Friday, April 2, 2010

A Friday Fun Foto, Part 2: Please Don't Try These Arguments

Folks caught on pretty quick to what I was showing in the previous post if the comments are any guide: this feature, seen anywhere in the world by any trained geologist, would be identified readily as a doubly plunging syncline, sedimentary layers twisted into an elongated bowl shaped form. But this particular fold in the rock carries a lot of emotional baggage, located as it is just a few miles from Mt. Ararat in Turkey. After a fuzzy picture of the feature appeared in LIFE magazine in 1960, a number of individuals quickly decided the feature had to be Noah's Ark, and a small cottage industry has grown around the selling of the idea.

As mentioned before, I have discussions with students about religion and science, and especially about the age of the Earth and evolutionary theory. They sometimes bring up items like this, in the full confidence that they have discovered for themselves the absolute proof of Noah, a worldwide flood, and a 6,000 year old earth. It's hard to be patient sometimes, to explain that a feature like this is easily explained by science, and that maybe, just maybe, the promoters of the "evidence" on the internet might not have the most honorable of motivations.

Here are some arguments about the age of the Earth and evolution you might not want to bring up:

1. Moon dust proves a young moon.

2. NASA computers, in calculating the positions of planets, found a missing day and 40 minutes, proving Joshua’s “long day” (Joshua 10) and Hezekiah’s sundial movement.

3. There are no beneficial mutations.

4. Darwin recanted on his deathbed.

5. Woolly mammoths were flash frozen during the Flood catastrophe (with buttercups in their mouths!).

6. No new species have been produced.

7. Ron Wyatt has found much archaeological proof of the Bible, including the Ark of the Covenant, and also the Ark of Noah, the subject of the picture above.

8. Evolution is just a theory (I've discussed the meaning of theory in the past).

9. Microevolution is true but not macroevolution.

10. The Paluxy tracks in Texas prove that humans and dinosaurs co-existed.

11. The Japanese trawler Zuiyo Maru caught a dead plesiosaur near New Zealand.

12. The speed of light has decreased over time.

13. Archaeopteryx is a fraud.

I'm not going to waste my time or yours explaining why these phenomena and assertions are unusable in an argument over the age of the Earth or evolution. I don't have to. I derived this list from a young-earth creationist organization website. It is they who say these shouldn't be used in an argument with scientists. Even they know these arguments are bogus (you are welcome to Topeka, er, uh, Google "creationists arguments that shouldn't be used" if you are interested).

There are plenty of other assertions made by young-earth creationists that can be used in a debate that are equally untrue, but at least the YEC folks believe them. To use "facts" like those on the list above reveals a distinct lack of basic internet research skills and a lack of critical thinking. When a person "wants to believe", they are easily duped...