Tom DeRosa in Morris

As promised, I attended Tom DeRosa's creationism talk this evening, and as expected, it wasn't very informative but it was mildly entertaining. He's a good, enthusiastic speaker — he's just unbelievably wrong. We might have a recording later on; Skatje was taping it, but it was just with our little home digital video recorder, and we don't have any idea what the quality will be like, yet. I'm letting her handle the A/V stuff on this one.

Anyway, it wasn't quite what I expected. I was thinking it might be based on his recent book, Evolution's Fatal Fruit, which blames every social ill of the last 150 years on wicked ol' Darwinism. It was altogether different: he gave a talk on "God's Amazing Animals," which was far, far fluffier and harder to grapple with.

The beginning was a little hard to take. We got to sing a hymn (I didn't, sorry), and the first ten minutes of the talk was all praise for Jesus, John 1, reality is in the word of Jesus, yadda yadda. Fine for a church, but it left me cold, and was thin on evidence. The next ten minutes were a rather incoherent deconstruction of the book of Job—we got the problem of evil (which was dismissed by simply saying, "people are evil"), the claim that they are talking about dinosaurs (Behemoth and Leviathan, of course), a brief mention of the second law of thermodynamics ("we're going down", "we're all doomed"), and the claim that when we study science, the creator's hand is plain to see.

Then we got over a half hour of fossils and pictures of animals. Most of this was unobjectionable pretty pictures. They're digging up mammoths and glyptodonts at a site along the Peace River in Florida, for instance, so we got lots of photos of their excavations. He'd brought along some casts of fossil dinosaur bones and mastodon teeth and so forth, and this part of the talk was clearly aimed at the kids — it was fun, and there really wasn't anything a scientist would object to here … except for a brief throwaway comment about the Ice Age lasting 700 years, which presaged that last part of the talk.

In the last half hour, we got the full throttle looney-tunes creationism. Really, the first third was a church sermon, the second third was a quick tour of some fragments of evidence, and the last third was where the calliope started up and we got his wacky interpretations.

There was some lip service paid to chemistry and physics, and how powerful and useful they were, and how he was trained in those disciplines…and then he threw them right out. The earth is 6000 years old. The flood was 4000 years ago. The Ice Age, and there was only one of them, occurred right after the flood. T. rex might have been a fire-breathing dragon. He knew demonic possession was real. Dating methods were all wrong. You know, the usual creationist schtick, thrown out at a machine gun pace.

Then came the questions. I confess: during his romp through crazy town, I'd been filling up question cards at a rapid pace, so I turned in about a dozen questions, and rather dominated the Q&A. To his credit, DeRosa tried to answer a few of them, limited only by the time. He was game, I'll give him that.

In several, I tried to pin him down on the age of the earth. I mentioned various pieces of evidence: 160,000 years worth of seasonal layers in glacial ice cores, multiple ice ages, radiometric data, the concordance between multiple dating techniques, etc. As expected, he floundered, spitting out lots of inconsistent numbers. He mentioned how one technique gave different dates between 50 and 100 thousand years, all of which were older than his earth. Weirdly, he tried to say that all the multi-billion year old dates were from meteoric rock; I had to break the news to him that there are 4 billion year old rocks up north of us in Canada. Then he tried to claim that different radiometric dates for those billion year old rocks varied by millions of years—so I had to mention that million year variations on billion year old rocks represented an error of only 0.1%. There was much flustered huffing and puffing over differences in dates, all of which still invalidated his premise, before he pulled his trump card: they were all created with an old age. Not an illusion of age, he assured me, they were actually old, even though they'd been created 6000 years ago, just as Adam was actually created as an adult.

Just a hint to all creationists here: you want to argue with scientists? Here's what you do. Concede everything. Tell them that radiometric methods are all accurate, they all do exactly as the scientists say, and just give away the store. Then declare that, as a miracle, god created the earth 6000 years ago with the mature age of 4,650,994,000 years. Poof. Done. We can't argue. The prelude where you play games and try to say that physics doesn't work, speed of light varies, radioactive decay was different? Waste of time. It gives us stuff to knock down and make you look silly, and it's all irrelevant because you're going to whip out the magic miracle excuse at the last minute, anyway.

I did try to sneak in a Hitler question, too. I threw in a card that asked him to respond to the ADL's denunciation of his thesis that Darwin's ideas were the progenitor of the holocaust. He dodged in a not-very-nice way, I'm afraid, claiming that that was entirely against D. James Kennedy's TV show, Darwin's Deadly Legacy…but DeRosa's book made exactly the same argument. And then he made the usual tired claim that evolution and atheism dehumanize people and is responsible for the inhumanity of the 20th century. Collin Tierney of the UMM Freethinker's club made a valiant argument against that, pointing out that the Crusades and various other massacres of the Jews showed exactly the same inhumanity, but DeRosa just responded with more bafflegab about how humans are unique, and evolution can't take that away from us.

Our students did well. Several of the church people came up afterwards to thank us for showing up, and complimented us on the respectful way questions were asked and the discussion was held. I don't think anyone was swayed one way or another, but we all had a pleasant and sociable evening. It was good experience for the students, too, to see that creationists can be nice people who can be fun to talk to, even if their arguments are patently absurd. Several students said the high point was DeRosa's elaborate explanations for how T. rex mighta coulda breathed fire, which I agree, were pretty amusing.

I think my high point came in the first ten minutes, when he was complaining about godless evolution, old earth creationists, and those people who claim to be Christians but are actually theistic evolutionists, like Phil Collins. It was a subtle error that I don't think most people caught, but I thought it was funny. Francis is off the hook this time, but Phil deserves damnation for that su-su-sudio thing, that's for sure.

Oh, and DeRosa was nice enough to give me a couple of his books afterwards. They're going into my creationist collection.

Categories

More like this

I was thinking it might be based on his recent book, Evolution's Fatal Fruit, which blames every social ill of the last 150 years on wicked ol' Darwinism.

I have never understood that argument. If that were so ("Darwinism causes people to act in all sorts of 'evil' ways") then shouldn't biology professors be overrepresented in prison?

My favorite part was when he said that mammoths and triceratops never lived together in Florida at the dig sites he frequents because the whole area was an ocean for so much time, and triceratops can't live in an ocean.

Yeah, so what about the fucking mammoths?

By Collin Tierney (not verified) on 07 Oct 2007 #permalink

then shouldn't biology professors be overrepresented in prison?

Of course not! Teachers of evolution are various forms of devils and demons carrying out Satan's evil. They are too evil and powerful to be caught and imprisoned by puny humans! Behold Richard Dawkins, evolutionary biologist and respected by some. It must be the devil's work!

By Brian English (not verified) on 07 Oct 2007 #permalink

@Susan: the downside of that argument is that a quick study of (American) prisons would suggest therefore that every social ill of the last 150 years is actually caused by young, lower-cass negro males. While some of our Krazy Kreationist Komrades would be happy to run with that theory, it's probably not going to fly terribly far.

By Eric TF Bat (not verified) on 07 Oct 2007 #permalink

Is it considered rude to go to these events and just laugh?

By Christian Burnham (not verified) on 07 Oct 2007 #permalink

If that were so ("Darwinism causes people to act in all sorts of 'evil' ways") then shouldn't biology professors be overrepresented in prison?

"Those who can't do, teach"

I am mystified why these Creationists like to holler that 'Darwinism' is responsible for many 'social evils' (as they define them) - from the way they carry on you'd think nothing bad happened before Darwin published. Things were nice and peaceful...

Obviously these people paid as much attention to their history classes as they did in their bio classes.

By milukfrog (not verified) on 07 Oct 2007 #permalink

"My favorite part was when he said that mammoths and triceratops never lived together in Florida at the dig sites he frequents because the whole area was an ocean for so much time, and triceratops can't live in an ocean.

Yeah, so what about the fucking mammoths?"

They used their trunk as a snorkel. And their tusks to dig the shallow sea bottom for food. And their ears helped in swimming.

There's just the fur coat that doesn't quite make sense, but I think we can find something...

By Christophe Thill (not verified) on 07 Oct 2007 #permalink

The mature earth idea is definitely one of the goofiest ideas I've heard in a long, long time. I liked how right before that he likes to be rational then pulls that one out. I got a lot of humour out of that.

I went back to the dorms with a couple others in a car and they didn't like the style of questioning you and Colin and the others asked. They said they weren't curious questions but questions aimed to debunk. I didn't get what the big deal about that was since he opened himself up to a public forum, but whatever.

By Kele Cable (not verified) on 07 Oct 2007 #permalink

Then declare that, as a miracle, god created the earth 6000 years ago with the mature age of 4,650,994,000 years. Poof. Done. We can't argue.

Actually, yes, it's an awesome argument. I used this one in my Mission: Be More Mormon Than The Mormons.

See, if god wanted everyone to be sure he existed, he'd make us sure. He's god, he can do anything. So he must WANT doubt (as a test, or for unknowable godly amusements, or whatever).

If you could ever prove that the earth was created by god, or if the bible really was so perfect that you couldn't help but believe, then the doubt that god clearly wants would vanish. So obviously he created the earth to look X years old, and of course he caused a flawed bible to be written, and of course his directives are inconsistant, and so on. His aim is not to force you down a path (as you would be forced if you KNEW there were massive sticks and carrots following you around), but rather to set up a combination of factors to test you. It's up to you to react to those factors in a way that show you're worthy. The bible isn't a guide, it's a clue.

This reasoning forgives absolutely any contradiction, inconsistency and logical idiocy that necessarily attends Christianity. It's really quite powerful.

...and good for evangelical atheists, it's oh-so-easy to leverage that to get your Mormon (or whatever) to start questioning what god really wants (maybe the point of the bible is to see who is irrational. Maybe following the word of the bible = fail). It's only a small step, then, to questioning the whole shebang.

By SmellyTerror (not verified) on 07 Oct 2007 #permalink

Of course not! Teachers of evolution are various forms of devils and demons carrying out Satan's evil. They are too evil and powerful to be caught and imprisoned by puny humans! Behold Richard Dawkins, evolutionary biologist and respected by some. It must be the devil's work!

Sure, but Susan said "overrepresented in prison", and not "be in prison". The prior being a really cool imagination, and the latter being lame. lolllllll Imagine that: 70% of prisoners are literate in evolutionary biology.

(I idiots out there - this is not a fact)

By Skeptic4u (not verified) on 07 Oct 2007 #permalink

The 'created old' thing is kindof a nice dodge actually. Lets us come back with the 'well, then there really is no reason, for the purposes of science and technology, that we should have any conflict.' Basically, that sort of creationist concedes that science is getting things right, but God pulled a fast one. The 'apparent age' thing tends to assume the devil made everything look ancient and consistent with 'evilution', so us biologists are stooges for the devil... not so good. But if God made everything old (or appear old), then it must be for a reason (since God gave man the ability (reason) to figure it out).

Anyway, it is all woo... but intellectually interesting, at least as much as thinking deeply about a fantasy world can be.

declare that, as a miracle, god created the earth 6000 years ago with the mature age of 4,650,994,000 years. Poof. Done.

Heck, if they believe that 1 = 3, why not believe that 6,000 = 4,650,994,000?

I took comparative anatomy with a student who stated that he was learning what he needed to know for the tests (because he wanted to go to Med School, which required that he take and pass this course), but he knew that all this evolution was crap - god placed all the fossils in the earth to "test our faith". This sounds like the same argument as "god made the world old to confuse us". I really hope I never get wheeled in and get that doof at the ER. And this god character doesn't apparently want to get found out, or he'd have not been so sneaky.

What's with this 15 billion year old universe nonsense? And 6000 years ago is equally preposterous. Clearly the universe was created last Thursday with everything already in place, including our memories, to create the appearance of an ancient universe.

By uknesvuinng (not verified) on 07 Oct 2007 #permalink

"people who claim to be Christians but are actually theistic evolutionists, like Phil Collins"
Well, to be honest, he does play an important part in the history of Genesis.

I wonder if these folks realize that the Canadian geologic survey (among many others) regularly crank out radiometric dates on rocks that are billions of years old (not just the Acasta Gneiss you referred to) as a way of correlating rock units. Those correlations are important to the mining industry and have economically-significant predictive value. If the dates weren't accurate and consistent with the stratigraphy, it would be obvious, and not just to academics. Don't these people regard their own intellectual dishonesty as sinful?

By Heterocronie (not verified) on 07 Oct 2007 #permalink

If that were so ("Darwinism causes people to act in all sorts of 'evil' ways") then shouldn't biology professors be overrepresented in prison?

Not if "Darwinism" doesn't refer to the people who genuinely understand the Theory of Evolution but instead to the people who (ignorantly or deliberately?) misunderstand what Darwin wrote and view it as support for their pre-existing authoritarian might-makes-right beliefs. There could be quite a lot of those misguided people in prison - and it would still say nothing about the ToE, just about them. People who are incompetent and dishonest are more likely to end up in prison than competent and honest ones. Duh!

" ... where you play games and try to say that physics doesn't work, speed of light varies, radioactive decay was different? Waste of time. It gives us stuff to knock down and make you look silly ... "

It's called altering the data to make them fit the facts (as you believe them to be). I'd call it subjectivism. Sadly, that ruse is employed at times on both all three sides of the isle.

The saving grace (no double entendre intended) is that truth will out. Eventually, the false argumentums will fall by the way side. The old fogies (me included), tend to be inflexible in our belief structure, which results in cognitive inertia, and to a large extent constrains our objectivity. Not true of the upcoming scientists, who have access to data sources beyond the classroom.

ID has long been conflated with Creationism. Those days are numbered ...

" ... god created the earth 6000 years ago with the mature age of 4,650,994,000 years."

Shouldn't that be 4,649,994.000 years?

PDTMS

Lee, #20) the first answer was right. How about we write it like this 4.650994 x 10(^9) so there's less confusion.

Unless you are a Middle-aged earth creationist?

We got to sing a hymn (I didn't, sorry)

Pity. I would have loved to see a video of that.

By Jeff Alexander (not verified) on 08 Oct 2007 #permalink

What's with this 15 billion year old universe nonsense? And 6000 years ago is equally preposterous. Clearly the universe was created last Thursday with everything already in place, including our memories, to create the appearance of an ancient universe.

Ah yes; sure the "evidense" doesn't jibe with the Bronze-age ghost stories... but that's just Gawd pulling our legs! Really, this Christian neo-Solipsism is funny stuff. Of course, the biggest problem with it is that they haven't gone far enough with it.

I mean, why should they stop with applying this natural history and bible nonsense? This new trick works just as well on social issues, too! Do abstinance-only programs fail miserably and have been demonstrated to do so repeadedly? No, abstinence-only policies work great, but God just makes it look like they don't so that he can test your faith! Does gay marriage threaten the integrity of straight marriage? Is unfettered access to birth control, sex ed, and HPV vaccines a good thing for young people? Was the war in Iraq an easy-to-see bad idea long before the invasion? Is Ann Coulter batshit insane? The answer to all of these questions is a resounding "No", Dear Friends! Critical thinking, common sense, empirical evidence, and direct observation may lead you to "obvious" secular conclusions about natural history, public policy, and soforth, but that's because God (and/or Satan) did this to fool you and challenge your faith!
The possibilities are endless. Did Kent Hovind cheat on his taxes? No, he was just framed by God, who was just up to his neck in more Hilarious Holy High jinx. Did Dembski get kicked out of Baylor for being a completely incompetent cretin? No, in fact he still works there, producing hundreds of well-recieved peer-reviewed articles, but the Lord makes it look totally the opposite, thanks to his Intergalactic Holodeck. Really, there are just no limits with this technique.

By j.t.delaney (not verified) on 08 Oct 2007 #permalink

Let's try that same line of argument in another arena. "No, you don't have cancer, God just created you to have the appearance of cancer." "Oh, right then!"

I think I would love someone to bring up the "created old" and "fossils are just a false trail" concepts in front of me. The obvious next step is to say, "Wow, I didn't know that! Where does it explain this?" in a completely open manner. I have yet to see anyone produce any scripture that even remotely supports this idea - it was born within the past 200 years when theists were forced to excuse why things we were starting to discover about our earth contradicted creation stories.

This, then, opens up the discussion to Magic Sky Pony as a deliberate deceiver, which has generally been described as "free will." The apparent message in that is, "You can only follow the one true path, and to help you with this, I give you two." Relying on evidence and rational thought only brings you to the incorrect one, which basically provides the holy message of, "Do not use your mind at all."

And to make it really fun, you then point out that the concept of "created old" is not scriptural, but created by man with that good ol' fashioned forbidden thought, nicely bringing it full-circle into self-destruction. A great way to spend an evening.

A snarkier method also involves asking whether it would have been easier to simply create incorrect scripture, rather than an entire solar system, if the idea is to provide free will by deliberate deception. After all, there's a lot of contradictory scripture out there - certainly most of it is indeed wrong. And in such a case, what guideline could you possibly use for "truth"?

And no, you won't get answers, you'll get dodges, which I'm perfectly happy with. Sooner or later, everyone begins to see how much song-and-dance it is.

Kele: my questions were intended to both debunk and inject some evidence into the discussion. When I pointed out that his dedication to physics and chemistry and his complete rejection of the results of chemistry and physics needed some reconciling, it was to try and get him to actually address the uncomfortable fact that what he was claiming contradicted the evidence.

ID has long been conflated with Creationism.

Uh, Lee? You can only conflate things that aren't exactly the same thing.

"people who claim to be Christians but are actually theistic evolutionists, like Phil Collins"
Well, to be honest, he does play an important part in the history of Genesis.

Posted by: MartinC

Perfect!

The idea that the Christian god created the universe in a mature state was developed in the book Omphalos, by Phillip Henry Gosse, a 19th century Christian naturalist who struggled to reconcile what he saw in the world with what his religion taught. Bertrand Russell quite rightly pointed out that such a theology is entirely independent of all evidence, and that for all we know, the world was created five minutes ago, replete with evidence of greater age, including our memories.

Yeah, so what about the fucking mammoths?

Duh! They used to clutch empty coconuts under their arm pits and kind of float around. Don't you know anything about science?

There was much flustered huffing and puffing over differences in dates, all of which still invalidated his premise, before he pulled his trump card: they were all created with an old age.

One of my favourite Terry Pratchett quotes is his summary of this idea - the fake dinosaurs are because God was just playing with the pleistocene.

Bob

Several of the church people came up afterwards to thank us for showing up, and complimented us on the respectful way questions were asked and the discussion was held.

Does this mean you weren't wearing the t-shirt with the giant middle finger blazoned across the front that says "FUCK RELIGION!"?

By CalGeorge (not verified) on 08 Oct 2007 #permalink

We got to sing a hymn (I didn't, sorry)

I had a friend years ago who became very angry with god after his father died. I don't know if he ever came over to atheism -- at the time it was just anger.

Anyway, when his mother made him to go church services, he got his revenge by singing Joy to the World -- the version that starts off "Jeremiah was a bullfrog" -- loudly enough for those nearby to hear. That set off quite a bit of family wrangling until his mother caved and let him stay home.

Not really relevant, just an old memory popping up...

The earth is 6,000 years old but created to look 4.5 billion years old is a fallacy called Last Thursdayism. It is a bad argument only used as a last resort by creos when faced with reality.

1. The problem with Last Thursdayism, if the universe can be created looking any age from 13.5 billion years to 6,000 years, who is to say it and we were not created last Thursday? Complete with all our memories.

Who is to say that every Thursday the all powerful deity destroys one universe and creates another? Live it up kids, 4 days left for this universe!!! It makes the world look like an ephemereal unreal place that is not important.

2. It is also very Bad Theology. God comes off as a Coyote trickster, deliberately fooling and lying to people with cheap smoke and mirrors tricks. The sky is really a dome with stars stuck on it. Wait until those silly humans try to actually go anywhere in space. SMASH! An insult to the idea of a creator god.

Derosa pulled the rabbit out of the hat because he recognized that PZ and the audience knew he was BSing. I suspect this is the usual case, Willing Suspension of Disbelief, the common human trick for reading fiction or watching movies. The better educated and saner among the creos most likely know damn well YEC creationism is total nonsense but try real hard to believe the opposite for social and religious reasons.

The more intellectually honest among them just drop it eventually and buy the latest pop evolution books.

IIRC, the 160,000 layer (years) core is from Greenland. The oldest antarctic core is 400,000 years worth of ice and climate records.

Of course both ice caps were formed in tiny layers by satan to make the earth look old. Hell must be very boring if the dark lord thinks creating miles high ice caps in thin layers is fun.

"I don't think anyone was swayed one way or another"

It probably won't show up for several years, but I'll bet you did make an impact on the young ones. Maybe even some of the older ones.

"...they were all created with an old age. Not an illusion of age, he assured me, they were actually old, even though they'd been created 6000 years ago, just as Adam was actually created as an adult."

This has got to be my favorite creationist idea. So, scientific measurements are accurate!

By RamblinDude (not verified) on 08 Oct 2007 #permalink

Those who can't do, teach

I have never found this to be true given the often labor intensive job of actually teaching someone something.

LOL! Yeah, teaching is a "doing", isn't it?

By RamblinDude (not verified) on 08 Oct 2007 #permalink

YES! It makes perfect sense! Of course the T-rex didn't need muscular arms to get up! It would just propel itself up with it magical fire-breath! It all makes sense now!

I like this argument for dealing with YECs: Gloriously Hugh Universe

I posted one picture, and he put a full stop on all efforts he had been making in that direction. It was a nice moment for me. What was the topic, and what was my response?

As I stated, my opponent was a young-earther. I asked how, then, were we able to see light from stars millions of light years away? Did he not believe in the speed of light? No, he responded, the speed of light was fine. But the methods used to measure the distances to the stars were 'unreliable,' and that they were in fact much closer than we had been led to believe. This was when I struck.

Then how, I asked, do you explain the Hubble Deep Field image? I included a link to the hi-res image, and pointed out that, save for a few foreground stars, every glob of light in that image represented an entire galaxy of stars. And, if they were all within 6000 light years of us, how could the individual stars in these galaxies exist, considering they must be much smaller than a star needs to be in order to maintain nuclear fusion, and how would it have enough gravity to withstand being blown up by the nuclear energy?

"...just as Adam was actually created as an adult."

Anything to escape the horrors of puberty.

Sexual awakening a problem? Poof! Think it away.

When are these people going to stop annoying the world with their hang-ups?

By CalGeorge (not verified) on 08 Oct 2007 #permalink

. If that were so ("Darwinism causes people to act in all sorts of 'evil' ways") then.... Better than that, shouldn't there then be evidence that the first prisons were built in 1859? After all, there shouldn't have been any immoral or evil behaviour before that magical date.

Phil deserves damnation for that su-su-sudio thing, that's for sure.

Can we save his immortal soul if we all just pretend that he didn't record any solo music after Face Value?

By OhioBrian (not verified) on 08 Oct 2007 #permalink

God created the world to "look" old? Yes, that's right kids, god is lying to you.
Now, I'd like to pass the offering bucket around once again...

Puff the Magic T-Rex
Lived in the sea....

Well, at least no-one got tasered.

Jesus just told me that before the fall, mammoths used their long hair as cilia and swam around in the oceans like giant paramecia.

By Pattanowski (not verified) on 08 Oct 2007 #permalink

Let me get this straight. Creationism predicted Godzilla?

>> 4,650,994,000 years

duh?! What chance do you evolutionists have against Hinduism? In our lexicon God built a bridge with the help of monkeys 1.7 billion years ago (which should not be dredged in 2007 AD for a shipping canal!). And that God was only living in the 3rd of 4 epochs. (each billions of years old). And this 4 epoch cycle has been going on for ever! Dr. Myers stands no chance in our part of the world!

Was that sarcasm? I can't tell.

There's Hindu creationists too?

Apparently that "Adam:newborn-adult::Earth:ancient-upon-creation" argument is in the Orthodox Jewish playbook as well. When I interviewed to teach biology at a yeshiva last year, the rabbi used it on me in the ensuing friendly debate.

(I had already declined the job after being told the textbooks had the material on reproduction and evolution literally torn out.)

>> There's Hindu creationists too?

hmm... there are all kinds of people in Hinduism. There are few stories which say this particular God 'created' people this way etc. Mind you Hinduism follows some kinda monism. That is people believe in one (formless, omnipresent, yadda, yadda) God, but can worship in any personal form they like. Since this personal God itself is their creation, such creationist stories aren't believed even by the most religious!

But 'epoch' is part of the lexicon. Hindu mythology describes events that (in stories) occurred billions of years ago. Years which are beyond what Science would give to Earth! But Hindu mythology dismisses this earth as belonging to this epoch and not the epochs in which a particular God came to earth! (i.e this god in version x lived before that big bang y)

The problem with Hinduism is, atheists are accepted as Hindus! Many schools of Hindu Philosophy including some famous works are atheist in nature. Even the most serious scientific challenge to a Hindu belief would be dismissed as "we always knew that. we just assumed otherwise to get a spiritual HIGH. you don't have to believe what we believe. but see why we were doing it".

his trump card: they were all created with an old age.

So has his god actually admitted doing all this lying, eg to Tom DeRosa in person? If so, it really is about time someone pointed out to him (and others) that if he's not accepting that he's insane (ie voices merely in his head) then, by his own religion, he's been listening to and worshipping Satan (ie the prince of lies etc) all this time. He's not a Christian at all but a Satanist.

just as Adam was actually created as an adult.

Complete with dental decay, prostate problems, joint and cell damage and perhaps incipient cancer etc etc? Or just with an adult shape rather than this alleged, magical, genuine, non-illusory age? I'm betting that Tom DeRosa doesn't really mean like a properly aged version of Adam at all.

And theistic evolutionists use the new Omphalos argument.God deceives us into thinking that natural selection is the anti-chance agency of nature when God is bosss, selection being His patsy.No!Selection is independent of any God,being a force in itself.
Selection is causal,thus at contradiction to God, teleology.Causalism has no preconceived plan for new life forms whereas teleology does.
And the two category classification of origins[science] or contingency and creation[teleology] or necessary being of obviating this contradiction begs the question of the second category!
So, there is the contradiction and then the begged question. Logic is the bane of theists.

By Morgan-LynnGri… (not verified) on 08 Oct 2007 #permalink

PZ,

You are rather noble in this post compared to other diatribes against creationism and/or religion. I much prefer you this way. You make all the same good points without turning (some) people off with rhetoric.

By peak_bagger (not verified) on 09 Oct 2007 #permalink

Re: #14

I took comparative anatomy with a student who stated that he was learning what he needed to know for the tests (because he wanted to go to Med School, which required that he take and pass this course), but he knew that all this evolution was crap - god placed all the fossils in the earth to "test our faith".

Perfect opportunity to ask him: Why go to med school when he could just lay on hands and pray for healing?

That grinding noise you'd hear would be a paradigm shift without a clutch.

-- CV

By CortxVortx (not verified) on 09 Oct 2007 #permalink

What's with this 15 billion year old universe nonsense? And 6000 years ago is equally preposterous. Clearly the universe was created last Thursday with everything already in place, including our memories, to create the appearance of an ancient universe.

No, no, no. You're all just figments of my imagination. I destroy the universe every night when I go to sleep and recreate it again in the morning when I wake up.

Too bad when I was 12-13 we didn't have a wacky creationist visit our church and PZ there to debunk him. I imagine it made quite an impression even if it doesn't cause any change right away.

Christian Burnham @ #5:

Is it considered rude to go to these events and just laugh?

That's a question I asked myself as I was driving up to see Kent Hovind's last appearance in my state. But evidently humor depends very much on setting, because although I laugh out loud at Hovind when listening to recordings of his seminar, when I saw him perform live, I didn't laugh.

It wasn't even that I was trying to stifle laughter. Something about the setting, and the earnestness of the crowd, made it a non-laughing matter.