Here’s a picture to warm your heart:



It comes from the closing presentation of the conference, entitled “The Creation Model: It’s Past, Present and Necessary Future,” by Andrew Snelling. Here’s another one:



Guess I should stop worrying. Actually, the best moment in Snelling’s talk came later. Ever wondered where to locate the real problem with modern creationism?

What if there was absolutely no evidence that the universe was young? No scientific evidence the universe was young. Would you still believe that it was young? Why? Because God’s word teaches it. That’s the only reason you need to have to believe the universe is young. God’s word says it, therefore I believe it. That’s not to say the evidences are not important. Of course they are. Because we’re commanded to have a reason for the hope, and to give reasoned answers for what we believe and why we believe it. But we must always remember our Biblical foundations.

So often we fight over the scientific evidence, but are we winning by leaving out our Biblical foundations? Too much of our creation apologetics has therefore been based on the evidence alone. We need to keep arguing from the level of world views. Because ultimately the problem that people have is spiritual, the deliberate rejection of God’s word. (Emphasis Added)

If their current arguments are the result of an overconcern for eivdence, I can’t imagine what they would come up with after throwing that concern overboard!

As I said, this was the conference closing. It came after three and a half days of wall-to-wall creation science. For most of the days there were four parallel sessions going on, from which the poor conference goer could only choose one. Such an embarrassment of riches!

The talks themselves had an interesting format. They were held in ninety minute sessions, with hour long talks and thirty minutes for Q and A. Here I must give them their due. The Q and A’s were frequently lively and contentious, and there was no attempt to shut anyone down. Questioners were allowed to stay at the microphone as long as they liked, asking follow ups, and even aggressively criticizing the speakers at times. With one exception (stay tuned!) no one got angry at me for asking questions.

Here is a typical example. On the first day I attended a talk entitled “A Nuanced Lakatos Philosophy of Theology and Science,” by Doug Kennard, a Biblical studies professor from Bryan College. This was a hard-core philosophy talk, so naturally I lost interest about ten minutes in. The thrust of his talk, however, was clear. Kennard was arguing that some of the hostility directed at creationists by scientists was the result of naive philosophical beliefs on the part of creationists. They would be more likely to get a hearing, Kennard argued, if they hewed to a more sophisticated view of things.

During the Q and A I said the following:

I’d like to address one narrow point you brought up, and it came up again moments ago in your answer to a previous question, this issue of how creationists can present themselves in ways more likely to be received by the scientific community. I think, to be a little blunt about it, I don’t think the issue is philosophy. I don’t think it’s that scientists are operating within a Kuhnian paradigm or something like that. I think it’s simply that from the scientific perspective creationists are just making bad arguments. That’s how they see it. When they look, and I should stop saying they because I include myself in this, when I look at a lot of the books out there and browse through them you can go pages at a time without seeing anything that resembles the way scientists talk about evolution. And I would also add that a lot of these arguments, have been addressed by scientists. It’s not that they’ve been ignored and have not been able to get a hearing. Especially more recently with people like William Dembski and Michael Behe, you have book-length arguments about it. So I think that philosophy is not really the answer. I think it’s that there are a lot of bad arguments. And worse than that, when I hear, when I attend conferences like this and I hear creationists say, “Oh, they’re so disrespectful and they’re so rude,” well, I haven’t seen much respect coming the other way. When I attend these conferences I hear caricatures of science, I see misquotations of scientists’ work, and very simplistic versions of evolution. I would suggest instead of finding comfort in philosophy, sharpen your arguments and be a little more respectful the other way. Then they might be more inclined to reciprocate.

Kennard’s talk was not well attended, so only about fifteen people were there for that little piece of oratory. Here’s the first part of Kennard’s reply:

Well, I agree and think those are issues that need to be worked on. Having gone to the Mendel computer model [talk], I wonder if that’s not a good example of what I’m urging here in the Lakatos approach. That is, to set up a computer model that might help the broader scientific community to increased nuanced, precise modelling and excel at that, so that whether they know you’re a creationist or not they recognize this is nice work. That’s one side of this approach that I think might say that, it’s not just that we haven’t answered, or that we don’t have good scientific presentations. I think that a lot of the literature out here is purely at a popular level, and probably some of it is not good science.

Well steal my thunder why don’t you! Here I was hoping to have a good martyr story to tell, and he had to go and be gracious about it. Kennard went on a while longer regarding the virtues of philosophy, and criticizing the ID folks (!!). When he had finished his answer, the moderator approached the microphone and said to me

Thank you for coming. We need the challenge and we need the sharpening, the honing.

The moderator, a retired air force pilot, caught up with me after the talk. He thanked me again, and told me that the point of the ICC’s was to provide a forum for serious work in creation science, unlike a lot of the popular level stuff that gives creationism a bad name. He told me about all of the garbage papers they received for inclusion in the conference, and how difficult it was to single out the few good papers from the piles of nonsense.

It was a useful reminder of something I have written about (PDF format) before. There’s a distinction to be made between leaders and followers in creationism. The people writing the books and leading the revivals are precisely the ignorant charlatans scientists portray them to be. But the people sitting in the audience absorbing this stuff are frequently a different story. As I have said before, it is a lot easier to caricature people you have never met.

End of sermon. And, just so you don’t think I am going soft, let me add that I have precisely zero confidence in the ability of the friendly moderator to distinguish between scientific sense and nonsense. Browsing through the conference proceedings, I find a lot of very technical papers in geology and physics. I know a resectable amount of science, but I recognize that I am not really in a position to judge many of them. Somehow I am not optimistic that my colleagues in the geology and physics departments would find anything of value in these submissions.

There’s plenty more to be said about the conference, but I’m trying to keep these posts to a reasonable length so I’ll call it a day for now. In the interests of closing on a positive note, here’s a photo of the black and white cookie I ate during my trip to New York:



Makes me happy just looking at it.

Comments

  1. #1 eigenvector
    August 19, 2008

    Gee, isn’t ego, different agendas and competitiveness what drives real science? ;)

  2. #2 James F
    August 19, 2008

    They forgot a bullet point, no peer-reviewed scientific research papers. Although if evidence isn’t a big concern the creation science “journals” are no doubt acceptable.

    That took perseverance, thanks!

  3. #3 Karen
    August 19, 2008

    Did the cookie have a filling? (Sorry, hungry, time to fix dinner..)

  4. #4 MPW
    August 19, 2008

    Your patience and calmness are astounding. I’m looking forward very much to the rest of your reports from the conference.

    The apparent sincerity and obvious cluelessness on display in the scenes you describe (and the photos) still amazes me, despite my years of following the evolution denial movement. It’s good to be reminded of how many of these people are quite sincere and, by their lights, well-intentioned, contrary to the Snidely Whiplash vision of creationist leaders we often indulge in on blogs of this kind (not that that doesn’t accurately describe some of them). I go back and forth about how much these people believe what they’re saying, and how much they’re conscious con artists, and this post has nudged me towards the former again, although the pendulum is always swinging.

    The main motif I see running through all the quotes above (including the presentation slides) is the bass-ackwards, political approach to science. The first slide, for example, talks about needing unity and less infighting among creationists… when fierce debate is generally a good thing in real science. Why would advocacy organizations be good but eccentric individuals pursuing their own agendas be bad… unless you’re doing politics rather than science?

    The second slide ought to be reason enough in itself for any intellectually honest person to say, “What are we even doing here? Let’s all go home.” It can be summed up as, “We got nothin’.” That whoever wrote that still attended the conference and continues to push creationism demonstrates that the conclusion comes first and the “evidence” second. I honestly think people like this have a different definition of “evidence” than real scientists do… it’s something roughly synonymous with “justification.” (That’s how theology and religious apologetics work, of course – they seem to be confusing the two methodologies.)

    Then there’s the quote further down where the guy talks about ways to make scientists take them more seriously… perhaps even by hiding that they’re creationists! Again, that’s 180 degrees backwards. You don’t get taken seriously first, and then people consequently are impressed by your work, it’s the other way around. They’re imposing on science a religious paradigm: Authority and status make people believe what you’re saying.

    This leads me again to my frequent contention that the dreadful way science is taught in America’s public schools is one of the biggest factors in making the general population a lot more vulnerable to this garbage. Students are drilled with isolated facts and figures and fancy words handed down from on high, as if from some priesthood, with little or no understanding of what makes science different from any other thing you’re supposed to believe just because the authorities tell you to.

    Um, sorry for rambling on and on with stuff we all already know here. Anyways.

  5. #5 Draconiz
    August 19, 2008

    Thanks for the great article Jason! I hope somehow I can leave a trackback to this link

  6. #6 abelian jeff
    August 19, 2008

    Oh man, black and white cookies are so good. Anyway, thanks for attending this conference and writing these posts. It sounds like it was quite a trip.

    By the way, I go back to school on the 26th, and I plan to eat at Hoagie Haven within a week of that date. I can’t wait!

  7. #7 James Downard
    August 20, 2008

    I’ve coined a neologism to desrcibe the sort of minds encountered among creationists (and ideologues of a variety of non-religious stripes too): Tortucans. From the Latin for “turtle” it describes people who have a suite of cognitive difficulties.
    First, they suffer from “Matthew Harrison Brady Syndrome” (for the “Inherit the Wind” character): they literally do not think about things they do not think about, and don’t even think very well about things they do think about. Such people are almost completely devoid of genuine curiosity (King of the Tortucans David Berlinski comes to mind).
    But MHBS would be merely exasperating without it being coupled with a motivational element, a propensity to be attracted to things they want to be true, rather than having a Richard Feynman (or Uri Zhivago) instinct only to want to believe things if they happen to be true.
    If the thing they wish to be true happens to be religion, and if they possess a well-developed God Module in the brain, then you can get anything from Philip Johnson to Kent Hovind, quite irrespective of how intelligent they may be. It is the depth and frequency of the “tortucan ruts” in their mind that defines their behavior, not their sharpness in taking IQ tests (evidence British Mensa’s nonreligious antievolutionist catastrophist young earther Richard Milton).
    That some creationists respond to seeds of contrary evidence and reject their beliefs there is consistent with their being low on the tortucan spectrum (and thus higher on the natural curiosity index).

  8. #8 MarcusA
    August 20, 2008

    I admire your ability to patiently sit through a 90 min creationism lecture. Last year, I saw you on C-Span asking Michael Behe a question. You seemed so relaxed. Excessive lying and the unwitting spreading of propaganda makes my blood boil. I can only stand small doses of god did it, now let’s manufacture the evidence.

    And black & white cookies ought to have a gray stripe down the center, to match real life.

  9. #9 Traces
    August 20, 2008

    Jason,
    Almost all IEEE conferences are at least four parallel sessions, if not five or six. What this has led to is a gradual erosion of all notions of “session etiquette.” If way back in the primordial people would pick one session and stick with it, now almost the entire session audience turns over on a paper-by-paper basis.

    At the conference I went to last month, there was a small but detectable contingent who would try to catch two papers presented AT THE SAME TIME by ping-ponging between the two rooms. AGGGHHH!

  10. #10 Frank J
    August 20, 2008

    Was there any mention of OEC? Not that I find that any more convincing than YEC, but there are 2 things YECs can do, either of which might put the “creation model” in “better shape.” 1 – they could just ditch the YE arguments altogether, as IDers have done. I could be wrong, but ISTR that few people – the educated ones that wrote about it at least – had any problems with OEC before Morris et al conconted “scientific” YEC. Or 2 – they could strengthen that “patina of science” by refuting OEC and not singling out “Darwinism.”

    As for the cookie, it looks like a chocolate-desecrated *cracker* ;-).

  11. #11 Frank J
    August 20, 2008

    MPW says “I go back and forth about how much these people believe what they’re saying, and how much they’re conscious con artists, and this post has nudged me towards the former again, although the pendulum is always swinging.”

    Me too. Although YECs and OECs nudge me towards the former, while IDers yank me towards the latter.

  12. #12 Ginger
    August 20, 2008

    Like several of the other commenters, I was struck by how many of the “weaknesses” identified in the first slide are actually considered strengths in real science. Certainly they are weaknesses in a political movement, but not in one aimed at testing ideas rigorously.

    Jason, the comment about apologetics confused me a bit, based on what you’ve said about the rest of the conference. Did you get the impression that they were engaging (or attempting to engage) in better science, ie trying to understand reality as they saw it, or were they trying to do better apologetics, ie trying to come up with better justifications for the way they see reality? There’s a huge difference.

  13. #13 J-Dog
    August 20, 2008

    It’s interesting to see the mental contortions necessary to be a “True YEC”. If they really follow the science, they have to be left with “God is dicking with us” – i.e. everything looks old, but the bible says it’s all new, so I have to believe it, so god’s a dick. Nice belief system.

    And kudos to you for putting up with the drivel – so I don’t have to.

  14. #14 James McGrath
    August 20, 2008

    Congratulations on being fair in your treatment of this subject, and on the cookie! As a native of New York, I understand the happiness they bring…

  15. #15 Thony C.
    August 20, 2008

    Do you indulge in cannibalism? In Germany your black and white cookie (actually its a cake!) is called ein Amerikaner! [That’s an American for those who need a translation ;)]

  16. #16 FL
    August 20, 2008

    Wow. Good reading there. Thanks for attending and reporting, Jason Rosenhouse.

    Contrast the stark humility and deep self-criticism being shown at this young-earth creationist conference with the smug self-satisfied attitude of many evolutionists.

    By facing their problems squarely and publicly, and even taking Rosenhouse’s question with full seriousness and humility, the young-earth creationists are moving forward.
    They’re going to make serious progress over time, if they can stay mindful of those specific points where they need to improve.

    But I honestly don’t see this same humility, this sincere soul-searching and self-criticism, coming from the evolutionists.

    Btw, somebody might be tempted to think that some of the points raised in the first creationist slide—lack of unity, lack of accountability among some individuals, and intra-personal animosities, for example—are totally exclusive to creationists.
    I sincerely believe they are NOT.

    At any rate, if the young-earth creationists do in fact eventually win in the court of public opinion (and one day maybe even within some public school science classrooms after a long while), some of you had better not be surprised.

    You’ll be outraged and apoplectic on that day, you’ll be saying all kinds of unholy disrespectful things about young-earth creationists (as usual) on that day, but at least you ought not to be surprised on that day.

    After all, you’ve already seen the first steps of the YEC comeback, and you know in your heart that they’re at least on the right track. Think about it!

  17. #17 Jason
    August 20, 2008

    Wow, those slides are quote ore begging for refinement. If only I were dishonest and didn’t have evidence to cite to support my claims…

    I am completely loving this series and can’t wait for the next post! It’s the most fascinating thing I’ve read in a while.

  18. #18 Lofcaudio
    August 20, 2008

    Since I would probably be labeled as an OECer, I appreciate the insight evident in this quote: “There’s a distinction to be made between leaders and followers in creationism. The people writing the books and leading the revivals are precisely the ignorant charlatans scientists portray them to be. But the people sitting in the audience absorbing this stuff are frequently a different story. As I have said before, it is a lot easier to caricature people you have never met.”

    Have no fear, I know you aren’t going soft. What I find especially commendable is that you are engaging these people and doing it face-to-face (as opposed to the insulated blogosphere). Should you ever write a book on these very issues, I think it would be better received from the religious community than those of Dawkins, Hitchens, et al. since it doesn’t appear that they ever “got their hands dirty.”

    Jason, I notice that many of the comments find it hard to believe that you were able to sit through such a conference without going postal. Obviously, these people have never lived in Manhattan, Kansas. If you can live in Manhattan for longer than a weekend, you can do just about anything.

  19. #19 marilyn
    August 20, 2008

    Thank you for your smug self-satisfied comments, FL
    You’ve certainly never come across to me as someone who has ever engaged in sincere soul-searching and self-criticism youself, but certainly you have the right to demand that others engage in it.

    Humbly yours,

    Marilyn

    By the way, your post clearly illustrates that, for you, it is ALL political. A “win” in the court of public opinion is where it’s at. Reality and good science be damned.

  20. #20 Peter Henderson
    August 20, 2008

    You raised some interesting points re. philosophy Jason. In my view the only philosophy in this debate is whether or nor God exists. Creation science vs. evolution is not philosophy., creation science is just bad science.

    However, there are philsophical arguments within science. For example, is the beilief in multi-verses (i.e.parrellel universes) philosophy or just bad science ? I would say at this point in cosmology it’s more philsophy than science since there is absolutely no evidence for their existance. Again, prior to 1923 and Hubble, did cosmologists believe in other galaxies other than the milky way ? Astronomers could see the other galaxies but couldn’t descern what they were so probably in this case it was bad science.

    A good report Jason then although I disagree with you on this point:

    “The people writing the books and leading the revivals are precisely the ignorant charlatans scientists portray them to be.”

    Surely people like Dr. Jason Lisle and Dr Georgia Purdom are very highly qualified and intelligent people, not ignoramuses ? Even Ham is well educated. Just as an example, take a look at the committee of our own locatl YEC organisation:

    http://www.creationoutreachministries.com/com_committee.htm

    If you read their CVs all except two are well qualified. There are several Phds in there and two of them are lecturers at local universities.

  21. #21 ZacharySmith
    August 20, 2008

    FL,

    Ummm, exactly how are the YEC’s moving forward? Oh yeah, they’re generating mountains of data that will challenge and eventually overturn “Darwinism”. (C’mon now, admit it FL. At the core, it’s really all about “Darwinism”, isn’t it?)

    Too bad they’re keeping all this data to themselves since no one else seems to be aware of it. I guess they’re waiting until they have an airtight case, right? Yep, it’s about to be unleashed any day now.

    Oh, and what was that comment about relying too much on evidence? Evidence? We don’t need no stinkin’ evidence! I just wonder if you’d be willing to go to court with evidence of the quality that YEC’s have. I hope you’re not attourney, FL. If so I feel sorry for your clients, what with your keen grasp of the concept of “evidence.”

    If the evidence does not fit, it must be shit! Way to keep moving forward, FL.

  22. #22 Ginger Yellow
    August 20, 2008

    Peter, it’s entirely possible to be educated in one area and ignorant in another. You say that the Creation Outreach Ministries people are “well qualified”, but as far as I can tell from the descriptions only one has a qualification in anything particularly relevant to evolution or the history of the earth (a masters degree in biotech). As is almost always the case with creationists and IDers, the qualifications are in completely irrelevant fields like engineering.

  23. #23 Tim Fuller
    August 20, 2008

    Science is hard work. People are lazy. The math required to understand any of the modern sciences is well beyond the reach of ninety percent of Americans. The creationists know this. They know the vast unwashed masses can’t differentiate between peer-reviewed and Oprah-approved. Their books are infantile because they have to be. Their material is ‘approachable’ whereas science works are beyond their comprehension. The fact that some of these people CAN understand the math and science yet still hold onto this middle-age belief system can only be attributed to BLIND FAITH. I think you noted somewhere that the event highlighted a speaker who said just that….they were relying too much on science and not enough on Faith.
    We need a fresh round of science writers (like Sagan) to excite people. Dawkins is doing his best, but his overt hostility to religion (GOD BLESS HIM) turns off a lot of fundies. Ditto Sam Harris, another favorite of mine.
    Enjoy.

  24. #24 WAT
    August 20, 2008

    As a preofessional engineer, it pains me to see so many fellow engineers – if they really are educated as such – get sucked into the creationists’ domain. I am at a loss to explain it. None of my personal peers are so afflicted.

  25. #25 FL
    August 20, 2008

    We can always debate my attitude or we can always debate your attitude, Marilyn. Or we can always debate both. Plenty of potentially dubious stuff to debate and confess regarding mine, I readily admit.
    (Only you & God know how much there is to debate and confess regarding yours.) But if you want to discuss all that, well sure.

    But that is not the point here.

    The point is the sincere, self-critical, soul-searching attitude of humility being displayed in the creationist Sixth International Conference.

    THAT, is the real point. That’s where their future success will be generated. And the public DOES notice things regarding humility or the lack thereof, as syndicated columnist James Kilpatrick warned evolutionists decades ago when they defeated the YEC’s during the old YEC creationism trials.

    P.S. I didn’t say anything about the political activities of either creationists or evolutionists. But we both know that both sides are seriously engaged in winning the court of public opinion.

  26. #26 ZacharySmith
    August 20, 2008

    Peter,

    Someone may be brilliant in one area and a total failure in another. Remember John DeLorean? Brilliant engineer, lousy businessman.

    Just because someone is educated, even in the natural sciences, does not make them an authority on evolutionary biology. I think when evaluating a person’s credibility, you need to ask yourself, “Is this person actively engaged in the field and making meaningful contributions to the debate among his/her peers?” I think that alone will eliminate 99% of the anti-evolution cranks.

    For example, if I recall correctly, even Duane Gish had a PhD in biochemistry. He may (or may not) have been a competent biochemist, but that doesn’t make his attacks on evolution credible.

    ***********************************************************

    FL,

    So you admit that creationism is all about politics and not about the science. Well, I guess that is a step forward.

  27. #27 Glen Davidson
    August 20, 2008

    Actually, they have “varying scientific quality control standards” because they all depend upon an unreliable ancient text. Hence, they have no basic scientific standards at all, although I’m sure that some practice with reasonable standards during lab work (and the great thing about the nominal creationists, as opposed to IDists, is that they actually do some science related to their claims).

    And this:

    –we still don’t have a complete understanding of radiometric dates (…) RATE notwithstanding.

    More importantly, astronomical dating methods have authenticated (and in many cases, sharpened) the radiometric dates back to at least the Jurassic, recently. Do they really expect us to believe that “the flood” or some other miracle faked all of the astronomical dating data along with radiometric dating data, and all to give the basically correlated dates (within the proper error margins, that is)?

    But most of these people would never give up their current beliefs, no matter what. If you read some of their “scientific literature,” you’ll note that many are trying to come into agreement of where the line between antediluvian and “flood deposit” sediments are, and this without ever establishing global flood deposits.

    Some of the discussions withing creationism are amazing. I recall when some church leaders (this was Seventh-day Adventist) were introduced to much of the evidence that the earth is old (by a church organ, btw, so it was carefully done, with all of the slogans about scripture being the final authority), and one of the leading “intellectuals” came out saying that he’d just stick with the literal Genesis account, since the evidence didn’t really support any of the creationists’ models. Just go with straight bronze age myths, when you realize you can’t accommodate your belief to the evidence.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  28. #28 SiMPel MYnd
    August 20, 2008

    Echoing some of the previous comments, I too am amazed by the number of people in my profession who, while brilliant technically (at least in their areas of speciality), have no problems with the contradictions between the Bible and any evidence to the contrary. It’s like they have some ability I lack to simply turn off the logical parts of their brain when they want/need to.

    And, Ginger, why are you picking on us poor engineers?? My wife married one, and she’s quite happy as long as she stays on her depression medication. :)

  29. #29 Peter Henderson
    August 20, 2008

    “We need a fresh round of science writers (like Sagan) to excite people.”

    I’ve always thought Professor Carlos Frenk was excellent:

    http://astro.dur.ac.uk/~csf/

    I’ve even seen him once in a discussion on creationism (I think it was the O’Rielly factor)

    Dr. Kate Land is very young and she performed admirably on the sky at night recently:

    http://www-astro.physics.ox.ac.uk/~krl/

    although she appears to have left astrophysics.

    Chris Lintott is also excellent:

    http://chrislintott.net/

    I just hope he finds the time for the sky at night when Sir Patrick retires.

    there are lots of people that could fill Sagan’s shows Tim. Perhaps it’s the fact that telivision is more interested in reality shows these days rather than presenting good science. At least the BBC still does science

  30. #30 Science Avenger
    August 20, 2008

    I guess it would never occur to people like FL that the reason creationists might appear humble is because they haven’t accomplished shit.

  31. #31 Bayesian Bouffant, FCD
    August 20, 2008

    In another scienceblog, there’s a current thread on How NOT to give a scientific talk. I hope that “writing your conclusion out in full sentences so the audience reads the full thing as you read it aloud” is on the list.

  32. #32 Bayesian Bouffant, FCD
    August 20, 2008

    In Germany your black and white cookie (actually its a cake!) is called ein Amerikaner!

    Ich bin ein Amerikaner!

  33. #33 FL
    August 20, 2008

    “So you admit that creationism is all about politics and not about the science……”

    Get serious already, Zachary. I said that creationists and evolutionists both seek to win the court of public opinion.

    Do you deny that evolutionists seek to win the court of public opinion?

  34. #34 JimCH
    August 20, 2008

    Karen…
    Any respectable black & white cookie would not have filling. Incidentally, the cookie in the photo looks about 60% black, 40% white. I’m not sure what that means … perhaps it was a cookie created on a Friday afternoon when the assembler was tired from the work week.

  35. #35 SLC
    August 20, 2008

    Re science avenger

    Creationists have much to be humble about.

  36. #36 Peter Henderson
    August 20, 2008

    Incidently, here’s AiG’s report on the conference:

    http://blogs.answersingenesis.org/aroundtheworld/2008/08/12/aig-at-the-icc/

  37. #37 Flint
    August 20, 2008

    Do you deny that evolutionists seek to win the court of public opinion?

    The point is, winning the battle for public opinion is the proximate and direct goal of the creationists. At the most, it is an indirect side-effect of scientific effort, and happens because public opinion hazily recognizes that scientific advances redound to the improvement of their lifestyles.

    Manipulating public opinion for political purposes is the GOAL of creationism. For good science, it’s unavoidable but not particularly relevant.

  38. #38 Shaden Freud
    August 20, 2008

    In the spirit of the YECs “moving forward,” I would like to announce that I expect to qualify for the 2012 Summer Olympics. I haven’t actually done any training, but I hope to win in the court of public opinion.

  39. #39 GBH
    August 20, 2008

    J-Dog somewhere up above remarks that if YEC is taken serious then “God is Dicking with us.” Despite the vivid formulation, I think this is one of the more important points about YEC, and should be pushed at them from time to time. To make the system work, first of all, not just evolution, or even geology, have to be totally revised or rejected, basically all of modern science is out the window. That means that virtually every measurement, every conclusion about the nature of matter, etc. has to either be a contrivance of God to deceive us into thinking things are old–the aesthetic, God did it because old things make us feel good, but that means that God created a being who likes old things and then made things look old, etc–or we have Descartes evil genius making us believe in a world that does not exist. One of things that is unfortunately missing in the commentary on creationism and ID is a serious theological critique. This is a failure of the religious scientists, but also of the non-fundamentalist churches and theologians. But that is another matter. All I would recommend is that when you get the responses that fall back on the Bible says it argument, spend a little time investigating what that implies about God. Don’t just giver up and shrug and assume that there is no response.

  40. #40 JimV
    August 20, 2008

    I apologize in advance for going off-topic, but a question occurred to me recently, and I know that sometimes theologists or theology-friendly types show up here who might be able to answer it – specifically those who start from the premise that the Christian Bible is partly or wholely revelation to humans from the creator of the universe and founder of moral law.

    Recently pastor Rick Warren asked both Obama and McCain when a baby (or fetus) gains human status (rights). The answer that was wanted was “at conception”. My question is, what does the Bible actually say about this?

    Warren and other Christians seemed to be convinced they have the right answer, with no room for doubt. My confusion, admittedly based on little but Sunday-School knowledge, comes from the following scriptual passages.

    In the Old Testament list of crimes and punishments, causing a pregnant woman to miscarry by an act of violence is not considered worthy of a death penalty – unlike adultery, gathering sticks on the Sabbath, mixing yarns of two different colors, et cetera.

    In the New Testament, the analogy for receiving a fresh, new, clean-and-innocent soul is “to be born again” – not to be conceived again (unless this is another one of those mis-translations which the creator of the universe has allowed to be propogated for centuries).

    OTOH, there is that bit about G knowing us when we were in the womb – but it seems to me that could just as easily be a reference to G’s power to see the future.

    Science has of course learned many things about reproduction in general and human development in particular which were not known by those who wrote down scriptual revelations, but if that makes no difference (to Biblical adherents) in the case of creationism, it should make no difference when considering the rights of fetuses.

    While I am pro-choice myself, I have friends and relatives whom I respect who are adamantly against abortion in any circumstances. I am curious to know if there is a clear, specific Biblical mandate to this effect, but fear that asking them directly will only provoke an argument which will end in hurt feelings. So I ask the question here.

  41. #41 ZacharySmith
    August 20, 2008

    FL,

    Yes, I think most “evolutionists” would agree that it would be nice to capture a larger segment of the popular imagination. That way maybe public schools would be more resilient against incursions by the IDiots and other religious nincompoops.

    You talk a lot about soul-searching and humility (and public perception thereof) but very little about science. So I say again, you admit that creationism is nothing but politics & spin – no science included.

    By the way, you accuse “evolutionists” of hubris yet you conveniently forget the likes of Ken Ham, Kent Hovind (currently in jail for tax evasion), William Dembski, just for starters. When have any of these people ever shown humility, self-criticism and introspection?

    Seems the creationist side has its own share of hubris.

  42. #42 FL
    August 20, 2008

    “One of things that is unfortunately missing in the commentary on creationism and ID is a serious theological critique. This is a failure of the religious scientists, but also of the non-fundamentalist churches and theologians. But that is another matter.”

    You have put your finger on a vital issue. There’s a reason why evolutionists would much much MUCH rather discuss science instead of theology at PandasThumb, for example.

    The YEC’s may have lots of work to do WRT science to catch up with and make themselves more convincing to evolutionists, but rest assured they are extremely well ahead of evolutionists on theology and Bible, and very strong in those areas.

    For example, the “God is dicking with us” argument that you mentioned (commonly called the deceiver argument, btw), has been thoroughly destroyed by the YEC author Dr. Kurt Wise in his book “Faith, Form, and Time.”

    (Btw, Dr. Wise says in that book that creationists have a lot more work to do on the science, so he likewise displays that humility seen at the 6th Conference. But he DOES wipe out that deceiver argument real good, using specific Bible examples, both Old and New Testament.)

    Many evolutionists would just reply “The Bible is irrelevant, we’re talking about science here.” Well, have it your way, but now you know one of the reasons you’re forced to admit, in the words of the quoted paragraph, that “One of the things that is unfortunately missing in the commentary on creationism and ID is a serious theological critique.”

    :)

  43. #43 Jason Rosenhouse
    August 20, 2008

    Thanks for all the comments. Sorry there are too many to answer each one individually.

    abelian jeff –

    You’re making me jealous! Actually, back when I was going to high school in Princeton, one of my favorite meals was to go to Chuck’s Spring Street Cafe and get a big plate of buffalo wings (which were a bit of an oddity at that time), and then go across the street to Haagen Dazs and get a big cone to cool off my mouth. Alas, my metabolism is not as fast as it once was…

    Marcus A –

    I’m glad I look calm! Actually, my heart is generally pounding in those sorts of situations. I shamelessly deleted all of the uhhhms and you knows from my soliloquy above.

    Concerning the Behe presentation, I have a story to tell about that. I was participating in a chess tournament in Southern Virginia. The penultimate round of the tournament was played at 9:00 on Sunday morning. At roughly one in the morning the previous night, C-Span showed Behe’s presentation (which was delivered at Discovery’s Washington D.C. offices with me in the audience). I was sitting at my board setting up my pieces, unshaven, half-asleep and looking pretty gross (which means I fit in perfectly in a roomful of chess players) and waiting for my opponent to show up. There were about a dozen of us in the room. That was when the fellow I had played the night before (the highest rated player in the tournament as it happened) came bounding up to me, pointing. With a big smile he said, “Hey! I saw this guy on C-Span yesterday!” In my sleep-deprived state it took me a moment to realize he was talking to me. After a pause he added, “And I noticed that creationist guy never really answered your question, either!”

    As for sitting through long and unpleasant presentations, graduate school is very good training.

    Ginger –

    There was some of both. Mostly this was supposed to be a serious scientific conference. The evening presentations were open to the public, however, and they were more geared toward religion and apologetics.

    James McGrath –

    Glad you approve :) Incidentally, I procured that cookie at the magnificent Donut Pub on 14th street and 7th avenue. Definitely a place to visit the next time you get back to your old stomping grounds.

    Thony C –

    That’s awesome! I didn’t know that.

    JimCH –

    Yes, definitely a chocolate bias on that particular cookie. A proper black and white should be fifty-fifty. The cookie itself was a little too airy for my taste as well; I like a denser cookie. But what separates the Donut Pub cookies from what you find in saran wrap at Starbucks is first that they are incredibly fresh (clearly baked on site) and second that the frosting they use is unbelievably delicious.

  44. #44 ZacharySmith
    August 20, 2008

    FL,

    Since when has a discussion about theology been relevant to the practice of science?

    Well now, you creationists go and have your theological discussion. Go ahead and argue about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Do let us know when you’ve got something.

    In the meantime, the evolutionists will be busy doing, you know, science and stuff.

  45. #45 Frank B
    August 20, 2008

    “deceiver argument real good”
    FL, before you start hitting those science books, you aught to hit the grammer books first. If you are going to skip references and evidence, and go only on debating style, you should sound educated. “Real good” doesn’t cut it. Oh, and by the way, I am still waiting for your Biblical perspective on a few kinds becoming many kinds.

  46. #46 Eamon Knight
    August 20, 2008

    Oh man, that extended Snelling quote you give (shorter version: “Damn the evidence! Thump the Bible!”) is priceless. It’s plain to anyone who’s been in this circus for a while that SciCre is all about supporting fundamentalist theology and nothing to do with understanding the universe on its own terms — but it’s nice to catch them admitting it once in a while.

    There should be a home somewhere at TalkOrigins.org for a collection of such quotes — creationists admitting it’s all about the Bible first and last; evidence to be hammered on until it fits; so much for pretensions to scientific integrity.

  47. #47 MPW
    August 20, 2008

    FL –

    The Bible is irrelevant – we’re talking about science here.

  48. #48 Iapetus
    August 21, 2008

    JimV,

    “I apologize in advance for going off-topic, but a question occurred to me recently, and I know that sometimes theologists or theology-friendly types show up here who might be able to answer it – specifically those who start from the premise that the Christian Bible is partly or wholely revelation to humans from the creator of the universe and founder of moral law.

    Recently pastor Rick Warren asked both Obama and McCain when a baby (or fetus) gains human status (rights). The answer that was wanted was “at conception”. My question is, what does the Bible actually say about this?”

    Although I am no expert on this topic in general, I am somewhat familiar with the stance of the Catholic Church on this issue.

    Their current teaching, which was formulated by Pope Paul VI in his encyclica “Humanae Vitae” (http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae_en.html) holds that a human being comes into existence upon conception. The reason for this is that at this point the “ensoulment” process takes place (the Aristotelian roots of Catholic doctrine are clearly visible here). It follows that aborting the fetus would be akin to killing it and thus be in violation of the fifth commandment.

    Another reason is teleological, i.e. God has created man and woman for the purpose of bringing about new life. Therefore, terminating a pregnancy violates God’s purpose and is unnatural and evil.

    So to summarize, at least the Catholic Church does not primarily rely on biblical passages as such than on metaphysical arguments to bolster their view. I am not familiar with the way other christian denominations handle this issue.

  49. #49 Carlie
    August 21, 2008

    I laugh at your black and white cookie, ha! The softer half-moon variety, found elsewhere in the state, is vastly superior.

  50. #50 Iapetus
    August 21, 2008

    I just realized that my second-to-last paragraph is not really relevant to your question. It is rather another reason why the Catholic Church views abortion as not allowable.

  51. #51 Frank J
    August 21, 2008

    FL: “Many evolutionists would just reply ‘The Bible is irrelevant, we’re talking about science here’.”

    As you know, so would *anti-evolutionist* Michael Behe.

  52. #52 Frank J
    August 21, 2008

    Eamon Knight: “There should be a home somewhere at TalkOrigins.org for a collection of such quotes — creationists admitting it’s all about the Bible first and last; evidence to be hammered on until it fits; so much for pretensions to scientific integrity.”

    IIRC there is something like that, but it’s rather moot because it doesn’t take much for YECs and OECs admit it. IDers are another story. But with “Expelled” they too essentially admit that it’s not at all about the science. While they may dismiss the Bible as irrelevant, they never miss an opportunity to pander to those who do take the Bible as “evidences.”

  53. #53 Dan
    August 21, 2008

    I was fascinated by Andrew Snelling’s assertion that observational evidence is less important that God’s word. A broad (but not universal) point of view is that observational evidence is God’s word. (A church in my neighborhood expresses this point of view with a banner that proclaims “God is still speaking!”)

    For those who believe that God’s word is only in the Holy Bible and that since then, God has stopped speaking, I would ask, “Which Holy Bible?” There are four books of Maccabees: some religions consider none of them in the Bible, some the first two, some the first three, and some all four:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3_Maccabees

  54. #54 mharri
    August 21, 2008

    JimV: I once asked a religious-type this question. I googled what I remembered from his response and got this bit from Jeremiah 1:5. “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” Never mind that this could just mean that the soul exists before the body is formed.
    FL: “There’s a reason why evolutionists would much much MUCH rather discuss science instead of theology at PandasThumb, for example.”
    Is it because PandasThumb is a science-education-themed weblog?

  55. #55 Frank B
    August 21, 2008

    Creationists rely heavily on magical thinking at the expense of logic, the Catholic Church does too. I shall never forgive John Paul VI for lying about condoms.
    Lapetus’s statement, “God has created man and woman for the purpose of bringing about new life. Therefore, terminating a pregnancy violates God’s purpose and is unnatural and evil.” is just such an example of illogic. God created the Wildebeast to rely on the the lion and leopard to control its numbers. Creating new life is not the end-all be-all of existance. To claim that God wants humans to reproduce in an uncontroled fashion is obscene, Yet the recent Popes have opposed all reasonable attempts at control, with devastating consequences for the poor.

  56. #56 Ginger Yellow
    August 21, 2008

    “God created the Wildebeast to rely on the the lion and leopard to control its numbers.”

    I doubt you’ll find much support for that position here.

  57. #57 Frank B
    August 21, 2008

    Ginger, what part are you not supporting? Is it the part about wildebeast needing predators? Or is it the part about God creating, which is compatible with theistic evolution, which many scientists are?

  58. #58 Pierce R. Butler
    August 21, 2008

    JimV: … Rick Warren asked both Obama and McCain when a baby (or fetus) gains human status (rights). The answer that was wanted was “at conception”. My question is, what does the Bible actually say about this?

    There are several components to “this”, which Warren is happy to entangle (as evidenced by using “baby” to include various phases of gestation). The Hebrew (“Old”) Testament quite clearly at several points refers to life as “breath” – as in the Genesis story of Yahveh animating his clay figure – and I know of no attempt to revise that in the Christian (“New”) Testament.

    Of course, the god of the Hebrew Testament is hardly what moderns call “pro-life”. You seem to have found Exodus 21:22; look at the slaughter of infants and “pre-borns” ordained in Deut. 28:53, I Sam. 15:3, Ez. 9:6, Hosea 9:14 & 13:16, etc. Consider Numbers 5:11-27, which prescribes a priestly ritual to induce miscarriage in adulterous women (unless you can find a gentler interpretation of “her thigh shall rot” in the context of criminal pregnancy).

    But the question of rights/status/personhood is different, and not one that any part of the Bible seems to find of interest (thus, Aquinas relied on Aristotle while trying to give theology some philosophical depth). For the greater part of Christian history, the practical answer given by The Church™ was that membership in the community began with baptism – which might be weeks/months/years after birth (a harsh but arguably practical attitude in the era of high infant mortality). As individualism grew in the early modern period (say, later 15th century/Renaissance) and some sects began to insist upon adult baptism and “informed consent” to church doctrines, the issue of individual being went to the theological sidelines until anti-abortion crusaders began trying to push it back before the secularly-accepted demarcation of birth (a very un-traditional conception, harharhar).

  59. #59 Ginger Yellow
    August 21, 2008

    Well, personally I don’t support either. But what I was suggesting people would object to is the idea that God created specific animals to fill specific roles, whether through evolution or other means. Most theistic evolutionists (even ones who think mankind was an intended goal of evolution), wouldn’t extend that to other animals.

  60. #60 Frank B
    August 22, 2008

    Ecology is a very facinating aspect of biology. The interaction of different species is very important and a major factor in evolution. It is also very important to human evolution and human history. Anyone who is familiar with biology and wants to attribute the wonders of life to God, would not consider the other animals and their relationship to each other a mere afterthought.

  61. #61 Scott
    August 22, 2008

    Dear Glen D
    (at http://scienceblogs.com/evolutionblog/2008/08/report_on_the_sixth_internatio_1.php#comment-1060627 )

    You mentioned, “astronomical dating methods have authenticated (and in many cases, sharpened) the radiometric dates back to at least the Jurassic”. What are you referring to? I think this is the first I’ve heard of “astronomical dating methods”. Sure, astronomical observations have shown the universe is old, but how does this help authenticate radiometric dating here on Earth?

    Thanks for your help.

  62. #62 JimV
    August 22, 2008

    I would like to (and do) thank Iapetus, mharri, and Pierce Butler for their generous responses to my question. Unfortunately for my purposes, I don’t think any of them feels there is a clear Biblical mandate for the religious right’s position on abortion, and in fact they may actually feel that there is scriptural evidence that counters that position. That is my feeling also, but I am not an expert, and would to hear the best evidence on the other side.

    (Of course one could be against abortion on other than Biblical grounds, but I would have thought people like Rick Warren would give priority to Biblical grounds – unless they are not strict constructionists.)

  63. #63 ctw
    August 22, 2008

    re the Saddleback event:

    The question actually posed to the candidates (as best I can tell) was (essentially) “when do human rights accrue”, but the question was widely reported as being “when does life begin?”.

    For even the most marginally competent journalist, this seems like an inexcusable error. It’s understandable to paraphrase a long, complex statement with less than perfect fidelity. But to substitute one short phrase for another is mystifying to me.

    So, I’m curious if other commenters have opinions as to whether this is simple incompetence, carelessness, the seemingly obligatory need for journalists to generate controversy for its own sake, or other.

    FWIW, I think this is a non-trivial issue. The intent and quality of the candidates’ answers to the “question” clearly depend strongly on what the question actually was. McCain’s “at conception” is a perfectly reasonable answer for the “life” version, but highly suspect for the “rights” version. Obama’s “pay grade” answer was unappealing obscure in either case, but is being interpreted (by those looking to cast it in a more favorable – or at least more consumer-friendly – light) as referring to God – which makes some sense for the “life” version. But for the rights version, SCOTUS seems a much better choice for the identity of the unspecified “higher pay grade” decision maker.

    Ie, depending on the actual question, the answers can be assessed as being almost anywhere from sensible to foolish. Which calls into question the intent of those who misstated the question.

    – Charles

  64. #64 JimV
    August 22, 2008

    Charles,

    Looking back over videos, I see that Rick Warren himself muddied the waters in his question to McCain, something like this:

    ” 40 million abortions … some who believe life begins at conception would say that this is a holocaust… What point is a baby entitled to human rights?”

    (McCain: at conception.)

    Life/”ensoulment”/human rights; baby/fetus – I agree with you that these are different issues, and that conflating them is begging the question. Warren and most conservative commentators are framing the issue to benefit their side, but whether they are being consciously mendacious or just can’t help it I couldn’t say.

  65. #65 Greg Peterson
    August 22, 2008

    Wow, lotta posts here on this. I just wanted to add briefly that I sometimes attend the Twin Cities Creationist Society meetings and seminars, and they make me sad and they make me angry. There is no question that some good, sincere people attend these things. But I don’t see much for real intellect, often. I do see what appears to be genuine curiosity and appreciation for the natural world, and that’s not nothing. But the last one of these things I went to, they showed that horrible, lie-filled pile of garbage from D. James Kennedy. And these innocent, decent people were lapping up this swill (which is sad) because they WANTED TO (which is infuriating). It’s hard to know where to come down: pity or anger. But Bill Maher said something on Larry King Live the other night that made sense to me. He referred to some people having the LUXURY of skepticism toward religious beliefs. Some people, honestly, their faith is all they have. It might be pathetic and it might even be idiotic, but I just have to wonder about the level of compassion of those of us who would, if we could, smash the one thing these people have. Now, in some sense it has to be done. But gently, maybe, with more understanding? And with an eye toward replacing some of what they’ve lost? Oh, and my sympathy does not extend to people like D. James Kennedy. I know this sounds pretty bad, but I’m actually happy that unctuous little creep is dead.

  66. #66 Pierce R. Butler
    August 22, 2008

    JimV: … in fact they may actually feel that there is scriptural evidence that counters that position.

    The anti-abortion activists that I’ve confronted directly tend to cite “thou shalt not kill”, “and did not one fashion us in the womb?” and “suffer the little children to come unto me.” IOW, non-sequiturs from the viewpoint of what some of us consider elementary reason.

    When pressed further, a distressingly large number of them then start singing hymns – a real dialog-stopper, though most of them do sing better than most lefties.

  67. #67 tiredofthesos
    August 23, 2008

    Concerning the creationist “science” that uses analogies of fruit and veg as “evidence” I must ask how do you manage not to scream “It’s a damnable CARROT, fer Thor’s sake!”

    Oh, and I didn’t bother reading his pissings, but if there’s any reason to do so, ban that shit FL, whose disappearance will, like the eating of Sir Robin’s minstrels, result in “much rejoicing.”

  68. #68 Seo
    August 23, 2008

    Thankss

  69. #69 ctw
    August 23, 2008

    JimV:

    Hi again. Thanks for the reply. Yes, I see how the two ideas get mixed there. However, the fact remains that assuming your transcription is essentially accurate, the question was when “rights” begin, not when “life” begins, and journalists who “quote” Warren as asking the latter are either just parroting one another or lying. Strange behavior for the supposed guardians of our liberty.

    – Charles

  70. #70 FL
    August 24, 2008

    “Oh, and I didn’t bother reading his pissings, but if there’s any reason to do so, ban that shit FL, whose disappearance will, like the eating of Sir Robin’s minstrels, result in ‘much rejoicing.'”

    I find such a response rather interesting, Tired. I think I’ve said my piece, but as I check back on this thread, it looks like you’ve got nothing by way of rational refutation of what I said.
    In fact, you in particular have offered NO rational response at all so far; you’ve not even engaged the points I offered, unlike some others.

    So NOW, suddenly, you pop up at the end of the line asking for me to be banned?
    (And even then, you fail to offer a single reason for your banning request?)

    Pitiful. Just plain Pee-tee-full.

    (How’s the grammar on that one Flint? Sound okay to you?)

  71. #71 FL
    August 24, 2008

    “Is it because PandasThumb is a science-education-themed weblog?”

    Trust me Mharri, PT is a religion-themed weblog too. Very much so.

    They can’t help it; sooner or later they get in the mood, and put religion-relevant threads or posts directly on the table.

    That’s when the FUN starts, dude!! :)

  72. #72 JimV
    August 24, 2008

    Charles,

    At the risk of becoming known as the king of off-topic comments, I’ll give one last response.

    I’m sympathetic to your general position, but in this specific case, my (short) google search did not find any mainstream media (search results included Time Magazine, Wall Street Journal, NY Daily News, LA Times, and Washington Post) who misquoted the actual question. (I googled Saddleback abortion question Obama McCain.) Only among conservative/religious commentators did I see conflation of the life/rights issues, such as here:

    http://nicedeb.wordpress.com/2008/08/17/faith-forum-video-obamamccain-on-abortion/

    (You can also see video snippets of the questions and answers there – by all means do not take my word for it.)

    Although off-topic, I think both your and my comments have a bit of relevance to the central topic here of creationism and how its proponents think. If you go to the site above (which I can not recommend except for purposes of illustration) you will see an example of what I said earlier about how such people frame issues, quite possibly without understanding that their assumptions are not universally shared, and do not have the force of logic or empirical truth.

    I will be happy to join you in writing complaints to any news media that you know of which which did misquote the questions. I agree that the journalism profession has gone way downhill since the days of Fred Friendly, especially in the areas of politics, economics, and science.

  73. #73 FL
    August 24, 2008

    Hey, permit me to offer one last question, something that just occurred to me.

    It’s definitely kewl that we’re having this discussion on this particular blog–no complaints a’tall–but since this thread topic was originally contributed to PandasThumb and is still sitting there nice and prominent, why are readers being kept from doing comments and discussion at PandasThumb itself?

  74. #74 ctw
    August 24, 2008

    Jim:

    I admittedly didn’t catalog the media instances which triggered my reaction. However, they can’t all have been RW nut-job sources because I watch/read none of that genre.

    My own quicky google search (prior to my initial query) yielded 100s of hits, and I assumed – perhaps incorrectly – that some significant number were MSM. If not, then your explanation – essentially that many RW sources predictably lied about the exchange – may be the explanation. Although that still leaves the question of how I encountered such sources.

    Another google search yielded a youtube clip of Obama’s reply, and as I would have guessed, the “pay-grade” part was a prelude to a longer, thoughtful, and nuanced response. So, suggestions that his response was dismissive, flip, a dodge, et al, also are essentially lies.

    Re the MSM decline in general, it is very depressing – although IMO a predictable consequence of its “stars” becoming overpaid entertainers instead of committed journalists. As they say, “wealth corrupts and absolute wealth corrupts absolutely” (or something like that).

    – Charles

  75. #75 Randy
    August 25, 2008

    Jason,

    I just posted a comment to an Aug 23 comment by another. Just wanted all to be aware that evidence for a young unverse may be mounting. Any unclear mathematics (or anything else) can be further explained upon request. Big bang model advocates will readily recognize the equation and will see that there is just as much a chance of the universe being young as old. Have a nice day. My post:

    You wrote: No, they don’t create evidence/thories/results that refute the age of the Universe.
    But that is not entirely true. You see, I was a presenter at the conference and offered a young-age solution to the universe using the Stefan-Boltzmann equation for a blackbody radiator. The revised equation allows for a full range of ages for the universe, from very old to very young. The revised Stefan equation is this: T4 = P tP / ? ks tL. T is temperature in Kelvins, tP is Planck time, ks is the groundfloor surface area of the universe at Planck time, tL is a local time anywhere from 6000 to 13.7 billion years, ? is the Stefan constant, taken together tP / ks tL signifies a surface area and P multiplied by that value signifies energy generated per unit surface area by the radiating blackbody – in this case, the universe.
    Unless the revised equation can be overthrown, the results are actually undeniable – one of the solutions to the universe is a young one.

  76. #76 nj
    August 28, 2008

    evidence for a young unverse may be mounting

    Perhaps. But a young universe? Not so much.

  77. #77 MartinM
    August 28, 2008

    Big bang model advocates will readily recognize the equation and will see that there is just as much a chance of the universe being young as old.

    Err…no. Competent physicists will recognise the fact that you are making things up, with no justification, and no consideration of the consequences. You can’t just go around changing basic laws of physics whenever it suits you. Change Stefan-Boltzmann, and you’ll have to change the Schroedinger equation, or do some serious violence to statistical mechanics. It’s your job to show that your modified equation is consistent with known physics and existing observations; can you do so?

    This leaves aside the minor details that a) the Universe doesn’t have a surface area, as such, and b) the temperature of the CMB is a function of the scale factor, not its rate of change, but showing basic consistency with reality is probably more important than establishing that your modification actually does what it’s supposed to.

  78. #78 Randy
    August 28, 2008

    Dear Martin M.

    I think you are pulling your rip cord way too early. Hold on for one minute and let me explain. Nobody is making anything up…I am not allowed to do that when deriving formulas or revising them. Two physicists and one astronomer have already looked at the equation with ‘no comment.’ If you know anything about peer-review, that is a very good sign. Yes, they are all creationists which works for me, but may not for you. That is why I wholeheartedly invite you to share the revised Stefan equation with your professors and any friends or acquaintances, but especially those qualified in physics and thermodynamics. Let me know their comments. I am a huge advocate of peer review. In reality, all I have done with the equation is a simple algebraic substitution for surface area. I am ready to explain all the details to anyone interested. Thanks.

  79. #79 Don
    August 29, 2008

    Where did everybody go? A comment was made on August 25th by someone actually saying something with substance and on topic. Rather than the drivel about cookies or ‘we’re right, you’re wrong’, or asking when do human rights begin. From the beginning of this blog entry until August 24th, it was averaging 12.2 comments per day. Then on August 25th someone actually posted something with some scientific ‘meat’ to it. After that it seems that all the rats (of either persuasion) went scurrying into the corners. Yes, I realize that there were 3 more comments made on the 28th, fortunately also on topic, but it seems that everyone else has forgotten how to type.

  80. #80 Frank Lovell
    November 7, 2008

    Jason,

    When will we see the next installment of your report on the ICC’08? Curious old-Earth evolutionists (me for one, at least) are anxious for more. I attended three prior ICCs (1990 and 1998 with Bob Schadewald, 2003 on my own) but was not able to make the ICC’08 as I had planned; I am mighty glad at least one other lion spent that event in that den of Daniels. Good report so far on it, your parts 1 and 2!

    THANKS!! — Frank Lovell, Louisville, KY

  81. #81 sohbet
    January 5, 2009

    thanks admin.

  82. #82 Bob Evans-aka Metsguy
    January 6, 2009

    JimV: “Recently pastor Rick Warren asked both Obama and McCain when a baby (or fetus) gains human status (rights). The answer that was wanted was “at conception”. My question is, what does the Bible actually say about this?”…”OTOH, there is that bit about G knowing us when we were in the womb-but it seems to me that could just as easily be a reference to G’s power to see the future.”

    You allude, JimV, to Psalm 139:13-16, but don’t actually cite the verses in your post. Since, I assume you asked the question in earnest, why not get it “out there” for those who might be interested, to ponder? This translation, from the original languages is from The New American Bible.

    “You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mothers womb. I praise you, so wonderfully you made me; wonderful are your works! my very self you knew; My bones were not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, fashioned as in the depths of of the earth.* Your eyes forsaw my actions; in your book all are written down; my days were shaped, before one came to be.”

    * “The depths of the earth: figurative language for the womb, stressing the hidden and mysterious operations that occur there.”

  83. #83 Raymond Minton
    January 7, 2009

    I presume the creationists didn’t know who you were Jason, or they would have reached for the tar and feathers. It was interesting that Snelling admitted there was no evidence for a young earth (there is in fact, tons of evidence to the contrary, if he ever bothered to look.) I wonder if believing something when there’s not a scrap of evidence to back it up is a concept he’d apply to any other endeavor. And if informing someone they’re wrong and giving them empirical evidence to that effect is “rude”, then so be it. The creationists have been less than charitable when they talk about us, and our motives. That you didn’t run screaming for the exits after 15 minutes of this claptrap is a testament to your character, because I certainly couldn’t have done the same. P.S. That cookie you ate looks like the yin-yang symbol!

  84. #84 Mark B.
    January 14, 2009

    Raymond Minton, the esteemed Dr. Snelling didn’t admit that there was no evidence for an old earth/universe. He was just asking the question ‘What if there wasn’t any evidence?’. The ‘god said it, I believe it, that settles it’ approach is what he is promoting.

  85. #85 mirc
    January 23, 2009

    mirc mırc mirç

  86. #86 Raymond Minton
    February 22, 2009

    Hey, Mirc: I didn’t as you, scumbag, bite me!

  87. #87 tuba buyukustun
    February 23, 2009

    By facing their problems squarely and publicly, and even taking Rosenhouse’s question with full seriousness and humility, the young-earth creationists are moving forward.
    They’re going to make serious progress over time, if they can stay mindful of those specific points where they need to improve.

    Thank you.

  88. #88 runescape accounts
    April 22, 2009

    runescape accounts isn’t just about building up your skills and your bank account. Sometimes you need to get out, meet new people…AND KILL THEM! After a certain amount of time you get to a point where some jerk desperately needs to catch a fireball in the face, or a sword between the ribs. It’s fun, but you should always remember that it’s an actual person behind the screen there. This means two things. Firstly it’s nice

    to be respectful to them( about the fact you just slaughtered their hapless hide!), and secondly – they will usually be much more challenging and runescape gold in how they fight back than stock runecraft monsters.But basics first. You want to pkill – go to the wilderness. Turn north and walk for ages and you’ll get there. The further into the wilderness you venture the more dangerous things become. The trick is in making sure it’s dangerous for the other guy and not you. Ideally

    you’ll want to attack someone of runescape power leveling,

    and you’ll want to hit them from the south. If you hit them from the south they need to run north to get away from you. The further north they go the sooner they hit wilderness level 20. Once they get there they can’t escape you by teleporting – you OWN them!

  89. #89 konteyner
    June 12, 2009

    Thanks for the reply. Yes, I see how the two ideas get mixed there. However, the fact remains that assuming your transcription is essentially accurate, the question was when “rights” begin, not when “life” begins, and journalists who “quote” Warren as asking the latter are either just parroting one another or lying. Strange behavior for the supposed guardians of our liberty.

  90. #90 su deposu
    June 12, 2009

    Wow, those slides are quote ore begging for refinement. If only I were dishonest and didn’t have evidence to cite to support my claims…

    I am completely loving this series and can’t wait for the next post! It’s the most fascinating thing I’ve read in a while.

  91. #91 prefabrik ev
    June 12, 2009

    Level stuff that gives creationism a bad name. He told me about all of the garbage papers they received for inclusion in the conference, and how difficult it was to single out the few good papers from the piles of nonsense…

  92. #92 konteyner
    June 12, 2009

    Any respectable black & white cookie would not have filling. Incidentally, the cookie in the photo looks about 60% black, 40% white. I’m not sure what that means … perhaps it was a cookie created on a Friday afternoon when the assembler was tired from the work week.

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