Creationists Crack over Biblical Correctness

November 8, 2013

Though not strictly related to climate denial, this video speaks volumes about the closely related “creationist” movement.

Among political activists of a certain persuasion, both a belief in Creationism, as well as rejection of atmospheric physics,  have become a litmus test of a candidates fitness to serve the Far Right agenda.

Anyway, it turns out TV preacher and former Presidential candidate Pat Robertson says  the earth is more than 6000 years old. Oops, bad move.  The creationists have come out in force to denounce this heresy.

Like other right wing movements, there tends to be schisms when various factions approach the outskirts of reality town.


15 Responses to “Creationists Crack over Biblical Correctness”

  1. livinginabox Says:

    Pat Robertson was probably thinking about his diamond mine.

  2. livinginabox Says:

    Isaac Asimov said: There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’

  3. andrewfez Says:

    Oddly enough, Sir Isaac Newton too came up with a 6000 year old number, as did a lot of folks around that time. In fact, it used to be printed in Genesis, that the earth was created on the eve of Sunday, October twenty third, four thousand and four, BC.

    Then in 1785 James Hutton showed up at the Royal Society of Edinburgh with convincing arguments that the world was much older. He argued that even in the Alps and Andes Mountains, calcareous material: chalk, limestone, marles, always contained fossils from sea creatures: coral, cockle shells, etc. Some of these materials also contained ‘sparry structures’, or crystallized versions of CaCO3 that could only occur if the material were in a fluid state (molten). He spent a lot of time talking about rocks, where the fusion of two minerals had occurred, which again could only have happened under molten conditions. He said volcanoes weren’t isolated events but a symptom of a great underground inferno responsible for all his geologic evidence. He said lava too was common, showing several rocks where it had injected itself into a sedimentary rock, nowhere near volcanoes. He argued granite was igneous in origin and proved it with instances of granite injections into sandstone, etc.

    He further argued that the heat that caused molten fluidity also caused land to move: showing evidence where strata that were on a vertical plane were resting below strata on a horizontal plane – angular unconformity; and arguing that all the sedimentary rock on land was once in the ocean (marine fossils, etc.). He showed instances of erosion which he called ‘attrition’ and argued that because there was no notable differences in natural sea port structures (rocks) between then and ancient Roman/Greek times, that erosion must happen extremely slow, as well as the motion of land. He thought of the earth as a ‘system’ constantly destroying and renewing itself in ‘deep time’. Here’s the last paragraph of his argument in his book ‘Theory of the Earth’:

    “WE have now got to the end of our reasoning; we have no data further to conclude immediately from that which actually is: But we have got enough; we have the satisfaction to find, that in nature there is wisdom, system, and consistency. For having, in the natural history of this earth, seen a succession of worlds, we may from this conclude that there is a system in nature; in like manner as, from seeing revolutions of the planets, it is concluded, that there is a system by which they are intended to continue those revolutions. But if the succession of worlds is established in the system of nature, it is in vain to look for any thing higher in the origin of the earth. The result, therefore, of our present enquiry is, that we find no vestige of a beginning,–no prospect of an end.”

  4. Shane Burgel Says:

    Let it be known that not all Christian believers reject science. I don’t.

    • tildeb Says:

      I don’t think anyone is suggesting as much, but which deserves to be held in greater esteem when claims are in direct conflict: religion or science? Perhaps there is a middle ground?

      Well, there isn’t.

      The methodology of religious belief – accepting faith as a legitimate way to justify a claim about reality – stands incompatible with the methodology of science – accepting that explanations are justified only when adduced from evidence reality provides. In this sense, those who think the two methods can live peacefully side by side and even inform the other in an equivalent exchange of knowledge do so by assertion alone supported only by faith that this is so.

      • “….I don’t think anyone is suggesting as much….”

        I am.

        Belief in the supernatural is the rejection of science, end of story. When you ‘believe’ things for which there is no evidence, and where the evidence tells you that your belief is false, then what else can you call it?

        • tildeb Says:

          I don’t think you’re allowing people to compartmentalize as they really do in real life, where they use the method of science almost all of the time and respect its explanations that work, but switch to faith-based beliefs on occasion. This (in my experience) is the only way to rationalize holding two incompatible beliefs at the same time.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      John Cook and Katharine Hayhoe would be good examples of science literate believers.

  5. @ Shane.

    Christianity isn’t a “pick and mix” religion.
    You can’t just take bits of the Bible and say I believe in this bit but I don’t believe in that bit.
    If, as is claimed in the video clip, Usher got his figures from the Bible then you either believe the world is 6,000 years old or you don’t.
    If you don’t then you do not accept the Bible and your faith is found wanting.
    You must find it in yourself to completely reject the science and completely accept the teachings of the Bible or you will go to Hell.

    • livinginabox Says:

      “Christianity isn’t a “pick and mix” religion” – Are you sure?

      I believe there are around 41,000 different Christian denominations, many with a unique interpretation of the Bible, some using different Bibles. Some take the Bible literally in its entirety, some ignore the OT, and so forth. A number claim that their sect alone is the true religion and that only the few will be saved – e.g. Plymouth Brethren.

      Just among Creationists, there are a number of different groups, e.g.: Old Earth; Young Earth; Intelligent Design; Geocentrism; Polygenism (now probably obsolete); etc.

      The obvious conclusion is that where two claims are mutually contradictory, both cannot be correct.

      I’m pretty certain that millions of non-Christians would think you’re wrong.
      How can you know you’ve got the right god?

      Pope Francis is cool about atheists.

    • andrewfez Says:

      Usher made his calculation based upon the idea that Adam and his kids, grand kids, etc. all lived to be 900 some years old, and that they had their notable children when they were 100+ years of age. For example Seth was born when Adam was 130 years old, and Noah was born when his father, Lamech was 182 years old.

      Usher puts Noah’s flood, that was supposed to wipe out everything, at 2349 BC. The Indus Valley Civilization and the Egyptians both seemed to have missed it completely, and just kept on doing what they were doing.

      Heck, the folks already farming and raising domestic animals in the predynastic period of Egypt, circa 5500 BC, didn’t get the memo that it would be another 1,500 years into the future before the earth was created and Adam started begetting everyone.

      You could write pages of this stuff….

      • dumboldguy Says:

        “You could write pages of this stuff….”

        Yes, many MANY pages have been written about the details and myths of so-called religions. There have been some 600+ versions of the Bible, and people who call themselves Christians argue vehemently among themselves about which one is to be believed. My fundamentalist acquaintances say that the Bible is inerrant—EVERYTHING in it is true, even statements that contradict other statements somewhere else in the text. If things are contradictory, God meant it to be so.

        My favorite piece of “stuff” is the recent proposition that Jesus never existed, that he was invented by the Romans as a “psywar” technique to be used against the Jews who had been driving them crazy. The Romans figured that if they could get the Jews to convert to Christianity and accept a “pacifist & turn the other cheek” type messiah, that the guerilla warfare would stop and the Jews would more easily submit to Roman rule.

        My favorite theory about “origins” is that our universe is in reality just a “SimUniverse” game being played by a not-too-bright 11-year-old in some larger universe. He has gotten through the stages up to solar system creation, has created life on the planet we call Earth, and “evolved” it up to the present stage of dominance by homo sapiens. We know this kid is not too bright because he has let homo sapiens run amok (not that he was doing too well before, with ice ages, huge volcanic eruptions, and mass extinctions occurring). Humans are about to destroy themselves as well as every living thing on the planet, and the kid doesn’t seem to know what to do about it. Oh, well, he can always press the “reset” button and start over. (He is also getting bored and has started to notice girls—we are doomed)

        • andrewfez Says:

          Ha, ha – good ‘stuff’.

          A year or so ago I found a document on the internet that summarized the history of a set of Christians called the ‘particular’ baptists. It seemed like what was taught/believed in the 1700’s and 1800’s came down to what the most influential ministers of the time were pushing, each having their own unique interpretations of the Bible, the practice of Christianity, and how to run the show at the church. Arguments over every little detail were continuous: Can a person be baptized with still water or only running water? Full immersion or not? Can the non-elect (folks either not yet baptized or not chosen by God to go to heaven) participate in the Eucharist. How often will the church/rectory perform the Eucharist? &c.

          There was probably a few dozen men over the course of 100 or 150 years that shaped the way things were done. Unlike Anglicans, the Particulars didn’t follow a hierarchy, and often the ministers were itinerant and toured large parts of a county/parish/shire in the UK, giving sermons. Some were really charismatic and in demand, going everywhere. Hence the set of beliefs folks inherited at any given point was something of a function of the beliefs of the most charismatic ministers, or more generally, a function of charisma or social skills.

          I recall one story, from a book about glasshouses, that a traveling minister was to give a sermon at – I forget: I’m thinking it was the huge glass house made for the 1851 World’s Fair – The Crystal Palace; though I could be wrong on the setting. Anyway, the man was testing our the acoustics and cried out (as of course there was no electronic amplification at the time), ‘Behold! The lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!…’. This startled a glazing worker who was working in another part of the building, visually removed from the minister; I suppose the sound bounced and reverberated in the large glass structure, not yet occupied with exhibits. The glazing worker, thinking he’d witnessed a religious miracle, from that day on became a deeply devout Christian. Probably didn’t mind a contradiction here and there, neither.

          Of course at the time, there were too arguments happening around the subjects of rationalism and empiricism…

  6. We know that the Bible is not always clear about what it is saying. A bible passage can produce a variety of interpretations. In the Second Epistle of Peter from the King James Version of the New Testament, verse 8 of chapter 3 reads: “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” This is typically interpreted to say that one creation day is one thousand years. The first two chapters of the Book of Genesis suggest that we are still in the seventh creation day. This means the Earth must be between 6,000 and 7,000 years old.

    Verse 8 seems to repeat that one day is a thousand years within it. But, to say “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years,” “and” “a thousand years as one day,” could be interpreted as providing two pieces of information. The “and” in the verse may indicate that additional, not redundant, information follows. If so, then the days and years mentioned in the first clause may not be the same days and years referred to in the second clause.

    To explore this; first, we denote the days and years in the first clause as Days and Years (beginning with upper case letters). Next, we denote those in the second clause as days and years (beginning with lower case letters). Now, the verse says: 1 Day = 1,000 Years, and 1,000 years = 1 day.

    Let a “Day” be a creation day, a “year” be a year as we know it, and a “Year” be 365 “days.” Then, 1 Year becomes 365,000 of our years, and 1 Day, 365 million of our years. This would make the Bible’s six creation days (6 Days) 2.2 billion of our years. This is about half the 4.5 billion years geology says is the age of the Earth.

    We can go one step further with this line of thought. In verse 4 of Genesis, God divides the light from the darkness. Then, in verse 5, He calls the light, “Day,” and the darkness, “Night.” To distinguish between Day and Night suggests that they are two independent entities, not two parts of an entity, “Day.” If we assume that God divided them equally, then a Night is as long as a Day, or 365 million of our years. Since there is a Night after every Day; then, in addition to the six creation Days, six creation Nights have also elapsed. This means that we have to add another 2.2 billion years to the Bible’s Earth age, making it 4.4 billion years. This is essentially the same as the 4.5 billion-year geological age of the Earth.


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