Pharyngula

David Menton, Andrew Snelling and Georgia Purdom, three creationists working at the Creation “Museum”, have written an outraged op-ed correcting some misconceptions about them. I read this far before I had to stop:

For one, the guest columnist, Roger Guffey, claimed there were no “serious” scientists who are creationists. We are full-time Ph.D. researchers with the Creation Museum and Answers in Genesis in Northern Kentucky, and we will be helping to design the full-scale Noah’s Ark and other attractions to be built north of Lexington.

There are thousands of serious scientists who doubt evolution. At the Creation Museum, we have full-time staff with earned doctorates (one from an Ivy League school) in astrophysics, geology, cell biology, genetics, medicine and the history of geology, plus several adjunct speakers and researchers who hold doctorate degrees.

Our intrepid three claim to be scientists, part of a body of real, genuine, credentialed scientists who support the claims of Answers in Genesis. Let’s stop right there. There’s something you have to understand about the staff of the Creation “Museum”: they all have to sign a testimonial that asserts, among other things, that the Earth is only 6,000 years old. These are self-proclaimed scientists who flout the evidence to argue for an absurd conclusion. I’m not talking about “interpreting the same facts” differently, as they like to claim, but ignoring and denying the evidence that refutes their dogma.

That’s all you need to know. David Menton, Andrew Snelling and Georgia Purdom are all absolutely certain that the creation of the earth is an event that occurred somewhere near the end of human prehistory, which was itself a very late, geologically recent event in the history of the universe. How absurd is that claim?

The city of Jericho — it’s in the Bible, look it up — is 11,000 years old. Isn’t it remarkable that a city with a population of zero sprang up on a planet that didn’t exist at the time? The chthonic dingleberries of Answers in Genesis would apparently have you believe one of our oldest urban centers must have been floating in the primordial chaos, waiting for Jehovah to conjure up the Jordan river and the West Bank and the Middle East and the Mediterranean and the firmament and the sun and stars.

Six thousand years ago, the Plano culture was hunting bison on the Great Plains. The predynastic Egyptians of the Naqada period were colonzing the Nile. The precursors to the Indus River civilization were making copper tools and growing barley. The Mesopotamians were building city states. The people of the Hongshan culture were carving jade dragons in northeastern China; the Yangshao were producing silk along the Yangtze river; the Majiabang people were cultivating rice and pigs. The ancient Britons were building tombs and erecting wooden posts on Salisbury plain, precursors to Stonehenge. The Funnelbeaker people were trading pottery across northern Europe, while the Chasséen people were living in a village near the site of modern Paris. All this at a time when the human population of planet Earth, according to this risible trio, was two. What did Adam and Eve do? Commute a lot?

People were manipulating the precursors to modern wheat, rice, barley, taro, and soy at least 9000 years ago; Sumerians had invented irrigation 7000 years ago; and Mesoamericans began to tweak teosinte by artificial selection about 6000 years ago. The crops we grow are the product of millennia of selection and cultivation, and show the marks of our ancient biotechnology. The bread that God casually commanded Adam to sweat over and eat for all the days of his life after the Fall was already the product of thousands of years of development.

A middle-aged woman in northern Israel died and was buried with her puppy dog…twelve thousand years ago. We know the first dogs with skeletal indications of domestication appeared over 30,000 years ago. What kind of crazy cosmology do the loons of AiG have when they have to account for a world they claim is 24,000 years younger than Fido and Rover?

There is a colonial colony of shrubs in Tasmania called King’s Lomatia that is probably over 40,000 years old. They can’t produce sexually, so they’ve just been propagating vegatively, clone after clone after clone, right through the whole creation of the world, according to a certain small dismal clan of meretricians. In fact, those plants were well into late middle age when the god of the Hebrews purportedly decided to create real estate.

According to these “scientists,” all of modern geology, from the Himalayas to the ocean trenches, was formed in one immense cataclysmic event that occurred over the course of a single year, four thousand years ago; an event that essentially sterilized all multicellular life on Earth except for one small family and their livestock who weathered the catastrophe in a wooden boat. That was some disaster, and that must have been some boat.

Now the people who believe this unscientific nonsense claim to be “serious scientists.” I don’t think so. They haven’t demonstrated that their superstitions are serious science at all; all they’ve shown is that some few people who are totally nuts can graduate with doctorates. Which is not a surprise, and is actually a far more parsimonious conclusion than their bizarre idea that all of physics, chemistry, geology, astronomy, and biology are completely wrong.