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Creationists in denial

Posted in Pharyngula by Skepdude on March 11, 2009

t’s the obligatory annual newspaper article on creationists confronted with evidence. In this case, young ignoramuses from Liberty University are filed through the Smithsonian Institution to practice closing their minds, while a newspaper reporter echoes their rationalizations. I hate these exercises in bad journalism: there is absolutely no critical thinking going on here, either among the creationists or the reporter writing it up. An example:

“I love it here,” said Ross, who has a doctorate in geosciences from the University of Rhode Island. “There’s something romantic about seeing the real thing.”

Modern creationists don’t deny the existence of dinosaurs but believe that God made them, and all animals, on the same sixth day that he created man. In fact, Ross’s only real beef in the fossil hall is with the 30-foot lighted column that is a timeline marking 630 million years of geology. As a young-Earth creationist, he asserts that the vast majority of the rocks and fossils were formed during Noah’s flood about 4,000 years ago. Most paleontologists date the T-Rex to 65 million years ago.

You know, it is possible to be a Christian and still have a rational respect for the evidence. Take, for example, the Reverend Adam Sedgwick, an opponent of evolution in the 19th century, but also someone who worked out details of the geological column and determined that the idea that there was a single, defining world-wide flood was untenable. Or Charles Lyell, who struggled with the idea of evolution because it conflicted with his religious beliefs, but who was a major force in bringing about the understanding of geology as a product of continually acting forces. Or the Reverend William Buckland, who believed in a global flood, but regarded it as insufficient to account for the wealth of geological complexity — he would not have looked at the timeline and tried to compress it into the product of a single biblical event.


One Response

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  1. qbubbles said, on March 11, 2009 at 3:24 PM

    Hey look at that… we read the same paper. 😛

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