Pharyngula

God’s timeline

I hand out a geological timeline in my introductory biology course, and I expect the students to learn it. It’s a busy little sheet of paper. But have you ever wondered what the old earth creationist timeline would look like?

i-60d763e17d2cf446a8c687e2ea52eae2-allcreation.gif

The young earth creationist timeline would be a fraction of pixel high.

The intelligent design creationist timeline would be the same as the one above, except god would be diddling creation imperceptibly and invisibly throughout. At least it gives the old man something to do.

Comments

  1. #1 The Science Pundit
    April 17, 2009

    [nitpick]That first entry in the right column should read “God always existed but wasn’t doing anything that we are aware of.”[/nitpick]

  2. #2 Holbach
    April 17, 2009

    Make it as simple for the creationists as possible, and just as brief:

    The reason for it all: A god.

  3. #3 Josh
    April 17, 2009

    I wonder if god felt that lunchtime, Pre-Sausage, was rather dull. I know that I personally wouldn’t have wanted to live a pre-sausage universe. Perhaps there was some divne depression in those times? Shouldn’t the philosophers be working on this question?

  4. #4 shamar
    April 17, 2009

    lol…God is a lazy sob, isn’t he?
    If not lazy, he’s at least one hell of a procrastinator! And I thought I was bad……

  5. #5 Craig Melancon
    April 17, 2009

    Wait. Why isn’t this the Young Earth Creationist Timeline?

  6. #6 Strangest brew
    April 17, 2009

    No doubt…god is a lazy good for nothin lazy bones…leaves it all to his deluded followers to make it up as they go along…and cannot be arsed to confirm or deny nothing…epic fail really…waste of energy…and not particularly bright or caring!…in fact a bona fide …Git!

  7. #7 Josh
    April 17, 2009

    I’d love to see one of these where a number of creation myths were put up side by side.

  8. #8 cervantes
    April 17, 2009

    Now hold on a minute — how do you know God wasn’t following the advice of former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders for all eternity, until he finally got tired of it? Could be, you know. Would explain a lot . . .

  9. #9 darius
    April 17, 2009

    Science Pundit (#1): I’m pretty sure that YECs believe the Bible to be the complete and infallible word of their creator. If it weren’t complete, how would they calculate their ridiculous timelines? And the first line says “In the beginning,” so he couldn’t have been doing anything before that.

    As far as the sausage goes, if man was created in god’s image, wouldn’t there always have been at least one sausage? (Yes, horrible joke, I’m aware.)

  10. #10 MosesZD
    April 17, 2009

    Perfect. It’s just perfect.

    Though, if I were god, I would have invented Bacon very early in the process…

  11. #11 Ahnald Brownshwagga the Monkey
    April 17, 2009

    @ P.Z.

    Please include the following in the bottom left:

    “God begins existing as a mental representation when one or more rather average hominid species start naively personifying nature.”

    Rather unwieldy but, I submit, rather accurate too.

  12. #12 Dancaban
    April 17, 2009

    Sub-pixel. Best way to describe a creationist.

  13. #13 Strangest brew
    April 17, 2009

    In plain unadulterated language to theists…’Fuck off with this idiocy’…life is to short!

  14. #14 Josh
    April 17, 2009

    As far as the sausage goes, if man was created in god’s image, wouldn’t there always have been at least one sausage? (Yes, horrible joke, I’m aware.)

    *groan*

    That was actually painful. Well done…

  15. #15 RobertDW
    April 17, 2009

    Science Pundit, the bible clearly shows that God, if he was doing anything, wasn’t doing it in this universe:

    In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

    So, because nothing existed before God made the universe, all God could do was, well, mental masturbation…

    (He also didn’t have a kazoo)

  16. #16 Kimpatsu
    April 17, 2009

    @TSP:
    [nitpick]That first entry in the right column should read “God always existed but wasn’t doing anything that we are aware of.”[/nitpick]
    No, that’s not a nitpick, because the creotards wil ltake it and scream, “See! The evilutionists are wrong about EVERYTHING!!!!”
    (Feel free to imagine the mouth frothing at they scream this line. But you are right; it should be corrected.)

  17. #17 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 17, 2009

    Holy shit that’s funny.

  18. #18 Ahnald Brownshwagga the Monkey
    April 17, 2009

    159
    —– or 0.002544
    62500

    That’s how many pixels the YEC timeline is.

  19. #19 heddle
    April 17, 2009

    The old earth creationist timeline is the one on the left, also correctly labeled science. The one on the right is the YEC timeline. Thanks PZ, for highlighting the difference.

  20. #20 Tim Janger
    April 17, 2009

    @#8 i think i already proposed that theory and everyone got pissed off

  21. #21 Ahnald Brownshwagga the Monkey
    April 17, 2009

    @ my attempt to write 0.002544, the number of pixels comprising the YEC side, as a fraction:

    FAIL

    Palm to forehead.

  22. #22 KemaTheAtheist
    April 17, 2009

    I love the pixel thing. That’s awesome. It always amazes me to think just how long 13 billion years is and this makes it just a little bit easier to comprehend.

  23. #23 Josh
    April 17, 2009

    That was a nice attempt at snark there, Heddle, but you know full well that sarcasm works best when the brush stroke isn’t so broad as to be innacurate.

  24. #24 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 17, 2009

    So Heddle, does the Big Bang translate to “Good Sneezed” in OEC?

  25. #25 MPM
    April 17, 2009

    Look how he spends his time, forty-three species of parrots! Nipples for men!

    If I were creating the world I wouldn’t mess about with butterflies and daffodils. I would have started with lasers, eight o’clock, Day One!

  26. #26 Ahnald Brownshwagga the Monkey
    April 17, 2009

    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Not sneezed. Farted. See Family Guy clip.

    Or it could be that during that timeless void bible-god was masturbating, and only ejaculated about 6000 years ago.

  27. #27 KemaTheAtheist
    April 17, 2009

    I’d love to see one of these where a number of creation myths were put up side by side.

    I’ll see what I can do. I was already writing a script for a video about all the things that Christianity stole from other religions. It should be pretty easy to expand on it from there. This should be fun.

  28. #28 E.V.
    April 17, 2009

    I wonder if god felt that lunchtime, Pre-Sausage, was rather dull.

    Which begs the question, where did/does god pinch a loaf? If all those souls in heavens have mouths, they have anuses too and all that goes in between. Are there loggers who cut down trees for paper mills in heaven? Bidet’s with a sewer system? Angelic plumbers? Does one lose one’s genitalia upon entering the Pearly Gates? If not, does one need condoms in paradise or are all the “little swimmers” ghosts too? Why would one still carry his own block and tackle if he can’t procreate? Do the she-angels lose their nipples and become seamless like Barbie?? Who makes the robes for an afterlife or is Heaven one giant nudist colony (bring your own towel!!!)? This creationism/afterlife stuff is complex. (wanders off in a daze)

  29. #29 Giford
    April 17, 2009

    To be fair, between 10 BYA and 5 BYA (a third the length of the chart), there’s not much difference between the two…

    Gif

  30. #30 CalGeorge
    April 17, 2009

    God = the original superfluous man.

  31. #31 Zeno
    April 17, 2009

    And to think that I once taught catechism in a Catholic school (years, years ago, but not visible on the above timeline; I was young then) and drew on the board a timeline for events since the start of the universe. I had to write “not to scale” next to it because otherwise I wouldn’t have room to mark any events in human history. At least with Catholic students I didn’t get any guff about “6000 years” when I labeled the line with “billions”.

  32. #32 KemaTheAtheist
    April 17, 2009

    Or it could be that during that timeless void bible-god was masturbating, and only ejaculated about 6000 years ago.

    I think you got it! For all those billions of years before 6000 years ago, God was just masturbating, but he couldn’t knock one off. That’s why he was so pissed through the Old Testament! And the reason we don’t see him anymore is because he got tired and took a nap without cleaning up his mess!

    He does exist!

  33. #33 NewEnglandBob
    April 17, 2009

    I thought I heard kazoo music. I also thawt I sawr a puddy tat.

  34. #34 Josh
    April 17, 2009

    I was already writing a script for a video about all the things that Christianity stole from other religions.

    Oh, I can’t wait for this…

    @E.V., I would think that since there seems to be a, at least not-uncommon??, view of biological processes as being “dirty,” then presumably god, who is perfect, wouldn’t ever do something like defecate? I dunno*. That provokes still another question, though: down here on Earth, was there defecation before The Fall?

    *I gotta tell ya, too, that I think this was the first time I ever contemplated the Christian God taking a dump. It’s going to be a minute before I can even venture through the images spawned by rest of your comment…

    But I always know where my towel is, so the nudist think isn’t a big deal.

  35. #35 E.V.
    April 17, 2009

    I’ve got it! All those aeons of time when God was twiddling his thumbs? All the souls who ever existed and will ever exist were hanging out with him as little amorphous blobs and pestered him to no end, so the all-knowing ever present deity decided to create the earth (with major overkill on all the background design) and stuff those souls into meat suits with amnesia where they would be forced to compete to see if they would be tortured for ever and ever or get back into heaven. Ahh, another brilliant plan by God!

  36. #36 MPM
    April 17, 2009

    #8 – It is the YEC timeline. It says so at the top of the chart.

    The OEC timeline would have God starting the universe 13.7 BYA, and the lines would be identical down to about “all human evolution”, where he suddenly steps in and says “this variety of hominid that’s been evolving for so long…this is made in my image. This species is now capable of all sins against me. Congratulations.”

  37. #37 Claudia83
    April 17, 2009

    I’ve just started Neil Shubin’s “Your Inner Fish” and am in constant amazement at the evolutionary process. I have a question, though, that may seem pretty dim, but this timeline (the good side of it anyway) shows that evolution kinda snowballed at the end up to present day. Why is this? And are we still experiencing this “roll” we’ve been on?

  38. #38 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 17, 2009

    Nothing is pre-sausage. Sausage is eternal.

  39. #39 E.V.
    April 17, 2009

    Nothing is pre-sausage. Sausage is eternal.

    So God is a pig?

  40. #40 toomanytribbles
    April 17, 2009

    that’s one long LoL

  41. #41 vitriolage
    April 17, 2009

    This was kinda lame…

    Then I guess, you really can’t make creationists or IDiots interesting so it’s a moot point.

  42. #42 Josh
    April 17, 2009

    In other news, did anyone see this:

    http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2009/04/15/2009-04-15_yankees_fan_sues_nypd_kicked_out_of_stadium_for_using_restroom_during_god_bless_.html

    I have to hope that there is way more to this than the story suggests.

  43. #43 ricardos
    April 17, 2009
    I was already writing a script for a video about all the things that Christianity stole from other religions.

    Oh, I can’t wait for this…

    The first part of the movie Zeitgeist does that.

  44. #44 Michelle R
    April 17, 2009

    Aah, God’s Work is truly magnificient indeed.
    …LAME.

  45. #45 Dark Matter
    April 17, 2009

    Which begs the question, where did/does god pinch a loaf?

    Mississippi, Texas, or possibly Alabama ;)

  46. #46 KemaTheAtheist
    April 17, 2009

    In other news, did anyone see this:

    http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2009/04/15/2009-04-15_yankees_fan_sues_nypd_kicked_out_of_stadium_for_using_restroom_during_god_bless_.html

    I have to hope that there is way more to this than the story suggests.

    Doesn’t seem like there is anything more to it. I hope he wins millions from those pricks.

  47. #47 Phillycook
    April 17, 2009

    With all the references to towels and sneezing, I was reminded of the Great Green Arkleseizure – http://discordia.wikia.com/wiki/Great_Green_Arkleseizure

  48. #48 Pierce R. Butler
    April 17, 2009

    Exactly as with sausage, you wouldn’t have wanted to see just how, or of what, the universe was made.

  49. #49 Darby
    April 17, 2009

    Then there’s Eddie Izzard’s take on the Beginning (some naughty language bits):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEu0cJQYOIA&feature=related

  50. #50 Lynna Howard
    April 17, 2009

    In the Mormon Mythology, God does have something to do. He’s up there begetting spirit children with his many angelic, blonde, angel-like wives. These are the kids waiting to be born on earth, and if they don’t find their way into a good Mormon family, they end up in an ungodly family. This is one of many reasons why Mormon women on earth have so many kids — if they don’t have ‘em they’re denying the little ones a chance to grow up in a godly household.

    Mormon men are also busy in the CK (Celestial Kingdom) after they die. They get more than one wife there and can be interactive with same.

  51. #51 Josh
    April 17, 2009

    Doesn’t seem like there is anything more to it. I hope he wins millions from those pricks.

    Yeah. What I meant was that I was hoping the article misreported what happened and that they weren’t really the pricks they appear to be. Probably too much to hope for.

  52. #52 Becca Stareyes
    April 17, 2009

    Claudia83 @ #37

    I think things did pick up once sexual reproduction came about, but some of the squished-ness of the timeline is because we’re focusing on the peculiar type of endothermic land-fish that we are, so we keep picking up the differentiation of smaller and smaller groups that we came from*. If we were self-aware, tool-using squid, we’d be a lot more interested in molluskian evolution, and all those chordates would get ignored.

    * Birds are an exception, and the dinosaur extinction, but birds are still our cousins and food sources. So are the land plants, for that matter.

  53. #53 SteveM
    April 17, 2009

    Yeah. What I meant was that I was hoping the article misreported what happened and that they weren’t really the pricks they appear to be. Probably too much to hope for.

    I remember this story when it was first reported (after the arrest, before the lawsuit). The Yankee management really are the pricks they appear to be. There are many similarly outrageous occurrences at Yankee Stadium.

    But back to the YEC’s…

    The OEC timeline would have God starting the universe 13.7 BYA, and the lines would be identical down to about “all human evolution”, where he suddenly steps in and says “this variety of hominid that’s been evolving for so long…this is made in my image. This species is now capable of all sins against me. Congratulations.”

    This is pretty close to what I was taught in catechism. That the garden of eden story was a metaphor for God not creating Man out of “whole cloth” but just endowing him (after evolving naturally) with “consciousness”, thus seperating us from the animals. That is what the whole “knowledge of Good and evil” is about. Animals do not know good and evil, they just are. Only Man has the concept good and evil and that is what distinguishes us from the animals. (at least that is what they taught me in catechism).

  54. #54 Neuroslicer
    April 17, 2009

    I never sausage a thing!

  55. #55 Josh
    April 17, 2009

    The Yankee management really are the pricks they appear to be. There are many similarly outrageous occurrences at Yankee Stadium.

    And my opinion of our species drops yet another notch.

    Animals do not know good and evil, they just are.

    Huh. One of the events that precipitated my slow rise from the depths of Christianity* was a visiting Jehovah’s Witness that told me animals have no hope of an afterlife because “they have no lifeline with god.”

    *I realize that there is debate regarding whether JWs are classified as Christians. I don’t see that as material here. It certainly wasn’t to my young childhood self during that particular conversation.

  56. #56 raven
    April 17, 2009

    I have a question, though, that may seem pretty dim, but this timeline (the good side of it anyway) shows that evolution kinda snowballed at the end up to present day. Why is this? And are we still experiencing this “roll” we’ve been on?

    Good question. Not entirely clear.

    For the first few billion years, the earth was reducing and free oxygen was absent. The photosynthetic prokaryotes produced it, life. For 2 billion years, the earth rusted as free oxygen was soaked up by iron and other minerals.

    The first eukaryotes were single celled and came much later. It was only after oxygen was abundant and eukaryotes started forming colonies that metazoans got going.

    Some scientists claim that life is getting better at evolution and it is speeding up. Don’t know if there is any data on that or if it is only a conjecture.

  57. #57 Zach
    April 17, 2009

    quasar sounds too much like quesadilla and makes me hungry

  58. #58 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 17, 2009

    I never sausage a thing!

    Have you been driving on I-95 near the North / South Carolina border recently?

  59. #59 Margaret's Cat
    April 17, 2009

    This is pretty close to what I was taught in catechism. That the garden of eden story was a metaphor for God not creating Man out of “whole cloth” but just endowing him (after evolving naturally) with “consciousness”, thus seperating us from the animals. That is what the whole “knowledge of Good and evil” is about. Animals do not know good and evil, they just are. Only Man has the concept good and evil and that is what distinguishes us from the animals. (at least that is what they taught me in catechism).

    But according to the bible, god didn’t give “the knowledge of good & evil” to people. People chose that for themselves at the suggestion of a talking snake and god punished them for making that choice. So the catechism you were taught says that people were just animals before they ate the apple that the snake was actually god?

  60. #60 PeteK
    April 17, 2009

    God need’t be an “old man”. Such an infinite, immaterial non physical entity would be incomprehensible and unfathomable, and hence meaningless even to discuss, let alone twiddle thumbs.

    Old Earth creation doesn’t have to be based on Judeo-Christianity either. It could simply refer to a creative agency that underpins reality and explains the universe, and its contents, etc…Creation is the expression of physical laws that underpin the cosmos, and that need explanation..

    Notice something interesting – there isn’t a third column, to explain the deity. Or a 4th, to explain the explainer, and so on!

  61. #61 Minervasp73
    April 17, 2009

    Ooooh!! It’s a POLL!

    Take our Poll

    Oh my ‘God’
    Should sports fans be allowed to move around during “God Bless America”?

    Yes. A paying fan should be allowed to move around whenever – except when in danger.

    No. It’s disrespectful and shouldn’t be tolerated.

    I don’t care. I never go to sporting events.

  62. #62 E.V.
    April 17, 2009

    God need’t be an “old man”. Such an infinite, immaterial non physical entity would be incomprehensible and unfathomable, and hence meaningless even to discuss, let alone twiddle thumbs.

    Way to ruin the joke, Captain Obvious.

    Mormons, some Catholics and many Christian Fundies (y’now, the people that buy into Creationism) believe in the literal bodily resurrection of the person in the hereafter. We’re just having a good time at their expense.

  63. #63 KemaTheAtheist
    April 17, 2009

    Then there’s Eddie Izzard’s take on the Beginning (some naughty language bits):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEu0cJQYOIA&feature=related

    Ricky Gervais’ version is really good too.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaEj3g5GOYA

  64. #64 SteveM
    April 17, 2009

    But according to the bible, god didn’t give “the knowledge of good & evil” to people. People chose that for themselves at the suggestion of a talking snake and god punished them for making that choice. So the catechism you were taught says that people were just animals before they ate the apple that the snake was actually god?

    No, I just expressed myself badly (as usual). The point is that the whole story is a metaphor. What we wee tauht is that there was no literal “serpent” or “tree” or even “garden”. In the story, God didn’t give us the knowledge, but did give us the freedom to choose to acquire that knowledge. Regardless of the details the point is that it is that knowledge that seperates us from animals.

  65. #65 Emmet, OM
    April 17, 2009

    The young earth creationist timeline would be a fraction of pixel high.

    A very tiny fraction. Looked at the other way, if 6,000 years was a single pixel high, the whole linear time graph for 15bn years would need to be 0.41 miles high (assuming 96ppi). At least it’d keep the creationists busy? scrolling.

  66. #66 Sastra
    April 17, 2009

    Peter K #360 wrote:

    God need’t be an “old man”. Such an infinite, immaterial non physical entity would be incomprehensible and unfathomable, and hence meaningless even to discuss, let alone twiddle thumbs.

    Right. An incomprehensible thing of that sort would of course be beyond anything in our human experience — especially anthropomorphic qualities such as being an agent, or forming things creatively for purposes.

    Old Earth creation doesn’t have to be based on Judeo-Christianity either. It could simply refer to a creative agency that underpins reality and explains the universe, and its contents, etc…Creation is the expression of physical laws that underpin the cosmos, and that need explanation.

    “Creative agency?” Dang, something familiar and anthropomorphic accidentally snuck into the non-Judeo-Christian God Who’s Nothing at All like an “Old Man.” But just take out that part, and God is looking much more unfathomable again.

    Which is a good thing. I wouldn’t know what to do with a God that didn’t satisfy a reasonable expectation of Total Incomprehensibility. God has to be really, really BIG to impress the sophisticated, and not trip on science.

  67. #67 Margaret's Cat
    April 17, 2009

    No, I just expressed myself badly (as usual). The point is that the whole story is a metaphor. What we wee tauht is that there was no literal “serpent” or “tree” or even “garden”. In the story, God didn’t give us the knowledge, but did give us the freedom to choose to acquire that knowledge. Regardless of the details the point is that it is that knowledge that seperates us from animals.

    You did not express yourself badly, but I did since I used the same metaphor to try to express my objections. Let’s see if I can do better.

    If I understand correctly, the “metaphorical meaning” of the story seems to be that knowledge (which distinguishes us from the other animals) was not given to us by any god, but that we took that knowledge for ourselves, and god has been royally pissed at us ever since for doing so. I certainly agree that what knowledge we have we got without the help of any god, and that, if there were a god, it would not like it that we had achieved any knowledge. What I can’t understand is why any religion would teach such a thing, since it makes a god both unnecessary and inimical to our best interests?

  68. #68 CJO
    April 17, 2009

    I like to read the expulsion from the Garden as an allegorical myth of the rise of agriculture. The Garden is the idyllic life of the hunter-gatherer or the pastoral nomad. The knowledge represented by the fruit is settled agriculture.

    “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
    and have eaten of the tree
    of which I commanded you,
    ‘You shall not eat of it,’
    cursed is the ground because of you;
    in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
    thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
    and you shall eat the plants of the field.
    By the sweat of your face
    you shall eat bread,
    till you return to the ground,
    for out of it you were taken;
    for you are dust,
    and to dust you shall return.”
    –Genesis 3:17-19

  69. #69 NixNoctua
    April 17, 2009

    *I realize that there is debate regarding whether JWs are classified as Christians.

    I was little when my mom went through a JW phase, but it seemed that they didn’t consider themselves christian. Kinda weird, but they do believe all the weird jesus shit, so they kind of are.

  70. #70 SteveM
    April 17, 2009

    Margaret’s Cat @67:

    I could be that I am mixing my catechism with my own interpretation (it has been a long time since 7th grade) but I do clearly remember that my priest at the time was what I would call quite liberal. There was no denying evolution or science in any way. Genesis was taught as metaphor; divinely inspired but still a purely human interpretation in the language of the time. There was also very little emphasis on God’s “anger” at man for having eaten the fruit and more on the knowledge itself. The expulsion from the garden was not so much god punishing us to die as now we had the knowledge that we would die. Sin is not so much doing “evil” as much as knowing that an act is “evil” (for example, nakedness was fine with God and Adam and Eve until they ate and realized they were naked).

    As I try to explain it, it gets more convoluted and contradictory, which is why I am an atheist today, but essentially what we were taught was not to get too wrapped up in the details of the Eden story. It is clearly fiction meant to convey how we are different from animals. How original sin originated if Eden isn’t literal, I don’t remember.

  71. #71 Josh
    April 17, 2009

    I was little when my mom went through a JW phase, but it seemed that they didn’t consider themselves christian.

    Yeah. I was very young, and there’s a lot of distance between me and that memory, but I certainly don’t remember the guy giving me any impression that the JWs were something that my parents and I should be viewing as different (except of course for the obvious difference that they were right…).

  72. #72 Qwerty
    April 17, 2009

    I am always amazed that those who believe “in the word” can imagine an infinite afterlife, but lack the imagination to think of an infinite existence prior to their own.

    I also remember being dumbfounded when my sister told me that she only believed the earth was 6,000 years old. What, if anything, can you say to answer this?

  73. #73 blueshifter
    April 17, 2009

    #7 I’d love to see one of these where a number of creation myths were put up side by side.

    I don’t know, if you put the Hindu cosmology in there, you are looking at one LOOOOOOONG web page. Just for the current cycle:

    “We are currently believed to be in the 51st year of the present Brahma and so about 158.7 trillion years have elapsed since He was born as Brahma.”

  74. #74 Josh
    April 17, 2009

    What, if anything, can you say to answer this?

    If she weren’t my sister, then I might ask her if she also believed that the world was flat, or perhaps if she believed that the sun went around the earth.

  75. #75 Margaret's Cat
    April 17, 2009

    SteveM

    There was also very little emphasis on God’s “anger” at man for having eaten the fruit and more on the knowledge itself. The expulsion from the garden was not so much god punishing us to die as now we had the knowledge that we would die.

    Ah. I kind of like that. It’s a very non-religious interpretation of the myth, since it makes god superfluous, but it does make some sense as a purely human myth.

    How original sin originated if Eden isn’t literal, I don’t remember.

    That’s the key part. The whole rest of the Xian myth falls apart without original sin. Hmmm. Actually a god who temporarily sacrifices a part of himself to himself to appease himself doesn’t make any sense even if there somehow was “original sin.”

    I guess I’m not up to the mental gymnastics required for religious apologetics.

  76. #76 'Tis Himself
    April 17, 2009

    Josh,

    The toilets in Yankee Stadium were open at all times during a game. The cops/security didn’t stop people from going to and from the toilets even during the playing of the national anthem. I’m more willing to believe the cops saying the guy was drunk and rowdy than him claiming the cops wouldn’t let him take a piss during the playing of “God Bless America.”

  77. #77 Josh
    April 17, 2009

    I’m more willing to believe the cops saying the guy was drunk and rowdy than him claiming the cops wouldn’t let him take a piss during the playing of “God Bless America.”

    That seems like a much more plausible event to me as well. I really hope it was him.

  78. #78 Peter Ashby
    April 17, 2009

    Sorry to break it to you folks but you can make sausage out of meat other than pork. I’m fond of beef sausages and especially venison and red wine ones.

  79. #79 'Tis Himself
    April 17, 2009

    I’m fond of beef sausages and especially venison and red wine ones.

    Wouldn’t red wine sausages be rather runny?

  80. #80 mythusmage
    April 17, 2009

    MosesZD, April 17, 2009 9:02 AM

    Roger, Francis, or Kevin?

  81. #81 mythusmage
    April 17, 2009

    For everybody wondering what God was up to for 13 billion years or more before creating the universe, the answer is really very simple. He was waiting for the paperwork to go through.

  82. #82 John Morales
    April 17, 2009

    blueshifter @73,

    I don’t know, if you put the Hindu cosmology in there, you are looking at one LOOOOOOONG web page. [...]
    “We are currently believed to be in the 51st year of the present Brahma and so about 158.7 trillion years have elapsed since He was born as Brahma.”

    That’s nothing compared to Scientology:

    OT III also deals with Incident I, set four quadrillion years ago (or roughly 300,000 times longer than the current scientifically accepted value for the age of the universe). In Incident I, the unsuspecting thetan was subjected to a loud snapping noise followed by a flood of luminescence, then saw a chariot followed by a trumpeting cherub. After a loud set of snaps, the thetan was overwhelmed by darkness. This is described as the implant offering the gateway to this universe, meaning that these traumatic memories are what separate thetans from their static (natural, godlike) state.

  83. #83 tmaxPA
    April 17, 2009

    MC@75: That’s where they lost me, too. I asked the priest, right then, “if the Garden is a metaphor (wondering to my precocious self why they don’t call it a ‘myth’) then what is Original Sin?”

    The answer I was given, “We are each born with the potential to do evil , and that is what Original Sin is.” That was one of the signposts on my road to hell, because, like the word ‘myth’, I knew what the word ‘potential’ meant, even in seventh grade, and it was, as far as I was concerned, beyond the realm of reason to believe in anything but a kinetic form of Original Sin (seeing as that is why I’d go to hell even if I was a good person all my life).

    As is so easily and often pointed out here, the metaphysics is nonsensical if you try to approach it logically. If the Garden was a metaphor, then why isn’t Original Sin a metaphor? Why isn’t God Itself a metaphor?

    By ninth grade, I was an ardent deist.

  84. #84 Alex Deam
    April 17, 2009

    To be fair, between 10 BYA and 5 BYA (a third the length of the chart), there’s not much difference between the two…

    Not true. Consider that the vast majority of elements that we are made of are only produced in the interior of stars, and yet these elements were here before our Sun started producing them. So another star existed before our Sun, that exploded in a supernova, with the debris forming our solar system, and ultimately ourselves.

    “We are star stuff” – Carl Sagan

  85. #85 mythusmage
    April 17, 2009

    John Morales, April 17, 2009 8:02 PM

    I see; according to that bit of Scientology you quoted, thetans are not evil, monstrous creatures, but victims of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and more in need of counseling and medication than nuking. I see now that my decision to make myself a Thetan sanctuary was the right one, and that more people should do it.

  86. #87 Peter Morris
    April 18, 2009

    Egads TheSciencePundit @ #1!

    I made this timeline weeks ago and have checked it quite a few times and still missed this bleeding obvious typo. Damn. My observational skills just weren’t intelligently designed well enough.

    A worthy nitpick. The original version has been corrected.

  87. #88 The Science Pundit
    April 18, 2009

    @Peter Morris

    You’re welcome! :-)

  88. #89 Claudia83
    April 18, 2009

    Thank you Becca and raven! I endeavour to do some research on those tidbits once I’m finished reading this book.

  89. #90 Pete
    April 19, 2009

    Your timeline is inaccurate because of two reasons. The creationists timeline believes that the universe only existed for 6,000 years as opposed to 4.5 billion years, as evolutionists would have you believe.

    Secondly God is outside of the dimension of time itself since He created time. Before the first second of time passed, there was an absence of time itself since God hadn’t created it. God is not bound by time. He is at every point in time all at once, since God can do that sorta thing, since, well, He is God. So if you think He was just sitting there waiting for infinite amounts of time to pass by that would be inaccurate because then that would put a limit on what God is able to do.

  90. #91 Zetetic
    April 20, 2009

    Pete said…

    The creationists timeline believes that the universe only existed for 6,000 years as opposed to 4.5 billion years, as evolutionists would have you believe.

    I hope that was meant as a poe. But for now I’ll assume you’re not a poe.

    According to science (geology, astrophysics, etc.) the Earth is 4.5 billion years old. The universe on the other hand is at least 13.7 billion years old according the the available evidence, about 9.2 billion years older than the planet. It’s even there in the timeline chart that you are criticizing. Saying that evolutionists say the universe is 4.5 billion years old is clearly wrong/ignorant/stupid (take your pick). Even a child can understand the difference between the age of the planet and the age of the universe.

    By the way… evolutionary theory says nothing about how old the Earth or the universe is, it only deals with changes in species over time. Other fields of science have independently made the determination the the respective ages. But, Hey! What do you know! It just so happens to be compatible with the also independently derived evolutionary timeline! What a remarkable coincidence! ;)

    If the evidence for the age of the Earth was that it formed too recently, then that would be a problem for evolutionary theory. In fact the uncertainty about the age of the Earth in Darwin’s time was one of the biggest arguments against evolution. It was only when other fields of science began to realize that the Earth was much older than previously thought, that it ceased to be an argument against evolution.

    I would strongly recommend learning something about what evolution and science actually are, especially before making comments on this blog. Unless you enjoy being made to look foolish, that is.

    Just to help you out…if your information about science and evolution comes from creationists or “ID advocates” then you are being lied to, and are only being taught propaganda. If they refer to science as “materialistic” (as opposed to “naturalistic”)… you are probably being lied to. If they refer to evolution as “Darwinism” then you are probably being lied to as well (although there are some uncommon exceptions in that case).

    Secondly God is outside of the dimension of time itself since He created time. Before the first second of time passed, there was an absence of time itself since God hadn’t created it. God is not bound by time. He is at every point in time all at once, since God can do that sorta thing, since, well, He is God. So if you think He was just sitting there waiting for infinite amounts of time to pass by that would be inaccurate because then that would put a limit on what God is able to do.

    Yeah sure… got anything to back that up with? You know, like evidence? Of course not, you’re just making up what ever fits your presuppositionalism (or you’re playing the poe). Sorry, but making baseless assertions won’t cut it with any moderately objective person, let alone here.

    Obviously the point of the timeline, is to humorously show the shallow view of the YEC view of the universe and the evidence that contradicts it, versus the greater scope of time of the scientifically derived view of the universe.

  91. #92 missourirose57
    April 20, 2009

    I love it!!! It should be required in all science classes!

  92. #93 James Sweet
    April 20, 2009

    You know, there actually are Creationist timelines, and I was somewhat disgusted to discover when I went to vote last November that there was one in the very room I was voting in (my polling place is a church, blech).

  93. #94 Kristin Green
    April 21, 2009

    I think you should devote equal pixels/time to presenting the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s creationist timeline.

  94. #95 Ulises
    April 24, 2009

    None of those are correct, of course. You really want to know the real story instead of wasting your time ? Take a look at the Vedas.

  95. #96 Josh
    April 24, 2009

    @95: Blasphemer.

  96. #97 Rob
    April 30, 2009

    Sorry this only highlights ignorance.

  97. #98 Don
    April 30, 2009

    Professing themselves to be wise – men became fools –

    Talk about close minded intolerant fools –

  98. #99 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 30, 2009

    Professing themselves to be wise – men became fools –

    Talk about close minded intolerant fools –

    Yep when those creationists start claiming they know exactly how things went down, they are fools.

  99. #100 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 30, 2009

    Talk about close minded intolerant fools –

    Well Don, how open minded are you to the concept of god not existing, since there is no physical evidence for one (out of thousands imagined by man, much less Yahweh)? Look in the mirror before you complain about other people.

  100. #101 Anonymous
    May 1, 2009

    I feel sorry for all of you.

  101. I feel sorry for all of you.

    OH NOES!!!

  102. Will you pray for us?

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