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Print 62 comment(s) - last by MrHanson.. on Apr 28 at 3:32 PM


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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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.


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