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Gentry's polonium halos are a classic creationist argument. The claim that they somehow prove a young Earth was made by an untrained geologist and disproved 20 years ago, yet creationists still cite it as fact to this very day.  (Source: Talk Origins)
Desperate minds seek desperate arguments

In case you missed it, paleontologists, digging in South Africa have discovered the remains of a new species of hominid, Australopithecus sediba, buried in a cave.  This little discovery is of tremendous importance as anatomical evidence points to the species being a close evolutionary relative to man, perhaps even a direct ancestor.

I wrote a little story on the topic, analyzing the find, while briefly touching on the pertinent creationism vs. modern evolutionary theory debate that continues to rage to this day in America.  I expected the story to get a few comments.  I never expected, though that it would get over 575 comments, making it perhaps the most commented on story in 
DailyTech's history.

I think it's great that so many people are chiming in and sharing their thoughts, and I think its a real sign of our site's diversity and popularity.  However, amidst those comments I saw some that really bothered me as a person who has worked in the fields of engineering and biochemistry in addition to my time here at 
DailyTech.  

Take one reader, who writes:

Absolute Scientific Proof the Evolutionary Theory is Dead.
A story about two friends from day one.

http://www.biblelife.org/creation.htm" rel="nofollow

This comment was rated up to a 3, so obviously some people agreed with it.  However, the site and "proof" it cites, from a scientific perspective, are utterly worthless.

The site is full of inaccurate and egregious jewels.  Among them is the claim that granite is called a "creation rock" by geologists and can not be created on Earth today.  This is patently false.  If such a term were ever used, it has no place in the field of modern geology.  Further, granite is to this very day being produced in small quantities by metamorphism in amphibolite and granulite terrains.  There's nothing magical about it.

The other "friend" that the site refers to is polonium, a radioactive heavy element.  Polonium makes halos in granite, which a researcher named Robert V. Gentry claimed, starting in the 1980s, were proof that the Earth was only 6,000 years old, as the literal reading of The Bible claims.  Gentry was by all reports a decent researcher who was blinded by his obsession in proving creationism, which led to him reaching far outside his field of expertise (physics) into foreign fields like geology.

In this case, as with most of his arguments for a "young Earth" his "evidence" was shown to be completely wrong.  There was indeed uranium in the exact deposits Gentry sampled from, he just failed to follow basic principles of geological sampling.  Of course this is understandable -- Gentry was no geologist.  So his "proof" was just another red herring.

Here is a very informative read on the topic: "The Geology of Gentry's 'Tiny Mystery'".

The site also implies that there's something "magical" about polonium making its way into granite.  Consider that silicon dioxide, the primary component of granite melts at 1925 K, while 527 K.  Thus polonium would be molten and could easily make its way into cracks and crevices in granite that had cooled to a solid.  Again, the claims are patently false and there's nothing magical or unknown here.

Basic science invalidates many of the supposed "proof" of creationism and a young Earth.  Yet, while it's easy to disprove a bad argument, its hard to kill one.  As I mentioned, here was an argument that was literally disproved over two decades ago, but there's a site out there still using it as evidence and one of our readers are referencing it as fact.  And worse yet, apparently some in our readership were misled enough that they rated up the comment.

I don't have the time or energy to rebuke every falsehood set forth by a handful of the commenters in that thread, so I hope this was an informative example.

It's fine to believe whatever you want when it comes to evolution.  An all powerful deity such as Xenu or the Christian God, could in theory create a reality with evidence to the contrary of the creation itself.  Every single atom could have been set into motion perfectly to deliver an elaborate, yet misleading picture.  Yet to scientists, we must interpret the picture that we see, and that picture clearly points that evolution created the species we see today and that the earth is billions of years old, not 6,000 years old.  Believe what you want, but try not to reference false "facts" to justify your beliefs -- that's called spreading misinformation, and it's disingenuous.



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Is this really necessary?
By CPLGDR on 4/13/2010 4:33:36 PM , Rating: 2
People who believe in God will believe in anything. You can't argue with a zealot, the best you can ever hope for is a compromise. Whether or not a few people that granite is a magical element is something upon which very little hinges.

As someone firmly (but not militantly) grounded in the science camp, I share in your frustrations. But then you realise - as I'm sure you have - that all religion versus science debate will ultimately end with God moves in mysterious ways.

As long as these people aren't running (or ruining) the world, I'm not going to let myself get angry over a rock




RE: Is this really necessary?
By Descenteer on 4/13/2010 9:31:33 PM , Rating: 4
I am science camp, but I also believe in God. The two aren't mutually exclusive.

It's my experience that the opinions one brings to the table are the same opinions one leaves with, regardless of the logic or evidence presented at said table. At least, at the internet tables.


RE: Is this really necessary?
By Flunk on 4/13/2010 10:13:17 PM , Rating: 1
I think you're missing the point. Belief in god is not creationism. Creationism states that the creation myth as laid out by the bible is literally true. It's not possible to believe in both creationism and science, the two are indeed mutually exclusive.


RE: Is this really necessary?
By freeagle on 4/18/2010 9:46:48 AM , Rating: 2
They are not mutually exclusive, because the interpretation of the bible was constantly changing to adapt to new discoveries. In the beginning, I'm sure people took everything in the bible literally. Today when you ask non-creationist how to interpret genesis, he tells you you need to take it metaphorically, as the days are not real days but rathers eras/ages. My question is, where is the line between literal and metaphorical? Because it seems that every time science comes up with a new discovery, this lines moves towards the metaphorical end. From my point of view, it seems to converge in a point, where god is a metaphore as well


RE: Is this really necessary?
By adiposity on 4/19/2010 1:17:49 PM , Rating: 1
Those that choose to move towards the metaphorical to make religion compatible with science basically support the idea that the book is widely open to interpretation. When something is that open to interpretation, it's use as a guide decreases drastically.


RE: Is this really necessary?
By freeagle on 4/19/2010 5:29:02 PM , Rating: 2
While the others that chose to take it literally need to rely solely on their faith and ignore any scientific discoveries that disprove almost everything related to the creation of universe and things within it. It can hardly be seen as not mutually exclusive.


RE: Is this really necessary?
By Mclendo06 on 4/14/2010 2:11:14 PM , Rating: 4
You should really re-examine your first statement. I find it rather offensive, personally.

I believe in the observations of science, but I also believe in God. There are certainly zealots on both sides of the science/God debate, and I think that they all miss the point. One does not exclude the other. First, the Bible is not a science book, and I feel it shouldn't be interpreted as such. It has more to do with describing God and how He relates to humanity, and how humanity has related to Him throughout history. Secondly, I do not see a means by which science could hope to disprove the existence of God.

For me, the beautiful simplicity that governs most of the observable world, and the growing, possibly infinite complexity that surrounds fundamental questions like "what is matter" and "what is consciousness", points to the existence of something behind the reality which we observe. I actively try to avoid the fallacy of using God as a catch-all for things that we don't currently understand (a great deal of damage was done to early scientific progress because of this). I just find it more reasonable to believe that there is a God behind the reality that I observe than to to think that scientific truths will ever be able to fully explain and justify their own existence.


RE: Is this really necessary?
By ThePooBurner on 4/14/10, Rating: 0
RE: Is this really necessary?
By William Gaatjes on 4/16/2010 6:50:10 PM , Rating: 2
As soon as the true science starts to conflict with religion, the science will be abandoned or a pseudoscience will start where based on the evidence only conclusion are allowed in favour of the creation myth as described by the religion. And there is where you will always fail. Religion and science can only exist together when the religion is not interfering with science. And that means a whole different form of religion that is totally different then what is popular now which happens all to be based on ancient stories out of Sumer. It is either that or finding your own personal truth to your god trough science. YOu want to come close to your god ? Seek your god...


RE: Is this really necessary?
By ThePooBurner on 4/19/2010 11:14:48 AM , Rating: 1
You missed my point. I said True Science and True Religion. As in absolute truth. The 2 mix harmoniously and perfectly in agreement with each other. There are Zero conflicts. The problem that we face is that few have either, and only 1 of them is currently possible.


RE: Is this really necessary?
By morphologia on 4/19/2010 4:55:52 PM , Rating: 2
"While i am a staunch creationist, i also believe in good science."

I'm finding it very hard indeed to process this sentence without drowning in irony. Creationism by definition eschews "good science." It's based on a dedication to propagating spurious criticism of "good science"(witness, all the efforts to use false or exaggerated "proof" to disprove evolution). It's all well and good to carry out such mental exercises in a philosophical frame of reference, but the problem is that for creationism to be considered valid science, it would require at least some scientific validation for its foundations...including the existence of a creator.


RE: Is this really necessary?
By ThePooBurner on 4/20/2010 2:20:30 PM , Rating: 1
Did you not read what i wrote? The evidence i am putting for for our Creator is the fact that we are creators. If we can do it, why can't someone else who is smarter and knows more than us? You guys are making assumptions about Creationism and totally disregarding the points i put forth.

quote:
Creationism by definition eschews "good science."
No It doesn't. It simply states that we were created by someone else. Someone who knows everything. Scientific progress itself says that this is possible. With sufficiently advanced technology and knowledge anything can be done, and it can be done in such a way that technology doesn't even seem to exist. Is it so hard to accept that there could be someone smarter out there than us? The Universe is a huge place.


RE: Is this really necessary?
By freeagle on 4/21/2010 4:46:44 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, it is hard to accept that the whole universe was created by an omnipotent very intelligent being. Not because it sounds strange, but because the more we know about our universe, the more I'm convinced it's made up of a very very simple rules, that created all the complexities. Like fractals, or the game of life. Therefor, there is no need for an intelligent creator.


RE: Is this really necessary?
By FITCamaro on 4/22/2010 10:02:47 PM , Rating: 1
And where did that universe come from? The Big Bang? What caused that? Some theorize that black holes lead to other universes or maybe create other universes. Where did those come from?

In the end we'll never know. But belief in a god isn't so far fetched when considering these questions.


RE: Is this really necessary?
By freeagle on 4/23/2010 4:30:26 AM , Rating: 2
Stating that "we'll never know" is even more far fetched than the idea of god. People do have some, maybe vague, ideas, where did our universe come from. Or any other universe. Truth is, that those are more or less wild theories with no facts at all, exactly the same like saying there is a god behind it. However, there were a lot of things in the nature we could not explain and we always put either god behind them or came up with wild theories. Homework for you, find at least one, where the theory of god prevailed ( not just christian god, any god, even pagan one. They are the same, just with different context )


RE: Is this really necessary?
By FITCamaro on 4/23/2010 10:11:36 PM , Rating: 2
Having a crazy theory or believing in god does not take away from the fact that we'll never know. There is absolutely no way we will ever be able to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt where the universe came from or how it was created. Unless of course god is real and he "speaks from the heavens" to the entire human race. Even if we invented time travel, you can't go back past the big bang.


RE: Is this really necessary?
By freeagle on 4/24/2010 4:16:21 AM , Rating: 2
Or unless we create another universe. For me the idea that there really is only one UNIverse seems crazy, equally egocentric to the belief that the earth was the center of everything. I know we have no proof so far, or even clue, that there are other, but from what we already know, the idea seems plausible. If god really exists, for me it would be the only thing that does not make sense at all.


RE: Is this really necessary?
By ThePooBurner on 4/26/2010 6:43:31 PM , Rating: 2
I would say that's because you don't actually know or understand who He really is or have any idea of His actual attributes.


RE: Is this really necessary?
By 9ballrun on 4/15/2010 10:44:09 AM , Rating: 2
Hold on, science shows that the earth and it's contents are old and also shows how things form without "and poof there it was". The Bible, which is the "true word of God" states that the earth went "poof" and there it was. You can't believe in God and not belive in what he/she/it is told to have done. Seeing how the "proof" of his existence is tied to the same book that explains what he did.

Another thing I find odd, if God really did create the Earth and all life, why did he make it so complex? If I was capable of making stuff out of nothing and making it move on it's own, I'm making something that looks like a tofu block, not something that's made out of billions of small things that in turn form millions of other small things and so on. Oh wait, there is the "God works in mysterious ways" argument which immediately nullifies any logic one tries to use. A rock should be made out of ONE Rock Thingie, not tons of smaller particles that form it, now that would be something that's just created out of nothing.


RE: Is this really necessary?
By Mclendo06 on 4/15/2010 7:31:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Another thing I find odd, if God really did create the Earth and all life, why did he make it so complex?

Why was Leonardo da Vinci not content to merely draw stick figures?

I see the deep complexities in the fundamental foundations of nature as evidence of an omniscient creator. The very existence of that complexity is a testament to something behind it. In fact, it seems more plausible to suggest that if the universe just happened apart from any creator, that the natural order of things would have assumed a much simpler form that what we now observe. Complex systems don't generally stand up well on their own.

I also find it interesting that as one who apparently doesn't believe in God, you appeal to a fundamental (albeit flawed) interpretation of scripture to refute its validity. The point I made in my previous post was that the Bible is not a science book. Nowhere does "poof" appear in Genesis. Genesis describes creation as occurring in stages, which it calls "days". Never mind that the sun and the moon weren't created until the 4th "day" (Gen 1:14-18). The point to the creation story is not the how or the when, but the Who . As to the "poof" of God's own existence in the Bible, that's another place that you miss the mark, and in a very big way. The Bible never suggests that God "wasn't". God is eternal; He exists outside of nature and has no beginning or end.

Finally, please don't try to project a position of weakness onto me. I never appealed to an argument that "God works in mysterious ways". There are things about God that I don't understand, but why He put such complex intricacy into His creation is not one of them. Scripture states that we are created in God's image. Our love of fine art, beautiful music, advanced technology, and other "complexities" is a reflection of His image, His character. It is that character that led him to create, and to me, Science is the act of working to understand more and more of that creation.


RE: Is this really necessary?
By JediJeb on 4/18/2010 1:11:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Hold on, science shows that the earth and it's contents are old and also shows how things form without "and poof there it was".


So how did all the matter in the universe form? According to science there was nothing before the big bang then nanoseconds later there was all the matter in the universe. That sounds a lot like a "and poof there it was" explanation to me. Seems when taken back to the very beginning both science and religion have the same explanation.

Neither science or religion can tell you what existed before the universe existed except that religion says God existed, nothing more. One side attacks the other yet when pushed back to a complete origin of everything neither can prove the other wrong. Science is based on proof, religion is based on faith. Yet for science to exist you have to have faith in your proofs, and for religion to spread you need at least some proof of your faith. Science and religion will always argue between each other like two people who are just too much alike to ever get along.

quote:
Another thing I find odd, if God really did create the Earth and all life, why did he make it so complex? If I was capable of making stuff out of nothing and making it move on it's own, I'm making something that looks like a tofu block, not something that's made out of billions of small things that in turn form millions of other small things and so on. Oh wait, there is the "God works in mysterious ways" argument which immediately nullifies any logic one tries to use. A rock should be made out of ONE Rock Thingie, not tons of smaller particles that form it, now that would be something that's just created out of nothing.


I guess it depends on the complexity of the mind of the one doing the creating. The way I would build something versus the way Einstein would build something versus the way Rube Goldberg would build something would all be totally different in design and complexity. Maybe God knows enough to know that if it was made too simply, it would not function properly. Or maybe He just wanted to make man have to work hard to figure it all out.


RE: Is this really necessary?
By avxo on 4/22/2010 7:53:38 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
According to science there was nothing before the big bang then nanoseconds later there was all the matter in the universe. That sounds a lot like a "and poof there it was" explanation to me.


Except that's not what science says, and whoever taught you that simply had no idea what they were talking about. May I suggest you ask for your money back?

quote:
Neither science or religion can tell you what existed before the universe existed except that religion says God existed, nothing more.


So let me get this straight. Religion can't tell me what existed before the Universe, but it tells me God existed? That's a neat trick! Almost like having your cake and eating it too...

quote:
Yet for science to exist you have to have faith in your proofs


No you don't. Scientific proofs are based in logic, and logic and faith aren't just two different tools in the toolkit of understanding. Faith is blind acceptance in the absence of evidence or proof. It's the diametric opposite of logic.


RE: Is this really necessary?
By superPC on 4/21/2010 11:31:53 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with you completely. that's why i believe in directed evolution. simply because it can't be proven yet that evolution is truly random. if a being is advanced enough, what that being does is impossible to detect by lesser being.

case in point: our genetically engineered animals and bacteria and before we start doing genetic engineering, we've done selective breeding since time immemorial. those animals wouldn't know that we selected them (or engineered them) for spesific desired traits. if we show darwin one of our genetically engineered animal, he might delete the "random" word that stand in front of mutation in his book.


RE: Is this really necessary?
By FITCamaro on 4/22/2010 9:52:45 PM , Rating: 2
Very good post.

I think there are arguments to be made on both sides. I tend to lean towards intelligent design though. But ultimately, will never know. It takes faith to believe the creation story as is. I was not blessed with it.

I believe in a God, but think fighting about how exactly we came to be is retarded. We won't ever know. Even if scientists discovered every supposed missing piece in the evolution theory puzzle (because it is far from being 100% fact), that does not disprove God. It merely means the Bible isn't meant to be taken literally.

Until mankind has invented time travel, we're not going to know 100% how we came to be. As I've said before, for all we know, aliens created us and put us here. Remember the satellite is in Cartman's @$$.


Here we got again "The left and right crazies"
By Cbeyond on 4/21/2010 5:35:27 PM , Rating: 2
Ok ok, I am sick of asking this question, but I will ask it again. How did life start, what made the first cell? A very, very simple cell is about 250 proteins, of course there are theories, but none can be proven(yet). To even get the right combinations to create the first cell is like rolling all 7's 250 times, you have one shot if not the conditions might not be right again EVER! As a firm believer in math, I can not argue the facts, the chances are near zero! There are more chances of another alien race creating life or seeding life, but that still leads to who/what/how did they come to be. There is no scienctist willing to answer the question, just theories(guessing). On top of that you would have to get the right amino acids lined up to create the proteins so they would connect. Chances of that??? Near zero!! Do not believe me look it up. Religion is made up no doubt about that, the question is not HOW WE EVOLVED?!?! evolution is fact, the real question is HOW DID IT START!?!? Also do not give me the theories of lighting and piggy backing off of crystals or gas jets in the oceans, that's no more crazier then religion or saying "Puff the magic dragon" made us!

"the only real truth is math, everything else is man"
-Cbeyond




RE: Here we got again "The left and right crazies"
By Keeir on 4/23/2010 3:50:04 PM , Rating: 2
You know something... you don't really understand Math.

There are roughly 10^30 bacteria alive today, each one will likely divide/reproduce a few thousand times between today this time next year... either way your looking at 10^32 mutation possibilities. Bacteria are significantly larger than the componets we are dealing with... Yes, its true going from individual proteins, to DNA type, to Viral DNA, to Bacteria types cells are big steps... but they didn't all have to happen at once. And looking at the known history of earth, there were Trillion Trillion Trillion Trillion Trillion Trillions of chances for interactions to occur.


By MouseBTFH on 4/23/2010 4:15:29 PM , Rating: 1
The theory of evolution, as commonly understood, doesn't work. A much better alternative is this:

http://www.amazon.com/Spontaneous-Evolution-Positi...

Basically, the power of intent (yes, even in a single-celled organism) has a lot to do with genetics and evolution. Unless there's a crisis of some sort, there's no change. Single-celled organisms didn't evolve into multi-celled organisms for 700,000 years...until they ran out of space and were forced to change in order to continue growing.

As to how that cellular life got there in the first place...through the power of intent. Whether that's from a Creator God as the bible would understand it, or whatever, no other explanation works. Darwinism was the product of its time, coming at a time when racial superiority was a popular idea. But in nature, survival of the fittest just doesn't work. What DOES work is cooperation for mutual benefit.

Unfortunately, mankind hasn't learned this lesson yet.


Evolution of PCs
By carniver on 4/14/2010 1:15:41 PM , Rating: 1
I dug out ancient machines from my basement, Apple-I's, 8086...286...AMD 5x86...Pentium 4's alike. I observed that the machines became increasingly more complex and capable, and the latter ones have become more successful than the former (evolution). This is apparently free market competition (natural selection) at work, as this competition have meant that to survive the market one must become more advanced.

Therefore, I conclude that the freely competitve market have created the PC I'm using today through slow but gradual evolution. The rumors that someone created computers through R&D are, therefore, invalid.




RE: Evolution of PCs
By RickK on 4/14/2010 5:58:30 PM , Rating: 3
Ahh... interesting. So the older PCs in your basement got together and bred little baby PCs, all slightly different? How interesting. Well, if your PCs ARE breeding and reproducing on their own, then your analogy to biological evolution is very applicable.

Otherwise, your analogy is utter horseydoo.


By therealnickdanger on 4/14/2010 11:40:51 AM , Rating: 3
I think this is an important distinction. You talk about "bad science", but there is also "bad theology". The only timeline that one may apply is in regard to the recorded lineage (begot and so forth) of living persons. Many argue that there are two distinct events packed into the Genesis account: the formation of "heaven and the earth" and THEN the 6-day formation of everything ON the earth (plus another day for rest) sometime later. The passage of time between these events is unknown and the text does not expound further.

Some passages in Job, Psalms, Nehemiah, Ezekiel (probably more) allude to the creation of angelic beings (including Satan) and a "war in heaven" during this time, but it's not clear enough.

I don't really care who's right, I just want to be clear.




By maugrimtr on 4/15/2010 11:53:37 AM , Rating: 3
I'm a christian, so it goes without saying I believe in God. However, that leads me to also believe God's creation (i.e. the Universe and whatever exists outside of it) led to me having a brain. A brain designed with a curious capacity for rational thought. Based on this, I like to believe God would have me act in a rational manner and use that same gift to apply reason to the question of The Universe. That use of reason leads me to accept that the Earth is 4B+ years old and the Universe 14B+ years old since that is what all the observable evidence indicates. I have no reason to believe God is covering up some magical 6000 year old creation event by seeding the planet with fossils, mutating genes, and weird mathematical operations which exhibit a weird tendency to build incredible complexity from the simplest of interactions.

Creationists rely on the suspension of reason and rational thought. By doing so, I view them as perpetrating a belief that the best rational approach we have to understanding the Universe (i.e. Science) is anti-God. But by their own arguments, God is responsible for that very characteristic of we humans.

I'd prefer to trust in God, then the Creationists who want us to believe that our God given (directly or indirectly, who cares) sense of reason is misplaced. It's not. If they want to delude themselves, they need to recognise that their delusion denies the use of the greatest gift any God could ever offer us - our unique talent for using our complex brains to figure stuff out in a sensible way.

Frankly, Creationism is the ultimate insult to God. We gave up burning the heretics centuries ago because religion was incapable of reason, but some of us still haven't learned the lesson.




Tedious but necessary
By RickK on 4/13/2010 10:57:52 PM , Rating: 2
CPLGDR,

I've seen comment threads where the "reality-based community" didn't chime in, and the anti-scientific nutjobs make it look like they're the majority. The same thing happens on school boards and local politics - the shrill voices of the anti-evolution crowd drowns out opposition.

Make yourself a nice little statement of why facts and evidence are important, and why lying is wrong, even if it for Jesus. Then just cut&paste any time you see an evolution versus creationism/ID debate brewing.

There are still kids on the web whose worldviews have not yet hardened into concrete. If one of them is passing by, you want to ensure they have a rational view of reality as a comparison to the creationist fantasy.

And you can always direct them to these 12,000+ Christian clergy who accept evolution and find it wonderful. They also believe the anti-evolution mob displays ignorance combined with hubris (though they put it nicer than that in their statement).

http://blue.butler.edu/~mzimmerm/Christian_Clergy/...




Religion
By Burned on 4/14/2010 3:25:24 PM , Rating: 2
Religion, it's like arguing about politics......... waste of time.




Mick's Misleading Malignment
By Netopia on 4/15/2010 10:25:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yet to scientists, we must interpret the picture that we see, and that picture clearly points that evolution created the species we see today and that the earth is billions of years old, not 6,000 years old.


If evolution is fact, has created nothing. Evolution speaks only to how things change over time. Creation is a totally different subject that is NEVER part of evolutionary science. There are guesses by science about what might have started life, but there really isn't any factual data and no way to get any. One can argue the evolution of life based on fossil records, but NEVER the creation of it.

Joe




Comments
By wgbutler on 4/16/2010 1:31:35 PM , Rating: 2
Is the purpose of DailyTech to report on science and technology or to caricature, attack, and belittle people with religious beliefs?

If attacking religious beliefs is one of the goals of this writer, what about attacking other religions as well as Christianity? How about some articles making fun of Islam and Buddhism, or is that beyond the scope of the author's interests?

I also notice how Jason Mick picks and chooses comments, the comments arguing for young earth creationism in particular, that he can easily debunk and hold up as evidence to support his apparent position that Christians are stupid, uneducated rubes while ignoring the myriad of offensive, insulting, stupid and senseless comments from the atheists, not to mention comments from Christians who believe that the Earth is billion of years old but are skeptical about macro-evolution.

Finally one cannot help but appreciate the irony that Jason Mick is bothered by the fact that some people dare disagree with him with their comments but at the same time has no problems thumbing his nose at those he disagrees with in the guise of reporting on technology.

wgbutler




By MouseBTFH on 4/23/2010 2:49:34 PM , Rating: 2
The reason the science vs. evolution debate hasn't been solved is because a little knowledge -- on BOTH sides -- is a dangerous thing.

Neither the "fundamentalist" literal creationists or the scientists really understand what Genesis 1-3 is saying. The problem is one of context. If you look at the other creation literature of the ancient near east, NONE of it was ever intended to be understood literally. The main stumbling block for Creationists is that they equate truth with being literal. Ain't necessarily so.

What Genesis 1-3 actually was meant to be was a polemic against the religious beliefs of Sumer. The account intended the animals to represent other peoples in existence at the time it was written. (Adam and Eve were NOT the first people!) Two prominent animals are mentioned here: the "great sea creatures" (Gen. 1:21; Heb. "tannin" and translated "whales" in the KJV), and the serpent (Gen. 3:1). The "tannin" or crocodiles represented Egypt and the serpent represented Sumer. The mythical "garden of Eden" was simply a settlement on a major trade route between Egypt and Sumer, hence the non-literal "rivers" -- representing people -- which flow from it; compare Isaiah 2:2.

In Sumer, it was believed that one can basically do whatever one wants. Read the literary cycles about the goddess Innana, for instance. In contrast, the Genesis account described eating from the tree which gives life. The "fruit" of this tree simply represented good choices or actions. Doing whatever one wants was represented by the tree of the knowledge of both good *and* evil. Moral confusion, in other words.

Just because Genesis 1-3 isn't literal doesn't mean that it can't be true. The problem has been that neither side has really understood it, and they've ended up getting polarized to one side or another. Just like the health care debate, or climate change, or whatever other major issue is out there. There ARE real solutions, but they're never in the extremes. They're somewhere in the middle.

I'm currently writing a book about our origins which takes a lot of the major issues of today, like terrorism, peace in the Middle East, climate change, etc., and looks at them from the perspective of 6,000 years ago. With this book, I intend to show that there are indeed real solutions, and the only way to achieve them is to understand humanity's real history. Otherwise we're just going to keep repeating the same mistakes.




By Phoque on 4/24/2010 12:41:36 PM , Rating: 2
The problem I have with some Creationists or religious people is that, sometimes, they make me feel like they believe in God because they're too stupid to either explain something or to accept not to understand it.

"I am, or the human race is, too stupid to explain the origin of our world, then God exists."




Seriously now.
By MrHanson on 4/28/2010 3:32:21 PM , Rating: 2
"This little discovery is of tremendous importance as anatomical evidence points to the species being a close evolutionary relative to man, perhaps even a direct ancestor"

This little quote of yours just shows how evolutionary theory is driven by and ideology just like creationism. Evolutionists just love to divinate any human attributes to any primate fossils they find. You obviously missed all the statements (from evolutionists themselves) downplaying the importance of this find and revealing the controversy behind it. This is Ida and Ardi hype all over again. But somehow you seem to think this strengthens the theory. Did you miss them or just refuse to do a little research on your own?




You need to explain ...
By drycrust3 on 4/20/2010 1:37:48 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
modern evolutionary theory


What does this mean? Is this different from what Darwin proposed?

Why is this called a humanoid and not an ape?

Also, should Evolution (or do I mean "modern evolutionary theory"?) be exempt from proper scientific scrutiny. If you think it should be exempt, then say so; if it shouldn't be exempt and you don't like the way creationists do it, then do your job and subject it to scientific scrutiny. If you're too afraid to do the scrutiny, then don't complain when others have the courage to do it for you.

The TV news broadcast I saw had some kid walking across some Savannah with green grass and finding this skeleton in a hole. Now it's a cave. Caves are often formed by water, so what proof is there this skeleton would have lasted 1 million years? Wouldn't it have dissolved? As I said, if evolution doesn't have an exemption to scientific scrutiny, then there are a whole ton of questions that need to be answered. My guess is the skeleton is no more than 100 years old, but who cares what I think because just by asking I make it obvious I don't have a degree in any subject.




Please.
By Reclaimer77 on 4/13/10, Rating: -1
RE: Please.
By Donkeyshins on 4/14/2010 2:21:40 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
If that's the case, I think MSNBC has a desk for you.


Or Rupert Murdoch.


RE: Please.
By Anoxanmore on 4/14/2010 3:49:05 PM , Rating: 1
Hmm... the Rage is strong with this one.


RE: Please.
By nvmarino on 4/14/2010 8:31:56 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
You know goddamn well that article was written in such a way as to provoke hostilities.


It's not surprising that logical and factually correct articles provoke hostilities in those who do not have a firm grasp on reality (Creationists and Fox News fans, for example).


RE: Please.
By clovell on 4/15/2010 2:21:58 PM , Rating: 2
The icon for the blog post is a 'Dumb and Dumber' picture and the the entire post is a rant directed at a particular creationist.

If somebody, anybody, could please explain, in your own words, how Jason is NOT deliberatley trying to be inflammatory to inflate page hits, you will earn a tax-day cookie.


RE: Please.
By troysavary on 4/16/2010 11:34:05 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly. Once upon a time, this site was an aggregate of tech news from around the web. Lately, it has become merely a soap-box for Jason to air his Left wing views and to mock anyone who has a different view. Many more "articles" like these, and Dailytech may have to become "not worth reading".


RE: Please.
By wgbutler on 4/16/2010 1:39:15 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. Is this some kind of joke?

Which of these scenerios is true:

a) Is Jason intentionally being inflammatory to get more hits for the webiste, or

b) Is Jason such a heavy drinker of the left wing kool-aid that he can't discuss ANYTHING (even if its the weather) without throwing a few bombs at those he ideologically disagrees with?

wgbutler


RE: Please.
By William Gaatjes on 4/16/2010 7:11:30 PM , Rating: 2
Without any good arguments, it must always be the political view of someone. Cheap tactics used by people who have no solid arguments. I understand this creation/evolution debate goes on for quite a few decades in the USA. People who do not believe in creatonism have lost their jobs or have been threatened because of this debate. These situations where primarily caused by believers who prefer the old day as described in the "holy" book where for them the word is the word and the truth. Even today this debate is as it seems quite the issue. It is very relevant to provoke a debate through a modern way of communication as the internet is. Every time more evidence of evolution arises this debate will happen again.


RE: Please.
By wgbutler on 4/19/2010 10:24:38 AM , Rating: 2
quote:

People who do not believe in creatonism have lost their jobs or have been threatened because of this debate.


You have it exactly backwards. People who do not toe the line on neo-Darwinism are losing their jobs or being demoted. The latest story I just read last week was a NASA computer administrator (who was managing the Cassini project and was previously lauded as an excellent employee), who was recently demoted for discussing Intelligent Design at work, even though his beliefs on this issue have nothing to do with his ability to manage the computer systems.

The movie Expelled is also filled with examples of academic persecution against people who question Darwinism. But I'm glad that you seem to at least agree that these types of practices are deplorable!

quote:

It is very relevant to provoke a debate through a modern way of communication as the internet is


Well I love a good debate also, but its a little unseemly to provoke these types of discussions at a site that is supposedly politically neutral and a source of technology information.

It is somewhat like going to the grocery store and having to listen to the store clerk belittle your religious and political beliefs every time you show up to buy a carton of milk.

At the very least, if this is the way its going to be more effort should be made to broadcast that this site is not a politically neutral source of tech information and that leftists views will be promoted at every opportunity.

quote:

Every time more evidence of evolution arises this debate will happen again.


This fossil find wasn't evidence of evolution. It's only evidence of evolution if you already assume that evolution is true. But I guess if you keep repeating a lie often enough people will start to believe it.

wgbutler


RE: Please.
By mofo3k on 4/19/2010 11:29:20 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The latest story I just read last week was a NASA computer administrator (who was managing the Cassini project and was previously lauded as an excellent employee), who was recently demoted for discussing Intelligent Design at work, even though his beliefs on this issue have nothing to do with his ability to manage the computer systems.

This dude was distributing DVD's and promoting his misguided ideals at the workplace. Of course he was punished.
quote:
Well I love a good debate also, but its a little unseemly to provoke these types of discussions at a site that is supposedly politically neutral and a source of technology information.

I actually applaud Jason for his neutrality on that particular article. Anyone who's read his material knows that he held back a lot on this one.
quote:
This fossil find wasn't evidence of evolution. It's only evidence of evolution if you already assume that evolution is true. But I guess if you keep repeating a lie often enough people will start to believe it.

I guess you could see it that way, I think the it's better say that it's evidence that "supports" the theory of evolution, and definitely evidence that debunks the "intelligent design" myth. It's funny you ended that with the line "But I guess if you keep repeating a lie often enough people will start to believe it" because isn't that all religion is anyway.


RE: Please.
By wgbutler on 4/19/2010 3:05:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

This dude was distributing DVD's and promoting his misguided ideals at the workplace. Of course he was punished.


It's interesting how one Darwinist complains about people allegedly losing their jobs because of their belief in Darwinism and another Darwinist applauds someone at NASA getting demoted because of his beliefs in Intelligent Design. Free speech for thee, but not for me, eh mofo3k?

What happened at NASA is clearly a case of an ideological witch hunt against ID advocates. From what I have read no one ever filed any kind of complaint against the guy and he only stated his beliefs and offered his materials to interested coworkers. Meanwhile others at the workforce freely talked about their beliefs in neo-Darwinism and bashed Intellgient Design with no reprisals.

Even if the guy was handing out religious tracts and inviting people to his church, the demotion was uncalled for. At worst he should have been reprimanded and told to leave his coworkers alone (assuming that he was bothering them).

quote:

I actually applaud Jason for his neutrality on that particular article. Anyone who's read his material knows that he held back a lot on this one.


I didn't see any neutrality and picked up on quite a few obvious insulting remarks towards religious people.

I think Jason Mick is an ideologue who uses a supposedly politically neutral tech blog to spout his leftist views. And then he gets annoyed that people have the audacity to disagree with him.

quote:

I guess you could see it that way, I think the it's better say that it's evidence that "supports" the theory of evolution, and definitely evidence that debunks the "intelligent design" myth.


It doesn't debunk intelligent design, nor does it provide any new evidence for macro-evolution. All it does it discover a new species of hominid that we didn't know about before. But believe whatever you want, its no skin off my nose.

wgbutler


So many fallacies, so little time -
By AmPat on 4/14/10, Rating: -1
By clovell on 4/14/2010 1:48:36 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not taking sides here, because I'm personally not much concerned with the ultimate origin of my species, nor its ultimate demise - I just do the best I can in the short time I've got and then the rest is really out of my hands.

But, discounting a published nuclear physicist an 'untrained geologist' when the geology in question is directly linked to radiological effects at an atomic level is up there in the top ten most asinine premises you've ever posited, Jason. If the man was debunked, he was debunked - there's no need to exaggerate or manufacture any lack of qualifications.

Experts screw up. Stick to the science.


RE: So many fallacies, so little time -
By Donkeyshins on 4/14/2010 2:18:01 PM , Rating: 5
A nuclear physicist is not a trained geologist any more than a physicist is a physician or an art historian is an artist. It is possible to be extremely competent in your chosen field and know nothing about other related (or not-so-related) fields. Lord knows you see it all the time in the software industry.


RE: So many fallacies, so little time -
By clovell on 4/15/2010 2:14:31 PM , Rating: 2
Physicist and physician? We're more talking about something closer to biochemist and forensic pathologist. Art Historian as an artist? No - but how about an art historian writing a paper on general history? Art is often less revisionist than written history.

You still make a good point, but what I'm getting at is that this guy truly is close enough to the field (published expert on polonium halos weighing in on polonium halo geological dating) to be given consideration, and not dismissed out of hand. What Jason did there is a thinly-veiled ad-hominem attack - a logical fallacy, which is ironic given the topic of his rant.


By William Gaatjes on 4/16/2010 6:38:12 PM , Rating: 2
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiohalo

Polonium is a radioactive material that is formed from radioactive decay of other heavier radioactive elements.
These heavier elements form radio halos too.


By tim851 on 4/14/2010 3:29:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If anyone cares to debate the scientific evidence regarding origins in a CIVIL manner, I suggest you come to Talk About Origins: http://www.tao.invisionzone.com


Are you that ONE Person 'Terry Trainor' that is talking to himself over there?

If so, you might consider turning that forum into a blog, because as it is it's ridiculous.


By RickK on 4/14/2010 6:18:19 PM , Rating: 4
Finding a tiny blackened ring in a piece of granite, and concluding the Earth is not billions of years old is like finding a silk dress in a Boston attic and concluding New England was colonized by Chinese, not Europeans.

A good scientist finding one tiny bit of contradictory evidence would look at the intrepretation of that evidence, and find MANY confirming lines of evidence before trying to overturn such a well supported paradigm as "Old Earth".

Gentry is clearly motivated by proving his religious beliefs, NOT doing good science. He has published what, 4 real papers? All of them thoroughly refuted by other scientists. Yet he goes on to develop his own cosmology??

He is a crank.

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."
-- Philip K. Dick


RE: So many fallacies, so little time -
By RickK on 4/14/2010 8:15:26 PM , Rating: 4
AmPat said: "When Dr. Gentry started his research, he was an old earth evolutionist. His discovery of Po halo's in granite caused him to change his paradigm."

Um... He's not a doctor, at least not of physics. He never completed a doctorate. He received an "honorary" doctorate from the Seventh Day Adventist Columbia Union College.

And it is interesting to note that he converted to Seventh Day Adventist at least 9 years before his first paper, and several years before his book says he started studying halos.

So, AmPat, the evidence indicates that you're wrong.


By Hieyeck on 4/15/2010 8:49:34 AM , Rating: 4
I hereby award you this honorary Doctorate in Zing from the Church of Evolution College.

Congratulations Dr. RickK.

Pay attention to this man AmPat, he's a doctor. He can't possibly be wrong according to you.


RE: So many fallacies, so little time -
By clovell on 4/15/2010 2:16:59 PM , Rating: 2
Oh damn - now see THAT is interesting information, and pretty damned useful. Jason shoul've used THAT in the blog post.

Nice deteective work!


By clovell on 4/15/2010 2:18:44 PM , Rating: 2
I should also say that given these facts, I stand quite firmly corrected.


By William Gaatjes on 4/16/2010 6:31:23 PM , Rating: 3
That forum website is a waste of time.


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