each other?~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Modern Day Ark Builders
Creationists in the United States built an ark to the biblical specifications. They had the advantage of a large, skilled full-time labour force and modern machine tools. They did not manage to collect any species of plants and animals and pack them into the ark. This cost them many millions of dollars.
Noah reputedly built his ark in his and his family’s spare time, with no budget. They managed to pack in samples of every species of animal and plant plus food and water for a journey of over a year.
Logically, present day creationists should have accomplished considerably more than Noah.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Motive for Creationism
To avoid a minor problem with evolution, creationists embrace a hopelessly inept alternative — intelligent design. They would never do this for scientific reasons. They would never do something so nuts if they were not propelled by terror of Yahweh torturing them to death if they did not.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Mutations are Ordinary
When evolutionists talk of mutations, they don’t mean feet growing out of people’s heads as creationists like to mock in their straw man arguments. They mostly mean the tiny, ordinary genetic differences in DNA that make people all slightly different: taller/shorter, smarter/denser, faster/slower…
To an evolutionist, even blue eyes are a mutation. Mutation does not imply deformity. Some athletes have mutations in the way their muscles work that let them run further without exhaustion. Some mutations protect people from HIV.
Most mutations, you would not even detect without genetic sequencing. They make no observable difference.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
It makes me very happy to contemplate that all the other species on earth that I love so much are my cousins, that I belong here on earth with them just as the whales, the salmon or the eagles. Oddly, this same thought fills the creationist with fear, horror and shame.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Nature of the Creator
Most people have no problem accepting that we humans can create machines with powers beyond our own. Our creations can move faster, think faster, see further, remember more… Yet Christians are convinced anything that created humans could not be as lowly as bumbling evolution. It must be something infinitely grand, with infinite power and infinite knowledge. That is just the Christian version of My Dad is bigger than your Dad..~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
NCSE (National Center for Science Education)
The NCSE outlines the case against creationism.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Neanderthals Were a Separate Species
Creationists claim that Neanderthals were just deformed people, but when we sequenced their DNA, we found they were a totally different species. Just as DNA can determine paternity, it can trace how each mutation was handed off to descendant species. It lets them construct a family tree of all life. Creationists claim there is no such pattern since Yahweh created each species separately from scratch.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
No Evidence For Creationism
If it were not for the Genesis endorsement, there would have been no reason at all to even consider creationism as a replacement for evolution. There is no real world evidence for it and plenty of evidence that blows it out the water.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationist Kent Hovind claims atheists claim frogs turn into princes. No they don’t. There is no werewolf-style morphing. What atheists do say is that over hundreds of million of generations, there is a slight imperceptible drift in how descendant differs from parent. When you take a tiny change and multiply it by 100,000 the results can be quite dramatic. Calculate how long your descendant’s penis would be over 100,000 generations even if it grew only 0.001% per generation.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists have been taught many deliberately erroneous ideas about evolution by professional con men. One of the most common is a belief that monkeys turned into men as though there was a puff of magician smoke and monkeys disappeared leaving men standing in their place, or perhaps the monkeys morphed into humans like humans morphing into werewolves in a few seconds. This misunderstanding leads creationists to ask Why are there still monkeys?, a question that makes no sense at all to evolutionists.
The way it actually happened is there was a common ancestor, intermediate between men and monkeys. Its descendants were a little different just as human children differ a bit from their parents today. Over the centuries, there was a drift in the populations of the descendants. One branch became a microscopic bit more monkey-like with each generation and another branch became a bit more man-like. Nothing turned into anything else.
It is just that after many generations, a descendant does not look identical to its great great … grandparent. It looks a tiny bit different, nothing more mysterious than that. We are talking millions of years and hundreds of thousands of generations.
Human intuition can’t get its head around more than about 5 generations, so they have no idea how much drift they should expect with that much time. They grossly underestimate, unconsciously thinking in terms of mere millennia.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
No Sign of Yahweh’s Tinkering
In the bronze age, people had no clue how the natural world worked. They ascribed everything to gods and demons — fertility, rain, mountains, lightning, plagues…
Modern scientists do not do that any more. The have discovered how the universe unfolds all by itself using natural laws. They retired the gods for lack of having anything for them to do. Even before this process was complete, scientists could see where it was headed and considered the remaining mysteries as unsolved problems, not proof of Yahweh’s tinkering.
Creationists desperately want there to be a god because they imagine without terror of a god they would run amok. Further they like having god to frighten others into obedience to them. So they carefully avoid studying science. That way they can create mysteries that they don’t understand and by extension, they claim no one else could possibly understand either. Anything they do not understand, they plug with magic Yahweh putty which explains nothing, just accounts for it.
They also avoid studying the bible. If they did, they would discover, every time it wanders into scientific territory, it is embarrassingly wrong. Ironically, this deliberate ignorance means creationists are not even aware of the thousands of unsolved problems scientists are working on.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Noah and the Egyptians
Because the Egyptians were fond of carving their records in stone, we have a remarkably complete record of the country going way back prior to the supposed date of Noah’s flood and that record makes no mention of a great flood. Creationists pretend not to notice and have no explanation for the inconsistency.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists have a difficult problem explaining where all the water for Noah’s flood came from and where it disappeared to. One particularly kooky creationist, who claims to be a doctor and who also posits fire breathing dinosaurs with over heated nostrils, claims originally the water hovered in a huge cloud. Air can only hold so much water, then in precipitates out as rain, so this is nonsense. Further, it does not explain where enough water to cover Mount Everest went.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Non-Living → Living
Both creationists and scientists believe life can come from non-living matter.
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- It is called eating. Digestion turns food into living tissue.
- As for the first time, both creationists and scientists believe non-living material became living. The only difference is creationists belief you need a sky fairy to wave his wand to encourage it.
Not all Christians are Creationists
Not all Christians are creationists. For example, the Bishop Of Canterbury and the Pope accept evolution.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Not Just Evolution
Creationists have a much bigger problem than just rejecting evolution. To be consistent, they have to reject most of modern science e.g.
- DNA contains a clock that tells us that life on earth is billions of years old, not 6,020 years old.
- DNA defines a family tree completely at odds with the bible.
- Modern science treats mental problems by correcting chemical imbalances and killing pathogens. The bible says they are caused by demons.
- Radiometric dating tells us the earth is 4.543 years old, not 6,020 years old.
- Geology that examines silt strata laid down each year tell us the earth is billions of years old, not 6,020 years old. This same geology is used to find oil.
- In Greenland we can drill down 680,000 layers of snow, each representing the snow for one year Ice cores tell us the earth is at least 680,000 years old, not 6,020 years old. We thus have a record of temperature and atmospheric content going way back.
- We are seeing light/microwave radiation that originated 13.82 billion years ago from the distant parts of the universe. If the universe were only 6,020 years old, we could see objects at most 6,020 light-years distant. The sky would be almost black.
- The bible conflicts with chemistry, computer science, pharmaceutical science, quantum mechanics, astronomy, physics and even mathematics (It claims π is precisely 3).
- Creationists claim climate change/global warming must be a hoax because Yahweh is going to destroy the earth any day now and they are sure he would not let us humans jump the gun. There is no evidence for either claim.
What is a creationist to do?
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- Claim all science is a lie, a giant conspiracy, even when the science, e.g. examining strata can be verified by a child, and when it clearly works.
- Claim that the science works, but that the god Yahweh created earth to simulate being 4.543 billion years old and the universe 13.82 billion, even though they have no evidence of this and even though it takes quite some cheek to claim the god Yahweh cheated and lied like this, going to incredible effort, for no apparent reason to deceive us. If it is a deception, it is so good, clearly that is what Yahweh wants us to believe. How dare we believe otherwise? After all it is more certain that Yahweh created the universe than that humans did not counterfeit or tinker with the bible.
- Refuse to think about the inconsistency.
- Consider the possibility, that the bible, written by anonymous people completely ignorant of science, might have got it wrong as did all other primitive peoples speculating at the time. They were a bit fuzzy about the distinction between speculation, myth and absolute truth.
Not Really Science
Creationists see only two possibilities:
- Either we evolved from an ape-like common ancestor.
- Or Yahweh poofed us into existence.
I find it amusing that Christians do not like (1), not for scientific reasons, but for an emotional attachment to Genesis. They try to pretend some minor point of science is the hangup. But if that were so, surely they would want to explore at least 1000 alternatives to (1), not just glom onto (2) as if it were the only conceivable option and Yahweh the only conceivable agent.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Not So Random as Claimed
What are your odds of throwing heads 100 times in a row? One in 1/( 0.5100 ) = 1.26 × 1030 i.e. approximately 1 followed by 30 zeros, for all practical purposes impossible. But what if you had a little robot, that after each throw, ran in and if the throw were tails grabbed the coin and hid it? You would eventually get to 100 heads with complete certainty. Natural selection behaves like the robot, eliminating the most unfit animals in each generation. Creationists are boggled by the implausibility of the results of random mutation because they deliberately ignore the effect of natural selection, which is anything but random.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationism is as nutty an idea as dogs can’t have brains because they don’t talk.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Objections to Evolution
The objections to evolution are not science-based. Evolution offends some people because it contradicts religious doctrine. Creationists could care less about the science. If the bible by some fluke had promoted evolution, they would be championing evolution, not intelligent design.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
If you wanted to buy a second-hand encyclopedia for your kids, you would look for one with the most recent publication date. However, creationists do the opposite. The older a book is, the surer they are it is accurate.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Odds of Finding a Fossil
What improves the odds of finding a fossil of a given extinct species?
- If it is small and numerous.
- If it lived over a long span of time.
- If it had a calcified shell or bones.
- If it lives somewhere it is likely to be quickly buried in mud on death.
- It died somewhere where scavengers or predators were unlikely to eat it.
- It died in a place where there is significant erosion today to uncover it, but not at any other time since the creature lived.
- It is a mammal. They lived closest to the present and have hard teeth.
Just a tiny fraction of all living things form a fossil when they die. Some creationists are under the delusion all dead creatures become fossils.
When species transition into other species, the process is relatively quick. So it is hard to find fossils showing a snapshot of the process part way through, the transitional fossils, but just the same we have thousands of intermediate fossils. For example, we have a complete record for humans and horses contrary to the claims of creationists, based on the state of science in the 19th century.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Churches embrace doctrines the leaders know perfectly well are not true, such as creationism and Noah’s flood. Why? To build unity within a church, the members must believe they are special. They need enemies. If they don’t have them, they need to be manufactured. Crazy ideas encourage feeling persecuted. If members feel beleaguered, they will donate more for their protection.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
One Explanation Fits All
Creationists like to pretend there is only one possible explanation for anything unknown. Yahweh, the god of the gaps, is responsible. I wonder whether when they are baffled by where their keys or glasses disappeared to, they blame Yahweh for hiding them.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Origin of Life
Darwin lived in the 1800s. He had no knowledge of the big bang, galaxies, genes, DNA, genetic engineering, plate tectonics, the Krebs cycle, the Miller-Urey experiment… He had absolutely no idea how life got started on earth. So, like a good scientist, he did not pretend that he did.
His books have absolutely nothing to say on the matter other than that he does not know. Further, he never claimed to know how the universe got started either. Yet every creationist complains about Darwin getting both the big bang and the origin of life wrong, even though he made no claims whatsoever on either of those two matters; so how could he possibly have got them wrong?
Scientists have corrected the creationists many times and have directed them to Darwin’s books so they could check for themselves, but the creationists persist in repeating the disinformation. To me, that is evidence the creationists know they are wrong, but keep lying (perhaps for financial reasons).~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Back in 1802, William Paley gave the most famous creationist argument still used today. I paraphrase it here: Paley walked along a beach and found a pocket watch. It had an intricate design. This implies it must have had a human watchmaker. He walked further and found a clam. It too had multiple parts connected together for logical function. It too must have had a designer. He could think of only one such designer — Yahweh.
Paley was almost correct, but he lived before Darwin. He did not know there was yet another cosmic designer afoot — natural selection. Creationists nearly always lie that natural selection is random. It is anything but random. However, it is not very bright. It has an IQ of only 1. It has no ability to plan ahead. It has no foresight. It works by trial and error over millions of years. It mindlessly makes some spectacular errors. One you are probably familiar with is it connected the optic nerve to the wrong side of the human retina. This resulted in a blind spot. Birds do not have this problem.
When we study the clam and its history of ancestors, we discover its designer had an IQ of only 1. But Yahweh reputedly has an IQ higher than man, at least 200. This bungling clam design could not possibly have been Yahweh’s. That would be like ascribing a velvet Elvis painting to Michelangelo. Further, according to the bible, Yahweh poofs his designs into existence in final form. We know from the fossil record, the clam came into being as a series of millions of prototypes each infinitesimally better than the previous (e.g. by evolution).
The bottom line: Yahweh could not be the designer of the clam. Natural selection could.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Pascal’s Wager is not just a debating trick for the creationist. It is the #1 reason for Christian belief. Christians are terrified god is going to torture them for eternity if they can’t fool him that they seriously believe all that crap in the bible. They plug their ears to learning anything about science because they fear it will convince them the bible is nonsense and then god will torture them. It does not register that the threat of torture after death is just as bogus as Noah’s ark. Christians don’t want to take the chance of offending a highly improbable god because the threat is so sadistic. It is irrational, but extreme fear makes people nuts. These people are victims of victims of victims. There has to be a way to break this cycle of abuse.
Pascal’s wager has a couple of holes:
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- There are 60,000 gods. To win Pascal’s wager, you must predict which of the gods exist and which gods will punish you for guessing the wrong one. If you read the Qur’an, you will discover Allah is 100 times more sadistic than Yahweh if you fail to worship him. If your aim is to avoid torture from imaginary deities, rationally you should become a Muslim.
- If you are an atheist, the best you can do is pretend to worship some god. Any omniscient god will detect your deception immediately.
The Perfect Creation
Creationists claim Yahweh created the universe, like a hamster habitat, as the perfect home for his pet humans. It it is anything but ideal.
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- Most planetary orbits are unstable.
- Less than 3% of a gas cloud actually makes a star.
- Most places kill life instantly with heat, radiation, cold, lack of air…
- Galaxy orbits take you need a supernova.
- Our Milky Way galaxy is on a collision course with Andromeda.
- The universe in expanding ever faster. It is winding down.
Perfect God Creates Sloppy Creations
Creationists claim all creatures were designed by a perfect supernatural being. Yet if you have a look at the designs, they are incompetent, unless you see them as constrained by stepwise evolutionary refinement of earlier designs. Examples include:
- Human childbirth is painful and dangerous for both mother and child forcing an oversize head through and undersize pelvis.
- The human back design was borrowed from a quadruped and hacked for a bipedal use resulting in all manner of back problems.
- The nerve from the brain to the larynx goes via the heart, a pointless 9¾ metres (10.67 yards) detour in the giraffe. Originally, in the fish, it was a direct route.
- Koalas have backward facing pouches tending the dump the young. Kangaroos have proper ones.
- Bats have heavy solid bones and emus have light hollow bones, yet bats fly and emus do not.
- People’s teeth wear out before the rest of their bodies do.
- The nerves attach to the front of the eyeball instead of the back as in some other creatures, giving us a blind spot and cloudier vision.
- Food and air go down the same pipe, creating a constant risk of choking.
- Evolution explains vestigial organs, but why would an intelligent designer put tiny, useless leg bones inside whales, dolphins and snakes? Why put wings on flightless birds? Why put gills on a human fetus? Why dew claws on dogs? Why eyes on blind cave fish?
- The female urethra is too short, leaving females prone to urinary tract infections.
Even a human designer would not have made such gross blunders and if by some chance they did, they would have corrected the errors. What we see is exactly what you would expect from mindless natural selection operating over millions of years never able to make a completely fresh start.
What we are seeing would be similar to a human jet airline designer putting the wing on upside down because that is the way they were done in biplanes. That might be design, but certainly not intelligent design.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Pope Francis claims he believes in evolution, but that not true. He believes in evolution only if Yahweh guides it along at each step, picking out which animals get to breed, which sperm fertilises the egg, which animals survive… That is not evolution; that is largo creationism. He simply agrees with the outcome of evolution — the order that species appeared. It is like saying I believe in automobiles, but only if they are powered by magic Jesus blood. The whole point of evolution is natural selection unfolds naturally without any designer. Evolution is the mechanism, not just an ordered list of species.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Phony List Of Scientists
The Discovery Institute posted a list of about 100 distinguished scientists who doubted evolution. They did not necessarily embrace creationism. It turned out that most of the people on it did not give permission, had asked the Discovery Institute to remove their names, but were refused. Only a fraction were biologists or biochemists. There was a lawyer, a park ranger… The credentials of a number had been fudged to disguise affiliation with Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University. This slanderous document is still posted on their website.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69) List of 100 Creationist Scientists Debunked
Creationists love to point out that Piltdown man was a hoax. What they fail to point out it was a famous priest, Teilhard de Chardin who perpetrated it and a scientist who debunked it.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
The story of Noah is a direct ripoff from the earlier Epic of Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh has an ark, all the animals, a flood, a dove… If Gilgamesh too is god’s word, it was given much earlier than Genesis. How can creationists be sure god was dictating this or anything else? It gets worse. Gilgamesh lifted their Story of the flood from even earlier poems.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69) Noah’ Ark
The Point of Debate
Psychologists have pointed out that when people argue a position, they tend to hold that position more firmly even if it is wrong. This suggests it is pointless to debate with creationists. Granted, you are unlikely ever to deliver one from their delusions, but you might prevent an onlooker from falling into the abyss of insanity if you point out their logical fallacies, false facts, inconsistencies, straw men and general dishonesty. If you are really lucky you may derail someone from an absurd belief the bible is inerrant and composed by a deity and hence embracing a barbaric 3000 year old morality that requires stoning nearly everyone to death.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
The Poison of Intelligent Design
Once someone has been infected with a belief in intelligent design, he will never again make another scientific discovery. His brain has gone limp, resigning himself to the belief that all unsolved problems cannot be solved. They are forever unfathomable workings of the great creator.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Pope Accepts Evolution
Even Pope Jean Paul II acknowledged that evolution was true. Why are so many much less literate Christians still hanging on to the myth of creationism?~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Pope Acknowledges Creationism
Even Pope Jean Paul II acknowledged that evolution was true. Why are so many much less literate Christians still hanging on to the myth of creationism?~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Imagine you handed a piece of poster board to a child and asked them to cover it randomly with pencil dots. Then you handed it to an artist and asked them to erase dots so that the final result looked like Abraham Lincoln. A creationist would look at the final result and say, God must have done that. It could not possibly happen by chance. As evolutionist would say, That is analogous to the way evolution works. The child is random mutation and the artist is natural selection.
Another way to look at it is to consider how Sidney Crosby came to play pro hockey. It started with tens of thousands of boys wanting to play for the NHL (National Hockey League) with a random set of skill levels. They were gradually winnowed down to the pro players. This was anything but a random process, as proved by Mr. Crosby’s skill.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Prevention Rather Than Cure
Given that creationists have vowed to ignore any evidence or argument and even to ignore the evidence of their own eyes, they are pretty much lost causes. However, what we can do is keep gullible folk from falling for their lies. We will just have to wait for the existing creationists to die off.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Pro-Lifers Rely On Science
Its ironic that the creationist pro lifers would not have ever known there was a microscopic fetus to protect by blowing up abortion clinics were it not for science.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
The Problem with Creationists
My complaint with creationism there are no observations of the world used in constructing their hypothesis. The whole thing comes from a book written by anonymous ignorant people who knew not the first thing about the universe. They did not even know the value of π, or what stars were (they thought they were holes in a metal bowl). They did not know the difference between a whale and a fish. They knew nothing of physics, chemistry, biology, cosmology or quantum mechanics. Yet their book boastfully claimed to be written by the creator of the universe. My ass it was! The creator could not possibly be that ignorant. That is the fig leaf they hold over Yahweh.
My hatred of creationists comes because they simply ignore the glaring flaws in their story. They refuse to acknowledge them. They pretend not to notice. They are bloody liars and con men.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Process to Answer Questions
If you ask a creationist a question of the form How do you explain X? He will tell you the first thing that comes into his head and claim it is revealed truth. If you ask a scientist they will go through a more complicated process to answer:
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- look in the literature.
- If they can’t find something, make a hypothesis.
- See if they can think of any alternative hypotheses.
- See if they can think of any reasons why this might not work.
- See if some friends can think of any reasons why this might not work.
- If possible, check out the proposed solution to see if it does indeed work.
- Explain the hypothesis, with the caveat it is just a guess.
There are some men who make their lives posing as creationists. Unlike amateur ones, they are performers and clowns, and not particularly sincere or consistent. The stupidest and silliest is Ray Comfort. He is absolutely without shame.
- Ben Stein, clever comedian, Movie Expelled
- Jay Richards of the Discovery Institute, with Christopher Hitchens
- Geoffrey Simmons of the Discovery Institute with PZ Meyers
- William Lane Craig, slimy, with Michael Schermer
- Matt Slick, pompous rude conceited. with Scott Clifton
- Ken Ham Evolution vs Creation - It is a Fact that the Dinosaurs Lived With Humans - Young Earth Creation
- Kent Hovind (imprisoned for fraud) evolution is wrong
- Ray Comfort How the genetically engineered banana proves the existence of god
- Wendy Wright. She has a string hanging down her back. When you pull it she regurgitates a random bit of creationist cant. This creates the illusion she is constantly changing the topic. Like other talking dolls, she has no idea what the words she says mean, and she cannot say anything original. As you would expect, she cannot understand what people say to her. Oddly, though she is one of the stupidest people on the planet, she affects a patronising accent. Wendy Wright and Richard Dawkins
The further down the list, the lower my opinion of them.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Purpose of Debate
The theory of debating is you hope to come to a better view of the truth than either side possesses by bouncing ideas of each other. The problem with creationists is they use debates for a totally different purposes:
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- to misrepresent the evolutionist case with a barrage of straw men and childish mischaracterisations of the evolutionist position.
- to spread in a machine gun fashion as many falsehoods as possible, allowing them to be seeded with the audience and not allowing sufficient time for them to be debunked.
Questions for Creationists
These questions are intended to persuade creationists to notice the absurdities of their beliefs.
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- How do you explain finding remains of over 16 transitional hominid species? They are intermediate between the common ancestor of humans and apes.
- How do you explain that light coming from the distant stars is over 13 billion years old? If creationism were right, we should not be able to see more than a handful of stars because there was not enough time for the light to get to us.
- Why is there is no geological evidence of the global flood, but plenty of evidence of local floods?
- Why do you claim radiometric dating does not work when atomic theory, atomic clocks, historical records and tree ring data all corroborate it? What is the mechanism by which it fails? Show me the evidence.
- It would take an armada of arks to contain two of each species. How did Noah fit them all in one along with a year’s supply of food?
- Where did the water come from for the global flood and where did it go? You are aware of the conservation of mass, are you not? The flood would need at least three times as much water as there is on earth.
- How did Noah’s sons collect animals from North America, South America, Australia and Antarctica without knowing those continents even existed and before the ark was built to transport them?
- When the animals disembarked, the soils had been ruined with salt. There was nothing growing and would not be for many years. What did the herbivores eat? If the carnivores ate even one prey animal, that species would be extinct. Does this not show a serious lack of planning on god’s part?
- When the animals disembarked, how did they get back to their home continents?
- By studying fossils, scientists discovered only about 1% species are still alive today. Do you dispute this, and if so, on what grounds? In your view, when did they die off and why? What is your evidence for this?
- Why do you believe that an eternally-existing bearded sky-wizard is easier to swallow than an eternally-existent universe? One is made of unobserved, completely mysterious magic. The other is made of ordinary subatomic particles.
- How do you explain the sermon on the mount was composed after the destruction of the temple in 70 AD, 40 years after Jesus’ death? We know this because it quotes Jewish theology that did not exist before that time.
Quote mining is the art of pruning a quotation down (and possibly changing a few words) so that the quotation now says the exact opposite of what the author originally intended. It is a favoured technique of creationists to provide bogus support for their claims.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Quoting from Obsolete Sources
Creationists who quote only authors from the time of Darwin are like those who would criticise computers by quoting only material about the Apple ][ released in 1976.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists reject radiometric dating because it gives results that conflict with the bible. Radiometric dating is simple in principle. Here is an explanation for creationists. When uranium decays, it leaves behind lead. You can weigh the amount of lead and uranium in a sample. You know how fast uranium decays (exponential decay) so you can compute how long it must have taken to create that much lead from the computed starting amount of uranium. You cross check this with other radiometric clocks that decay into a variety of elements. If you are a creationist, please reject radiometric dating because you gave discovered a flaw, not simply because it gives results you do not like.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists say the radiometric dating is unreliable because it gives consistent answers at variance to what the creationists want to hear. It is not as though they have done any tests. It is not as though they can explain why it does not work. They are like criminals fingered by a solid DNA match who complain that DNA is unreliable, but have no evidence to support that claim.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Reconciling Nonsense With Reality
How do creationists reconcile science with their beliefs? Here are some possible ways:
- ignorance. They carefully avoid learning anything about science.
- presume scientists are of the devil and are lying to destroy the truth of Jesus.
- presume scientists are simply mistaken. They are a bunch of incompetents.
- presume scientists are deliberately twisting the evidence. They search always for some alternative to the truth of Jesus.
- where absolutely necessary, presume the bible does not mean what it appears to (e.g. the flat earth).
The key is ignorance of how science works. Perhaps that is why they fight so hard to block teaching science in schools.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Refutation of Intelligent Design
Imagine you gave some pre-schoolers a box of plastic gears and bars and asked them to create a railway engine. They would have very little idea of what they were doing. The end result would have lots of parts tacked on that had no function, a complicated ad hoc mess.
In contrast, let’s say you asked a team of crack engineers to do the same thing. It would be efficient and sleek. There would be no wasted parts.
The first situation is a little bit like evolution, which is utterly mindless, without any ability to plan. It only works at all because resulting engines that don’t work would be destroyed. The second situation would be a little bit like a deity doing the work.
From the first, you expect incompetence. From the second you would expect perfect planning and perfect execution, zero errors.
But what do we see in nature? We most definitely do not see perfection, far from it. Consider how imperfect our vision is, how our backs and joints fail, how our prostates choke off our urethras, how our teeth wear out, the long detour of the recurrent laryngeal nerve, vestigial organs, how we are prone to so many diseases… That means intelligent design is not in effect. If it is not absolutely perfect, it can’t be the work of a god. Creationists slander god by claiming he creates crap.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Rejecting the Periodic Table
Some creationists are so anti-science they even reject the periodic table of the elements on the grounds all the elements had not yet been discovered when it was first proposed. What do they think?
That plutonium is a sham; it is just lead, not radioactive at all? For pity sake, why? The bible does not mention the elements at all, so it could hardly be for blasphemy. Maybe they are counting on the fact the ignorant people they wish to bamboozle have absolutely no clue what an element or the periodic table is.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69) The Foundational Falsehood Creationism at 8:09
Let us say you learned the religious alternative to evolution in high school. What use is that education?
- If you learned the religious alternative to evolution and genetics you can’t use it to improve dairy production. You can’t create a better-tasting tomato. You can’t create a Cavendish banana immune to Panama disease. It won’t let you develop a strain of wheat for cold dry conditions. It won’t let you develop a new drug. It won’t let you study how viruses develop resistance to existing drugs. You can’t detect genetic defects before a child is conceived and hence dodge deformities.
- Let us say you learned the religious alternative to geology in high school. Creationism gives you no way to find minerals or fossil fuels. It gives you no way to predict earthquakes or volcanoes.
- Let us say you learned the religious alternative to medicine (e.g. praying and daubing people with dove blood). You will not be able to heal a single disease or condition.
- Let us say you learned biblical magic as the alternative to chemistry. You would be living like the people of 1300.
- Let us say you learned biblical sanitation where you should not wash your hands after defecating or before eating. It would be like living in a pig sty.
In other words, religious education has no practical use. Even basket weaving is more useful. You won’t get a decent job. If enough of your fellows follow suit, your whole country will collapse to third world status.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Requirements for a Theory
A scientific theory has to do three things:
- Explain all the relevant existing observations, in other words, provide the math that explains consistently how they fit together.
- Predict the outcome of future experiments.
- It has to be reproducible. Others repeating the experiments should get the same results.
Creationism fails on all three counts. It wildly conflicts with all archaeological, geological, biological, astronomical, evidence. Further, it has absolutely nothing to say about chemistry, physics or medicine. It makes no predictions about the outcome of experiments.
Each time a group has set out to describe god, they come up with a wildly different description. Christianity has no science. It has no theories. It is mere speculation and myth.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Imagine you were a creationist debating with an atheist. The atheist was trying to tell you that the bible was all wet. It then became apparent your opponent had never read the bible cover to cover even once. That would be so disrespectful. How dare he try to lecture you on something you know far better than he does!
Now imagine the roles are reversed, you are the atheist debating with a creationist. The creationist is trying to convince you science is all wrong. It then becomes apparent the creationist has never read even one science textbook. All he has read are books by professional creationists trying to make science look ridiculous. You can see how the atheist might be annoyed with the creationist for pretending expertise he does not have.
There are no inventions, navigational devices or medical cures that work on biblical science. They all work on standard atheist science. It is perverse then to claim biblical science is more accurate. It does not work at all. See if you can think of even one example where it works.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Riddles as Proof of God
Creationists often fool their debating opponents into accepting a ridiculous notion — if they come up with any question you personally do not know the answer to, that is evidence Yahweh/Jesus exists. They might as well be claiming it is proof that Star Trek’s Q and the continuum created the universe or that they were ten feet tall. There is no connection.
It could well be somebody knows the answer, just not their opponent. As science progresses, we uncover new questions far faster than we can answer them. It is only dough-brained Christians that plug every unanswered question with a god did it answer and declare the problem solved. They pretend they are not even curious about how god did it. In contrast, a scientist is honest. He does not pretend to know for certain, even when he is fairly sure.
Creationists pretend they know everything when in actuality they know far less than anyone else. They strive hard to know less than ignorant desert dwellers did 3000 years ago. They carefully avoid observing the universe or reading the works of those who have in case it might lead them to question their holy book.
Every problem we as a species have solved so far turned out to have perfectly ordinary causes. Why would unsolved problems be any different? Creationists like to pretend all unsolved problem can only be explained by Yahweh (and why that particular god?)~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Rocks Into Spiders
One creationist said that he could not believe a rock could turn into a spider. Nobody said it did. Evolution is not about how life originated, but, once it originated, how it evolved. And further the scientists working on the origin of life, would expect the first life would be incredibly primitive, even compared with a bacterium. It would not start with a spider any more that the first aircraft was a Skybus.
Oddly, this man’s preferred explanation is that a lump of dust turned into a man and a rib turned into a woman (albeit at the command of a sky fairy). His explanation strikes me as even more absurd and improbable than his straw man.
Further, the universe is not limited by this man’s intuition on what is possible. That is not how to determine truth. Look at the evidence. The universe is mind boggling far more so even than the sky fairy’s alleged deeds.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Ruby Lipped Batfish
The image to the right is a ruby-lipped batfish. The ruby-lipped batfish evolved gradually just like every other creature. Just what forces shaped it, for me, seem deeply mysterious. I am surprised the creationists have not yet used it as evidence for the existence of a god with a sense of humour. Perhaps is a case of convergent evolution with the crab.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Salt deposits are laid down in ocean lagoons as the water evaporates. Salt deposits are over thick. Water could not possibly have evaporated fast enough in 4000 years as the creationists claim to lay down that much salt.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
In the USA, the supreme court has interpreted the first amendment of the constitution to disallow school prayer. The reasoning is the state has no business proselytising any particular religion to the students. In the bible belt, schools routinely violate this law. They justify themselves on the grounds only 5 students objected. These 5 students will typically be harassed, beaten up and driven from the school. This suggests in actuality there were probably considerably more people who quietly objected. When Christians are in the majority, their bigotry and bullying expresses most fully.
However, even if nobody objects, school prayer is still illegal. Browbeating objectors into silence does not make school prayer OK. The students and staff who participate in such prayer are scofflaws. They have all violated their oath to their country and the constitution. Christians imagine because they are a majority, they are above the law. The constitution does not apply to them.
Ironically, Jesus himself was against school prayer Matthew 6:5-6. He felt prayer should be done in private. I have seen videos of school prayers in the USA. They are not prayers. They are screaming, hooting victory chants over the atheists. The students literally make ape-like hoots.
Similarly, Christian school boards repeatedly break the law and attempt to teach Christianity in the science class in the guise of creationism or intelligent design. To force them to comply requires some private organisation to fund a court challenge. No sooner are the Christians defeated than they start over. They hope to win by attrition, exhausting the resources of those trying to get them to comply with the law. I am surprised the legal system does not smack the Christians down with escalating fines for their repeated violations.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69) hypocrites
Creationists imagine science knows very little about how the universe works. Their picture of what it knows is twisted by con men such as Ray Comfort, the Hovinds and Ken Ham. What science understands is thousands of times deeper than they believe.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Science Offends Our Deeply Held Pulled-Out-Of-Our-Ass Beliefs
A scientist approaches the creationism debate by asking himself Which hypothesis best fits the observed facts?.
A creationist approaches it with an extreme double standard for judging the two sides.
- If he can find anything in creationism in accord with fact…
- If he can find anything in evolutionary theory, or in any parody of evolution, that he personally doubts…
- If he can find any august personage of ancient times supporting creationism…
- Or if he personally finds anything he does not intuitively grasp without study in evolutionary theory…
He claims victory for creationism. Further, he treats his judgment as a personal triumph and a vindication of his sect’s entire dogma, not merely of evidence for some form of intelligent design. In my view, these people have debased themselves to contemptible subhumans.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Science predicts and explains. Creationism predicts and explains nothing. How dare Christians try to fob it off as science.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Science vs Creationism
The more scientists explore, the more they learn, the more questions and puzzles they think up. What is unknown always grows faster than what is known. Creationists think the proper state of affairs is to convince yourself you already know all there is to know and assume Yahweh handled any remainder with magic.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Science vs Religion
What is the difference between science and religion?
In science you not permitted to speculate, unless you explicitly label your statements as speculation. You are required to accurately report the consensus. The consensus is reached by multiple experiments to check out the evidence for the truth or falsehood of an assertion. Science has a quite limited subject matter. It has very little to say about morality, art, literature, metaphysics…
In religion, the rules of discussion are much more relaxed. You can report anyone’s, especially a dead person’s, speculation as fact. You can generalise from you own personal experience and treat it as a universal truth. You do not have to show evidence for anything, just assert that you have strong faith it is true and then demand others respect your beliefs. You can also assert impossible events, especially if they are mentioned in scripture and not be required to defend them. One’s personal faith is considered so sacred, it is considered perfectly OK to tell any lie, about anything, in an attempt to defend it.
All goes well until religious folk start making scientific statements, about things such as the age of the earth, the order that celestial bodies formed, whether there was a global flood, how the various species of plants and animals came to be, what fossils are, how DNA mutates and inherits, the value of π, whether the earth is flat or spherical…
Then science lovers get furious because religious people start making crazy assertions without evidence. If a scientist did this, he would be pilloried. This complete disregard for truth in the scientific sense drives the science people apoplectic. The only truth that matters to the religious person is whether a statement supports his faith. To the science lover, the creationist is a completely unscrupulous lying lunatic.
To the creationist, the science lover is ploddingly literal, unable to see outside science. The airy fairy speculations about guilt, redemption, sacrifice, scapegoat justification, the trinity, absolute morality, omnipotence, what happens after you die, the nature of god… are a crazy waste of time and of no practical interest to the scientist. They are irrelevant ranting. In the long run, the creationists will be wise to back off making fallacious scientific pronouncements.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Score: Darwin 7, Creationists -7
Darwin’s theory of evolution explains choking, hiccups, bad backs, hernias, the blind spot, the backwards retina and why you need to remove wisdom teeth. Creation science says these things can’t happen because a perfect god designed humans independently of all other species.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists are not interested in evidence. They just want to sow doubt in the minds of the naïve who don’t understand the science. They are young things ripe for the plucking. You know this because the creationists bring up the same tired old arguments debunked back in Darwin’s time, hoping to fool some naïve twit with them.
Look at this from the creationist point of view. You are a criminal. You are a con man who makes money in some way from selling creationism or Christianity. You have no scruples. You have no evidence to support your views. You have no evidence to counter your rivals. You have to fight off the atheists with dirty tricks, lies, ad hominem attacks and cheating of every description.
You give up convincing the skeptical and intelligent and focus on keeping the stupid and indoctrinated in the fold. Part of the con is flattering stupid people and convincing them they know far more than anyone else. The key is getting at kids as young as possible, especially atheist’s kids, when it is easy to bamboozle and terrify them.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Second Law Of Thermodynamics
Creationists often try to defend creationism with a word salad including the words second law of thermodynamics. The argument is a garbled use of second law of thermodynamics to prove the world as-it-is is impossible, therefore Yahweh must have created it. These arguments are so pathetic you don’t know where to begin debunking them. The easiest way is to note the second law of thermodynamics applies only to a closed system, one without at outside supply of energy. The earth is not such a closed system. It gets an abundant supply of outside energy from the sun.
No matter how many times we explain this to creationists, they keep trying to pull a fast one using the second law. The fact they dishonestly keep promoting bogus arguments means they must not have any valid arguments. That means they must know they are wrong. That means they know they are lying, but promote creationism anyway. The question is why?~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
It is not hard to discover how slowly layers of new sediments are laid down. We also see layers of sediments kilometers/miles deep. There is no bloody way all those layers were laid down in 6000 years as the creationists claim. If creationists were correct, we should never see sediment beds much thicker than about 0.60 mm (0.02 in). Even if creationists assume the sediments are some sort of artistic display created by god to deceive us as to the age of the earth, who are we to jeer at his legerdemain?~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Consider a debates between a heart surgeon and a faith healer, then a debate between a pharmaceutical researcher and a concoction of homeopathic remedies, then a geologist and a diviner, then an astronomer and an alien abduction enthusiast, then an evolutionist and a creationist. In each case the first has nothing to gain. The second, no matter how ineptly they debate, gain, simply by being taken seriously enough to be invited to debate.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Con men like Ken Ham don’t believe a word of what they say. Their patter is designed purely to con people out of money. Their basic pitch goes like this. The creator of the universe wrote the bible, therefore it must be true in every detail, no matter how it looks. So give me some money for god. But how does he know the creator of the universe wrote the bible? He doesn’t. That is just wishful thinking. In fact, it is easy to show that the creator of the universe could not possibly have written the bible. It is a forgery. Here are some reasons. To top it off, I can also show why Yahweh cannot possibly exist.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Christians seem to think that whether Creationism is true and whether there exists a god are one in the same question. I could conceive of some other god being the true god. I could conceive that Christians were mistaken on how Yahweh pulled off the creation of the universe. The infallibility they so arrogantly claim is not Yahweh’s, but their own.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Seriously Stuck Up
When a creationist assures you that Genesis is much more accurate than the big bang or latest multiverse theory, he is implicitly telling you he believes that he, armed with intuition alone, is much smarter than Stephen Hawking.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Shaking Up A Creationist
It is puzzling the way creationists reject astronomy, evolution etc so ferociously, ignoring all evidence. The problem for them is, if they accept even one tiny fact, it means the bible is wrong. That means the bible is not the inerrant work of Yahweh. That means giving up their entire religion. Their entire life is founded on it. It has nothing to do with rejecting the science.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
In Darwin’s day, the fossil record of human evolution was seriously incomplete, but today the missing links have been found. Creationists pretend not to notice the progress.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
It is not just creationists who threaten science education. In one science documentary, the narrator intoned that all animals need to seek mates while the video showed a group of all-female honeybees watching a nectar dance — nothing at all to do with reproduction. A documentary on relativity offered a completely backward explanation of how GPS works, claiming the hand held units broadcast messages to satellites. Another used kangaroos as examples of typical mammals. That is technically correct, but kangaroos are usually thought of as special kind of mammals, marsupials.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Something Out Of Nothing
Christians dogmatically assert that something never comes from nothing, even though it happens trillions of times a second at the quantum mechanical level. Oddly, they find no problem with entire planets suddenly materialising if there is a wizard nearby who utters a magic word. Yet we all know that astounding illusions have nothing to do with magic words or spells. Abracadabra is just a distraction.
Christians claim that the entire universe poofed into existence exactly as is its now, complete with all species, like a magic trick. Science says the process was extremely gradual. There were not even any atoms to start. It all came about by trillions of blind microscopic steps, each in full accord with the laws of physics. Even though there is not a stick of evidence for the Christian view, and overwhelming evidence it is wrong, Christians still have an overwhelming childish emotional attachment to it.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Sound Of Trumpets Required
The idea of evolution from the planetary ooze offends creationists. They demand something more dignified, accompanied by the sound of trumpets.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Speak for Yourself
In a debate between creationists and evolutionists there needs to be an agreement. Evolutionists should agree not to tell the audience what creationists have to say and creations should agree not to tell the audience what evolutionists have to say. Each side must speak for itself. Of course, each side can ask the other side what its position is. Then we might see a debate based on something other than straw men and debunking straw men.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists claim that all living things need a designer/creator. However, they claim Yahweh, the grand designer, did not need a creator. He was either always here or just popped into existence by accident. On what grounds do they treat Yahweh and a clam differently? If Yahweh did not need a creator, why could not clams come into being by the same process? If the complexity of a claim demands a creator, surely the complexity of a deity demands one even more so.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists repeatedly claim that we have never seen the evolution of a new species. We rarely see it directly, because the process is far too slow. We have seen it, of course, in the fossil record over millions of years. However, sometimes the process is so fast, we can see it in a single human lifetime, such as in Mexican river fish. For details see Evolving: The Human Effect and Why It Matters by Dr. Daniel J. Fairbanks.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
No matter how many times I point creationists to the evidence, they persist in saying nobody has ever observed a new kind being formed. Creationists say they were all created on one day by Yahweh. Kind is an obsolete ill-defined biblical word. They mean species. I refer them to a book over and over that describes the details of speciation — the evolution of new species. They keep pretending never to have heard. See Evolving: The Human Effect and Why It Matters by Dr. Daniel J. Fairbanks. Speciation has been observed many times in the fossil record, in the lab and in the field. It has been observed so many times they had to invent vocabulary to divide it into four types: allopatric, peripatric, parapatric and sympatric. Scientists don’t make up vocabulary for fairy tales the way Christians do.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Speciation is troublesome, especially for creationists because they have been mislead that it works like this: One day a chicken laid an egg that hatched into a duck. Another chicken did the same thing. The two ducks then bred a new species. This sounds ridiculous and it is.
It works more like this: In a group of wild dogs, some were smaller than the others. They tended to pair off, creating even smaller dogs. Over time you had both big and small dogs. They could still interbreed, but it was awkward, so they avoided doing it. The small dogs wandered off to a new territory where there were lots of badgers to root out. They kept changing, making them better and better at badger hunting simply because the bad badger hunters starved to death and the good badger hunters had lots of food to raise large litters.
The big dogs kept changing independently. Eventually the big and small dogs got to a point where they could still interbreed but the offspring would be sterile (as horses and zebras are today). Eventually they could get to the point they could not and would not interbreed. So a new species gradually comes into being. Sometimes two or more species split off and replace the original species.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69) Observation of evolution in the wild
Without doing any study, creationists claim it is impossible for new species to form, for existing species to change and that is impossible to date events in the deep past. Dr. Daniel J. Fairbanks explain why and how these things are possible by explaining the underlying biochemistry.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69) Evolving: The Human Effect and Why It Matters
Does freedom of speech give you the right to lie about what others said? Creationists think so. They consider the debate a spiritual war and all’s fair in love and war. They almost never tell the truth when pretending to quote evolutionists. There is really no excuse for or benefit to putting words in the mouths of others they did not say. I don’t think this form of speech should be protected.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Spitting on Science
Creationists spit on science because it cannot answer definitively how life came to be on earth. I spit on religion for pretending to know how it happened when it does not. Creationists spit on science because over time science revises and corrects their understanding. I spit on religion for pretending they got it right the first time and refusing to correct it even when it is clear they got it wrong.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Stages of Recovery
I doubt many people would leap from being a creationist to an atheist in one step. They might go through the following stages, in any order.
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- Reading the bible from cover to cover.
- Reading about other beliefs, perhaps travel to get deeper exposure to them.
- Discovering the bible is not inerrant. Even if you ignore the errors, it is massively self-contradictory.
- Discovering the depiction of Yahweh in the bible is evil, cruel, sadistic, irrational and batshit crazy.
- Learning about cosmology, evolution and other sciences to understand why creationism could not possibly be true.
- Realising the bible is a quite poor moral guide.
- Realising that the bible is poorly written, even as literature. There is no sign it was written by anything other than run of the mill humans, who were very sloppy given they were trying to pass their counterfeit off as god’s work.
- Losing your fear of after-death torture.
- Deciding to base your beliefs on evidence rather than peer pressure.
- Realising eternal life is not the perk it is cracked up to be.
- Realising the people who wrote the bible has access to far less information than you do. They just made it up.
- Realising Christianity is just one of 60,000 religions. There is no more reason it should be true than any other.
- Getting yourself up to university level in understanding genetics, DNA and evolution.
- Learning the mathematics to grasp the counter-intuitive parts of science like quantum mechanics, the big bang and Einsteinian time and understanding how the universe runs itself. Study how the universe unfolds by itself without any divine prodding.
- Growing up. Looking after yourself. Stopping looking for cosmic parents to baby you.
What would a creationist make of the fantastic stalactites and stalagmites in the Carlsbad cavern, or a hoodoo in Arizona? On hearing they were created over millions of years by natural processes, he would balk, since they don’t appear to be changing at all. Clearly they could not have formed in only 6000 years. Typically, he might insist they were built in Yahweh’s workshop at the north pole, then levitated into place, since this is the only alternative he can conceive of.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Stealing From Science
Do you ever think it odd how creationists will talk about DNA, peptides, the big bang etc. to bolster their arguments that a sky god did it? They cherry pick information from science. None of these arguments came from the bible. They stole them from science.
When science says things they can twist to support their 4000 year old science text, they have no doubt. When it does not, they find some way to discount science as unreliable.
They pretend not to notice science is a giant mutually supporting web. It all fits together. If substantial parts of it are false, then the whole thing must be false.
In a similar way, creationists are happy to benefit from science with computers, heart operations, pharmaceuticals, drought-tolerant crops etc. while blindly denying the science by which they were created.
What a strange idea! that humanity could not possibly learn anything about science in 4000 years. There are a few exceptions. Even most creationists have dropped the flat earth and the earth-centred universe.
Creationists are particularly resistant to evolution because they do not understand it or have swallowed deliberately false explanations of it. It takes more intellect than understanding why the earth cannot be flat. They have been cleverly taught to consider intellect, understanding and curiosity to be sins to inoculate them against reason.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Straw Man Arguments
Creationists favour straw man arguments. They claim evolutionary theory says some ridiculous thing that it does not then pile on ridicule. No matter how many times they are corrected, they repeat the lies. Atheists will quote the bible and point out why that makes no sense or is inconsistent with other parts of the bible. I don’t think I have ever heard of an atheist accused to making up fake quotations from the bible.
That leaves the question of why the difference in debating honesty. Here are some possible answers:
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- Professional creationists know fully well they are selling nonsense but they earn a living off it. They lie and cheat to pander to their ignorant audience who, like children at a magic show, want to believe the illusion is real.
- Creationists are aggressively stupid and ignorant people who have never read even one book on science or evolution. They have no clue what it says.
- The threats of hellfire make creationists say silly things, just as a person under torture would confess to having sex with demons.
Studying the Opposition
I can hardly imagine an atheist criticising the bible without first reading it. Yet I have yet to hear a creationist who demonstrated even a basic understanding of evolution. They have never read a single book about it other than ones written by clueless creationists. They either deliberately or out of blind ignorance describe something not in remotest way related to Darwin’s theory of evolution. Instead they present straw men. Creationists are fundamentally dishonest. They are crooks. They do not deserve the respect one usually gives one’s debating opponents.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Freedom of religion does not require the government to subsidise religion. Even tax breaks given equally to all religions are unfair to the religions too small to incorporate under the tax act or too unpopular or not considered sufficiently whacko, like Secular Humanism.
We are subsidising Creationist Christian and Islamic sects to spend millions of tax payer dollars undermining science education with deliberately false information. Some sects milk the system to get way more than their fair share. There is no reason atheists should be forced to subsidise religious superstition, intolerance, child molesting, homophobia and other malice that they strongly disapprove of. Let’s end the government handouts and abuse and let everyone fund his own religion.
Surely we can at least agree that everyone that else’s religion does not deserve a government subsidy. Why should Christians subsidise Muslims? Why should Muslims subsidise Wiccans? Why should atheists subsidise theists? Primarily subsidies take from the those who disapprove of religions and give to those with good lawyers.
Further, if a religion takes a handout from the government, the government has a ring through their nose. Religions need to reject subsidies to maintain their independence.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
We in the west are horrified as Egyptians turn their county in to a Sunni theocracy intolerant of any other religion. Yet the same thing is happening in the USA. In Kentucky, you can go to jail for a year if you refute that the aid of the Christian god is necessary to combat terrorism. Contrary to the constitution, civil governments spend money on Christian religious displays at Christmas. Governments give money to schools to teach Christian religious superstitions such as creationism and persecution of homosexuals.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69) source
It is no longer possible to get rid of lice with pesticide-containing shampoos etc. The lice have evolved immunity. How to the creationists explain that?~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Crocodilians are superior to humans in a number of ways.
- They have more efficient lungs.
- They have separate paths for food and air.
- They have armoured bellies.
The creationist would be baffled god would bestow such gifts on a crocodile and not him. The evolutionist would note the crocodiles had much more time to perfect their evolution.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
When you watch debates between evolutionists and creationist/ID supporters, invariably you will find the creationists uninformed, stupid, dishonest and smart Alecs. The evolutionists are knowledgeable. That is not a co-incidence. Creationism is as crooked as snake oil sold from the back of a wagon. Evolution is solid as science gets.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Teaching the Bible to Christians
One of the wonderful things about debates on the Internet is the atheists are gradually teaching the bible to the creationists who refuse to read the whole thing.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Lay creationists support creationism purely because team god supports it. Team god supports it purely because it was the best hypothesis at the time the bible was written. Creationists have almost no clue how well creationism fits with the evidence. They are completely unaware of the fact evolution fits the evidence tens of thousands of times better than creationism. Professional creationists such as Ken Ham, Kent Hovind and Ray Comfort are fully aware creationism/intelligent design is bunk, but they make a handsome living out of selling it to lay creationists, anyway.
The church has deferred to science on so many things: the spherical earth, the heliocentric solar system, that stars are suns, that germs cause disease, the need for sanitation, the desirability of bathing, that mental illness has nothing to do with demons, that there are no witches, the cause of tornadoes, hurricanes, volcanoes and earthquakes, that there are no fire-breathing dragons, however, they are strangely stubborn about the big bang, Noah’s flood and evolution even though science’s evidence is overwhelming. They refuse to look.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Ten Awkward Questions For Creationists
- You tell me the bible is inerrant, 100% true and trumps all other sources of knowledge including science, my own eyes and logic. In Leviticus 14:1-8 it says, the way to cure leprosy is with animal sacrifice and dove blood. Do you concur? If you were traveling in Africa and your son contracted leprosy, is this seriously the treatment you would insist on?
- Rabbits chew their cud. Do you believe this nonsense just because it is in the bible?
- You tell me you postulate the bible is inerrant, 100% true and trumps all other sources of knowledge including science, my own eyes and logic. A postulate is something self evident, something about which there is no controversy. Are you claiming this inerrancy is self evident to all Christians, atheists, Buddhists, Muslims etc. or just to yourself?
- You tell me the bible is your sole source of morality and you take it 100% literally. Nearly everyone has met a woman who was raped. Presumably you have to. What did you do? Unless you stoned her to death, you spat in the face of god Deuteronomy 22:23-26. You are not a Christian. You not only sinned, you rejected the holy word of god putting your own morality above Yahweh’s.
- Your daughter comes home with an orange swimsuit made of nylon and lycra. What do you? Make her remove it? If you don’t, as a good Christian, you must beat her to death, or you have given the finger to god. What is the matter with you that you spit in the face of god’s morality? Deuteronomy 22:11
- You tell me the bible is your sole source of morality and you take it 100% literally. I presume you have or did have kids. What did you do when they talked back to you? If you failed to kill them, you spat in the face of god. You are not a Christian. You not only sinned, you rejected the holy word of god putting your own morality above Yahweh’s. Deuteronomy 21:17
- The bible says mental illness is caused by demons. Yet you are willing to take pharmaceuticals to treat mental problems such as depression or nervousness. On what Authority do you rejecting the teaching of the bible?
- The bible says that illness is caused by displeasing god or by demons. Why then are you willing to submit to surgery, anaesthesia, dentistry, modern pharmaceuticals, radiation treatments all of which directly contradict the bible?
- Your home is probably heated with fossil fuels and your car runs on fossil fuels. Geologists found and extracted these using science in direct contradiction to creationism. Why do you insult god by using them?
- The pharmaceuticals that keep me alive were developed using the theory of evolution. If I were a Christian, would it be best to stop taking them and die?
- You accidentally eat a shrimp at a cocktail party, not having seen one before. What should you do now to atone? Suicide? Leviticus 11:9-31. According to the bible, some nearby Christian should kill you.
At the very least, creationists are hypocrites, using one morality for themselves and fobbing off another that they personally reject, on others. Even creationists recognise a much superior morality to the one in the bible.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Presume for a second that both the Creationists and Evolutionists are lying to you. Check it out for yourself to see whose claims are actually true.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Theory vs Theory
When ignorant creationists, such as Ronald Reagan, taunt evolutionists by saying Its only a theory they are pretending not to understand that theory to a scientist does not mean hunch as it does in informal English. It means theory in the sense of music theory, the theory of gravity, the germ theory of disease, cell theory, theory of relativity or atomic theory.
Theory does not imply doubt. It is a coherent group of propositions meant to explain facts about the world. Evolution, the theory, explains how evolution works. Evolution is also an observed fact. We have seen it working inside human bodies, in the lab and in the field. We have also seen the dawn of new species, not just changes to an existing one.
Creationists routinely lie that this is not so. They claim to be true anything they wish to be true. Facts never get in the way.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69) Why Evolution is True
There Is No Soul
On 1848-09-13, a tamping iron went through the brain of Phinehas Gage. He did not die, but his personality drastically changed. Scientists learned from studying him that the notion of the soul controlling personality was wrong. Oddly that ancient belief continues to this day, much like the flat earth, creationism and homophobia.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Mankind has got itself into an environmental predicament with a toxic confluence of religion and economics:
- Religion is a master course in wishful thinking. You will notice most of the opposition to dealing with greenhouse gases comes from creationists who prefer their wishful fantasies to hard science.
- Our predicament over addiction to oil and procrastinating action on climate change reminds me of a old joke:
Mother : If you don’t stop masturbating, you will go blind.
son : Can I do it until I need glasses?.
- The economy is not a feature of nature. It is game, in the exact same sense Monopoly, baccarat, the Syms or Grand Theft Auto are games. Economists have completely lost track of that. They have completely forgotten that we humans made up the rules. The rules are somewhat arbitrary and the way they are currently constituted, the players are killing us all, as a side effect of their game-playing compulsion. Remember the Star Trek Next Generation episode about The Game that consumed the entire ship causing them to withdraw from reality — that is spaceship earth reeling from the effects of an addiction to the Money Game.
I elaborate on these ideas in a series of essays about religion and money.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Once someone’s ability to reason has been destroyed by swallowing young earth creationism, people behave as if they were mentally ill. They more easily swallow all manner of nonsense such as homeopathy, faith healing, fear of vaccines, fear of smart electric meters, belief the needs of the wealthy trump theirs, lottery tickets as a retirement fund, communing with the dead and climate change denial.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Let’s say you were convinced that the mathematicians who invented calculus got it all wrong. Would you start telling mathematicians they were idiots before you had even read an introductory calculus textbook? Or would you bray it can’t be right because you don’t understand based only on what some people who hate math told you about it? That is what creationists do when criticising evolution. They don’t know the first thing about it, or if they do, they lie brazenly and repeatedly about what they know no matter how many times they are corrected. Further, every criticism I have heard from a creationist, did it by making a claim that evolution says something it does not. They shot down only straw men. That is simply dishonest, something Christians claim is against their values, yet they do nothing but shamelessly lie, when it comes to evolution. Creationists want creationism to be true because they think it might encourage Christian values. What point if you lied through your teeth to sell a bogus hypothesis? Is that not selling your soul? Is not telling the truth supposed to be a Christian value? This is just another rehash of an argument from ignorance.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
The Truth About Creationists
If you debate with creationists for a few years, a horrible truth becomes inescapable. You don’t want to believe it, just as the Jews did not want to believe Hitler was killing them off, but professional creationists do not believe creationism is true. However, they do believe that it is important that the majority of people believe that creationism is true. It is analogous to thinking it is important that the majority of children believe in Santa Claus, even though they know Santa is a myth. Oddly, God wants you to believe this myth, even though it is not true.
By analogy, imagine taking a course on Egyptian history. The text book is full of errors, but if you want to pass the final exam, you must give the answers in the book. Creationists see life as like a test. You must learn from the official text, and believe from the official text. The truth is irrelevant to passing the exam. You prove your metal by believing something very difficult to believe.
Why do they do this?
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- They believe people who fail to convince themselves of the lies in the bible will be tortured for eternity.
- They can con people out of a substantial amount of money using these beliefs as crow bars.
Two kinds of Creationists
There are two kinds of creationist:
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- Naïve Christians who know nothing about science because fellow Christians persuaded them that study of science would lead to demonic possession.
Christians who have studied science purely to concoct misleading arguments to debunk it. To do this, they must know they are being dishonest. They for example pretend scientists mean hunch when they use the term theory which actually means something as solid as it gets, like the theory of gravity. Why do they promote falsehood?
- money. They may be preachers, creators of anti-science textbooks or literature or proprietors of junk science museums, e.g. Ken Hovind and his son and Eric, Ken Ham, Ray Comfort, Hans Behe… Some of these con men rake in tens of millions of dollars every year preying on naïve Christians.
- delusion. They are convinced the bible is inerrant despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Therefore lying is perfectly acceptable to convince others of the delusion. That such lies are morally acceptable is a very old idea. Martin Luther (1483-11-10 1546-02-18 age:62) said What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church… a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would not be against God, he would accept them.
Two Types of Creationist
There are only two types of creationist: the deceivers and the deceived. Some people can be both.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists like to point out frauds like Piltdown man. It was perpetrated by Teilhard de Chardin, a priest. Another was Nebraska man, which was a mistake. A tooth was actually a peccary tooth. National Geographic published a photo of a fake transitional photo. Ernst Haeckel did some misleading drawings of embryos. But who uncovered the frauds? — evolutionists. There have been millions of fossils found. The presence of a few frauds does not imply all of them are hoaxes. There are many places on earth where you can find fossils yourself.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
A Universe From Nothing
Creationists insist that the universe could not have come from nothing without some supernatural help. Creationists imagine a huge amount of matter and energy just popped into existence. It did no such thing. Scientists have discovered the amount of mass-energy in the universe is precisely zero. The negative (such as gravity) and positive energies precisely balance. Quantum fluctuations billions of times a second create balanced pairs of positive and negative particles. By the laws of physics, the big bang is a rare but expected event. There is no need for divine prodding.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Is the Universe Intelligently Designed?
Creationists assure me (without evidence) that Yahweh intelligently designed the entire universe for the delectation of man. Yet he designed it with 99.99999% without air and filled with lethal radiation. If the universe were the size of a house, the inhabitable part would be smaller than a proton. It seems to me, Yahweh loves barren wastes, not humans. I think the creation story and Yahweh are both myths. They make no sense in the light of modern astronomy.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Universe is Not Fine Tuned for Life
Creationists claim the universe was fine tuned for life. But they also say earth is the only place in it where there is life. They assure us almost nowhere in the universe supports life and simultaneously the universe is fine tuned for life. Really? That is like claiming a single snowflake at a ski resort shows it is fine tuned for skiing.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Not only is creationism totally false, it is useless. It cannot explain anything. It cannot predict anything. It does not show you how to do anything. A few examples:
- Why do snakes have tiny rear leg bones, but no external legs? A creationist could at best say God must have done it for mysterious reasons.
- Why do manatees have fingernails?
- How can you use creationism to determine paternity?
- How can you use creationism to account for the fact fossils are always layered the same way with the most primitive ones on the bottom and the modern animals found only at the top?
- How does creationism account for the fact diseases become drug resistant?
- What does creationism teach you about what you can do to discourage diseases from becoming drug resistant?
- How do you use creationism to create new pharmaceuticals?
- How do you use creationism to predict which couples are most likely to have Tay Sachs disease?
Science can answer these questions, but creationists blanket reject all science. They claim to believe the only knowledge comes from the bible even if it violates observation and common sense.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Uses of Religion and Science
Uses of Religion and Science Uses of Religion and Science Religion Science Computers, electronics and communications Encouraging intolerance. Encouraging people to kill and harass homosexuals. Encouraging people to meddle in the affairs of others. Encouraging people to have pot luck suppers. Encouraging terrorism. Encouraging wars. Energy for heating, transportation, manufacturing etc. Improving crop yields. Improving livestock. Learning about our solar system and galaxy. Space travel. Making predictions about coming catastrophes. Making sense of the physical clues we have of the past. Medicine. Navigation. Providing water. Sanitation. Understanding how the brain works. Understanding the physical laws of the universe.
So even if creationism were true, it is not science. It cannot do anything useful. It cannot even plausibly rationalise geological facts using special pleading.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
There many people who have convinced themselves that vaccines are some sort of plot to harm them and their children. Oddly, if a doctor explains the science and debunks the myths, the loonies become ever more convinced of the danger of vaccines. They are quite willing to risk the health and lives of their own children, other people’s children too young to be vaccinated, and people with compromised immune systems imagining they know far more about the relative risks than their family doctors.
In a similar way, explaining to a creationist why science says the events in the bible could not possibly have unfolded as advertised, just more firmly seats their belief.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
When we atheists say there is not a shred of evidence that god exists, we need to specify what sort of thing would count as evidence.
- A truly inerrant book whose writing quality was many times better than Shakespear’s. This evidence won’t last long. Super computers will be able to do this within the century.
- All the water turn pink each Easter. This could not have a natural cause and would clearly be tied to Christianity.
- Evidence that prayer statistically is effective.
- Evidence that wicked people are hit by lightning more frequently.
- Detection of souls entering or leaving bodies.
What would not count is:
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- Quoting the bible. Its gross incompetence points to human origin, not divine. It is a forgery thus without authority.
- Pointing to things such as rainbows that have perfectly ordinary explanations in geology, physics, chemistry, biology… Just because a creationist refuses to understand the science does not make the phenomena miraculous.
- Telling me that you know in your heart god is real because you are anointed and have access to special wordless, logic-free wisdom ordinary mortals do not. You are simply conceited and suffering from delusions of grandeur. There is nothing special about you outside your grandiose claims.
There is a children’s game. Mother hides an object and the children try to find it. She gives them hints in the form of the words warmer and colder. The children stumble about in random directions, but use Mother’s hints to home in on the object. The children can find the object far faster with hints than if they had none.
In an analogous way, in evolution, mutation occurs randomly making incremental changes in the DNA of animals. But natural selection acts like Mother, directing the process by cutting off non-promising directions.
Creationists are boggled by the implausibility of the results of random mutation because they deliberately ignore the effect of natural selection which is anything but random.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Were You There?
Creationist Ken Ham teaches children to taunt scientists with were you there? to anything scientists say about the past. I suppose Ham could similarly taunt forensic scientists who were not present when the crime was committed. There are all manner of clues about the deep past including fossilised bones, radioactivity, geological layers, meteorites from the early days of the solar system, light that from the other side of the universe that took 13 billion years to arrive, letting us look at the deep past… For the more recent past, we can find DNA inside teeth and bones, archaeology, ancient manuscripts, inscriptions, civic records…
We could tease Mr. Ham pointing out he too was not there, and what is worse, he has no scientific tools of any kind for probing the past. Yet he claims his knowledge of the past is infallible. There is one word that sums him up. Bullshit!~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69) source
Were You There?
Goaded by Ken Ham, ignorant Christians such as The Vigilant Christian taunt Were you there? jeering the big bang.
The big bang was deduced by a Belgian priest Georges Lemaître. Hubble noticed that space itself was expanding, as evidenced by the red Doppler shift of light coming from distant stars. Lemaître argued, that working backward, the universe once must have been extremely small.
Who was there 13.82 billion years ago? We were! or at least those us with telescope time. The light from the beginning of the distant universe is just getting to us. If Christians had any interest in science, they would have read about the cosmic background radiation discovered in 1964. The big bang is not just some wild speculation. We can watch it unfold. Further, we can recreate the conditions in the lab. Have you ever heard of CERN (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire)?
In contrast, what data do Christians use to study the origin of the universe? They consult a book written by people who thought the sky was a crystal dome with holes for the stars backed by a celestial ocean? Who thought the earth was flat. The people who wrote it definitely were not present at the beginning and had no way to observe it. Science is not about studying books or speculating, but observing the actual universe to see what it really does.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Were You There?
Ken Ham urges people to chant Were you there? when anyone talks of dinosaurs or evolution. Consider a murder without eye-witnesses. Do we give up? No. We examine the crime scene for clues. We examine the corpse. There was a TV series called Bones that explained the incredible amount of information that could be gleaned from the bones alone, even ancient bones. In a similar way, anthropologists and paleontologists study the remains and artefacts of ancient humans. They can track the evolution of tool, art and pottery designs. They can measure radioactive decay of various elements for aging studies. They can study changes in DNA. They can study minute changes in bone morphology. Sometimes they find preserved stomach contents. Each little bit of information does not mean much, but the totality gives a remarkably complete picture. They don’t have to give up just because there were not eyewitnesses to the crime.
Evolution is not something that stopped long ago. It continues in the present day. Scientists can studied it the fossil record, can watch it unfolding in detail in the lab and in the field and inside people’s bodies. It works just as it always did. Read Evolving: The Human Effect and Why It Matters by Dr. Daniel J. Fairbanks for details.
In contrast, how do Christians study early man and extinct creatures? They consult an ancient book written by people who thought the sky was a metal dome with holes for the stars backed by a celestial ocean? Who thought the earth was flat. The people who wrote it definitely were not present at the time dinosaurs lived and had no way to observe them. Their all-knowing bible does not mention them or their fossils. Science is not about studying books or speculating, but observing the actual universe to see what it really does. The bible does not even acknowledge the existence of pre-human species or extinct animal species.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Were You There?
Were you there? is the creationist’s refutation to every scientific assertion. It does not seem to occur to them that the taunt would apply to everything they claim as well.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Were You Theyah?
The cosmic background radiation is the light that the universe gave off at the big bang. It comes from so far away, it is just getting to us now. So we have a ringside seat to watch the big bang. We were there. Ken Ham denies this because he is ignorant and dishonest.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
What Do Evolution Deniers Believe?
I find it hard to understand how anyone could understand evolution, know the evidence of the fossil record, the DNA tree, the lab and the field, including speciation and still reject it. To me, it seems so common sense I can’t see how it could not be true.
Evolution deniers, such a creationists, must at some level believe some of the following notions:
- There are no differences between members of a species.
- It should not make any difference to an animal’s reproductive success or survival what its inherited characteristics are.
- Small changes should not add up to big changes over time.
- Creatures should not change over time.
- All changes are deleterious, like growing two heads.
Clearly, none of these statements are true. Only people with their nose in a bible who never look at animals could think so. Just going to a dog show should be enough to shake them up.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
What Is a Kind?
The people in biblical times kept all kinds of domestic animals. They were very aware that animals could only breed with similar animals. This means the word kind has same meaning as species does today. Noah planned to replenish the earth. He knew to do that he would need enough sample animals that each could find a partner. That means Noah must have attempted to fill his ark with at least two of each species. This means he needed an armada of arks.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
What About the Other Gods?
When creationists tell us that Yahweh the god exists and no other, they have the same problem as atheists — proving all those other gods do not exist.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
What Tree Rings Tell Us
We can trace tree rings back 10,000 years. Guess what, no sign of a global flood. If the bible is correct, there should not be any trees living further back than 6000 years, even if they survived the flood. The bible is simply wrong. The way creationists deal with facts like this is to ignore them and lie about them.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
What Tree Rings Tell Us
We can trace tree rings back 10,000 years. Guess what, no sign of a global flood. If the bible is correct, there should not be any trees living further back than 6000 years. The bible is simply wrong. The way creationists deal with facts like this is to ignore them and lie about them.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
What’s Wrong With Christianity?
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- Christianity is incredible. It makes grandiose claims without any evidence. Its claims are not believable. Almost everything it claims is not true.
- Christians claim a very poorly written book, the bible, full of error and inconsistency, was written by the creator of the universe. That is a gross insult to the creator of the universe. There is no way the creator of the universe would produce such crap.
- The most obnoxious people I know are all Christian. They try to interfere in other people’s sex lives, family planning and end-of-life decisions. They are also absurdly conceited.
- The most dishonest people I have ever encountered are creationists.
- Christians throughout the ages have tried to suppress science.
- The remedies that Christians recommend as infallible, such as prayer and burnt offerings simply do not work.
- The Christian bible recommends all manner of barbarism from child abuse to stoning, to rape, to genocide.
- Christians are always trying to force their pathetic religion on others.
Where Did the Universe Come From?
I have a choice of explanation about where the universe came from. Which is more plausible?
- A sky fairy waved his wand and said a magic word and everything came into being.
- Pages and pages of equations that explains in mind numbing detail how the universe formed starting from the most unbelievably small fraction of a second after time 0. We can verify the whole process by examining the microwave background radiation.
I don’t think the first counts as an explanation at all especially since there is not a scrap of evidence for it and also because it is so Harry Potter.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Who Said The Universe was Simple?
When Einstein came up with special relativity and general relativity and Schrödinger and friends came up with quantum mechanics, that should have ended the belief that the universe was simple enough for a creationist who dropped out of the second grade to understand.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Why Are Creationists So Dishonest?
Creationists have a small set of silly objections to evolution. No matter many times evolutionists debunk them, creationists keep presenting them yet again to debunk evolution e.g. If humans evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys? Even if the objection has been thoroughly explained and debunked a hundred times, the creationist pretends he has never heard it. Why are they so dishonest?
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- They have no valid arguments. All they can use are bogus arguments.
- But that implies they know evolution is valid and creationism is wrong. Why do they keep defending creationism? They are under the delusion Christianity makes people behave. They fear if creationism were debunked, people would run about murdering and raping. So they feel the necessity to defend it with every dirty trick imaginable.
- Some people like Ken Ham make a living from selling people on creationism, theme parks, books, movies, lectures… Their income depends on debunking evolution, by hook or by crook. They need legitimacy and visitors who are Christian but not creationists. They have done a fair bit of research to put up a sophisticated defence of creationism. In that research, they can’t help but discover creationism is a crock. But of course that of course does not stop them from defending creationism with lies.
Why Are There Gaps?
Creationists seem to think there is a big museum somewhere with fossils of every species that ever lived. Fossilisation is a freak event. Only about 0.01% of animal species that have ever lived left a fossil. The percentage of animals that fossilised is a tiny fraction of that. For a species to be discovered, not only does that species require a representative fossil, the fossil must be near the surface to be found, but not so exposed it is eroded away.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Why Are There Monkeys?
Creationists ask, Why are there still monkeys? Humans did not evolve from monkeys. Both humans and monkeys evolved from a common ancestor, and that ancestor has gone extinct. In principle, that ancestor need not have gone extinct. It just depends on how fit it was for life on modern earth.
This question makes no sense. Why would your parents automatically disappear just because you were born? Why would wolves disappear just because dogs evolved from them? I think creationists mindlessly ask this question just because it is on a list of supposed show stoppers.
I think the question is based on the misconception that evolution is about morphing, like a man turning into a werewolf in a few minutes. Evolution is about minute cumulative differences between the generations. A son is slightly different from his father. It is not about any individual changing. Evolution is about one species branching off from another, not turning into another.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Why Combat Creationism?
Creationism is a mass delusion that has captured the majority of US senators, representatives, governors and state representatives in the USA. It causes them to make completely nutty policy decisions. It causes them to infect future generations with the delusion. Prosperity is not possible if your policies are based on myths. It could well cause them to deliberately bring on global nuclear war to satisfy crazed religious notions.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Why Creationists Lie
I saw an Australian guy do a creationist lecture debunking evolution as part of the documentary Friend of God. Every single thing he said was untrue, or a straw man argument.
For example, he falsely claimed that evolutionists say that one’s literal grandparents were monkeys. He showed a slide of hairy faced grandparents to illustrate how this assertion was ludicrous. He falsely claimed evolutionists believed that dinosaurs and man roamed the earth at the same time. He showed a slide of a dinosaur pulling cart to mock this straw man assertion.
He clearly had no legitimate arguments at all for creationism or against evolution. In other words, he knew he was lying. He knew he was pulling a con. But why? Hint: churches rake in over $71 billion each year.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Why the Dinosaurs Went Extinct
Creationists tell me all the dinosaurs died out because there was not room enough for them in the ark. However, most dinosaurs were quite small so that can’t be it.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Why Do Creationists Lie?
The fact creationists always lie is evidence they don’t have any evidence to support their view. If they did, surely they would present it.
Put yourself in the head of a creationist. You know creationism is bullshit, but you think it extremely important that other people believe the bullshit. It is worth lying through your teeth and humiliating yourself as a charlatan to that end.
Why is it so important?
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- When people believe this BS, they give you money. E.g. you own a creationism museum or creationism church.
- You imagine people will rape and kill if they don’t believe in creationism. You ignore the lesson of Sweden which behaves much better than the USA and rejects creationism.
- You realise creationism is nuts, but you still believe your Mom when she told you that after you die you will be tortured for eternity. Yahweh wants people to believe BS. You do this selling job to curry favour with your torturer to get time off for good behaviour.
Why Don’t Creationists Attack Heisenberg?
Einstein’s or Heisenberg’s quantum theories are just as at odds with the old testament as Darwin’s explanation of evolution. Why then are religious cranks so willing to attack Darwin but not Einstein and Heisenberg? They imagine they already understand Darwin when they have not even read him.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Why I Despise Creationists
It is not just that I disagree with creationists, I despise them. They spout the most insane gibberish and try to force their crazy religion on others, encourage killing gay people and a dozen other sins I have mentioned before ad nauseam but that is not why, to put it politely, I wish they did not exist.
They prey on the two weakest groups of people, the poor and children. When the poorest of the poor have been brainwashed with creationist crap, they will bet a longshot and give the church a substantial portion of their meagre income. Further, parents so brainwashed will hand their kids over to be raped by priests, then look the other way and accuse their kids of lying when they complain.
This sort of brainwashing should be a crime, not to mention the day-to-day cons with false promises of bliss and empty promises of torture. Christians/creationists have greatly abused our tolerance and belief in freedom of religion.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Why I Hate Creationists
Almost every point a creationist makes is a bald faced lie. They continue to lie no matter how many times they are corrected. This means they know creationism is a crock. This means they know the bible is full of trash. This means they know everything they profess is nonsense. Why do they persist in trying to mislead everyone?
- to save face.
- to make money from those they deceive.
- they do it to gain status with fellow Christians.
They are scum. I wish every last one of them would die. These are not simply deluded people. These are ruthless con men.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
When creationists lie to me, it says I have no legitimate arguments. All I can offer are lies, straw men, deceptions, bait and switch with words that have multiple meanings… They must know they are using deception. That means they must know creationism is not true. But why would they argue for something they know to be false?
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- They make money off gullible creationists.
- They think the lie is good for society. It makes people happier or behave better.
- They are very concerned about peer pressure. They want others to think they believe.
- Even though they know creationism is nonsense, they still harbour a niggling phobia of Yahweh. They promote creationism to mollify him.
Why Professional Creationists Lie
Those who defend creationism professionally are fully aware it is a crock. They argue not because they think it is true, but because they are trying to preserve the church’s power to determine what people consider good behaviour and to preserve the church’s power to scare/trick people into tithing them money.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Why The Second Law Of Thermodynamics Does Not Apply To Earth
Creationists claim evolution is impossible because of the second law of thermodynamics (Roughly speaking, things tend to deteriorate into chaos.) The law applies only to closed systems, not planet earth whose sun constantly pumps it up with new energy. And even if it did apply, surely any new complexity would also be impossible, such as the invention of the automobile, aeroplane or computer. Clearly these are not impossible. They knew full well this argument was bogus.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Why Yahweh Is Not the Designer
Most creationists know almost nothing of science. They are just one step above the cave man postulating a thunder god to explain thunder. There is nothing terribly mysterious about the universe nowadays we don’t have a good hypothesis for. We don’t need a god to explain the workings of the universe any more.
The design creationists imagine they see is crawling with bungling. It has so many mistakes it could not possibly be the work of something with IQ higher than human. It is the work of something with IQ about 1, with no planning ability, with no foresight, that works simply by trying minor variants on what it has already done — namely evolution and natural selection taking hundreds of thousands of generations for even the most trivial improvement.
There are no wheels in nature, because evolution is too stupid to stepwise evolve them, not because God hates wheels. If Yahweh were the designer, there would not be thousands of prototypes. He would poof animals fully formed in final, unchanging, perfect form, as the bible claims.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists refuse to tell me why they believe as they do. What is the problem? Don’t they have reasons? Are the reasons embarrassing? However, they will give me some hints:
They will quote what appear to be randomly selected verses in the bible that have nothing to do with creationism. I gather what they are trying to say is creationism and the bible are tied. They want certain verses in the bible to be true, so they feel they have to buy the whole package.
They talk about morality. They claim if people believed evolution over creationism there would be some terrible wave of immorality including bestiality.
Yet the jails are crammed with Christians. There are hardly any atheists. This is true even if you account for the fact there are more Christians that atheists in the general population. Creationists seem to think that the population of the USA are the least violent, best behaved people on earth.
Surely they know the opposite is true. Christianity is not needed for social order. Look at Japan. Look at Sweden. Creationists seem to be saying creationism itself is nonsense, but that it is a good thing if people believe it anyway because fear of after-death torture is the only thing that makes people behave~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Christians carefully avoid learning science. The closest they will come is learning straw men travesties of it to avoid upsetting their beliefs in creationism. They blindly assert that the bible is inerrant, when most of the tens of thousands of inconsistencies are apparent to even a primary school child. They just don’t want to know.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationists claim that if they don’t understand nobody could. They don’t understand because not only have they taken no effort to learn, they have expended superhuman effort to protect their ignorance.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
William Lane Craig
The key to debating with creationist William Lane Craig is never to forget, even for an instant, that you are dealing with a thoroughly dishonest and unscrupulous man.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
William Lane Craig
William Lane Craig is a popular creationist. He is distinguished looking, has an upper class accent but he is an utter nitwit. You don’t even need to follow his mad arguments to know they are nonsense. For example, he argues the universe needs a creator and therefore one exists and therefore his name is Yahweh and he had a son named Jesus who was born of a virgin, was crucified and rose on the third day. There is no support for any of that detail, therefore the logic must be faulty. The creator could have any other name and the same Craigian argument would still apply. Analogously he might promise you a pineapple upside down cake and hand you a recipe that does not include any pineapple.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Creationism is just one con where the con man pretends to have a special connection with the supernatural and claims to be able to deliver magical benefits in return for money. Some of the other forms of woo include:
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
- Claim to communicate with the dead.
- Claim to find children who have been murdered or abducted.
- Homeopathic practitioners
- Faith healers
- Palm readers
- Tarot readers
- Food supplements
Word Salad Debaters
Usually when I have a friendly argument with someone, we disagree on the basic facts, disagree on what we guess the unknowns will eventually turn out to be, or disagree on the importance or interpretation of some facts, but when I debate a creationist, most of the time what they say does not even make sense. My opponent appears insane. They often use the vocabulary of science, but in a word salad way that indicates they have no idea what the words really mean. By analogy, consider a monkey dressing itself in human clothes perhaps putting them on upside down.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Yahweh and Glycine
Creationists claim that amino acids could never have formed without Yahweh, the divine chemist, concocting them because they are building blocks for life. Yet glycine, one of the fundamental amino acids is found even in comets, a place far less friendly than the primeval oceans. Give that the authors of the bible knew nothing of chemistry, it is odd putting god and glycine in the same sentence.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Yahweh the Crook
A creationist lawyer might argue, My client did not embezzle. He just cooked the books to make it look like he embezzled.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Yahweh Faked Evolution?
A creationist who looks at evidence must accept that either evolution is true, or a deity perfectly faked things to make it look as if evolution were true. If the second, would it not be impudent to refuse to be fooled? The deity, for some odd reason, desperately wanted you to think evolution were true. To resolve the conflict, surely a creationist is surer a deity created the universe than he is that a deity penned the bible.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Yahweh was a Fan of Evolution
If creationism is correct, Yahweh created each creature and plant independently. However, for some reason he decided to make it look as if these creatures evolved. He faked the evolutionary patterns in the fossils (including ugly kludges required by evolution not independent creation). He faked evolutionary patterns in the genomes of all living creatures. He faked the depth placement of fossils in evolutionary order. He made creatures evolve right under our noses in the present day. While he was at it, he went to extreme measures to perfectly fake the age of the earth at 4.543 billion years and the age of the universe at 13.82 billion years in hundreds of different ways.
Every Christian would concur, the creation is 100% Yahweh’s handiwork. The bible is the work of man with a debatable amount of Yahweh’s contribution. So why do Creationists spit in Yahweh’s face when he clearly wanted them to believe in evolution and a 4.543 billion year old earth? Creationists are idolators, worshiping a book, not Yahweh.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Yahweh’s Retreating Functionality
The functions of the god Yahweh have been retreating for hundreds of years. We know the earth is not flat and square as the bible says it is. We know it is not the center of the universe as the bible says it is. Almost nobody insists bible must be right despite all the evidence. We now know why lightning strikes a given spot. We know the forces that create hurricanes, tornadoes and thunderstorms. Only a few loopy twits like Pat Robertson still attribute them to Jehovian anger.
However, creationists have decided to dig in their heels and flatly deny the evidence of the age of the earth and how species came to be via evolution. Vanity makes them do this. They cannot stand the notion that the universe was not created purely for their benefit. In their eyes, that belief justifies rogue capitalism, animal cruelty, racism, homophobia and many other things they hold dear.
They must keep their flock from examining the evidence, from being educated well enough to examine the evidence. Creationists feed the flock straw men arguments instead, never letting them hear the actual evidence. They have their flock thinking that looking at the evidence would be equivalent to witchcraft.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Yet Another Creationist Straw Man
Creationists claim that evolution requires that a creature intermediate between a fish and a starfish exist today and that a crockoduck should exist. Even a child who has read a single book on evolution, knows that is not true. This claim is not merely a misunderstanding; it is a malicious lie.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
You Are a (Closet) Evolutionist
Evolution is anything but random. It is like a ruthless Game of Thrones contest. Imagine there were a collapse of civilisation, a nuclear war, runaway global warming, a plague, a complete collapse of the economy… Imagine there were no food in the supermarket, no gas at the pumps. The pharmacies and hospitals were closed. It was up to your family to somehow eke out a living.
Twenty years later, most of the people in your city would be dead. The first to die would be the ones who needed kidney dialysis, insulin, HIV medications (such as myself)… The next to die would be the frail. Depressed and pessimistic people would give up and die. The blind, deaf, retarded, schizophrenic, lame or pretty well any other disability would not have a chance. Next to go would be the people who needed 4000+ calories a day just to maintain their weight. People with multiple food allergies and delicate stomachs would have an especially difficult time finding something they could eat. Small groups would ostracise the lazy, leading to their death.
The ones who would make it would be the smart, strong, resourceful and ruthless. If you came back and had a look at the generation living even 100 years later, would they be identical to the original city dwellers, absolutely identical to the original god-created humans, as the creationists claim or would the stock be more rugged, better adapted to this rougher life after this winnowing by natural selection, as evolutionists claim? Even if you think of yourself as a creationist, I suspect you are actually a closet evolutionist.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
You Need A Creator
When creationists would say When you see a painting, you know there is a painter. I thought they were just being Smart Alecs. It never dawned on me that they were actually having trouble conceiving of something as mindless as natural selection being able to create until I saw Daniel Dennett’s Daniel Dennett on Intelligent Design . I thought the problem was purely that evolution challenged religious beliefs.
I am a computer programmer. We computer programmers build tools that all by themselves through a variant of trial and error, create designs that get better and better over time, just the way evolution does. We call them genetic algorithms. So it never occurs to us to doubt that mindlessly stupid things can with sufficient patience create things much more complicated than themselves. It is an everyday occurrence in the computer world.
I don’t think creationists understand how patient, stupid and how slow evolution is. It has an estimated IQ of 1. It takes hundreds of thousands of years of trial and error. When you think of how many animals breed each season, think how many trials that represents. Every time we see a virus evolve immunity to a drug, we have seen mindless evolutionary trial and error on a massive scale defeat the world’s best chemists.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Young Earth Creationism
It is much harder to maintain faith in young earth creationism than in Christianity in general because you can see, touch and understand for yourself the overwhelming evidence it is not true. Once someone does even the most cursory investigation, the faith cannot last long, unless the person is unusually stupid and cannot understand the significance of what he is seeing. In contrast, most of the evidence against Christianity in general requires you to trust experts.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Young Earth Creationists
Young earth creationists lie to themselves claiming young earth creationism is just as well supported by science as evolution and the big bang theory. But how could this be? Nearly all scientists reject creationism. The authors of books supporting creationism are written by theologians, not scientists. There is no math to support creationism. There are no measurements to support creationism. There are no experiments to support creationism. There are only childish apologetics for the story. Creationism rests on a bed of endlessly repeated lies.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
Your Life Purpose
Creationists expect their religion to tell them what their life purpose is. Idiotically, everyone gets exactly the same one, even though there are many different tasks that need doing. What is even more embarrassing is the official purpose does not even make sense. It is never clearly explained. On the other hand, if you are an atheist, you get to choose your purpose, one you like. Further, you can change it any time you want.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)
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