ReligionScience

Young Earth Creationists Are NOT Geologists

Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, Utah. The rock formation in which the arch formed is older than 6,000 years. Not too surprising, considering that most rocks on Earth are older than 6,000 years.

I am generally a nice person. I am polite and patient, and I try to listen to people, even when I disagree with them. I do not normally hate people. I am an atheist but I also consider myself a humanist. If you’re a human and you aren’t responsible for a mass genocide, I generally won’t hate you. I may not like you, but I won’t hate you.

However, my polite, patient, human-loving streak reached a breaking point today. I have decided that I hate Young Earth Creationist “geologists.” In my opinion, you CANNOT be a geologist if you do not accept that THE EARTH IS APPROXIMATELY 4.5 BILLION YEARS OLD. I’ll say that one more time: In my opinion, you CANNOT be a geologist if you do not accept that THE EARTH IS APPROXIMATELY 4.5 BILLION YEARS OLD.

You don’t have to believe every geological theory to be a geologist. That’s one great aspect of science– theories change, and scientists often harbor different opinions. However, I am comfortable saying with 100% confidence that the Earth is older than 6,000 years old. Most geologists feel this way, too. Geology makes sense when the Earth is old. Geology does not make sense when the Earth is young. There are too many contradictions, and the processes shaping the planet happen too slowly to create the features we observe in a mere few thousand years. Earth was molded over BILLIONS of years.

I am willing to compromise somewhat. You can disagree about how old certain continents are and can debate the ages of sedimentary layers and certain volcanoes. However, if you believe that the Earth is 6,000 years old, that’s a deal-breaker for me. You can’t possibly be a good geologist– or be a geologist at all these days– without appreciating that the Earth is very, very old and that geological processes occur slowly over long periods of time. If I become a professor and ever have a geology student who believes Earth is only 6,000 years old, I will kick that student out of my program. Period.

Why am I so worked up about Young Earth Creationist “geologists” tonight? Because of an excellent article in the most recent New York Science Times featuring this asshole. “Dr.” (I cannot bring myself to call him a real doctor) Ross has a Ph.D in paleontology from the University of Rhode Island, but he believes that the Earth is only 6,000 years old. How is that possible? How can one possibly be a good paleontologist if one believes the Earth is so young? There’s no way the Earth’s fossil record could have been produced in such a short time period!

What cracks me up, actually, is the biography on “Dr.” Ross’s website:

“Marcus Ross has loved paleontology (especially dinosaurs) since he was a kid growing up in Rhode Island. He has continued pursuing this passion, currently researching about a group of extinct marine reptiles called mosasaurs. He is greatly interested in issues surrounding the creation-evolution controversy and the intersection of geology with the Biblical events of creation and Noah’s Flood.”

Interesting contradictions here. So, “Dr.” Ross accepts that animals go extinct. Doesn’t that mean that he accepts evolution? So, where’s the controversy? Mosasuars = extinct = evolution happens. End of story, in my book. Yet, “Dr.” Ross later states that he’s interested in the creation-evolution controversy. I wish a Mososaur would eat “Dr.” Ross… or at least frighten him into scientific enlightment.

As for the intersection of geology with Biblical events of creation… well, the science is totally gone here. Why? Becuase The Bible is not a scientific text. The Bible is not a historical record. The Bible is not a valid reference for a scientific paper, for a geological paper. Actually, I think that there is some merit to considering geological explanations for events which happened in The Bible, which I personally consider to be a work of fiction inspired by actual events, here and there. Certainly, there have been large floods in the Middle East in the past. Could one of these be a Biblical flood? Sure. Why not? I’m sure geologists and Biblical historians have considered the possibilities. But that’s all they are–possibilities. They are possible inspirations for a fictional work.

Why else am I so worked up about “Dr.” Ross and his Young Earth Creationist “geologist” friends? Currently, I date rocks for a living. In my free time, I try to date men, but mostly I’m dating rocks these days. More formally, I am a graduate student in training to become an argon-argon isotope geochronologist. Basically, I am learning how to use argon isotopes to determine dates for rocks.

I am learning that dating rocks and minerals is no easy task. For instance, this spring I am working on obtaining ten dates from a group of volcanic rocks from the Ninetyeast Ridge, a 5000 km long hotspot track in the Indian Ocean. I anticipate that my samples will range in age from about 40 million to 80 million years old. These ten age dates are going to require a solid three months of my time. Not just three months of ordinary, 9 to 5 labwork either. I am working 60+ hour weeks, and I’m also trying to do some homework now and then between samples. The past week has been particularly grueling as we (two of us– I’m working with the lab supervisor) are trying to prepare a group of samples to send off to the nuclear reactor we use to turn potassium into argon, an important step in the argon-argon dating process. For the past week, I’ve been working 14-15 hour days during the week. On the weekend, I took it easy… I worked for six hours on Saturday and for eleven hours on Sunday. Monday morning I was back at lab at 9 am, and I just returned home now (Tuesday) at 2 in the morning. Once we ship the samples off to the reactor next week, my schedule will relax again, and I’ll only work 8 to 10 hour days.

I work very hard as a geochronologist. There are many people like me who work extremely hard to produce these dates of rocks and minerals. Theoretically, someone with a Ph.D in geology appreciates how difficult these dates are to obtain and understands the science behind the isotopic dating systems. I just don’t understand how a well-educated geologist could be a Young Earth Creationist. I am angry because here is someone who is clearly NOT a very good geologist but who has GOOD geological credentials… and he’s essentially trying to discredit what is swiftly becoming my life’s work. I feel insulted, personally, by people like “Dr.” Ross. I work hard, every day, to better understand the Earth. I work hard, very hard, to obtain concrete dates for my rocks. Having a Ph.D geologist tell me that Earth is only 6,000 years old is absurd and makes me very angry and also very, very sad.

Another day, I’ll address some of the criticisms creationists have for isotopic dating. For now I’ll just say that while some of their criticisms are valid, their interpretations of these criticisms are extreme. Geochronologists are able to constrain their errors. They have estimates of all of the uncertainties and take these uncertainties into consideration when reporting ages. For instance, the dates I will ultimately report for my volcanic rocks will be on the order of 50 million years, and I’ll probably know the dates to within a million years or so. Not an exact age, sure, but I can at least say with certainty that my lavas were erupted more than 6,000 years ago.

Maybe I should just give up and make my life easier. Do I really want to spend another fourteen hours in lab tomorrow? Not really. I’ll just make up ages for my rocks (5,000 years, 3,000 years, 5005.77 years) and call my story good. Maybe I’m beginning to understand the creationists… certainly, my work as a geochronologist would be easier if the Earth really were a mere 6,000 years old. And, hey, I can always land a job at a conservative Christian college, right? Ugh. I’ll stick with my isotopes.

Evelyn

Evelyn is a geologist, writer, traveler, and skeptic residing in Cape Town, South Africa with frequent trips back to the US for work. She has two adorable cats; enjoys hiking, rock climbing, and kayaking; and has a very large rock collection. You can follow her on twitter @GeoEvelyn. She also writes a geology blog called Georneys.

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46 Comments

  1. As a geoscientist myself, I agree completely with Evelyn. One thing that is not clear to me is how creationist geoscientists date their samples. If all rocks were created 6000 years ago, or less, then obviously it would be a scoop for them if they could date them and show that was actually the case. Never mind that the techniques we currently use are wrong in their opinion. They surely could develop some new dating techniques (instead of criticizing the ones in use) that would work better. But I have never really seen that anywhere – has anybody?

  2. You tell 'em Evelyn.

    My favorite quote from 'Dr' Ross concerns how a YEC can get a palentology degree from an accredited university while at the same time beliving that the Earth is younger than the advent of farming in Europe.

    Were the dates he used in his thesis wrong? Over to the good 'doctor'

    " I did not imply or deny any endorsement of the dates"

    Classic.

  3. You're right, thad, the place for finishing that sentence is in Rebecca's DDay/VDay post. ;)

    I'm just a blue collar schlub, so please excuse my ignorance, and please believe this is in no way an attack: Why is rock dating important? I mean, when you come up with a ball park age for your lava, what does that actually tell you?

  4. Good post Evelyn, could not agree more. A couple observations:

    – Since "Dr" Ross studies dinosaurs AND accepts the creation account of the Bible then he must accept that humans and dinosaurs were contemporary, at least for some time. So he obviously thinks the Flintstones is a documentary.

    – Most peoples in the world have recollection of a 'Flood' in the distant past. This indicates such an event did indeed occur. Perhaps some kind of ice melting that flooded coastal areas?

    – Most people have no idea how scientific analyses like dating rocks, determining gas composition of even blood analysis is done. They don't realize this is tedious, meticulous work. Many years ago I worked as a physicist in an electro-optics lab and some guy came to us and asked for a 'machine to analyze the air'. He thought we had some device, about the size of a briefcase, that you just turned on and it would tell you how much CO2, CO, SO2, etc. is in the air. Just like that. He's seen it done on Star Trek, after all.

  5. Briarking:

    Re. why dating rocks in important. I guess Evelyn can give you a better answer. Anyway, a few examples:

    First, this is how we found that there are no rocks older than about 300 million years at the bottom of the oceans, while those on continents can be much older (the rock slab just under my house in Ontario is about 1.8 billion years old). This apparent aberration, which had no valid explanation for decades, led to the establishment of the tectonic plate theory. Evelyn's lava samples, for examples, can help measure at what rate the plate underlying the Indian Ocean is moving. Pretty cool stuff.

    Second, geologists and prospectors use dating all the time to determine the odds of finding oil or minerals in a given region. For example, the older the rock the better chance there is it contains ores like gold, silver and copper in commercially exploitable concentrations.

    And of course you can use it do date the fossils found in the rock.

  6. I have a little quotation held on my fridge by a magnet:

    This is good anger, and righteous, not self-righteous anger.

    I also love the color contrast in that pic above. I so want to do a road-trip to Utah – just haven't found the right person to do it with, sigh.

  7. Where did my blockquote go?

    The quotation was:

    Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.

    William Saroyan

  8. I think there will always be some people who are wiling to use "faith" to simply accept things, and will actively avoid testing it.

    I think science easily stands for itself. Scientific theory is sound because there are people constantly testing the links between theory and practice. Look at a harddisk platter – this is not a matter of faith. There is a tremendous amount of irrefutable science going on inside that computer. If all it takes is faith the size of a mustard seed to move mountains, then surely a pious and faithful man such as a Pope, a Prophet etc should be able to at least move a match?

  9. I was about to suggest that Marcus Ross be stoned to death with trilobites, but rapidly realised that would make me the Biblical one. Plus it's a waste of trilobites. I'm surprised the creationists haven't said that all of the fossil evidence is the result of Earth having some kind of rapid development in Planck time, e.g. redefine what can happen in a short period of time by diddling with the units. Although that will be next. You heard it here.

  10. I'd say something sensible… but I can't, instead I'll point out that you by accident have written "we're are":

    "The past week has been particularly grueling as we’re (two of us– I’m working with the lab supervisor) are…"

    Now, back to my scheduled drinking.

  11. Word.

    (I'm pursuing my degree in geology. I read about this guy and wanted to run, shrieking, down the hall, tearing out fistfuls of my own hair.)

    James Hutton must be spinning in his grave like a jet turbine. >.

  12. And a comment on a comment:

    "Most peoples in the world have recollection of a ‘Flood’ in the distant past. This indicates such an event did indeed occur. Perhaps some kind of ice melting that flooded coastal areas?" (GreenNeck2)

    Well, the thing about floods is that they're very, very, VERY common. Most places that aren't sitting on the top of very tall hills are involved in a 100 or 500 or 1000 (etc) year flood plain. There doesn't need to be an event as exciting as an ice melt to cause an impressive flood that would keep denizens of the area whispering about it for centuries to come. And of course, as time goes by, stories get exaggerated and spread, and suddenly the flood that covered your little river valley for a week or so becomes the thing that drowned the world for months. Because when you live in the little river valley and the river gobbles up your home and its the days before easy travel and communication… it really would feel like the whole world had flooded.

    Personally, I tend to put the "great flood" stories in the same category as other fairly tales. A great many cultures across the world have "armless woman" or "bluebeard" or "big bad wolf" archetypal stories. Perhaps some real world event lays at the heart of these stories, but they're more a marker of shared "human experience" and the viral way that a good tale can spread.

  13. I recall reading (in Michael Shermer's Why People Believe Weird Things, perhaps?) that cultures which live near the water have flood stories in their mythologies, but cultures which don't — say, nomadic tribes in the Asian steppe — typically don't.

    I wrote a comment on this incident over at Pharyngula which has probably been lost in the noise by now, so let's see if I can recover and improve what I said then. Here goes:

    First, I found the appeal to economics particularly laughable:

    He likened his situation to that of a socialist studying economics in a department with a supply-side bent. "People hold all sorts of opinions different from the department in which they graduate," he said. "What's that to anybody else?"

    The reason we have different schools of economics is that it's hard to do the experiments necessary to winnow bad ideas from good. In an environment where experiments are hard, people may get used to living without them, and what was once science becomes the sophistic manipulation of words. If this is true of any Economics Department, then they're not doing science, and there's no point making a comparison to them in order to justify one's behavior as a scientist. In principle, socialism and supply-side economics are both empirically testable. You try them out and see if the country flourishes or collapses. If the experiments have not been done, or if the results in the historical record are difficult to interpret, then reasonable people can differ on what the results of different economic systems will be.

    This situation is in no way analogous to the chasm between science and creationism. To have a correct analogy, we would have to speak of a student writing a thesis about supply-side economics while believing in his heart that all economic decisions should be made by Ouija board.

    I hope Alan Sokal and Meera Nanda are watching. Take a look at the platitude which this Ross fellow used to justify his actions: "I was working within a particular paradigm of earth history." One can appreciate why Nature's editorial policy bans the word paradigm: all too often, it is the verbal equivalent of a prion.

    We owe the infectious factor to Thomas Kuhn, of course, and his Structure of Scientific Revolutions. It has been said that there are in fact two Kuhns fighting for domination within the pages of that volume, the moderate Kuhn and his demented evil twin brother (who was, perhaps, bitten by a radioactive French literary critic when he was a child). The moderate Kuhn takes the position that in science, one world view replaces another — Einstein overtaking Newton, for example — and that we typically overestimate the degree to which the actual scientific evidence determines this change. His twin, Mutant Evil Kuhn, says that these "paradigms" are incommensurable: that evidence can never change a Newtonian into a follower of Special Relativity.

    "Say wha?"

    Well, that's why he's Mutant Evil Kuhn, and why he gets to be a revered patriarch of the Fellowship of Social Constructivists.

    Now, a tolerant and scholarly mind can find some good in "postmodernism" (to steal a riff from Pliny the Elder, it's hard to find a book which is so thoroughly bad nothing good can come of it). We can find some modest worth by elaborating and refining the axiom, "Whatever is said, is said by someone." However, modesty is not a virtue in postmodern circles, and when found it is often corrected by injections of the K-Factor Mutagen.

    We stereotypically associate an infection by postmodern memes with residency in the political Left. As Meera Nanda has ably documented, this is an illusion brought about, ironically, by our Eurocentric bias. Fans of Vedic creationism and Vedic astrology invoke Lacan and Feyerabend to justify the subduction of modern science into Hindu mythology. These people live, moreover, on the political "right wing", endorsing the radical nationalism of Hindutva. And now, we see that all the talk of epistemic relativism and incommensurable paradigms which earned philosophy degrees for so many latte-sipping, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving intellectuals provides a pat mantra for the creationists. It has no more intellectual depth than the answer one gets upon asking a teenager, newly saved and reborn in Christ, how they reconcile God's omniscience with free will or how they resolve the problem of evil. It is a soma of words, whose function is to lubricate the mind and keep it slipping freely past contradictions of fact and crises of conscience.

  14. I recall reading (in Michael Shermer's Why People Believe Weird Things, perhaps?) that cultures which live near oceans and rivers have flood stories in their mythologies, while cultures which live elsewhere — say, nomadic tribes wandering the Asian steppes — lack such myths.

    I wrote a couple comments on this incident over at Pharyngula, which has probably been lost in the noise by now. It might be worth pulling them back out and seeing if I can clean them up a little. . . here goes.

    First, I found the appeal to economics particularly laughable:

    He likened his situation to that of a socialist studying economics in a department with a supply-side bent. "People hold all sorts of opinions different from the department in which they graduate," he said. "What's that to anybody else?"

    The reason we have different schools of economics is that it's hard to do the experiments necessary to winnow bad ideas from good. In an environment where experiments are hard, people may get used to living without them, and what was once science becomes the sophistic manipulation of words. If this is true of any Economics Department, then they're not doing science, and there's no point making a comparison to them in order to justify one's behavior as a scientist. In principle, socialism and supply-side economics are both empirically testable. You try them out and see if the country flourishes or collapses. If the experiments have not been done, or if the results in the historical record are difficult to interpret, then reasonable people can differ on what the results of different economic systems will be.

    This situation is in no way analogous to the chasm between science and creationism. To have a correct analogy, we would have to speak of a student writing a thesis about supply-side economics while believing in his heart that all economic decisions should be made by Ouija board.

    I hope Alan Sokal and Meera Nanda are watching. Take a look at the platitude which this Ross fellow used to justify his actions: "I was working within a particular paradigm of earth history." One can appreciate why Nature's editorial policy bans the word paradigm: all too often, it is the verbal equivalent of a prion.

    We owe the infectious factor to Thomas Kuhn, of course, and his Structure of Scientific Revolutions. It has been said that there are in fact two Kuhns fighting for domination within the pages of that volume, the moderate Kuhn and his demented evil twin brother (who was, perhaps, bitten by a radioactive French literary critic when he was a child). The moderate Kuhn takes the position that in science, one world view replaces another — Einstein overtaking Newton, for example — and that we typically overestimate the degree to which the actual scientific evidence determines this change. His twin, Mutant Evil Kuhn, says that these "paradigms" are incommensurable: that evidence can never change a Newtonian into a follower of Special Relativity.

    "Say wha?"

    Well, that's why he's Mutant Evil Kuhn, and why he gets to be a revered patriarch of the Fellowship of Social Constructivists.

    Now, a tolerant and scholarly mind can find some good in "postmodernism" (to steal a riff from Pliny the Elder, it's hard to find a book which is so thoroughly bad nothing good can come of it). We can find some modest worth by elaborating and refining the axiom, "Whatever is said, is said by someone." However, modesty is not a virtue in postmodern circles, and when found it is often corrected by injections of the K-Factor Mutagen.

    We stereotypically associate an infection by postmodern memes with residency in the political Left. As Meera Nanda has ably documented, this is an illusion brought about, ironically, by our Eurocentric bias. Fans of Vedic creationism and Vedic astrology invoke Lacan and Feyerabend to justify the subduction of modern science into Hindu mythology. These people live, moreover, on the political "right wing", subscribing to the radical nationalism of Hindutva. And now, we see that all the talk of epistemic relativism and incommensurable paradigms which earned philosophy degrees for so many latte-sipping, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving intellectuals provides a pat mantra for the creationists. It has no more intellectual depth than the answer one gets upon asking a teenager, newly saved and reborn in Christ, how they reconcile God's omniscience with free will or how they resolve the problem of evil. It is a soma of words, whose function is to lubricate the mind and keep it slipping freely past contradictions of fact and crises of conscience.

  15. Katsudon:

    You make a good point. It's still odd that most cultures would retain a flood as a defining moment of history – they could have chosen earthquakes or hurricanes too.

    Speaking of the Flood, according to the "young Earth theory' it occurred in 2348 BC. At that time the Egyptians were at the height of their Pyramid building, and we still have tons of records from them dating from those days. You'd think they would notice being flooded, but not a peep on that can be found in their records.

  16. Hello, pseudo-new commenter here (i.e., I haven't commented in a long time and even then I only did twice I think), but if I may hasard an opinion…

    @GreenNeck2 : Are you sure about the "most cultures" thing ? I mean, I know ours does, and I think I've heard of one or two other flood-based myths, but is it really true of most cultures ?

    And anyway when you think of it, most civilizations (that's a "most" I'm pretty sure of on the other hand ^^) have developed around rivers and deltas, so obviously flooding would be a larger component of their lives than, say, earthquakes.

    Re cultures and natural disasters by the way, there are some places that are particularily prone to natural disasters, but which are also very good for settling. The only two examples I can think of are flood plains (obviously) and volcanoes (because the cinders of the eruptions make good soil… right ?). Are there any other examples ? And does this mean there are interesting volcano-themed creation myths out there I don't know about ?

    @ Katsudon re "the viral way that a good tale can spread" : I once found a Breton fairy tale I had read, in a book of Russian traditional stories. Practically the exact same story. That's creepy. (or bad research on the editor's part).

    Re the actual, you know, subject of the post : The amount of doublethink involved in studying paleontology, doing it well, and still being a young earth creationist (I mean, IDer sure, Old Earth creationist why not… but YEC ???) just baffles me. Is this guy insane or stupid or what ? I'll never understand faith. On the other hand, if the science he does is good I don't see how you can justify kicking him out…

  17. I hate the fact that I have the "noah" name. That the flood story is soooo friggen connected to me. (Hence going by N.R. even at school, like JD or TJ but NR)

    But more than that I hate creationsits period. They are to the most part sneaky liars. They will make up or smudge statistics in order to make their points and convince people they are correct even when not.

    Of course when you can jusify it with "well jesus would like it" theres not much you cant convince yourself is moral.

    —–Sort of a side note; the story I heard about how the creationists came to the year 6,000 was that they added up the ages everyone in the bible…. is this true or just a funny yet sadly believable tall tale?

  18. N. R. Miller, I believe the most common way to get the number 6,000 is to start with King Saul and add up the ages of the judges and patriarchs going back from there. In a word, yes, it's true, although you can inflate your figures by saying (for example) that each of the "days" in Genesis was really a thousand years.

  19. Soo nutty.

    Especialy when they try to say that they don;t know who the designer is, that it could be any god… but then in the next breath they say the earth is 6,000 with only the bible to base it on.

    I just…. I don't get it. I really don't. There's not much self delusion that I can't wrap my head around. But this… wow.

  20. On the flood topic thing – while floods do play a part in the mythos of many cultures there is a logical reason for them playing a larger part than earthquakes or hurricanes. Floods last. A hurricane is over in a couple of days t most. An earthquake last less than a minute on most cases. A flood can last weeks. While a hurricane may kill hundred, and a particualrly bad quake in an acnient city could have potentially killed thousands, a multi-week flood in the ancient world would have resulted in a death toll that very likely would have destroyed any local civilizations. Therefore, amongst the survivors, the tale of the flood would be easily the most important thing in their lives and that tale would be passed onto the following generations.

    For a modern example of the destrucive power and long term effects of truly major flooding you only have to look at New Orleans. That city is still largely destroyed. The hurricane itlsef is all but forgotten – only the flooding that resulted afterwards and the horrors of it remain in the collective psyche. For the survivors the stories of that flood will be rememebred by their families for genrations to come. I'm sure that it will grow in scope too and eventually will recede into the fog of myth as a flood that innundated the whole gulf coast.

    We're funny that way.

  21. The 6000+ year old earth has quite a long history among xtians but the first to actually try and calculate an accurate chronology was Bishop James Usher. An Irishman and head of the Anglo-Irish church, who published it around the mid 1600s and who calculated the age as the beginning of the night prior to October the 23rd. 4004 BC. His main aim in doing so was to show how clever protestant intellectuals were compared to that 'popish' lot, as he hated the catholics, particularly the Jesuits, with a passion. The chronology was included in the King James bible and various others for a long time, as well as Gideon bibles until the 1970s. I used to have an old King James bible which had the complete chronology with exact dates for everyone included in the dating process.

  22. RE: "Dr." Ross, perhaps he should challenge himself to a debate to refute his thesis?

    There was a Born Again Christian in grad school with me in astronomy at U. Wisconsin… he once actually "laid hands" on me to try to cure a sprained wrist. It made me wonder how he could take his research seriously if he could just throw up his hands and say "God did it" when he couldn't explain something.

    RE: this…

    "In my free time, I try to date men, but mostly I’m dating rocks these days. "

    How well do the men go through the sample crusher and the mass spec?

    :)

  23. I just want to thank StarkMad for mentioning my city of New Orleans. There are still plenty of signs of damage. And in a sad but not-too-surprising parallel with the ancient world, there were (are) quite a few people who believed the floods were God-sent to punish the sinners. (Not taking into consideration that Bourbon Street was left high and dry.)

    N.R. Miller said, Phil takes all the girls.

    Noah's right! That man's telescope points straight up from dusk 'til dawn!

    (I SWEAR that's the last time I'll call you Noah.)

  24. Take a look in your favorite search engine for…

    flood black sea ballard

    The Black Sea was a fertile valley 7000 feet deep, until the Mediterranean reached the level of the Bosporus. It could have flooded in days or months. This happened 7000 years ago.

  25. I'd heard about this story but couldn't believe that it was anything other than a hoax. Sadly, I was overly optimistic. As penance for the sins of Rhode Island, I am raising my own paleontologist who will, at least, bring the brilliance to buffoonery ratio of the state closer to one to one.

    I've explained to NumberOneSon that there are people in this world who don't believe in evolution. His answer was something to the effect of "Well, what do they think? That we all just poofed out of nowhere?! That's stupid!"

  26. Not to quibble here, but he could think The Flintstones is just entertainment, not a documentary. I mean, do you think The Honeymooner is a documentary?

    Also, extinction doesn't by any means equal evolution. God could well have created Mosasaurs and let them all die, no evolution required.

    This should not be interpreted as meaning I approve of him getting this degree. He's a liar in one half of his life and a hypocrite in the other. And now he's going to be held up as a "scientist" who disbelieves in evolution. He's not. He's a parrot.

  27. I am a young-earth creationist, and I stumbled upon this website with a Google search. Please bear with me, I am not a geologist, but feel free to hate me just the same and I shall do my level best to continue to treat you with dignity and respect.

    True scientists on a quest for knowledge, I should think, would welcome critical thought regarding their propositions. Perhaps we need not call this post a criticism, but an inquiry into your proposition. I have a series of questions, actually, but requesting a generous portion of your patience, I am asking them one at a time deliberately. The magnificent photo shows the Delicate Arch in Utah and the claim is made that the formation of which it is part, is much older than 6kyo. How is this known?

    If this site does not automatically notify me of replies, please send a one-liner to [email protected], so I'll know to check back.

    Best wishes,

    –Bit

    "We see what we believe."

  28. Bit, every scientist, in fact, every person with at least a bit of curiosity, is on a search for knowledge.

    From what I gather though, the difference between Young Earth Creationists (YEC) and regular scientists is whether or not they accept the evidence if it contradicts what it is they want to believe.

    Since YEC start out from the assumption that the bible is absolutely undoubtably correct, any evidence that doesn't compute with that assumption has to be either ignored, dismissed as incorrect, or shoehorned to fit in in using explanations that are too silly to even consider seriously. This is not an insult to the intelligence of the YEC people, it's merely an observed fact, because any contrary evidence needs to be dealt with in some way, and there's plenty of contrary evidence.

    I'm not going to explain the many things you need to know to understand how rock dating works, and how that dating proves that those rocks are much, much older than 6000 years.

    What you need to figure out though, is why you refuse to believe those rocks could be older than 6000 years. The science behind that fact is very solid, much more solid than many of the shoehorn excuses that YEC come up with in an attempt to dismiss this evidence as invalid. Are you openminded enough to accept the fact that the earth could be much older than 6000 years? And since the evidence shows that it is, why do you refuse to accept that evidence?

  29. New poster here and a little late into the event(My apologies)

    Just out of simple minded curiosity, a past statement:

    “Speaking of the Flood, according to the “young Earth theory’ it occurred in 2348 BC. At that time the Egyptians were at the height of their Pyramid building, and we still have tons of records from them dating from those days. You’d think they would notice being flooded, but not a peep on that can be found in their records.”

    Now dating on this event I agree is completely incorrect, moreover, didn’t(not to get to biblical from old memories some 2 decades ago) the “Great Flood” occur before Moses who was “involved” with the Pyramid construction. I do agree in fact that the dating of these events are way off, even a YEC has to agree with that fact(and most do.) Therefore, I riddle them this, “If the “Great Flood did occur world wide pre-Egyptian pyramid building which said peek era was 2300BC’ish, when is a good time we can fit you in to the BC’s? 2700BC, 3200BC, 3900BC? All of these are taken already with other cultural empires and fiefdoms with records.

    Now for my question to anyone listening still, for my own purpose and intent, I’ve heard that even in YEC communities and non-YEC as well(scary thought mind you) that a figure of 25,000 years has been floating about with some stratum, is changing the date further back a few thousand going to change a damn thing?

    Now im no PHD, hell not even in this field more or less just curious about wispers in the darkness, but even the infamous N.A.S.A. with their top minds were expecting some 62 inches of space dust on the moon when they landed based on the theory that the moon in fact was in our orbit of course over millions of years. Only came up with some 3-5 inches… I know i took this way out to an area not many can in fact do hands on with, but here is what i can do for you all here. I’ll try my best to dig up all these “Technical Facts” YEC try to use to further their plight into few thousands and not millions and post them here to sharpen up a bit on.

    Hope i wasn’t a bother, and thanks for the opportunity to speak.

    C.T.R.

  30. Thank you for posting this, an example of an actual working geologist who is rightfully fed up with all the Young Earth nonsense.

    I constantly find it an astounding feat of cognitive dissonance, when I hear right-wing petrozealots shrieking about how we need to drill our way out of the oil crisis… people who will then turn around and start spouting about how evolution is “just a theory” and how “secular scientists” are polluting our nation’s schools. How on Earth do these primitives think that oil is surveyed and discovered? Prayer? Sacrificing a red heifer?

    Geologists figure out where the petroleum ought to be, by thinking about how the real-life Earth is put together… using fields of knowledge like geochronology, sedimentary stratigraphy, geochemistry, geophysics, structural geology, all of which are informed by a full working knowledge of how planetary processes function over geologic time (i.e. 4.6 billion years).

    Being a Young Earth creationist is sufficient grounds to disqualify anyone from being recognized as a competent geologist, in my professional opinion. At best it’s incompetence, at worst it’s malpractice. A Young Earth geologist would be functionally identical to a practicing physician who believes proudly and loudly that evil spells and demonic possession cause disease instead of bacteria. Such a physician would be a laughing stock to the world and an embarrassment to himself and his profession, with good reason.

    (posted/linked on Planetologist.net)

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