Archive for Creationism

I bet creationists won’t object to carbon dating THIS time.

A group of researchers from San Diego (led by a chap called Richard Levy, humph!) recently found evidence for a complex of copper mines that carbon-dates approximately to the biblical era of king Solomon’s reign. This is an interesting find, mainly because it’s quite amazing to find an ancient culture that pursued mining in such an organized fashion.

The mines were located in Jordan, south of the dead sea (ack, I hate that place). During biblical times, the same spot was within the kingdom of Edom. It is quite possible that if king Solomon had existed (there’s no evidence for his existence anywhere in archaeology or history outside of the bible, although there’s evidence for other biblical kings) – then this is where he might have imported his copper from. If I recall correctly, Solomon (Shlomo in Hebrew) had good relations with Edom, or possibly, even had some kind of “commonwealth” with Edom (since according to the bible, countries all around soiled themselves with fear of him).

Oh yeah, I almost forgot: creationists who obviously are adamant against radiometric dating will have to skip this material evidence for biblical validity because they don’t seem to “believe” in radiometric dating (and definitely not radiocarbon dating, the evillest dating method of all, can’t seem to figure out why.)

There seem to be two major types of creationist claims against radiometric dating: radiocarbons and radio-anything else. Maybe because carbon-dating is used to date relatively recent objects (the half life of carbon is about 5300 years) – so this might be used to threaten held beliefs that can be refuted by material evidence. This is obviously quite different than radiometric dating used to date samples from the distant past, and since the distant past doesn’t exist under a young-earth creationism point of view, it’s easy to simply label all other radiometric dating methods as false.

Richard Levy also said something quite inspiring, and I quote:

We can’t believe everything ancient writings tell us,” Levy said in a university statement. “But this research represents a confluence between the archaeological and scientific data and the Bible.

Pull the other one?

To that I say: damn straight!

Evolution: a Theory in Doubt

The Evolution-Creation debate has turned into somewhat of a frenzied obsession to a lot of people, so much that TV shows, blogs, radio talks, books and law suits have been entirely dedicated to the topic. Becoming another tortured soul engrossed in the evolution of the debate a few years back, I was aware at the onset that the debate isn’t about science at all.
What I wish to do in this post is to actually show a small amount of gratitude towards the creationist movement for being so adament in their doubts of evolution, because without their often duplicitous  critique of the theory of evolution, I probably wouldn’t have doubted the theory that much, myself.

See, in other well-established theories, where the public’s resistance to them is minimal, there really isn’t a point to go around trying to poke holes in said theories for the passionate layman. Sure, afficionados of any field will probably delve deep into their subject of affection, but the truth is: the enormous resistance to the theory of evolution, both by pseudoscientists and zealots lacking any credentials, has caused a great spark of learning amongst skeptics.

When I first started learning about biology and evolution, probably my number one incentive for learning about certain aspects of biology were various creationist claims about the impossibility or improbability of evolution. I remember reading through the index for creationist claims on talkorigins simply because it was delightful to learn so many new things about biology and other scientific fields through the mirror of pseudoscientific attacks on them.

It’s also a good primer for learning more about good old-fashioned biology, and I remember that very quickly I found myself sticking my nose in biology textbooks, and that was years before I ever entered a college classroom.

So thank you, creationism: for lighting the fire of philosophy in all knowledge-thirsty naturalists. You certainly did that for me.

I only wish you didn’t try to shove it into public education.

I do admit, however, that putting a polemic pressure on the public understanding of evolution probably did a lot to teach more and more people about the theory. I’m sure that most people wouldn’t even know what evolution is if it wasn’t such a big deal to bible-thumping ignorants.