Thursday, March 03, 2011

To Fly in the Teeth of The Evidence

James Knight, who has well and truly slagged off the nonsense of Young Earth Creationism on his blog, got a comment from Henry Morris-Junior-Junior, the grandson of Henry Morris-senior-senior, one of the authors of the seminal YEC volume “The Genesis Flood”. In his own comment James points out that pathological factors are probably at the bottom of the thinking of YEC scientists. I pick up this theme up in my own comment on James’ blog, which I reproduce here:

Hi James,

One of the pathological factors you refer to may be vested interest – in fact to the tune of many millions of dollars of vested interest. Money has been poured into the Young Earth Project and you’re not going to easily convince those who have so much to lose financially, not to mention loss of face. With this emotional and financial investment at stake, it is likely to be an exercise in utter futility to attempt to open up a discussion with a fully paid up YEC clan member. They are desperate and perhaps even desperate and dangerous!

Moreover, Henry Morris-Junior-Junior is misleading us over the soundness of YEC research: e.g. We currently have two contradictory star light “solutions” on offer at AiG - the latest in a series of abortive “solutions” starting with Henry Morris-senior-senior’s mooting the concept of a virtual universe bathed in a sea of bogus light messages created en-route!. The latest “solutions” I’m thinking of are from Russ Humphreys and Jason Lisle respectively. The former has a theory which suggests that the distant galaxies are millions if not billions of years old and the latter has another theory which suggest they are only 6000 years old – quite a bit of community dissonance there I think.

In any case questions of both theology and science are invariably open ended and subject to possible revision as new data and new interpretations come to light. In the YEC community we see some quite drastic revisions going on (re: start light) which raises doubts over the soundness of their mental processes. But one thing the YECs just won’t do – no, make that “can’t do” - is revise their interpretation of the meaning of Genesis 1 & 2. On this issue they really have built themselves into a corner! For them it’s a desperate fight to the death with everything to lose! People this desperate just can’t do objective science because they are incapable of the dispassionate judgments needed in science. Best leave them to their own extremist devices and the applause of their ignorant followers, an applause which gives them the confidence and the feel good factor they so desperately need.

This desperado is in need of the feel good factor!


Laughing Stock
It is difficult to believe that YECs really do believe that the carnivorous bi-pedal dinosaurs were originally designed to be herbivorous, so I had a quick look on Answers in Genesis to see if I could find such an admission. The best I found was here where we read that “We know that both dinosaurs and humans were vegetarian in the beginning.” (Incidentally the AiG article I’ve just linked to admits that no humans remains have ever been found with dinosaur fossils and tries to explain this awkward fact away). In this connection it is also interesting to note that in their children’s section on animals AiG make the appalling claim that the following fauna were originally vegetarian: Tiger, cheetah, Jackal, great horned owl, peregrine falcon, boa constrictor, bald eagle, black tip reef shark and crocodile. (However I don’t understand why some of the sea going carnivores like the octopus and the blacktip reef shark weren’t given an “originally vegetarian” status)

Given the foregoing it is no wonder that AiG are a laughing stock. Set against the findings of AiG there is, I hardly need say, a wide scientific and international consensus across disparate and independently funded scientific communities between which there are often some healthy rivalries and arguments. In contrast AiG is part of a relatively tight knit religious community who will put this consensus down to the manipulation of Satan and therefore they a very ready to use religious intimidation and the threat of Divine displeasure to propagate their cause.  - 05/03/11

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