Betrayal

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Note that some may find difficulty in playing the audio clip below – going to the source site may help


Jerry Coyne has been busy with professional responsibilities lately, and has not been doing a lot of (what shall we call it?) web-siting, but he did connect to a radio call-in show that Richard Dawkins did for the BBC. It has to do with evolution and creationism, and more particularly with the decision of Britain’s National Trust to include creationist nonsense in its account of the Giant’s Causeway (picture to the left). Here is a description of the phenomenon:

This natural scenery consists of 40,000 basalt columns [off the northeast coast of Ireland] that were formed when lava cooled fast 60 million years ago. This is now a World Heritage Site that was discovered in 1693. Since then, it leaves the visitors stunned.The place is so great, that it is said to be formed by “supernatural forces”. Legend says that it was believed that two giants, one Irish and one Scottish, always at odds, threw stones together without ceasing. This led to the formation of a field of stones on the sea.

Of course, creationists claim that this rock formation is no more than 6,000 years old, agreeing with James Ussher (1581-1656), onetime Primate of All Ireland, who calculated the age of the earth, based on biblical chronology. That’s why many King James (Authorized Version) Bibles still include, on the first page, the date 4004 BC.  That we have other ways of estimating the age of the earth does not weigh with creationists, who insist that the Bible, God’s Holy Word, no less, can contain no shadow of error, and therefore 6,000 years, more or less, it will have to be, no matter what scientists have proved.

I took the liberty of cutting down the sixteen minute clip down to a minute and a few seconds.

Note that some may find difficulty in playing the audio clip below – going to the source site may help



Creationism and the Giant’s Causeway

Creationism and the Giant’s Causeway

This movie requires Adobe Flash for playback.

I’ve whittled the talk back programme with Richard Dawkins down to this short clip to emphasise what this post is about. It’s about betrayal and misrepresentation. Here we are told by a creationist housewife — as she describes herself — defending her belief that the Giant’s Causeway is only as old as the Bible says it is, a claim which assumes, of course, that there is a definite chronology in the Bible which can be used to date the age of the earth, and that this chronology, such as it is, supersedes all other forms of chronology, because the Bible is, after all, the inerrant word of God. In response to Richard Dawkins claim that reputable scientists all agree that the earth is billions of years old, our doughty housewife responds with: “That’s a blatant lie,” And then she lists four “scientists” who accept the creationist dating of the age of the earth (and she might well have named more, because, if you google these names, you end up on sites with many more). However, here are Mrs. White’s four “reputable” scientists:

I’ve whittled the talk back programme with Richard Dawkins down to this short clip to emphasise what this post is about. It’s about betrayal and misrepresentation. Here we are told by a creationist housewife — as she describes herself — defending her belief that the Giant’s Causeway is only as old as the Bible says it is, a claim which assumes, of course, that there is a definite chronology in the Bible which can be used to date the age of the earth, and that this chronology, such as it is, supersedes all other forms of chronology, because the Bible is, after all, the inerrant word of God. In response to Richard Dawkins claim that reputable scientists all agree that the earth is billions of years old, our doughty housewife responds with: “That’s a blatant lie,” And then she lists four “scientists” who accept the creationist dating of the age of the earth (and she might well have named more, because, if you google these names, you end up on sites with many more). However, here are Mrs. White’s four “reputable” scientists:

Andy MacIntosh is a Professor of Thermodynamics and Combustion Theory at the University of Leeds. He is a young earth creationist, and is on the Board of Directors of the creationist organisation Truth in Science, which describes itself (misleadingly) in this way:

  • Truth in Science is an organisation that focuses purely on science and lets the scientific evidence speak for itself.
  • We accept the Royal Society Motto: Nullius in verba*  ‘Take the word of no-one’  and follow where the evidence leads.
  • We highlight the scientific evidence which is contrary to the Neo-Darwinian paradigm, and expose the ideological bias which hides or ignores such evidence.
  • We believe genuine education in schools and colleges will alert students to all the available evidence and ideas, so that they, in turn, can interpret the evidence for themselves and draw rational conclusions.
  • We aim to promote and stimulate open discussion and allow people to come to     informed conclusions.

Andy MacIntosh is a co-author of a paper (published by Creation Ministries International) entitled Flood Models: the need for an integrate approach, which begins with the following words in its executive summary:

Any scientific understanding of the Biblical Flood must address the hydrology and sedimentation that occurred during the Flood and in subsequent years as the Earth settled down. A number of scientific models previously proposed for the Flood are summarised and assessed.

Edgar Andrews is the “distinguished” author of Who Made God?, as his website tells us, where we are also told that “Professor Edgar H. Andrews (BSc, PhD, DSc, FInstP, FIMMM, CEng, CPhys.) is Emeritus Professor of Materials at the University of London and an international expert on the science of large molecules.” He has actually been involved in a debate with Richard Dawkins. In this segment you can hear him claim against Richard Dawkins that there are scientific reasons for doubting radiometric dating of the earth — and you can also hear Dawkins’ frustration at the kind of empty denial that Andrews’ assumptions dictate.

Steve Lloyd, who ”worked in scientific research for eight years before entering pastoral ministry,” is a part-time lecturer with Biblical Creation Ministries  — but note the switch from scientific research to “pastoral ministry.” Lloyd has a doctorate from Cambridge in materials science, and is featured on bethinking.org, a Christian apologetics website, which plays the science and religion compatibility game. He calls himself a “young fossil creationist.” He is the pastor of Hope Church in Gravesend. He thinks “Floodist” rather than “Creationist” might be a more appropriate title, since everything in his view centres around this great catastrophe. He’s a young fossil creationist mainly because he thinks that animal suffering is a problem, and that a good God couldn’t have created a world billions of years old with the amount of suffering that that would entail.

Paul Garner — who blogs on The New Creationism, and is a “researcher and lecturer with Biblical Creation Ministries,” where we are told that Garner “has a degree in Environmental Sciences (Geology/Biology) and is a Fellow of the Geological Society.” You can read some of his “scientific” papers here.

 

 

Written By: Eric MacDonald
continue to source article at choiceindying.com

17 COMMENTS

  1. It looks like science has to do a little house cleaning so we don’t keep getting tagged by morons simply getting a degree so they can use the word “scientist” to add gravitas to their ignorant blathering.

  2. The National Trust is trespassing on political turf.

    Clearly, one Visitor’s Centre is enough.

    As a monopoly rights holder the Trust needs to be more careful about how it makes decisions that have implications for public education.

    We’re a UK conservation charity, protecting historic places and green spaces, and opening them up for ever, for everyone.

    How is supporting creationism protecting the history of the Causeway?

    Anyone can become a member of the National Trust, though you will need to have a UK address and it is pricey (£40, which is about $60) – and that first year price is a discounted!

    If any of you are richer than me try becoming a Member and complaining from the inside as this will be far more effective.

    Peace.

  3. My experience of humans per se is of “cheating for advantage”, rather than fairness and equitability. I wonder if there are those who aren’t really theists in many of religions corridors due it affording them advantages that they then are compelled to uphold to retain positions of kudos and power amidst their cliques? That idea certainly would explain a great deal of what I have, without exception, repeatedly been usurped and confused by in the course of my life. It leads us into being repeatedly confronted by at least two sorts of thinker:

    1) The truly delusional and passionate resistance, against analysis and logic, of the ill informed – posing us increasingly large groups for critical mass.

    2) The knowing cheater, unable to divulge their position, having fathomed their material and other benefits of heightened experience get reinforced much more easily and predictably amidst a large harvest of part deluded individuals they can rely upon the spoils and relative lesser status of – posing us increasingly large power cliques for critical mass.

    Clarity and an appetite for sharing current knowledge and information seem at a premium and as such soon posit guarded minds conspiring for advantage, more especially when it applies to things like the financial markets. Here too, we seem to be seeing precedents, as far as I can discern, for truth and the sharing of it, to be a high value low sharing mindedness – completely rebuffing any common knowledge models for equal access to information. 

    I tell myself the world of humans per se is corrupted thus, due wars being waged for profits and power so likely explains why religions markets are still thriving for advantage and trading the minds of all comers in their “lifetime” stocks and shares. 

  4. Sigh… I can understand that the more ‘supernatural’ claims sound believable to someone. But if you are pressed on the data that proves the age of a rock, or the entire world for that matter, how can you POSSIBLY still believe the earth is only 6,000 years old? Unless you believe a god sends a tiny gremlin to tweak the results of every carbon-dating just to mess with our heads, in which case I highly recommend psychiatric treatment.

  5. (Don’t see what this has to do with ‘Choice in Dying?)

    I haven’t read everything about this fuss, but I have to say that, on the face of it, the NT is only doing its job and presenting the public and foreign visitors with interesting aspects of UK heritage, which includes its folklore and, yes, even its religions – historic and archaeological. I love the ‘creation myth’ of the giants fighting it out and giving us the causeway (shame I’ve forgotten their names) and Staffa – how else are NT supposed to explain the very name of the feature? – and this is a great part of what draws visitors to these isles.  I’ll never be able to afford to stay at any of the NT’s places, or even to visit many of them, but I will be continuing my membership and hoping they will continue doing their fine job – with the exclusion of a few unfortunate sell offs and developments.  Those who choose to ‘believe’ or delude themselves about biblical myths are, and always will be, nuts, but let’s not let them spoil the stories for the rest of us.

  6.  I’ve listened carefully to the whole radio debate on youtube, and I really don’t know how is it that Professor Dawkins doesn’t despair in debating, contradicting, educating the endless numbers of ignoramuses who are so blatantly, and hopelessly, insistent in their mistakes. It really takes one’s whole energy to try and withstand those people, and then there are more and more in the waiting. Is there really any hope in correcting all of them, or is it just an endless stream of new ones coming up all the time to mock and thrash our attempts at having reason prevail?
    I know science has the last word with businessmen, governments, and all educated people, because it delivers the results while the creationists don’t, but all this “public at large” on the radio and everywhere, aren’t they exasperating? It looks like the churches will always, always have their flock. And remember that Britain is far not the worst example in the world, in fact it is one of the best (outside Scandinavia).

  7. “Ergo Yahweh” reasoning strikes again. Here’s how it works:

    1. These are some funny shaped rocks.
    2. Rocks that are such a funny shape would be very difficult for nature to produce.
    3. Therefore, Yahweh, the God of the Christian bible, must exist.

  8. I have never ceased to be amazed at the way nature carved out those four American president’s faces in Mount Rushmore, if anything testifies to god it must be that. Now its time for my pills.

  9. You are missing the point!

    It is fine for the myths religious or otherwise, to be included in the visitor information, but it should be separated from the science. Clearly, in this case it wasn’t, and I have sent my email to the NT expressing that view. They have indeed been doing a fine job, until now, and this educational transgression needed to be nipped in the bud.

  10. There is a Marcus du Sautoy documentary, The code episode2, which neatly explains how the hexagonal shapes would arise, and shows how if you take bubbles and squeeze them into a tight space you get hexagon shapes.  I suspect it could be done even more simply by taking lengths of different coloured plasticine in tube shapes, lieing them beside each other and squeezing them so that the circular cross section push together into hexagons.

    As for this article – it seems to take a list of 4 claimed scientists and dismissing them on the basis of their failure to understand evolution and modern dating techniques.  That is not a sensible way to progress.
    Either he should have attacked their qualifications or come up with better known scientists who have specifically addressed their work.  As it is, he has merely said that he, himself, is a better judge than they (normally the creationist tactic).

  11.  Yeah well!  TROOOOoooofff in Scivance.

    We believe genuine education in schools and colleges will alert students
    to all the available evidence and ideas, so that they, in turn, can
    interpret the evidence for themselves and draw rational conclusions.

    Which translated from charlatan into English says:-

    “Allow us to bypass expert scientific scrutiny and feed our carefully contrived lying propaganda to children in a trusting environment where they are isolated from scientific evidence and will not suspect we are lying rogues when we talk about “genuine education”.  – We can’t convince real scientists with out fakery, so let us try it on inexperienced kids before they have sufficient science education to spot the lies and liars!”

  12. Since there is no evidence that the god Jehovah had anything to do with writing the bible, and since there is so much evidence ordinary bungling humans did, and since there are so many errors and inconsistencies in the bible, how can people possibly claim with absolute  certainty the bible is the inerrant word of god?  It is obviously not true. All you have to do is read the bible.  The only way you could believe that it so take somebody’s word for it and never look for yourself.

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