Stranger Fruit

Struggling with the age of the earth

Dan Ely is a physiologist who supported the Ohio lesson plan that was defeated yesterday. In this skreed, the DI tries to make out that Ely – who testified in Kansas – has been unfairly represented as a creationist. Let’s look at the Kansas transcript, shall we?

Q: Welcome to Kansas. I have a few questions for the record for you. First I have a group of yes or no questions that I would like for you to answer, please. What is your opinion as to the age of the earth?
A: In light of time I would say most of the evidence that I see, I read and I understand points to an old age of the earth.

Q: And how old is that age?
A: I don’t know. I just know what I read with regards to data. It looks like it’s four billion years.

Q: And is that your personal opinion?
A: No. My personal opinion is I really don’t know. I’m struggling.

Q: You’re struggling with what the age of the earth is?
A: Yeah. Yeah. I’m not sure. There’s a lot of ways to measure the age. Meteorites is one way. There’s a lot of elements used. There’s a lot of assumptions can be used and those assumptions can be challenged so I don’t really know.

Q: What is the range that you are instructing?
A: I think the range we heard today, somewhere between 5,000 and four billion.

Q: You– you– you believe the earth may be as young as 5,000 years old. Is that correct?
A: Well, we’re learning that there’s such a thing as junc –

Q: Sir, answer –
A: — really has a function.

Q: Just please answer my question, sir.
A: We’re learning a lot about micro –

Q: Sir?
MR. IRIGONEGARAY: Mr. Abrams, please instruct the witness to answer the question.
CHAIRMAN ABRAMS: I think –

Q: (By Mr. Irigonegaray) The question was — and winking at him is not going to do you any good. Answer my question. Do you believe the earth may be as young as 5,000 years old?
A: It could be. (source pdf)

Maybe he’s not a young earther, but he sure as hell is ignorant about science if he thinks that the age of the earth could be 5000 years old. Any scientist who “struggles” with the age of the Earth is a creationist. Can somebody at who teaches physics in Akron please set this guy straight? He’s embarassing you.

(hat tip to rsr)

Comments

  1. #1 David McCabe
    February 16, 2006

    “Struggle” is religious lingo, don’t you know? You struggle with your faith, struggle with temptation, etc. etc.

  2. #2 Dave S.
    February 16, 2006

    …somewhere between 5,000 and four billion.

    Somewhere in that ballpark … some 6 orders of magnitude! Even then, he gets it wrong. The Earth is 4,550,000,000 years old, give or take a couple percent.

    First I have a group of yes or no questions that I would like for you to answer, please. What is your opinion as to the age of the earth?

    Don’t quite see how these are yes or no questions.

  3. #3 mark
    February 16, 2006

    Clearly, Ely was struggling to avoid giving a direct answer. But I forget–why was he “testifying” in Kansas?

  4. #4 pough
    February 17, 2006

    Don’t quite see how these are yes or no questions.

    That’s pretty funny. What would he have done if anyone had actually answered with yes or no?

    “What, in your opinion, is the age of the earth?”

    “No.”

    “Could you be more specific?”

    “Yes.”

  5. #5 RBH
    February 17, 2006

    Read a little further in the testimony and you’ll find Ely denying common descent. That’s the defining feature of a creationist. Whether he is an old-earth or young-earth creationist is beside the point. He denies the central core of what we know (with great confidence) about the diversity of life on earth: it shares a common ancestry.