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(Huffington Post)   Let's ask some U.S. politicians about the age of the planet   (huffingtonpost.com ) divider line
    More: Scary, U.S., young Earth, national academies, United States presidential election, Paul Broun, expediencies, first world countries, United States rankings  
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6080 clicks; posted to Politics » on 21 Nov 2012 at 7:42 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-21 08:29:00 AM  

Frederick: The point I was trying to make is that politicians likely intentionally misrepresent themselves to appeal to their base. George W Bush was not an observant, practicing Christian but represented himself that way securing the Evangelical vote to win two presidencies.


He also "read three or four Shakespeares". Guile. This is something I'd never accuse Dubya of.
 
2012-11-21 08:29:44 AM  
I think it would be absolutely spectacular if pandering to YECs became a "thing" for republicans in the next election cycle, and here's why:

When Richard Mourdock made his infamous "rape babies are a gift from God" comment, it was more than just an artless gaffe; He had been impaled on the horns of a couple of classic theological dilemmas. One was a very basic version of the Problem of Evil: Is God sovereign? Can God prevent rape? If he can and doesn't, isn't that tantamount to approval? The other, of course was simple "Free Will vs. Predestination:" Does everything happen according to God's plan? Even the birth of children conceived from rape? And if so, was not the rape also part of the plan?

When Mourdock made his comments, he was simply picking possible answers to these questions and stating them briefly, in theologically unsophisticated terms. In plain speech, basically any answer that you give to these questions is either going to offend Christians or make God out to be a...less than agreeable being.

Here's the thing: Trying to reconcile the scientifically determined age of the earth with a religious account that says the earth is much younger is fraught with similar theological (and political) pitfalls. If the Earth is 6000 years old, you've basically got a God who left a ton of evidence to the contrary in order to deceive people and send them to hell. If you come out and say the earth is not 6000 years old, you offend the majority of the Republican base. If you try to reassure your base that the earth can be old and the Bible is still true, you've opened yourself up for a sharp reporter to ask: "What does it even mean to say the Bible is true if you don't know what it's actually saying." (I would absolutely love to see a politician struggle to answer that one on camera.)

If you're expressly pandering to religious voters with religious reasoning, then I would argue that it's absolutely fair game for reporters to ask religious questions. Especially if you've already painted yourself into a corner.
 
2012-11-21 08:29:45 AM  

wippit: It's meaningless to try to get people to accept a 4 billion year old earth, in a way they will accept?


In this fashion? Absolutely meaningless. If you have to defer to their creation-fantasy and find ways to slip facts in when they're not looking, you are proclaiming the creation-fantasy to be the authority. You are reinforcing a relationship that needs to be dismantled: that Bible trumps reality. By laying down and giving up authority to one part of it, you add authoritative weight to the rest. What happens when they come back with "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me" to justify a Christian theocratic state and you've run out of ways to twist the wording so it points back to reality?

It's not only meaningless, it's downright dangerous. Let them dismiss the observations of the reality-based community if they want to, but make damn sure they're aware that they're doing so.
 
2012-11-21 08:31:29 AM  
Also, nobody's posted this yet?

imgs.xkcd.com
 
2012-11-21 08:32:08 AM  

Martian_Astronomer: I think it would be absolutely spectacular if pandering to YECs became a "thing" for republicans in the next election cycle, and here's why:

When Richard Mourdock made his infamous "rape babies are a gift from God" comment, it was more than just an artless gaffe; He had been impaled on the horns of a couple of classic theological dilemmas. One was a very basic version of the Problem of Evil: Is God sovereign? Can God prevent rape? If he can and doesn't, isn't that tantamount to approval? The other, of course was simple "Free Will vs. Predestination:" Does everything happen according to God's plan? Even the birth of children conceived from rape? And if so, was not the rape also part of the plan?

When Mourdock made his comments, he was simply picking possible answers to these questions and stating them briefly, in theologically unsophisticated terms. In plain speech, basically any answer that you give to these questions is either going to offend Christians or make God out to be a...less than agreeable being.

Here's the thing: Trying to reconcile the scientifically determined age of the earth with a religious account that says the earth is much younger is fraught with similar theological (and political) pitfalls. If the Earth is 6000 years old, you've basically got a God who left a ton of evidence to the contrary in order to deceive people and send them to hell. If you come out and say the earth is not 6000 years old, you offend the majority of the Republican base. If you try to reassure your base that the earth can be old and the Bible is still true, you've opened yourself up for a sharp reporter to ask: "What does it even mean to say the Bible is true if you don't know what it's actually saying." (I would absolutely love to see a politician struggle to answer that one on camera.)

If you're expressly pandering to religious voters with religious reasoning, then I would argue that it's absolutely fair game for reporters to ask religious questions. Especially if you ...


Loop hole: The republicans run a Catholic who isn't Santorum. Catholics believe in evolution and the big bang so he can still be religiously fanatic. Have his cake and eat it too, but who know if all those evangelicals would vote for a devout Catholic.
 
2012-11-21 08:32:31 AM  

eraser8: thornhill: eraser8: I disagree. MOST politicians are actually more educated and intelligent than the general populace. They're not smarter than everybody; but, they're smarter than most.

Oh please. Virtually all members of Congress went to college and come from solid educational backgrounds.

I highly doubt that they've gone their life without learning that the age of the Earth is in the billions of years.

Um, that's pretty much my point. Did you somehow miss that?


Sorry. You're not smarter than most line through me off. It's early in the morning.
 
2012-11-21 08:35:17 AM  

t3knomanser: Or, even if you believe in the judeochristolamic deities, you could agree that the creation myth is a myth, and the details are not meant to be representative of actual events.


My Mythology class at a Catholic High School pointed out that most of the Old Testament were Myths. That every culture has a creation story, that every culture has a great flood story. If the Catholic Church can admit why can't they?
 
2012-11-21 08:35:33 AM  

eraser8: Sometimes I feel like I'm the only Farker who's worked in government (although, I can't possibly be).

Politicians -- and, I'm saying this after observing them up close -- don't care about religious dogma or creation myths. And, they don't care about scientific theories. The vast majority of them care only about their own power and influence. Many will say the most nonsensical, bizarre, outlandish, absurd things if they think the public wants to hear it. The nature of politics naturally attracts egomaniacs and snake oil salesmen.


It doesn't matter to me if a person actually believes in young-earth creationism or just says so to get the votes of people who do. Either way, he's a dumbass that has no business being partially in charge of modern society.
 
2012-11-21 08:37:46 AM  

Martian_Astronomer: If the Earth is 6000 years old, you've basically got a God who left a ton of evidence to the contrary in order to deceive people and send them to hell.


A believer wouldn't be troubled by that.

It's part of the Biblical tradition that the god of Abraham deceives people in order to punish them. Look at pharaoh (Exodus 4:21): And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.

And, what's the purpose of hardening pharaoh's heart? To punish him and Egypt.

Or, look at 2 Thessaloonians:
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
This will not be news to any Christian who's paid attention to his religion.
 
2012-11-21 08:38:22 AM  

wademh: [upload.wikimedia.org image 216x318]
Sometimes I am entertained by people who think highly of humans and expect good things of them.


That picture is from Kingsport, TN. Town full of engineers decided the best way to kill an elephant who trampled its trainer was by hanging. Good Times.
 
2012-11-21 08:38:40 AM  

eraser8: enry: Then again, I don't have a hard time separating my beliefs (God exists, Jesus rose from the dead, etc.) from what I know (the Earth is 4.5 billion years old, evolution is real, etc.). Belief for me recognizes there's little to no substantial proof.

If it's your belief that "God exists, Jesus rose from the dead," why do you believe it?

This is a serious question, by the way. I'm not out to argue with you about your beliefs. I'm just curious as to why you hold them.


I'll admit it's seemingly irrational. It's partly how I was raised by my parents, it's partly the social structure I've built since then of people that generally believe the same as me, and it's a way of giving me something much larger than me to believe in. It's hard to quantify, and that's part of what also makes up faith.

As I say, it works for me and it doesn't have to work for everyone.
 
2012-11-21 08:42:10 AM  

LouDobbsAwaaaay: wippit: It's meaningless to try to get people to accept a 4 billion year old earth, in a way they will accept?

In this fashion? Absolutely meaningless. If you have to defer to their creation-fantasy and find ways to slip facts in when they're not looking, you are proclaiming the creation-fantasy to be the authority. You are reinforcing a relationship that needs to be dismantled: that Bible trumps reality.


I've read nothing in the Bible that 'trumps' reality.
 
2012-11-21 08:42:19 AM  
Sometimes I'm amazed we ever made it this far as a species.
 
2012-11-21 08:42:57 AM  

Karac: eraser8: Sometimes I feel like I'm the only Farker who's worked in government (although, I can't possibly be).

Politicians -- and, I'm saying this after observing them up close -- don't care about religious dogma or creation myths. And, they don't care about scientific theories. The vast majority of them care only about their own power and influence. Many will say the most nonsensical, bizarre, outlandish, absurd things if they think the public wants to hear it. The nature of politics naturally attracts egomaniacs and snake oil salesmen.

It doesn't matter to me if a person actually believes in young-earth creationism or just says so to get the votes of people who do. Either way, he's a dumbass that has no business being partially in charge of modern society.


That's fine. I even agree with you. But, it's not really responsive to my point.

I'm not defending any of these politicians. I'm just trying to bring a little reality to the discussion: the fact is that politicians are not stupid. They're smarter and better educated than most Americans. They're just really, really manipulative.
 
2012-11-21 08:44:00 AM  
You people are silly. This, like most utterances of the political class, was a worthless, mustn't offend any potential voter non-answer. Behold, the power of aspiring politicians:

Q: Senator, if one of your daughters asked you-and maybe they already have-"Daddy, did god really create the world in 6 days?," what would you say?

A: What I've said to them is that I believe that God created the universe and that the six days in the Bible may not be six days as we understand it ... it may not be 24-hour days, and that's what I believe. I know there's always a debate between those who read the Bible literally and those who don't, and I think it's a legitimate debate within the Christian community of which I'm a part. My belief is that the story that the Bible tells about God creating this magnificent Earth on which we live-that is essentially true, that is fundamentally true. Now, whether it happened exactly as we might understand it reading the text of the Bible: That, I don't presume to know.

Sen. Obama, D-Ill., speaking at the Compassion Forum at Messiah College in Grantham, Pa. on April 13, 2008. 

He doesn't presume to know because he's not a scientist, man. He's a politician.
 
2012-11-21 08:46:23 AM  

Karac: eraser8: Sometimes I feel like I'm the only Farker who's worked in government (although, I can't possibly be).

Politicians -- and, I'm saying this after observing them up close -- don't care about religious dogma or creation myths. And, they don't care about scientific theories. The vast majority of them care only about their own power and influence. Many will say the most nonsensical, bizarre, outlandish, absurd things if they think the public wants to hear it. The nature of politics naturally attracts egomaniacs and snake oil salesmen.

It doesn't matter to me if a person actually believes in young-earth creationism or just says so to get the votes of people who do. Either way, he's a dumbass that has no business being partially in charge of modern society.


What kills me is that there had to be a deliberate choice made by leadership to put him on the Science Committee. Like when Bush appointed Bolton as UN ambassador, they're giving everyone a giant middle finger and sending clear signals that they don't want any progress to be made.
 
2012-11-21 08:47:10 AM  

Ted Kennedy's Brain Tumor: He doesn't presume to know because he's not a scientist, man.


That's called Humility.

It's considered a virtue in many Abrahamic Faiths.
 
2012-11-21 08:50:24 AM  
Science:
www.csmonitor.com

Extra scientificy:
whoyoucallingaskeptic.files.wordpress.com
 
2012-11-21 08:51:24 AM  
At least one of the recent presidential candidates (Texas Governor Rick Perry) similarly responded when asked how old the earth was: "I don't have any idea, I know it's pretty old," but then added that he wasn't sure whether anyone knew "completely and absolutely" the age of the earth.

This is the perfect answer for a politician to give. Particularly if he's in an state/district/etc that has a substantial number of religious people who believe.. whatever... 

He hasn't committed himself in any way and none of the people who elect him have any serious mud to throw at him.
 
2012-11-21 08:52:54 AM  
Well, I can confirm that it has been here for at least 32 years. If my great grandfather's stories are to be believed, it's been here at least since 1905.
 
2012-11-21 08:55:06 AM  

Pochas: Loop hole: The republicans run a Catholic who isn't Santorum. Catholics believe in evolution and the big bang so he can still be religiously fanatic. Have his cake and eat it too, but who know if all those evangelicals would vote for a devout Catholic.


Good point, but that still doesn't mean a clever reporter couldn't give him just enough rope to hang himself with regarding hermeneutic methods.

eraser8: A believer wouldn't be troubled by that.


Some wouldn't, in much the way that some weren't troubled by "Rape babies are a gift from God." The less devout but still Christian-identifying parts of the electorate might not feel the same way.
 
2012-11-21 08:55:18 AM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: Frederick: Most politicians are intelligent, educated people. They know the geological basics of our planets history. But they also know the very big, very vocal fundamentalist contributors to their campaigns do not want to hear about geological science.

Ummmm... no.

MOST politicians are no more educated, intelligent, or moral than the general populace, and often significantly less so. They go to church and they believe, just like other Americans. Its not an act, for most of them.

I find it very frightening indeed that people who believe that they can communicate telepathically with an invisible, omnipotent being. Seriously - if they can suspend reason that much, their capacity for self-delusion is inestimable.


A Big concur from me.

And as to anyone's "schooling" equating to their education about science... Anyone remember an old PBS show's interview of law students (at their graduation) where they ask the students basic science questions, something like, "Where does a tree get the molecules to get so large?" - I thought it was Frontline but my Google-Fu has failed me this morning. Anyway, the point is that a scary-many of these law graduates were poorly versed in science (and now they are presumably governing it).

I am a High School physics and astronomy teacher (in Texas no less!) and the irony that the same people who could possibly benefit the most from my classes are also those with the greatest influence over what I am required to teach is not lost on me.
 
2012-11-21 08:55:37 AM  

wippit: LouDobbsAwaaaay: wippit: It's meaningless to try to get people to accept a 4 billion year old earth, in a way they will accept?

In this fashion? Absolutely meaningless. If you have to defer to their creation-fantasy and find ways to slip facts in when they're not looking, you are proclaiming the creation-fantasy to be the authority. You are reinforcing a relationship that needs to be dismantled: that Bible trumps reality.

I've read nothing in the Bible that 'trumps' reality.


If you advocate the idea that God wished the world into existence in a day and then took a nap for a billion years just to make the math work out correctly, then yeah you are letting the Bible trump reality.
 
2012-11-21 08:56:24 AM  

Ted Kennedy's Brain Tumor: You people are silly. This, like most utterances of the political class, was a worthless, mustn't offend any potential voter non-answer. Behold, the power of aspiring politicians:


You're right in regards to Rubio's answer. He gave a nod to the Bible and a slight nod to skepticism, and he left plenty of room to massage his answer later if there are any problems.

Broun's answer, OTOH, was that he knows for an absolute, unassailable fact that the Earth is 9000 years old, which isn't even right under the derpy biblical calculation.
 
2012-11-21 09:00:32 AM  

Benevolent Misanthrope: Frederick: Most politicians are intelligent, educated people. They know the geological basics of our planets history. But they also know the very big, very vocal fundamentalist contributors to their campaigns do not want to hear about geological science.

Ummmm... no.

MOST politicians are no more educated, intelligent, or moral than the general populace, and often significantly less so. They go to church and they believe, just like other Americans. Its not an act, for most of them.

I find it very frightening indeed that people who believe that they can communicate telepathically with an invisible, omnipotent being. Seriously - if they can suspend reason that much, their capacity for self-delusion is inestimable.


Also the level of arrogance it must take to believe that the creator of the universe, with millions (billions?) of galaxies, each with billions of stars,

Benevolent Misanthrope: Frederick: Most politicians are intelligent, educated people. They know the geological basics of our planets history. But they also know the very big, very vocal fundamentalist contributors to their campaigns do not want to hear about geological science.

Ummmm... no.

MOST politicians are no more educated, intelligent, or moral than the general populace, and often significantly less so. They go to church and they believe, just like other Americans. Its not an act, for most of them.

I find it very frightening indeed that people who believe that they can communicate telepathically with an invisible, omnipotent being. Seriously - if they can suspend reason that much, their capacity for self-delusion is inestimable.


Not to mention the level of arrogance it must take to believe that said supreme being would care so much about a soggy exothermic reaction on the side of a mote of dust orbiting a grain of sand at the edge of a ball of lint suspended in the vastness of space that it would alter the natural course of the universe if asked nicely.
 
2012-11-21 09:05:37 AM  

LouDobbsAwaaaay: wippit: LouDobbsAwaaaay: wippit: It's meaningless to try to get people to accept a 4 billion year old earth, in a way they will accept?

In this fashion? Absolutely meaningless. If you have to defer to their creation-fantasy and find ways to slip facts in when they're not looking, you are proclaiming the creation-fantasy to be the authority. You are reinforcing a relationship that needs to be dismantled: that Bible trumps reality.

I've read nothing in the Bible that 'trumps' reality.

If you advocate the idea that God wished the world into existence in a day and then took a nap for a billion years just to make the math work out correctly, then yeah you are letting the Bible trump reality.


If I advocate that God wished the universe into existence 10 billion years ago, and the big bang was the physical manifestation of that wish... where's the conflict?
 
2012-11-21 09:06:43 AM  

Martian_Astronomer: Pochas: Loop hole: The republicans run a Catholic who isn't Santorum. Catholics believe in evolution and the big bang so he can still be religiously fanatic. Have his cake and eat it too, but who know if all those evangelicals would vote for a devout Catholic.

Good point, but that still doesn't mean a clever reporter couldn't give him just enough rope to hang himself with regarding hermeneutic methods.

eraser8: A believer wouldn't be troubled by that.

Some wouldn't, in much the way that some weren't troubled by "Rape babies are a gift from God." The less devout but still Christian-identifying parts of the electorate might not feel the same way.


I was raised Catholic and I dont know what hermeneutic methods are. That would probably be an acceptable answer even for other Catholics.
 
2012-11-21 09:07:27 AM  

t3knomanser: Frederick: That speaks to education and vicariously intelligence (I know college degree and intelligence arent absolutely synonymous).

Yeah, I wouldn't relate intelligence and college degrees. Look at any MBA program.


After more than a decade of working on a college campus, my conclusion is that higher education is only very weakly correlated with intelligence*. It is much more strongly correlated with perseverance: The ability to set a distant goal and to work towards achieving that goal. That applies to undergrad, grad, and doctoral degrees. I've met many a "Doctor J. Quentin Flimflam, PhD" who couldn't grasp some relatively simple concepts, even ones that I'd expect a high school kid to understand. It's also been my experience that the ones who want you to call them "Doctor Flimflam" or that use their title ostentatiously are the least intelligent of the lot. The ones who are obviously intelligent tend to be low-key about the title. Perhaps they don't have to flaunt it, whereas the ones who do are insecure about their mental abilities.

*There are, of course, degrees that do highly correspond to intelligence, mostly in the hard sciences.
 
2012-11-21 09:11:08 AM  
4.54 billion-year-old earth

I memorized this for science class. Now, more than 20 years removed from when I learned it, i forgot the exact number. That disqualifies me from being a senator? I have to go back and memorize everything from 8th grade science again now?
 
2012-11-21 09:11:43 AM  

eraser8: Politicians -- and, I'm saying this after observing them up close -- don't care about religious dogma or creation myths. And, they don't care about scientific theories. The vast majority of them care only about their own power and influence. Many will say the most nonsensical, bizarre, outlandish, absurd things if they think the public wants to hear it. The nature of politics naturally attracts egomaniacs and snake oil salesmen.


Rubio, certainly, but I don't know if this applies to the Teabaggers. For example, it's pretty obvious that Akin and Mourdock really believe this whole "Three cheers for RAPE RAPE RAPE" thing, though I suppose that has nothing to do with YEC nonsense.
 
2012-11-21 09:13:26 AM  

wippit: LouDobbsAwaaaay: wippit: LouDobbsAwaaaay: wippit: It's meaningless to try to get people to accept a 4 billion year old earth, in a way they will accept?

In this fashion? Absolutely meaningless. If you have to defer to their creation-fantasy and find ways to slip facts in when they're not looking, you are proclaiming the creation-fantasy to be the authority. You are reinforcing a relationship that needs to be dismantled: that Bible trumps reality.

I've read nothing in the Bible that 'trumps' reality.

If you advocate the idea that God wished the world into existence in a day and then took a nap for a billion years just to make the math work out correctly, then yeah you are letting the Bible trump reality.

If I advocate that God wished the universe into existence 10 billion years ago, and the big bang was the physical manifestation of that wish... where's the conflict?


I suppose in that instance there is no conflict, other than believing in something that is not provable either way so what is the point in believing that, or championing a belief in that?

It could lead to fewer scientific endeavors to understand the universe though. If everyone believes that 100% why would we bother looking for answers beyond that arbitrary barrier you set up with God?
 
2012-11-21 09:15:12 AM  

thatboyoverthere: If the Catholic Church can admit why can't they?


Because of Protestantism. Yes, really.

Let's rewind to the old days of the Catholic Church. The Church held that they were your gateway to God. Masses were held in Latin, Bibles were written in Latin, and most people were illiterate in their native language, let alone in Latin. Even though the Church is much more egalitarian in that regard, the Church still holds the position that they interpret and explain the Bible for their adherents.

This was one of the many issues that lead to the Reformation. One of the core elements of your Protestant faiths is the idea that man is his own gateway to God- you don't need a priest or a church infrastructure. Your relationship with God is personal.

But this creates a problem- without an authority to state what the Bible means, people could read into it and get anything from it, even things that would be considered heretical. There are many possible solutions to this problem, but the one that's gained the most traction is the logically incoherent "Literalist" approach. This approach claims that there is no need to interpret the Bible, because it means exactly what it says- there are no myths, no allegories, nothing but statements meant to be taken literally. Hence the false claims that the Bible is completely free of contradiction. Hence creationists.

And the chilling thing is that this isn't simply a fundamentalist world-view- this is mainstream Protestantism.
 
2012-11-21 09:15:13 AM  

ghall3:
If I advocate that God wished the universe into existence 10 billion years ago, and the big bang was the physical manifestation of that wish... where's the conflict?

I suppose in that instance there is no conflict, other than believing in something that is not provable either way so what is the point in believing that, or championing a belief in that?

It could lead to fewer scientific endeavors to understand the universe though. If everyone believes that 100% why would we bother looking for answers beyond that arbitrary barrier you set up with God?


Why would God have created an entire universe to begin with if he didn't want people to try to understand it?
 
2012-11-21 09:15:34 AM  
Marco Rubio doesn't know the earth is 4.54 billion years old.

That means that Obama is automatically president for life and Marco Rubio becomes the new security manager for the US Embassy in Benghazi.
 
2012-11-21 09:16:34 AM  

wippit: If I advocate that God wished the universe into existence 10 billion years ago, and the big bang was the physical manifestation of that wish... where's the conflict?


I didn't say there's a conflict. I said you are letting the Bible trump reality. That is to say, any observation by the reality-based community must first be projected through the lens of the Bible. Phrases in the creation-fantasy must be twisted and interpreted to fit those observations. It describes the necessity for the Bible to be an infallible historical account. Which is stupid and unnecessary.
 
2012-11-21 09:17:44 AM  
All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the big bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell. And it's lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior. You see, there are a lot of scientific data that I've found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young Earth. I don't believe that the earth's but about 9,000 years old. I believe it was created in six days as we know them. That's what the Bible says.

Holy mother of God
 
2012-11-21 09:17:45 AM  

SlothB77: 4.54 billion-year-old earth

I memorized this for science class. Now, more than 20 years removed from when I learned it, i forgot the exact number. That disqualifies me from being a senator?


Depends. When you forgot the 4,500,000,000 years, did that fact get replace by 7 days? And will you try to write legislation to get the 7 days number taught in public schools?
 
2012-11-21 09:18:11 AM  
At least Rick Perry was honest.

"I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didn't know."
 
2012-11-21 09:20:32 AM  

SlothB77: I memorized this for science class. Now, more than 20 years removed from when I learned it, i forgot the exact number. That disqualifies me from being a senator? I have to go back and memorize everything from 8th grade science again now?


There is a huge difference between forgetting the exact number and 9000 years. It is all about orders of magnitude, how about this:

We know there are 8 planets in the solar system since Pluto was demoted. You probably learned there were 9 planets back in the day. However if you were asked how many planets are in the solar system, even if you did not remember or know about Pluto you wouldn't answer "hmm I believe there are about 3billion planets".

That's how far off or wrong these people are, it is completely insane.
I don't remember how many elements there are on the periodic table, I probably knew it at one time but I bet my guess of "About 120 or so" is reasonable and I wouldn't be ridiculed for saying that, but if I said 20,000 I should be ridiculed and I would STILL be orders of magnitude closer than those claiming the earth is 10,000yrs old or less, just like these senators should be ridiculed, particularly those on the science committee.
 
2012-11-21 09:20:48 AM  
It's puzzling to me why this is such an important issue for some conservative christians. Of all science to take issue with, why fight your battles over something as stupid as young earth creation theory? I like the Buddhist approach - they think that how/why/when the earth was created are all pointless and irrelevant questions, and don't waste their energy thinking about them.

Back to our Christians here in real America. Christians, why would you focus your resources on carrying out the actual teachings of jesus - like feeding the poor, reaching out to troubled outcasts of society - when you can instead pour resources into trying to get public schools to teach children that the book of Genesis is a historically accurate account of the earth's creation? Sounds like a good idea to me, and is probably exactly the point jesus was trying to make.
 
2012-11-21 09:24:51 AM  

wippit: Why would God have created an entire universe to begin with if he didn't want people to try to understand it?


But if you make an arbitrary line saying "Just before the big bang God created the conditions for the big bang and then all the rest of time flows from that, why would we bother looking BEFORE the big bang to better understand the universe? It would just be Big bang and on that we looked at"
 
2012-11-21 09:25:32 AM  
The currently accepted narrative about the age and formation of the earth rests upon the idea that it was cobbled together by gravity and had a homogeneous liquid surface for a long time. So all the rest about strata and tectonics rests on the idea that in the beginning the surface didn't have those features. We can prove that the features may have been created by sediments and tectonics, but we can't prove that those features didn't come about some other way.
 
2012-11-21 09:26:41 AM  

LouDobbsAwaaaay: wippit: If I advocate that God wished the universe into existence 10 billion years ago, and the big bang was the physical manifestation of that wish... where's the conflict?

I didn't say there's a conflict. I said you are letting the Bible trump reality. That is to say, any observation by the reality-based community must first be projected through the lens of the Bible. Phrases in the creation-fantasy must be twisted and interpreted to fit those observations. It describes the necessity for the Bible to be an infallible historical account. Which is stupid and unnecessary.


There is nothing wrong with trying to incorporate outside references to try to get your point across. You teach people using the methods those people will understand. Who cares that they have to see it through the lens of the Bible, as long as they understand the material?
 
2012-11-21 09:28:15 AM  

GentDirkly: The currently accepted narrative about the age and formation of the earth rests upon the idea that it was cobbled together by gravity and had a homogeneous liquid surface for a long time. So all the rest about strata and tectonics rests on the idea that in the beginning the surface didn't have those features. We can prove that the features may have been created by sediments and tectonics, but we can't prove that those features didn't come about some other way.



I love false equivalency. Everyone knows that the scientific method = religious explanations of the universe.
 
2012-11-21 09:28:57 AM  

t3knomanser: thatboyoverthere: If the Catholic Church can admit why can't they?

Because of Protestantism. Yes, really.

Let's rewind to the old days of the Catholic Church. The Church held that they were your gateway to God. Masses were held in Latin, Bibles were written in Latin, and most people were illiterate in their native language, let alone in Latin. Even though the Church is much more egalitarian in that regard, the Church still holds the position that they interpret and explain the Bible for their adherents.

This was one of the many issues that lead to the Reformation. One of the core elements of your Protestant faiths is the idea that man is his own gateway to God- you don't need a priest or a church infrastructure. Your relationship with God is personal.

But this creates a problem- without an authority to state what the Bible means, people could read into it and get anything from it, even things that would be considered heretical. There are many possible solutions to this problem, but the one that's gained the most traction is the logically incoherent "Literalist" approach. This approach claims that there is no need to interpret the Bible, because it means exactly what it says- there are no myths, no allegories, nothing but statements meant to be taken literally. Hence the false claims that the Bible is completely free of contradiction. Hence creationists.

And the chilling thing is that this isn't simply a fundamentalist world-view- this is mainstream Protestantism.


i was very lucky to be brought up Lutheran. I missed out on all of this fundie garbage.

/my Pastor didn't believe in hell.
 
2012-11-21 09:31:33 AM  
To reasonable Christians (not the 6,000-year Creationists - yes, there's a difference), it's clear the Genesis account of 'days' really should be taken as 'periods of time', much like one might say "in my father's day, a gallon of gasoline was 10 cents". No one believes you're talking about one literal day if you make that statement. Much like how the Genesis account should be interpreted.
 
2012-11-21 09:31:40 AM  

rev. dave: Anything not in the range of 4.3 billion years is a wrong answer. Stop opposing science you morons.


You namby-pamby spherists are just completely wrong. The proper age of the earth is 4.57 billion years, when the accretion disc first started to form.

I bet you're one of those anti-accretionists, always complaining that you can't count the age of the earth until it becomes a complete sphere. Well, fie on that! If you're going to be that wishy-washy, you might as well count the age to when the crust formed, when the oceans came into being, or even when the earth had an oxygen rich atmosphere!

No, the only proper dating technique is when the rocks themselves formed. All other dates are incorrect.
 
2012-11-21 09:31:47 AM  

ghall3: wippit: Why would God have created an entire universe to begin with if he didn't want people to try to understand it?

But if you make an arbitrary line saying "Just before the big bang God created the conditions for the big bang and then all the rest of time flows from that, why would we bother looking BEFORE the big bang to better understand the universe? It would just be Big bang and on that we looked at"


OK, lets say that. So, what conditions did God create before the big bang? If he created them, then they must be something we can study. There's no line there being drawn, it is just another reference point to work backwards to.
 
2012-11-21 09:32:32 AM  

sno man: Forget the Twinkie thing, these two and others like them on your F-ing science committee is why the rest of the world points and laughs.
How did you guys get to the moon with guys like this in charge?

/knows they weren't in charge then...
//wonders how they are now.


Short answer: Reagan sold the Republican Party out to the Religious Right in 1980 to assure his win.
 
2012-11-21 09:35:05 AM  

wippit: OK, lets say that. So, what conditions did God create before the big bang? If he created them, then they must be something we can study. There's no line there being drawn, it is just another reference point to work backwards to.


So what you are saying is god could have created everything yesterday and implanted all of our memories of the time before yesterday?
 
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