A Creationist Speaker Comes to Town

Long but detailed; updated resources include rebuttals to creationist claims, including dinosaur soft tissue, and teaching exercise on Lucy. I have mined this for links. There is also a discussion of bible-basd arguments, for those (like the author) to whom such things are important.

Letters to Creationists

By the early 1800s European geologists (many of them devout Christians) realized that the rock layers they observed had to be far older than the 6000 years allowed by a literal interpretation of Bible chronology. For instance, as discussed here , angular unconformities like that shown below could not been formed in the course of the one-year-long Flood of Noah.

Angular Unconformity at Siccar Point, Scotland. Siccar Point, Scotland (Photo: Wikipedia “Hutton’s Unconformity”) Angular Unconformity at Siccar Point, Scotland. Siccar Point, Scotland (Photo: Wikipedia “Hutton’s Unconformity”)

Numerous other evidences for an old earth have been observed by scientists over the past two hundred years. These include fossil soils, and massive deposits of salt and of limestone in the midst of sedimentary rock layers, and tens of thousands of annual layers in lake bottom deposits (“varves”) and in glaciers (see Some Simple Evidences for an Old Earth). We can trace, in reasonable detail, the movements of the sections of earth’s crust over the…

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About Paul Braterman

Science writer, former chemistry professor; committee member British Centre for Science Education; board member and science adviser Scottish Secular Society; former member editorial board, Origins of Life, and associate, NASA Astrobiology Insitute; first popsci book, From Stars to Stalagmites 2012

Posted on January 25, 2017, in Creationism, Evolution, Fossil record, Geology, Religion and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. If a man as intelligent as Mr Sarfati can be convinced of young earth Christianity it must tell us something about the human mind. My IQ is about 105 and I can follow most of the counter arguments. This fixation on religious truth is present in many faiths and in extremes is dangerous but we cannot hope to use logic to counter the threat. Deradicalisation is in its infancy but it may be a way to meet the threat.

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  2. What seems to me as the biggest problem with dealing with creationism is that the creationists go wrong in so many says that one is tempted to at least mention all the important points. Should one, on the other hand, stick to just a few critical issues and dismiss the red herrings? If we’re dealing with the ancient starlight problem to show that there have been millions of years, the questions about the Big Bang are irrelevant. What if the whole of the cosmology of the Big Bang were hopelessly wrong, that does not affect the evidence that we are seeing events that happened hundreds of thousands, many millions, billions of years ago.
    Just my amateur opinion.

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    • It depends on the context. If in actual discussion with a creationist, I think we should only mention the purported objections that he or she raises, rather than confuse the issue, or publicise the others. But if preparing ourselves for such discussions, it is as well to be aware of the full range of what we might come up against.

      I also agree with you that the Big Bang is strictly irrelevant to the truth of evolution, so that the event horizon problem has nothing to do with anything. However, the creationist mindset is absolutist, so that if they can find fault with any aspect of our current scientific understanding, they really believe that they have undermined the credibility of the entire structure.

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