Let's not debate creationism in the News thread



  • @Rhywden said in In other news today...:

    And in other news for The War On Science...

    1. What does it matter whether a student thinks the universe is 6 thousand or 6 billion years old? Will that affect his life in meaningful ways? Will it prevent her from understanding how science works? Will it prevent him from being a good researcher, should he choose to go that route?
    2. The current popular evolutionary model is an interpretation of the evidence, and the alternative models of creation offer various other interpretations of the same data. (Also, the creation/evolution threads are :arrows:)
    3. The ability to challenge a teacher is a good way to foster discussion and help engender better learning among all the students, whatever the topic. Recognizing that alternative explanations do in fact exist, and then addressing the pros and cons that every explanation possesses helps actually teach students how to think, instead of indoctrinating them.

    Edit: Pulled in context from News thread. Added tags.


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    @djls45 said in In other news today...:

    The current popular evolutionary model is an interpretation of the evidence, and the alternative models of creation offer various other interpretations of the samea carefully selected subset of the data.

    FTFY.

    @djls45 said in In other news today...:

    (Also, the creation/evolution threads are :arrows:)

    Oh dear, I seem to have lost my :trolleybus: :ticket:, what a shame.



  • @Dreikin said in In other news today...:

    @djls45 said in In other news today...:

    The current popular evolutionary model is an interpretation of the evidence, and the alternative models of creation offer various other interpretations of the samea carefully selected subset of the data.

    FTFY.

    What data do you think creationists ignore?
    (That's what a "subset" implies, right? That the rest of the data is ignored?)


  • kills Dumbledore

    @djls45 said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    What data do you think creationists ignore?

    How about the mountains of evidence that the universe is billions of years old?


  • SockDev

    @djls45 said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    What data do you think creationists ignore?

    Pretty much the entire fossil record, which some creationists claim was deliberately placed there by God because He's a massive troll



  • @djls45 said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    What does it matter whether a student thinks the universe is 6 thousand or 6 billion years old? Will that affect his life in meaningful ways? Will it prevent her from understanding how science works? Will it prevent him from being a good researcher, should he choose to go that route?

    If someone insists the universe is 6 thousand years old despite having an education, it shows this person fails to understand science and can't be a good researcher, so yes.



  • @RaceProUK said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    @djls45 said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    What data do you think creationists ignore?

    Pretty much the entire fossil record, which some creationists claim was deliberately placed there by God because He's a massive troll

    I'd be interested to know how they handle all the radioactive decay isotope dating methods, apart from introducing weird and totally unsupported hypothesis (that is, only supported in the sense that they are needed in order to avoid getting older ages) such as saying that the decay constants changed over time.


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    @RaceProUK said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    because He's a massive troll

    He is though. He could have put the Tree of Knowledge somewhere where Adam and Eve couldn't get to it if He didn't want them eating the fruit.


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    @remi said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    I'd be interested to know how they handle all the radioactive decay isotope dating methods

    Since the basic hypothesis they're using isn't technically distinguishable from Last Thursdayism, I suggest not trying to find that out.



  • @djls45 said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    @Dreikin said in In other news today...:

    @djls45 said in In other news today...:

    The current popular evolutionary model is an interpretation of the evidence, and the alternative models of creation offer various other interpretations of the samea carefully selected subset of the data.

    FTFY.

    What data do you think creationists ignore?
    (That's what a "subset" implies, right? That the rest of the data is ignored?)

    Listen, I wrote that it's a "War on Science". I don't care what a literature or Dance-Your-Name student thinks.

    If you are a student of science and maintain that particular belief then, honestly, you should be fired out of the university with a cannon.

    Basically, you're up against the whole of Cosmology. Which is a metric shitton of evidence.


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    @djls45 said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    What does it matter whether a student thinks the universe is 6 thousand or 6 billion years old?

    That student is disregarding a literal universe of evidence.

    Will that affect his life in meaningful ways?

    Yes.

    Will it prevent her from understanding how science works?

    Yes.

    Will it prevent him from being a good researcher, should he choose to go that route?

    Absolutely. If that person decides to ignore a literal universe of evidence in order to fit the world with their religious dogma, then they are not fit to be a researcher. They should pursue theology instead.



  • @Polygeekery said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    Absolutely. If that person decides to ignore a literal universe of evidence in order to fit the world with their religious dogma, then they are not fit to be a researcher. They should pursue theology instead.

    The Theologists I know actually have no problem with science because they are quite smart and have no problem with science coming to a different conclusion than the religious material they're studying.

    Because they're not Fundamentalists.


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    @Rhywden said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    The Theologists I know actually have no problem with science because they are quite smart and have no problem with science coming to a different conclusion than the religious material they're studying.
    Because they're not Fundamentalists.

    QFT.


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    @Polygeekery said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    @djls45 said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    What does it matter whether a student thinks the universe is 6 thousand or 6 billion years old?

    That student is disregarding a literal universe of evidence.

    Will that affect his life in meaningful ways?

    Yes.

    Will it prevent her from understanding how science works?

    Yes.

    Will it prevent him from being a good researcher, should he choose to go that route?

    Absolutely. If that person decides to ignore a literal universe of evidence in order to fit the world with their religious dogma, then they are not fit to be a researcher. They should pursue theology instead.

    Funny thing is, this is the exact same argument the creationists use against evolutionists. :trolleybus:


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    @masonwheeler said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    Funny thing is, this is the exact same argument the creationists use against evolutionists.

    The only "evidence" that creationists have to disprove evolutionists is the bible. That is a religious text, not science.



  • Do any other countries have Creationists?


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    @coldandtired said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    Do any other countries have Creationists?

    Turkey has at least one Muslim one, iirc.



  • @antiquarian said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    He is though. He could have put the Tree of Knowledge somewhere where Adam and Eve couldn't get to it if He didn't want them eating the fruit.

    Ah, but it’s clearly all part of the Master Plan™ — given that God is supposedly omniscient and omnipotent, He must have seen that event coming and therefore allowed it to happen. (Which leaves the question of why He then got angry at the humans for doing what was supposed to happen all along anyway — but I guess that’s part of the Master Plan™ too. I’m starting to think the Master Plan™ really consisted of little more than a ploy to get the kids to move out so He can have the whole housegarden to Himself.)


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    @asdf said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    @Rhywden said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    The Theologists I know actually have no problem with science because they are quite smart and have no problem with science coming to a different conclusion than the religious material they're studying.
    Because they're not Fundamentalists.

    QFT.

    Precisely. This only becomes a problem when people start thinking everything in their preferred religious text is 100% true, disregarding the fact that most of it is hyperbole and story telling to make specific ethical points.



  • @sloosecannon said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    Precisely. This only becomes a problem when people start thinking everything in their preferred religious text is 100% true, disregarding the fact that most of it is hyperbole and story telling to make specific ethical points.

    Some years ago, the cable TV company where I live put a rather strict Christian channel on the cable. It turned out to have a nightly show with American TV preachers, and one of the first times I watched it¹, the guy stood there with a bible in his hand and began his preaching by proclaiming that he believed that every word between its covers was true. This he followed with a lame joke about how he even believed that was was on the cover was true, because he’d written something like “This bible is the property of [his name]” on it.

    The only thing I could think was, “Goddamn, I’m glad we don’t have people like him around here.”

    ¹ Purely for the lolz, and only for as long as I could stand it.


  • :belt_onion:

    @djls45 said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    Will it prevent her from understanding how science works? Will it prevent him from being a good researcher, should he choose to go that route?

    it will prevent them from getting a good grade on their tests without lying. I knew a guy at university that thought the world is 6,000 years old. I asked him what he does on any test that requires making use of the knowledge that his worldview is wrong, and he said that he just goes along with it and writes down what he considers the wrong answer. But some stubborn idiots won't do that.



  • @djls45 said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    What data do you think creationists ignore?

    Geology, biology and cosmology all arrive at similar conclusions through completely different paths.

    Biology rules out a 6000 years old world through various mechanisms. Even ignoring evolution and genetic analysis, the amount of evidence we have for species that have died off would require that species go extinct at an incredible rate, but ancient records (from the Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Chinese and the like, thousands of years old) don't mention any of the currently extinct species. And no, the flood doesn't account for it because the book being interpreted literally says Noah saved a breeding pair of each species. It doesn't say that God decided some species would drown and some would be saved.

    Cosmology has the background cosmic radiation as a starting point, and a bunch of other models for how planets are formed that require extremely long timescales.

    Geology shows evidence of sedimentary layers helping to gauge how old something is, with fossils of a given era for example always showing up in the same layers, even when those layers extrude out of the ground from seismic activity. Tectonic plate activity also shows evidence that, for example, Africa and America once were the same continent, and it would have taken much longer than 6000 years for tectonic drift to put them where they are.

    So, on the one hand you have multiple independent disciplines all reaching the same conclusions and using those to advance their fields even further, and on the other you have a group of people either ignoring or arguing for special circumstances to justify the evidence. Evolution is just a tiny portion of a vast body of interlocking knowledge that supports each other. It's not just "Creationism vs Evolution".


  • area_pol

    @djls45 Cosmology, evolution and divine creation are not contradictory - and the Pope agrees.

    “The big bang, which is today posited as the origin of the world, does not contradict the divine act of creation; rather, it requires it,” the pope said in an address to a meeting at the pontifical academy of sciences.

    “Evolution of nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation because evolution presupposes the creation of beings which evolve.”

    “When we read the creation story in Genesis we run the risk of imagining that God was a magician, with a magic wand which is able to do everything,” he said.

    “But it is not so. He created beings and let them develop according to internal laws which He gave every one, so they would develop, so they would reach maturity.”



  • There's also the matter that the Fundie's god is supposedly Almighty and the Greatest Thing Ever.

    Which is why they promptly put him in the smallest box they can find.

    Because, seriously, this supposedly Godly Being isn't able to create consistent rules and has to create a whole universe all by himself? And then has to make it look like it's more than 6,000 years old because he couldn't do it otherwise?

    That's a pisspoor excuse for a God.

    My God is much better at this than this puny being: He's the Universe's greatest billard player - one push on his queue and we got the Big Bang which set everything in motion according to His plan!

    Take that, Mr. "I have to do everything by myself!"


    Filed under: Not completely serious


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    @coldandtired said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    Do any other countries have Creationists?

    Yes. Some of them are my second (?) cousins from the side of the family that were the other side of a schism AIUI. Never met any of 'em…


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    @djls45 said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    What does it matter whether a student thinks the universe is 6 thousand or 6 billion years old? Will that affect his life in meaningful ways? Will it prevent her from understanding how science works? Will it prevent him from being a good researcher, should he choose to go that route?

    It matters because if a student wholeheartedly abandons the scientific method any time religion has something to say about the topic at hand, that will drastically hinder their ability to participate in any scientific discussions, research, or other endeavors.



  • @coldandtired said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    Do any other countries have Creationists?

    We have them, but we don't let them get anywhere near influencing what is taught at schools



  • In college I learned about the pi is 3.2 thing some fundies were insisting on. I thought it had to be an urban legend, since it was more absurd than the flat earthers... Until I found out a member of my extended family (who was also a militant young earth creationist) seriously believed it.

    It goes to show just how impossible it is to reason or provide facts with these guys. All you need is a flexible ruler and a dinner plate to definitively prove pi isn't 3.2. (For the record this guy's excuse was "it's close enough") if you can't even prove something that obvious to someone it's downright impossible to prove less tangible things like the age of the universe/earth.


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    @The_Quiet_One oh, you mean the Indiana law or whatever?







  • @The_Quiet_One said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    In college I learned about the pi is 3.2 thing some fundies were insisting on.

    The … what?

    Give them this:


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    Note that this thread is rather free of creationists since setting off the fuse.


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    @Jaloopa said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    Note that this thread is rather free of creationists since setting off the fuse.

    They know that they cannot win this argument. But they do not realize that it's because their "opinion" is completely invalid if you take a closer look at it. In their eyes, we simply want to ridicule their faith. So they go back to their filter bubble, more determined than ever to never accept the fact that evolution and the scientific calculations regarding the age of the universe are the most plausible explanation.



  • @sloosecannon said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    @The_Quiet_One oh, you mean the Indiana law or whatever?

    That was the most public instance of the belief, but there are pockets of people who believe it on religious grounds. The best thing that was never written in the bible was that the noon sky is a mix of pink and green because we would be having that debate right now.


  • SockDev

    @The_Quiet_One said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    In college I learned about the pi is 3.2 thing some fundies were insisting on

    If you're talking about the Indiana Pi Bill, that wasn't anything to do with religion in the first place, and was in fact about squaring a circle using a method that was ultimately proven to be bollocks; the assertion π == 3.2 was simply one of many incorrect conclusions derived from the erroneous method.

    Edit: Further reading indicates that the bill in question actually managed to specify six different incorrect values for π.

    Editit: I've now tracked down the supposed Biblical source for π being 3 (not 3.2) - Chronicles 4:2-5.

    This is the King James translation version:

    Also he made a molten sea of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass, and five cubits the height thereof; and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.

    Which, let's be honest, is vague enough to disregard it as proof π == 3.



  • I find the conflation of "creationist" and "young-earth creationists" to be a little disingenuous.

    Only a small fraction of all people who believe that God (in one form or another) created the Earth[1] believe that it happened 6000-ish years ago. And only a small fraction[2] are hard-core bible literalists (with heavy overlap between the two categories). I find that non-believers[3] tend to conflate the groups as a lazy smear, just like SJW conflate "anyone who disagrees with me" and "racist/sexist/etc".

    I'll admit that I fit all of these descriptions:

    • a trained scientist--I have a PhD in Computational Quantum Chemistry and have published peer-reviewed papers.
    • devoutly religious--I attend church for >3 hours per week and consider religion a very important part of my life
    • creationist--God created the Earth and everything in it.
    • not a young-earth believer nor a bible literalist--I believe very strongly that God created the Earth. How, and how long it took are not stated. I willingly accept that the current scientific models are the best understanding we have and use those models. Do I believe that they're the final truth? Not a chance. They're ugly and hackish, like so many other theories. Are they useful--mostly. Lots of scientific models have spun off into pure intellectual masturbation with little connection to reality.

    [1-2] http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/human_nature/2014/12/creationism_poll_how_many_americans_believe_the_bible_is_literal_inerrant.html
    [3] at least the ones on the internet.



  • @RaceProUK said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    Editit: I've now tracked down the supposed Biblical source for π being 3 (not 3.2) - Chronicles 4:2-5.

    This is the King James translation version:

    Also he made a molten sea of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass, and five cubits the height thereof; and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.

    Which, let's be honest, is vague enough to disregard it as proof π == 3.

    Yeah, to one significant digit pi is 3. Precision in measuring wasn't a thing for most of history, and the middle-eastern cultures of the time were even worse, fudging numbers if it fit the numerology/flow of the story better.



  • @RaceProUK said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    @The_Quiet_One said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    In college I learned about the pi is 3.2 thing some fundies were insisting on

    If you're talking about the Indiana Pi Bill, that wasn't anything to do with religion in the first place, and was in fact about squaring a circle using a method that was ultimately proven to be bollocks; the assertion π == 3.2 was simply one of many incorrect conclusions derived from the erroneous method.

    Edit: Further reading indicates that the bill in question actually managed to specify six different incorrect values for π.

    Editit: I've now tracked down the supposed Biblical source for π being 3 (not 3.2) - Chronicles 4:2-5.

    Originally, I thought he had said 3 (and wrote it down that way in my initial post) but after just refreshing myself on the whole Indiana thing, I confused Indiana with his belief, and edited it to be 3.2. He indeed insisted that the ratio of the diameter to circumference was 3, despite my arguments against it. Like I said, when I showed him with a dinner plate, he told me it's "close enough" and that the tape I used was too flexible, whatever the heck that means.

    @RaceProUK said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    This is the King James translation version:

    Also he made a molten sea of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass, and five cubits the height thereof; and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.

    Which, let's be honest, is vague enough to disregard it as proof π == 3.

    That's even worse of a verse than I thought. I was under the impression he made something with a diameter of 4 cubits and used 12 cubits around. There was no reason to just say 31 or 32 to be a little more accurate. But whatever. Yes, it's vague enough to disregard it as proof, but you have to understand the extent at which some interpret The Bible. If it says he was able to make a circle with ten cubits in diameter and 30 cubits in circumference, then that's what he did. Because The Word is divine, and to say otherwise is essentially calling God a liar.



  • @The_Quiet_One In my experience, those who take the bible most literally also know the least about it, its history, or the cultures in which it was written. And I believe that the Bible is inspired work myself, so this isn't just a non-believer bashing those hick christians.


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    @Benjamin-Hall said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    I find the conflation of "creationist" and "young-earth creationists" to be a little disingenuous.

    :two_men_holding_hands: :b: :circus_tent:, this thread was started by a defence of students being able to challenge University professors who said the Earth is more than 6000 years old. But I get your point, young earth is much more fringe than creationist views in general

    @Benjamin-Hall said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    I willingly accept that the current scientific models are the best understanding we have and use those models. Do I believe that they're the final truth? Not a chance. They're ugly and hackish, like so many other theories. Are they useful--mostly. Lots of scientific models have spun off into pure intellectual masturbation with little connection to reality.

    Does that include evolution?



  • @Jaloopa As a working theory (ie something to use in the lab)? Sure. It seems to give good predictions which is what matters.

    Do I believe in it? Do I think it's the actual fundamental truth? Not really. Mainly on aesthetic grounds. Evolution (especially in it's post-Darwinian forms with punctuated evolution etc) is a hacked-together mess at the fundamental level. Then again, so is the Standard Model of quantum mechanics...

    Edit: As to the original topic, students should be able to challenge anyone on any topic. They shouldn't expect to get a good grade on a test that covers the theory they dispute, however.



  • @Benjamin-Hall said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    not a young-earth believer nor a bible literalist--I believe very strongly that God created the Earth. How, and how long it took are not stated. I willingly accept that the current scientific models are the best understanding we have and use those models.

    I think you are in line with most religious people (including, as far as I know, spiritual leaders such as the Pope!) and nobody here, certainly not me, will criticize you for that.

    Science does not say "this is how things work", science sets rules that allow to describe what can be observed and, more importantly in practice, that allow predicting what will happen in a given setup. That may not be the truth, it's just a model (and for a much re-hashed example, see Newton vs. Einstein, or also the epicycles geocentric model which was a valid scientific model, as it was fitting (most of) the knowledge of the time, and was even somewhat predictive). Nothing wrong with that, as long as we accept to throw wrong models away when they no longer work. So whether scientific models are "the final truth" is something that science doesn't really care about and believing that there is a God behind all that is not contrary to science.

    Also, science has nothing to say about how things came to be the way they are. We may dig deeper into the structure of matter, the DNA or whatever, but we can only describe what we see, not why it is this way and not another. Again, if you believe that there is a God that set all that in motion, that decided on the various constants and what else, well, science doesn't care.

    So you are definitely not in the group of "creationists" that are being critized here. Probably as you say most people think that "creationist" can only mean "young earth creationist", but that's a question of semantics more than really what's behind it.



  • @RaceProUK said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    Which, let's be honest, is vague enough to disregard it as proof π == 3.

    I think it's quite clear that the person who wrote that passage thought pi equals three. Not that that has any bearing on the actual value of pi, but still.



  • @remi I was specifically opposing the trend here of using "creationist" to mean "those wacko bible-literalist young-earth creationists." That kind of scientism-ist smugness makes me irritated.



  • @ben_lubar And which shoulder aliens told you how someone dead for centuries thought? Remember decimals hadn't been invented and the precision of a cubit isn't enough to give you decimal level accuracy anyway...

    Remember, rounding is a thing. Those verses are primarily poetic (as was the entire body of Semitic writing at the time). Taking things literally (but not seriously) is a yuuuuge problem here.


  • SockDev

    @ben_lubar said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    @RaceProUK said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    Which, let's be honest, is vague enough to disregard it as proof π == 3.

    I think it's quite clear that the person who wrote that passage thought pi equals three. Not that that has any bearing on the actual value of pi, but still.

    And let's not forget that the original passage was written before the invention of the decimal point and the discovery of irrational and transcendental numbers.


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    @Benjamin-Hall said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    I was specifically opposing the trend here of using "creationist" to mean "those wacko bible-literalist young-earth creationists."

    Well, that's how the term is commonly used. I would never refer to myself as a "creationist", despite believing that the laws of nature were created by a higher power.



  • @RaceProUK said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    @ben_lubar said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    @RaceProUK said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    Which, let's be honest, is vague enough to disregard it as proof π == 3.

    I think it's quite clear that the person who wrote that passage thought pi equals three. Not that that has any bearing on the actual value of pi, but still.

    And let's not forget that the original passage was written before the invention of the decimal point and the discovery of irrational and transcendental numbers.

    That doesn't make it any less likely that the person who wrote "thirty" as a circumference and "ten" as a diameter thought pi was equal to three.



  • @asdf said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    @Benjamin-Hall said in Let's not debate creationism in the News thread:

    I was specifically opposing the trend here of using "creationist" to mean "those wacko bible-literalist young-earth creationists."

    Well, that's how the term is commonly used. I would never refer to myself as a "creationist", despite believing that the laws of nature were created by a higher power.

    It's how the term has been poisoned (just like "liberal" used to mean something else). I find that shift in usage to be done out of malice--trying to smear all believers by association with the truly wacky (but harmless).



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