Pharyngula

Oh, no … we’ve almost missed it! Now we have to make a mad scrabble for birthday hats and noisemakers and cake and ice cream. It’s the big 6010th birthday for planet earth, according to Ed Darrell and Phil Plait and these guys in Austin. Hmmm. Maybe we should at least make a quick trip to the Dairy Queen.

Oh, wait. I don’t believe that crap. Neither do any of the people I linked to above. But some of the wacky people at World Net Daily do.

But the author of the book frequently described as the greatest history book ever written, said the world was created Oct. 23, 4004 B.C. – making it exactly 6,010 today.

In the 1650s, an Anglican bishop named James Ussher published his “Annals of the World,” subtitled, “The Origin of Time, and Continued to the Beginning of the Emperor Vespasian’s Reign and the Total Destruction and Abolition of the Temple and Commonwealth of the Jews.” First published in Latin, it consisted of more than 1,600 pages.

The book, now published in English for the first time, is a favorite of homeschoolers and those who take ancient history seriously. It’s the history of the world from the Garden of Eden to the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70.

<snicker> “homeschoolers and those who take ancient history seriously”. How can WND not be a parody site, I sometimes wonder.

Comments

  1. #1 Andy J
    October 23, 2007

    That article is a thinly disguised book ad. Its gross. Its organization is similar to the bible’s in that its paragraphs are numbered. Ick!

    What I dont get is if someone will intently read the bible and this garbage, why not read a book with real merit? I suppose some people really enjoy their one-horse-mind.

  2. #2 Alan Kellogg
    October 23, 2007

    You missed it, it’s now MMMMMMXI. MMMMMMX was last year. (No year 0.) Mathematically inconsiderate I know, but what can you do?

  3. #3 Bardiac
    October 23, 2007

    Are they accounting for the calendar changes (and eleven lost days) in the 18th century, when the English quit using Lady Day as the new year and such? Or maybe they don’t actually believe in math and physics anymore than geology?

  4. #4 Matthew
    October 23, 2007

    Today is also Mole Day (chemistry, not biology). I’m still waiting for the new-earthists to claim that this backs up Ussher.

  5. #5 Ed Darrell
    October 23, 2007

    There was the curse of Cassandra, in which the gods cursed Cassandra to accurately see the future, but to have no one believe her correct. A sure path to madness.

    We have to name a new curse: I nominate it “the Mencken Curse.” Those so cursed create parodies and hoaxes, rather like Mencken created the hoax that Millard Fillmore put the first plumbed bathtub in the White House — but like Mencken, the hoaxers are doomed to discover people actually believe the hoax to be true . . .

    I thought it was a hoax. WND thinks it’s history.

    You know, sometimes WND is dumber than the paper it isn’t even printed on.

  6. #6 Sastra
    October 23, 2007

    When they say they take things like ancient history “seriously,” they don’t mean they vet it through legitimate scholarship and the scientific method, same as they do other areas where they have an objective interest in the truth. No, they mean they measure it against their needs, their beliefs, their hopes, their family, and their lives.

    Ancient history is …ancient history. It makes no difference to the Big Thing — which is what it has to do with THEM. So this is serious stuff. It effects their relationship with God. It effects their comfort level. It effects them, personally. How could it get more serious than that?

  7. #7 lysa
    October 23, 2007

    Wow! Mother Earth looks pretty good for a grand ol’ dame of 6014 years old! I wonder what her secret is?

    Of course, she looks even better for a grand ol’ dame of 4.5 billion years old. And when you look that good, you have no need of a bunch of crazy creationists lying about your age for you.

    By the way, I’m told reliably today that the fires out here in my home state of Cali are proof that the Apocalypse is upon us, and I’ve been informed that we all need to get right with God. Let’s get on that, shall we?

  8. #8 negentropyeater
    October 23, 2007

    I can’t believe there really are people who believe this in the USA, in 2007 ? Did they go to school ? How old are they ?
    Do they use cars, have TV sets, accept to use antibiotics or X Rays when it’s required. Do they fly on planes ? Have seen a computer ?

    I mean, for example, far in the Jungles of Borneo, there are the Orang Asli, they still live with little contacts with the rest of the world. Now they are excused. But in the USA ?

  9. #9 Rey Fox
    October 23, 2007

    I guess it’s that wonderful consistancy that Huckabee talked about. Science is constantly making new discoveries. Religion just coasts on not only the same thousands-of-years-old book, but the 350-year old interpretation of the time scale. Change worries up the blood, you know.

  10. #10 ronsullivan@speakeasy.net
    October 23, 2007

    #7: Of course, she looks even better for a grand ol’ dame of 4.5 billion years old.

    To paraphrase Gloria Steinem: This is what 4.5 billion years old looks like.

  11. #11 Samuel
    October 23, 2007

    4004 Error: Logic Not Found.

    Ah, I’m such a nerd.

  12. #12 Corey Schlueter
    October 23, 2007

    Answers In Genesis is doing presentations at a church in my town. A representative wrote an article in the newspaper about how Christians do not know who Cain’s wife was, referring to the Scopes trial and Carl Sagan. The guy provides no evidence in the paper, other than she was a descendant of Adam and Eve.

    I am going wrote a letter to the editor and ask people if they approve incest marriages, why God waited until Moses to make laws, why AiG admits mutations are beneficial and harmful and that they know Cain and Abel were originally a Sumerian tale.

  13. #13 Tim
    October 23, 2007

    Oh, so that’s what that one person was talking about when she elliptically referred to today as an anniversary of some sort… I had no clue. Chances are that next year around this time if someone brings it up, I will still only vaguely recall.

  14. #14 has
    October 23, 2007

    “homeschoolers and those who take ancient history seriously”

    “Good morning, students. Today we shall be learning how to eat the classroom paste, again.”

  15. #15 Dan
    October 23, 2007

    Hey! It’s also “Islamo-fascism Awareness Week.”

    I can’t keep up, PZ. I need to start drinking something stronger, methinks.

  16. #16 Peter Metrinko
    October 23, 2007

    There’s an excellent new cartoon up at Russell’s Teapot: http://russellsteapot.com/

    “Those who take ancient history seriously” might want to read Israel Frankenstein’s “The God Unearthed.” He’s an archaeologist at Tel Aviv U. Strong support for the “they made it all up” argument.

  17. #17 Brian English
    October 23, 2007

    Israel Frankenstein’s “The God Unearthed.”

    I did a quick amazon search and found “The Bible unearted” by Neil Asher Silberman and Israel Finkelstein. Is this the book you recommend?

  18. #18 Samnell
    October 23, 2007

    “I did a quick amazon search and found “The Bible unearted” by Neil Asher Silberman and Israel Finkelstein. Is this the book you recommend?”

    I’m not Peter, but that’s the book.

  19. #19 Deborah
    October 23, 2007

    So is that 23 October GMT? Or EST?

    Down here in New Zealand, we are already well through the 24th. I guess we missed the party big time.

  20. #20 Crudely Wrott
    October 23, 2007

    Boy howdy. Any shelter in a storm, huh?

  21. #21 Crudely Wrott
    October 23, 2007

    Whoops, sent that too fast.

    I meant to continue in the vein of the god-wallopers clinging to any historical, cultural, or psychotic episode or ritual in order to crow, “See! Told ya!”

    Another weak effort from the general woo community.

    Has anyone done a comparative analysis of the brains of dead believers and dead non-believers? No? Isn’t it about time? I think there must be MRIs of both while living; has anyone compared them with regard to woo factor?

  22. #22 rich (richmanwisco)
    October 23, 2007

    You have to give the greeks amazing props for being able to stand up an entire civilization just 2500 years after the Big Guy lit the pilot light.

  23. #23 Zachary Kroger
    October 23, 2007

    The creationists never cease to amaze me.

    “In view of the fact that God limited the intelligence of man, it seems unfair that he did not also limit his stupidity.”
    –Konrad Adenauer

  24. #24 MikeM
    October 23, 2007

    WND isn’t a parody site??

    D’oh.

  25. #25 Brain Hertz
    October 23, 2007

    Are they accounting for the calendar changes (and eleven lost days) in the 18th century, when the English quit using Lady Day as the new year and such? Or maybe they don’t actually believe in math and physics anymore than geology?

    Well, of course that’s the beauty of pulling all of your source data out of your ass; you can safely ignore any of the mathematical or historical minutiae that you deem too complicated, and it doesn’t make any difference…
    ;-)

  26. #26 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    October 24, 2007

    Hey, MikeM (#23), if Chuck Norris reads this entry, you are in for a world of hurt.

  27. #27 Justin Moretti
    October 24, 2007

    Give Ussher his due – in 1650, this was probably pretty good stuff. It’s just that… well, there isn’t all that much that can stand up unaltered in the face of 350 years of scientific progress.

    Or am I missing something, and there was enough science known to indicate that it was crap even back then?

  28. #28 Sheldon
    October 24, 2007

    From the WND article”

    “Of course, there will be those who disagree with Ussher’s calculations of time – especially evolutionists who need billions of years to explain their theory of how life sprang from non-life and mutated from one-celled animals into human beings.”

    Forget about the billions of years needed to account for evolution, what about the 10s of thousands of years more needed to account for prehistory after the evolution of modern humans!

  29. #29 Shadow Boxer
    October 24, 2007

    According to Wikipedia, it’s October 22nd… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/October_22

  30. #30 Bob Munck
    October 24, 2007

    According to several online day-of-the-week calculators, Oct 23 4004 BC was a Sunday. That doesn’t seem to square with the Genesis timeline. Could there be a contradiction in the bible?

  31. #31 Cathy in Seattle
    October 24, 2007

    Happy Birthday World!

    [So this is what happens when one mixes science with religion.]

  32. #32 Master Mahan
    October 24, 2007

    Earth’s a Libra?

  33. #33 Ken Cope
    October 24, 2007

    This was written by my friend, Paradoctor, and I copy it here with his permission. Here on the Left Coast, it is still Tuesday:

    I write you today, October 23, to wish you all a happy Ussher Day, and to review the first decade of the Sabbath Millennium.

    As you may know, Bishop Ussher calculated, from a literal reading of the Bible, that the universe was created on October 23, 4004 B.C. I don’t know how he managed to get so specific*; so in honor of his amazing self-certitude, I propose that we celebrate each October 23 as Ussher Day.

    If we take his speculative literalism seriously, and add to it, then a remarkable conclusion follows: the Sabbath Millennium. You see, if the universe was created on October 23, 4004 B.C. and you take the missing year 0 into account, then it follows that the universe passed its 6000th year of existence on October 23, 1997; and it is now 6010 years old.

    Now, according to the same Bible that the bishop took literally, “a thousand years is as a day in His sight.” Therefore the year 6000 counts as the end of day 6, and the start of day 7. “And on the seventh day He rested.” Therefore this is the start of His Day off; a Sabbath that shall last until the Day ends, on October 23, 2997. During that time, do not expect Him to do any work at all.

    I trust that you all understand that the above is intended as a satire of literalism.

    Ten years have passed since the dawn of the Sabbath Millennium; and it has been a remarkable decade. Among other things, certain highly religious people have been acting… rather oddly, wouldn’t you say? The more literalistic, the odder! The Sabbath Millennium explains why; they are now running around unsupervised. The rest of us know how to behave ourselves without being watched every single moment, but not them. They are high-maintenance, are now unmaintained, and are therefore deteriorating, and will continue to do so for the next 990 years.

    *evidently the Bishop thought that the Universe is a Scorpio.

    P.S. Today, from 6:02 AM to 6:02 PM, is also Mole Day. 6.02 * 10^23.

  34. #34 Ben
    October 24, 2007

    Do they fly on planes ? Have seen a computer ?

    They fly airplanes. They operate nuclear reactors. They are presidential candidates.

    Try not to think about it too much.

  35. #35 Torbj÷rn Larsson, OM
    October 24, 2007

    If we need more evidence that churches are busy discussing their way into oblivion, I was just reminded in the news that the Church of Sweden , now unaffiliated with the state, has to decide whether to accept marriages based on love, ie allowing homosexuals same rights, tomorrow [sw. text only, sorry].

    I haven’t followed this in itself uninteresting religious issue. Homosexuals have had the right to get legally married out of church for some time now. The issue may still be offending to religious homosexuals but isn’t an important egalitarian problem.

    But as I understand it the state is pushing for equal rights on the last tie they have with the former state church. The legal standing of church marriages is, I think, CoS last remaining privilege. One can have different opinions on the manner and completeness of Sweden’s solution between state and church separation. But the legal standing of marriages is the purview of the state.

    It seems that church has its last chance to settle this amicably, and allow homosexual religious marriages. The alternative given is to throw out the institute all together and stop having religious marriages in Sweden. A possibility within this frame is to keep the ceremony and its legal stature but calling it something else.

    The later is exactly the compromise suggestion from the major non-conservative group, support a common institute but rename it from marriage to “cohabitation” (sw: samlevnad) and transfer the legal registration to the current non-religious procedure. (If for no other reason, i assume because registration procedures are extra costs.)

    There is a lot of interest groups in this as I understand it. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the choice will be exactly to throw out the institute and keep the ceremony, so fundamentalists can pretend that their church doesn’t perform homosexual “marriages”. [cynic] It is after all the remaining ceremony that brings most people and their money to the church. [/cynic]

    [As this is way outside my usual interests I may easily have misunderstood the press coverage. But hopefully someone more knowledgeable will correct my mistakes.]

  36. #36 Torbj÷rn Larsson, OM
    October 24, 2007

    If we need more evidence that churches are busy discussing their way into oblivion, I was just reminded in the news that the Church of Sweden , now unaffiliated with the state, has to decide whether to accept marriages based on love, ie allowing homosexuals same rights, tomorrow [sw. text only, sorry].

    I haven’t followed this in itself uninteresting religious issue. Homosexuals have had the right to get legally married out of church for some time now. The issue may still be offending to religious homosexuals but isn’t an important egalitarian problem.

    But as I understand it the state is pushing for equal rights on the last tie they have with the former state church. The legal standing of church marriages is, I think, CoS last remaining privilege. One can have different opinions on the manner and completeness of Sweden’s solution between state and church separation. But the legal standing of marriages is the purview of the state.

    It seems that church has its last chance to settle this amicably, and allow homosexual religious marriages. The alternative given is to throw out the institute all together and stop having religious marriages in Sweden. A possibility within this frame is to keep the ceremony and its legal stature but calling it something else.

    The later is exactly the compromise suggestion from the major non-conservative group, support a common institute but rename it from marriage to “cohabitation” (sw: samlevnad) and transfer the legal registration to the current non-religious procedure. (If for no other reason, i assume because registration procedures are extra costs.)

    There is a lot of interest groups in this as I understand it. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the choice will be exactly to throw out the institute and keep the ceremony, so fundamentalists can pretend that their church doesn’t perform homosexual “marriages”. [cynic] It is after all the remaining ceremony that brings most people and their money to the church. [/cynic]

    [As this is way outside my usual interests I may easily have misunderstood the press coverage. But hopefully someone more knowledgeable will correct my mistakes.]

  37. #37 Richard Harris, FCD
    October 24, 2007

    PZ, didn’t you notice the typo? Shoulda been World Nut Daily, eh.

  38. #38 Ross Nixon
    October 24, 2007

    Ussher calculated, from a literal reading of the Bible, that the universe was created on October 23, 4004 B.C.

    No. He worked the year out literally.
    The month and day is a ‘best guess’.

    The literal year is based on several assumptions, such as no gaps in the genealogies. Depending on how you read these, the date of creation could have easily been 50 years or more earlier. That’s why Young earth creationists generously offer the 6,000 to 10,000 age range for the earth.

    What I have always wondered is, if the earth is billions of years old, why does it look so young?

  39. #39 Tom
    October 24, 2007

    6010 sounds curiously precise. It reminds me of the old joke about the museum security guard who was asked by a visitor how old the dinosaur skeleton was. “That dinosaur is one hundred million and three years old” he replied.

    “Wow, that’s so precise” said the visitor, “how can you be so accurate?” The security guard replied “Well, it was 100 million years old when I started working here, and that was 3 years ago”

  40. #40 tinyfrog
    October 24, 2007

    Oh, come on guys. You just need to read the article in its proper context!
    http://tinyfrog.wordpress.com/2007/10/24/wnd-everything-that-is-was-created-6010-years-ago-today/

  41. #41 MFB
    October 24, 2007

    Steven Jay Gould, with his charming blend of sanguinity and arch pedantry, had a look at Ussher and concluded that he wasn’t so dumb after all. (“Fall in the House of Ussher”, I think it was called.) Also that Ussher was quite a religious liberal in his day, actually stooping to debate with the Godless Catholics — putting him way ahead of Ms. Coulter, for instance.

    Plus he dressed better than her. Fab ruff, Mr. Primate Of All Ireland!

  42. #42 Greg
    October 24, 2007

    I never realized the earth was born on Mole Day.

  43. #43 David Marjanovi?, OM
    October 24, 2007

    (No year 0.)

    Actually, that’s wrong. The dates given for Augustus’s birth, death, and lifetime only add up if there was a year 0.

    Sure, the Romans had no concept of 0, but no concept of 0 is necessary. Just “the year in which Jesus Christ was born”, the years after that year, and the years before that year.

    —————-

    Are they accounting for the calendar changes (and eleven lost days) in the 18th century, when the English quit using Lady Day as the new year and such?

    Yes, the change from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar is accounted for.

    ————–

    I can’t believe there really are people who believe this in the USA, in 2007 ? Did they go to school ?

    No. They were homeschooled.

    ————

    According to several online day-of-the-week calculators, Oct 23 4004 BC was a Sunday. That doesn’t seem to square with the Genesis timeline.

    Of course it does. The 7th day is the Shabbat.

    ————

    Comment 33 is very, very interesting!

    ————

    What I have always wondered is, if the earth is billions of years old, why does it look so young?

    :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    ROTFL! Good one. :-)

  44. #44 David Marjanovi?, OM
    October 24, 2007

    (No year 0.)

    Actually, that’s wrong. The dates given for Augustus’s birth, death, and lifetime only add up if there was a year 0.

    Sure, the Romans had no concept of 0, but no concept of 0 is necessary. Just “the year in which Jesus Christ was born”, the years after that year, and the years before that year.

    —————-

    Are they accounting for the calendar changes (and eleven lost days) in the 18th century, when the English quit using Lady Day as the new year and such?

    Yes, the change from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar is accounted for.

    ————–

    I can’t believe there really are people who believe this in the USA, in 2007 ? Did they go to school ?

    No. They were homeschooled.

    ————

    According to several online day-of-the-week calculators, Oct 23 4004 BC was a Sunday. That doesn’t seem to square with the Genesis timeline.

    Of course it does. The 7th day is the Shabbat.

    ————

    Comment 33 is very, very interesting!

    ————

    What I have always wondered is, if the earth is billions of years old, why does it look so young?

    :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

    ROTFL! Good one. :-)

  45. #45 Russell Blackford
    October 24, 2007

    I’m looking forward to reading it one day (maybe when the world is 7010 years old). Seriously though, it’d of historical interest to see what the good bish actually said. Maybe someone could even write a fantasy novel set in this alternative reality.

  46. #46 Brian
    October 24, 2007

    I think the most eggregious part of this article, and I agree with others that it’s really a book ad that doesn’t even pretend to be objective journalisim, is that it starts by saying that no one knows how old the earth is.

    This is just false and it’s just like the funddies to say “well gee whizz that’s a hard problem that I can’t begin to think about, so no one else can either…but wait! I have this really old book that can tell me everything!”

    No, no one knows down to the day when the earth was created. We just have pretty good approximations for something that happened billions of years ago.

    Brian

  47. #47 David Marjanovi?, OM
    October 24, 2007

    The accretion of a planet out of dust takes a bit longer than a day anyway…

  48. #48 David Marjanovi?, OM
    October 24, 2007

    The accretion of a planet out of dust takes a bit longer than a day anyway…

  49. #49 dae
    October 24, 2007

    OMG! I’ve been teaching Ussher’s calculations in a light-hearted manner to demonstrate how far we’ve come since the 17th century in understanding the concept of geologic time. Now I must posit his interpretation of history as a legitimate alternative to what I’ve been teaching for the last few decades. How ironic that as we enter the 21st century we need to return to the 17th and 18th centuries for inspiration from the likes of Ussher and Paley.

  50. #50 Joe Fredette
    October 24, 2007

    Hey! I was homeschooled! (3rd grade – graduation)
    Hey! I care about Ancient History!
    Hey! I’m not an IDiot!
    Hey, the earths (way) older than 6011 years old. Silly Creationists, leave the attempts at science to the smart people.

    *sighs*

  51. #51 Sarcastro
    October 24, 2007

    The dates given for Augustus’s birth, death, and lifetime only add up if there was a year 0.

    Born 63 BC, died 14 AD, lived just under 77 years… adds up just fine without an extra year.

    Sure, the Romans had no concept of 0, but no concept of 0 is necessary. Just “the year in which Jesus Christ was born”, the years after that year, and the years before that year.

    But they didn’t start using that reckoning until over five centuries after Caesar Augustus’ death (and negative numbers had to wait another millenium, they used special quadratics for reckoning the difference between BC and AD before that). By the reckoning of the time, Gaius Octavius Thurinus – the future Augustus – was born 8 days before the Kalends of October in the year of the consulship of M. Tullius Cicero and C. Antonius Hibrida and he died 14 days before the Kalends of September in the year of the consulship of Sex. Pompeius and Sex. Appullius. Whip out ye olde list o’ consuls and you get a bit under 77 years between the two dates.

  52. #52 David Marjanovi?
    October 24, 2007

    Strange. Then where did I read that it doesn’t add up? ~:-|

    But they didn’t start using that reckoning until over five centuries after Caesar Augustus’ death (and negative numbers had to wait another millenium

    That much I knew.

  53. #53 David Marjanovi?
    October 24, 2007

    Strange. Then where did I read that it doesn’t add up? ~:-|

    But they didn’t start using that reckoning until over five centuries after Caesar Augustus’ death (and negative numbers had to wait another millenium

    That much I knew.

  54. #54 Mother Earth
    October 24, 2007

    What I have always wondered is, if the earth is billions of years old, why does it look so young?

    Why thank you, young man. The secret of my looks is a long, luxurious primordial mud mask followed by a facial oxygen treatment. I also erode regularly to keep the wrinkles down. You wouldn’t guess it now, but I had the worst case of facial eruptions when I was young! Mars still hasn’t done anything about that horrible crater in his face, poor dear…

  55. #55 Pierce R. Butler
    October 24, 2007

    Hey, I scooped this breakthrough back in January! [/chest-thumping]

  56. #56 Voting Present
    October 24, 2007

    It’s a good opportunity to laugh at medieval monks for being really bad at math. Yes, they put Jeezus’ birth in Year One AD, and preceded it immediately with Year One BC.

    Complete nonsense, but as a result all of those BC and BCE dates you see everywhere are wrong. Wrong, as in, they don’t fall on a meaningful number line. If you want to keep the current year in place, you have to mentally translate Caesar’s assassination in “44 BC” into year -43. Pain in the butt. Bad monks. Watch out for bad monks.
    .

  57. #57 Matt
    October 24, 2007

    I love this bit: “Ussher traveled throughout Europe, gathering much information from the actual historical documents. Many of these documents are no longer available, having been destroyed since the time of his research.” Yeah, um, convenient that is. Just like the Amazing Tablets of Moroni got, er, misplaced. These godguys are too much!

  58. #58 Jim Thomerson
    October 24, 2007

    I’ve read Gould’s comments on Ussher, and done some more reading on him on my own. He was actually accused of heresy. My impression is that he did a very scholarly job, as good as could be done at the time. As I understand it, there is a 300 year gap between the end of the old testiment and the beginning of the new, so consulting other sources would have been necessary. Several other learned folks considered the problem of the origin of the earth and came up with results slightly different from Ussher. I suspect a large percentage of his history is very similiar to what we think today.

  59. #59 DDeden
    October 24, 2007

    I can’t believe there really are people who believe this in the USA, in 2007 ? [Believe it, nonbeliever]

    I mean, for example, far in the Jungles of Borneo, there are the Orang Asli, they still live with little contacts with the rest of the world. Now they are excused. But in the USA ? Posted by: negentropyeater

    Orang Asli are native to the Malay peninsula, far west of the island of Borneo. The local tribes in Borneo are collectively called the Pribumi (“before Earth” [so I guess older than 6,000 yrs old]) like the Penan people that will soon be culturally extinct along with the jungles that are now rapidly becoming oil palm estates eroding tons of surface silt into the coral reefs offshore every rainy day. But it’ll all grow back give or take another 6,000 years.

  60. #60 dwarf zebu
    October 24, 2007

    By the way, I’m told reliably today that the fires out here in my home state of Cali are proof that the Apocalypse is upon us, and I’ve been informed that we all need to get right with God. Let’s get on that, shall we?

    ‘K I’m on it. I told the big sky daddy to either put up or shut up; clear up this fire mess so PZ can come down for his conference or else produce sonny boy over Mt. Soledad, pronto!

    No answer so far…

  61. #61 Onymous
    October 24, 2007

    LMX
    or LMXI according to Kellog

  62. #62 Mena
    October 24, 2007

    Onymous:
    That’s only 960 or 961. To condense this, just put a line over the V (I don’t think that the HTML that this site accepts allows that) to indicate that it is a multiple of 1000: VMX

  63. #63 Alan Kellogg
    October 24, 2007

    4,004 + 2,007 = 6,011

    :p

  64. #64 Maronan
    October 28, 2007

    Alan Kellogg– There’s no year 0. The concept of zero was imported from the Muslims (and discovered by the Mayans independently) so it’s heretical.

    That said, PZ, you should really put aside the usual ranting against creationists. The earth is roughly 45 million times older than the oldest humans can hope to live in the most modern countries we have today; after 4.5 billion years, don’t you think Mother Earth is entitled to lie about her age a little?

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