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How Old Is The Earth? Answers from IDC Advocates

The Kansas State Board of Education held "unofficial" hearings in 2005 to decide between the antievolution-influenced rewrite of proposed state science standards and those developed by the writing committee. They brought in over twenty "experts" in "intelligent design" creationism to testify. Attorney Pedro Irigonegray asked many of them to give their opinion of how old the earth is. Their answers are instructive.

William Harris:
Q. Sir, I have only a few questions for you. As it was stated earlier, my name is Pedro Irigonegaray, I represent the majority. You've told us a little bit about your beliefs and your opinions and how you came to those. I'd like to ask you for the record, first, can you tell us how old you believe the earth is?

Weasel Words

  1. Object: Evolve an English word -- any dictionary word -- starting with a random Mother.
  2. Each generation presents fifty children, based on the current Mother.
  3. To play, click on any of the fifty children to make it the new Mother
  4. Each character in each child has an equal chance of mutating. Children having

    Antievolutionist Bingo

    Skeptico and TechSkeptic came up with a great idea, that of "Creationist Bingo". I'm taking that a step further and automating the creation of "antievolutionist bingo" cards. Each time you bring up this page, you will get a new card.

    AntiEvolutionist Bingo
    CC111. Malachite man was found in Cretaceous sandstone.
    CB601. The traditional peppered moth story is no longer supportable.
    CH521. Animals' exacting needs could have evolved after the Flood.
    CA113.1. Darwin on evolution of the eye.
    CG040. Written history is too short.
    CB102. Mutations do not add information.
    CB200.5. The metabolic pathway for AMP synthesis is too complex to have evolved.
    CB940.1. Odds of many successive beneficial mutations are minuscule.
    CD011.6. Ancient coal and oil are C-14 dated as only 50,000 years old.
    CH134. Records say civilization was man's original state.
    CH505.8. Ed Behling was led to the ark in 1973.
    CF001.4. The second law is about organized complexity, not entropy.
    References an antievolutionist as an authority
    CB510. Evolution cannot explain photosynthesis.
    CB921.2. What use is half a wing?
    CE420. The big bang theory is wrong.
    CB926. Preadaptation implies that organs evolved before they were needed.
    CI102. Irreducible complexity indicates design.
    CG030. Oldest structures, such as pyramids, are already very complex.
    CB365. Spinal treatments based on evolutionary theory fail.
    CC361.1. Coal and oil can form quickly.
    CB121. The cost of natural selection is prohibitive (Haldane's dilemma).
    CB902.1. There are barriers to large change.
    CH712. Dragons were dinosaurs.
    CI111.1. Specified information criterion produces no false positives.

    Each religious antievolutionist claim on the card links to the mainstream science responses collected by Mark Isaak in his excellent "Index to Creationist Claims". Be sure to check those out.

    The Unofficial University of Ediacara Pages

    The official home page of the University of Ediacara.

    The University of Ediacara is the virtual university serving the talk.origins community. One of the main offshoots of the UoE is its virtual pub, the Panda's Thumb.

    Scientific Storkism

    Article 24657 of talk.origins:
    From: rdippold@cancun.qualcomm.com (Ron Dippold)
    Subject: Scientific Storkism
    Message-ID:
    Date: 10 Apr 92 20:42:54 GMT
    Organization: Qualcomm, Inc., San Diego, CA
    Lines: 45

    This hasn't been on for a while...

    Ovulation versus cretinism

    Two different theories exist concerning the origin of children: the theory of
    sexual reproduction, and the theory of the stork. Many people believe in the
    theory of sexual reproduction because they have been taught this theory
    at school.

    In reality, however, many of the world's leading scientists are in

    Florida: Open Letter on Learning from History

    | | | | | | |

    The "academic freedom" and "critical analysis" bills currently being considered by the Florida legislature are old stratagems borrowed from antievolution efforts in other states. Ronda Storms and Alan Hays have been asked whether "intelligent design" could be taught in science classrooms. Storms and Hays steadfastly refuse to answer the question posed. You have to look at what has been done in the name of narrow religious antievolution and not what is said.

    Creation, Power, and Violence

    Essay by Blake Stacey (originally at Science After Sunclipse)

    The amount of hatred one can earn simply by speaking one's mind and doing one's job never fails to astonish me. All the more remarkable is how the people who hate so viciously are the very ones you'd expect to be tolerant, or at least quietly begrudging — people whose ancestors, both familial and ideological, were themselves the targets of bigotry in generations past, when different powers were the oppressors. Yet today, even in a country which prides itself on a long list of freedoms, speaking the plain, factual truth of the world is a sure way to win oneself ire, derision and abuse.

    Both history and current events teach us that forces of prejudice and inequity oppose the dissemination of truth to certain sectors of society. As recently as 2006, the Afghan schoolteacher Mohammed Halim was drawn and quartered by motorbikes, the remains of his body put on display so that others would think twice before defying Taliban law and committing the unforgivable crime of teaching female children. I doubt the Taliban thugs who beat the algebra teachers of Ghazni have any particular animosity towards the mathematics; given a moment's reflection, they might wholeheartedly support the math lessons necessary to train engineers who then build weapons to be used against the United States. The crime in their eyes, I'd wager, is not the material, but the audience.

    In the country where I grew up and am writing now, the story is a little different: most of the time, hatred against educators does not escalate to physical violence, although threats of violence are common enough, and most of the time, the factor provoking abuse is not the audience, but the lesson itself.

    The plain truth I'm talking about is the biological principle of evolution. The single most powerful idea in biology, this discovery has withstood decades of criticism to emerge triumphant as one of the most well-checked propositions in human history. Learn about evolution, and you can go to work on diseases, or help find out where species both living and extinct fit into the family tree of life. You can understand the living world, and help preserve human life within it.

    Open your mouth about evolution around the wrong people, though, and you can find yourself harassed, ejected from your job and even beaten in the street.

    Just ask these people.

    Engaging an Antievolutionist on Transitional Fossils

    Submitted by Daniel R. Hummer as a candidate submission for the TalkOrigins Archive: The following is a correspondence that took place between myself and creationist Josh Greenberger between Nov. 4 and Nov. 7, 2007. Mr. Greenberger has written books and articles on evolution, creation and other topics, including an anti-evolution book, “Who Let the Apes Out?”. He maintains a website, http://wholettheapesout.com/mainline.php, that promotes his book and makes a copy of it available for free (I would imagine this is the only way he is able to get people to read the ramblings he comes up with). I stumbled across this site one day while browsing the web, and for unknown reasons decided to take a closer look. Within the long page of drivel, I found this gem of a paragraph:
    “But archaeologists have worn out many shovels trying to uncover evidence supporting evolution. At last count, they had enough bones to make friends with every dog in Chicago and enough fossils to open a mail-order fossil business. But no evidence. No series of fossils or sets of bones show unmistakable intermediate species. If one species evolved into another, "linking" species would have to have existed in profuse quantities at various points in earth's history. But profuse quantities of missing links which could be termed "indisputable evidence" have never been found.”

    Barbara Forrest Speaks Out on Texas Education Agency Actions

    Professor Barbara Forrest of South Eastern Louisiana University wrote a strong statement concerning recent actions of the Texas Education Agency in forcing the resignation of director of science curricula Chris Comer.

    Forrest concludes,

    The incident now involving Ms. Comer exemplifies perfectly the reason my co-author Paul R. Gross and I felt that our book, Creationism's Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design, had to be written. (http://www.creationismstrojanhorse.com) By forcing Ms. Comer to resign, the TEA seems to have confirmed our contention that the ID creationist movement -- a religious movement with absolutely no standing in the scientific world -- is being advanced by means of power politics. In December 2005, Judge John E. Jones III validated our contention that ID is creationism, thus a religious belief, when he ruled in Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District http://www.pamd.uscourts.gov/kitzmiller/kitzmiller_342.pdf) that the teaching of ID in public school science classes is unconstitutional. Judge Jones recognized that ID has nothing whatsoever to do with science; its proponents are merely using public education -- the public education of other people's children -- as the vehicle for their plan to undermine the teaching of evolution.

    The one thing that should not be forgotten in this episode is that Ms. Comer herself has been injured, and Texas children have lost a valuable advocate for quality science education. I regret deeply that the TEA chose to use my work as an excuse to hurt Ms. Comer. Even more, I am incensed by it. However, what happened to her may be just the tip of the iceberg. This country has reached a sorry state of affairs when one of the largest, most prominent departments of education in the country fires a public servant for doing her job. But while I regret that the information I related in my presentation in Austin and in my book has been confirmed in such a sad way, my co-author and I have every intention of continuing our efforts as scholars and citizens to inform the American people about the threat that the intelligent design creationist movement continues to pose to public education and to the constitutional separation of church and state.

    Viewpoints on Evolution, Creation, and Origins

    (This essay was originally posted around 1998.)

    People have different opinions.  The issue of origins and evolution is no different in having a wide range of opinions expressed.  I want to introduce you to how I classify this diversity of opinion in a fairly simple classification scheme.  Here comes a Venn diagram to help illustrate things:


    E stands for those who accept evolutionary change in the sense of common descent of life on earth.
    C stands for those who believe in a creator.
    A stands for those who reject evolutionary change or evolutionary mechanisms.
    S stands for "scripturalists", who base their beliefs upon their interpretation of some text they hold sacred.

    This gives me six categories to explain.  Some of them may appear inconsistent at first glance, but I hope to convince you that there really people who occupy each of the categories.

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