Neil deGrasse Tyson vs. Young Earth Creationism

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A fan reports that the Creation Museum cites an old, pre-Hubble discrepancy about the age of the oldest stars (18 billion years old) and the age of the universe (15 billion years old) as evidence against science and for the Young Earth Creationism belief that the universe is just thousands of years old. Watch astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and Eugene Mirman debunk their claim, discussing why creationism shouldn't be considered real science, and also how we can sometimes end up with mistakes in scientific data that lead to blunders like "fast tachyons.


Written By: StarTalk Radio
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19 COMMENTS

  1. I have an acqaintence who thinks – sorry, wrong word – believes, that there’s “abundant evidence” that life once existed on the Moon and Mars; no, really, I do know someone who believes that!

    Why does he believe it? Because he wants to. Ah, the bliss of religion.

    Anyway, I’ve winged these videos to him. Ooh, he won’t like it one little bit, but I can’t resist winding him up.

  2. There is no one so blind as he who will not see.That’s a creationist for you.Never mind that different disciplines of science have all arrived at the same conclusion:the earth is indeed ancient, and no amount of creationist naysaying is going to change that.If they want to be the laughingstock of the world,that’s their prerogative,but brainwashing the little ones and stunting their thinking this way is abusive.

  3. I “religiously” download Neil deGrasse Tyson’s weekly podcast (HERE), and encourage everyone else to do the same. there’s a new one added every Monday + there’s access to all the previous podcasts in the archives. The show is always very entertaining.

  4. Neil deGrasse Tyson: “Actually I have nothing specific against a creation museum, just keep it out of the science classroom. We live in a free country, people could say anything you want about whatever.” Interviewer: “Just like the Batman museum is not accurate, but it’s fun” Tyson: “That’s what it means to be free, right, just don’t confuse it with actual science.”

    Pathetic to see Tyson persist in trotting out this worthless knee jerk pack of platitudes at every opportunity. Would he also have nothing specific against, say, a Holocaust denying museum where the concentration camps are depicted as luxury resorts with five star accommodations, fine dining, Symphony orchestra, theater, sports facilities, libraries and first rate medical attention, as long as it is kept out of the history classroom?

    • In reply to #5 by godsbuster:

      Neil deGrasse Tyson: “Actually I have nothing specific against a creation museum, just keep it out of the science classroom. We live in a free country, people could say anything you want about whatever.” Interviewer: “Just like the Batman museum is not accurate, but it’s fun” Tyson: “That’s what it…

      I don’t think you are comparing apples to apples here, however, people have freedom to express themselves as they see fit (with exceptions of course). I would like to know why you think they shouldn’t be able to have a creation museum? Where in the Constitution does it prohibit them from expressing their beliefs?

      • Hey, it doesn’t say anything in the constitution about their being able to voice their (horseshit and provably so) opinion. Why does that make it right (or even defendable?)? I just detailed why it is ridiculous to spend public time and money on stupid bullshit, but it is not against the constitution. There are lots of things that are morally wrong, observably ridiculous, or morally offensive that are not “against” the constitution.

        Why is that your measuring stick? Their “church” is as valid as the spaghetti monster’s. They are founded on a clear lie told within our grandparents’ grandparents memories. Utter horse shit. I am obligated to take them seriously because they have a constitutional exemption? FUCK THAT. Stupid is stupid. sorry, man, that is what it is.

        One wonders why you aren’t racing to the defense of the scientologists? They are just two or three generations removed from the mormons bullshit. Oh, that’s right, THEY are WRONG. You are all wrong. Anything demonstrably STUPID is fair game for the deconstruction by logical minds. And….guess what? Moronism, You guessed it! STUPID>STUPID STUPID…

        In reply to #6 by Mormon Atheist:

        In reply to #5 by godsbuster:

        Neil deGrasse Tyson: “Actually I have nothing specific against a creation museum, just keep it out of the science classroom. We live in a free country, people could say anything you want about whatever.” Interviewer: “Just like the Batman museum is not accurate, but it…

        • In reply to #10 by crookedshoes:

          Hey, it doesn’t say anything in the constitution about their being able to voice their (horseshit and provably so) opinion. Why does that make it right (or even defendable?)? I just detailed why it is ridiculous to spend public time and money on stupid bullshit, but it is not against the constitut…

          Are you missing my point? What I am saying is that they have the right to put forward their bullshit if they want. I am not advocating for them to get gov’t money and in fact they shouldn’t get a fucking dime from the gov’t nor should they get tax breaks. All I care to say and this applies to any group is that they have freedom to express themselves as they see fit. We can’t just say that freedom of speech applies only to groups with whom we agree. I would love for those who use their Constitutionally given right to free speech to use wisely but that isn’t always the case. Not to mention it goes both ways they say stupid shit and we criticize it as being such.

          • You are absolutely right. So, maybe I am missing your point. When I go back and reread, you are correct. There is no constitutional reason why they should be prohibited from propagating their horse shit. I apologize for jumping on you, I initially misunderstood where you were coming from. Thank you for defending your stance and making me reconsider. I was wrong.
            crooked.

            In reply to #11 by Mormon Atheist:

            In reply to #10 by crookedshoes:

            Hey, it doesn’t say anything in the constitution about their being able to voice their (horseshit and provably so) opinion. Why does that make it right (or even defendable?)? I just detailed why it is ridiculous to spend public time and money on stupid bullshit, b…

      • In reply to #6 by Mormon Atheist:

        In reply to #5 by godsbuster:

        I would like to know why you think they shouldn’t be able to have a creation museum? Where in the Constitution does it prohibit them from expressing their beliefs?

        I would like to know why you think they shouldn’t be able to have a Holocaust denial museum? Where in the Constitution does it prohibit them from expressing their beliefs?

        • In reply to #14 by godsbuster:

          In reply to #6 by Mormon Atheist:

          In reply to #5 by godsbuster:

          I would like to know why you think they shouldn’t be able to have a creation museum? Where in the Constitution does it prohibit them from expressing their beliefs?

          I would like to know why you think they shouldn’t be able to have a H…

          They should be allowed to have a holocaust denial museum if they fund it themselves and follow the law. As much as I would abhor someone creating such a museum it is well within their rights to do so, but it would be well within our rights to condemn it and criticize it. I mean the fact is there can be an ugly side to freedom of speech and such a museum as holocaust denial would count as the ugly side.

          • In reply to #15 by Mormon Atheist:

            In reply to #14 by godsbuster:

            In reply to #6 by Mormon Atheist:
            They should be allowed to have a holocaust denial museum if they fund it themselves and follow the law.

            Ah, so apples were being compared to apples after all.

          • In reply to #16 by godsbuster:

            In reply to #15 by Mormon Atheist:

            In reply to #14 by godsbuster:

            In reply to #6 by Mormon Atheist:
            They should be allowed to have a holocaust denial museum if they fund it themselves and follow the law.

            Ah, so apples were being compared to apples after all.

            You know I guess we were. You’re were right on target.

        • In reply to #14 by godsbuster:
          >

          I would like to know why you think they shouldn’t be able to have a Holocaust denial museum? Where in the Constitution does it prohibit them from expressing their beliefs?

          I think this is where freedom of speech is stretched into a fraudsters and liars charter in the US.
          Even if there are loopholes, this does not justify fraud!

          There are museums and displays of Batman, Dr. Who, Star-Trek etc. but these are presented honestly as fiction.
          The Creation Museum is wilfully dishonestly presented as science.

  5. You have to laugh at the irony!

    The creation Museum is using old scientific estimates of the age of the universe and stars, to point out as a big issue, that there is a difference of under 4 billion years between early estimates and the recent figure of 13.798 billion years old, when their figure of under 10,000 years old, is over 13 billion years wrong – even after the calculations have been made publicly available!

  6. Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.
    ~ Napoleon

    I really have to wonder about creationists, are they sneaky or just incompetent.

    In this 15-18 discrepancy, did they really not understand error bars?

    In this 15-18 discrepancy, did they really think 18 billion year old star would be happier in a 6000 year old universe than a 15 billion year old one?

    There a pile of “flaws” dating back to Darwin’s time, mostly based on a misunderstanding of what Darwing said. They have been debunked over and over and over. Yet creationists keep pitching them as if they were nuclear weapons. What are they up to? Hoping to pick off a naive atheist? Hoping to bamboozle a straying Christian? Hoping to waste some atheists time, just to annoy him?

    I think the professional creationists are simply con artists. They are fully aware that what they are saying is a lie, but they make a good living out of it.

    • In reply to #8 by Roedy:

      Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence.
      ~ Napoleon

      I think the professional creationists are simply con artists. They are fully aware that what they are saying is a lie, but they make a good living out of it.

      Trouble is, I don’t think incompetence does adequately explain creationism. I can’t believe that Ray Comfort had/has no idea that the banana was a product of artificial selection. I can’t believe he’s THAT stupid.

      Therefore that leaves ‘malice’. So yes, I agree. They are liars and conmen. I’m not sure I’m convinced they are actually religious.

  7. Ahhh, creationists!!!

    To be ignorant of one’s own ignorance; that is the plight of the truly ignorant.

    Many of these folks fit this bill to a “T”. But, as Roedy pointed out on another thread many of them aren’t as ignorant as they are flat out dishonest. Both susets are dangerous in their own way. Neither should be given the pass that DeGrasse trots out; the old “believe what you want as long as it is not in the classroom” trope.

    Here is the condensed version of why.

    Bullshit that gets backed by politicians diverts actual money and research time from real progress. Forward thinking people are dragged down because of bullshit that then makes the talk show circuit. Oprah backs the bullshit and grants that could be spent on cancer or AIDS research go to “happiness is red” vs “happiness is green” horse crap. I went off on this in a full blown story on a previous thread, but while these fools argue over the color of happiness with the full attention of the media, politicians, and subsequently the public… the potential cure for depression gets shelved due to lack of funding. That is the issue.

  8. So the creationists used the discrepancy between the two age estimates of 15 and 18 billion years old to discredit all of science? Well, the discrepancy between 6000 and 10000 years old is statistically much, much larger than that between 15 and 18. I guess that really destroys creationist credibility. Time to close that museum.

  9. Interviewer: “Just like the Batman museum is not accurate, but it’s fun” Tyson: “That’s what it means to be free, right, just don’t confuse it with actual science.”

    Huge problem with that comment. The Batman museum is not pretending to be real, the creation museum is! And pretending to be real to youngsters who do not yet have the requisite academic skills or simple maturity to see it as illogical bullshit.

    And I’ve never been to either but I’m guessing the Batman museum is probably accurate – and accurate representation of a comic book character and the history of that comic book character. The creation museum is about as far from accurate as it’s possible to get.

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