It might seem a little cruel, at first, that I keep directing my criticisms at young Earth creationism. Unfortunately, it’s a little difficult to take seriously any offence garnered from the dismantling from such an uninformed position. To assert, without evidence, that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old and, worse, claim that you have the evidence to back it is not only deliberately dishonest (or stupid, we should never dismiss the possibility of stupidity) but also, often, dangerous. Such beliefs threaten the education of our young and frequently promote bigotry toward minority groups based on no facts.
Today I want to do two things. The first is to return to the video posted at the end of another article of mine (“The Truth of Deep Time: Science Trumps Religion”) and refute the claims made there. The second is to demonstrate why the evidence they claim is unacceptable. On the flip side of that, we’ll take a look at what actually constitutes scientific evidence.
No Dating Method Can Prove the Age of the Earth, Young or Old.
Right, we can’t definitively prove the age of the Earth or the Universe, but we can draw some damned good conclusions based on the extrapolations of solid scientific theories, their predictive power and the observations upon which they are based. What’s more interesting in this case is that scientists don’t generally rely on any one single method of dating to draw a conclusion, rather they will employ a range of different methods to slowly arrive at the most probable answer. These answers turn out to be incredibly accurate for objects of known age which we test. It would seem to follow that the same would be true for objects of unknown age.
The claim, however, rests on the assertion that dating methods require a number of assumptions in order to work. There is a problem with this assertion, however. It seems to assume (hah!) that scientists are unaware of the problems which arise from the premises upon which the methods are based. Geochronologists (the fancy name for people who date rocks), for instance, are well aware that closed systems are very difficult to actually create and can, therefore, take into account contamination. Multiple radiometric dating methods performed on such rocks, however, can produce consistent results, a strong indicator that the conclusion you’re arriving at is the right one.
We’re not going to knock out every assumption claim here, because that would be rather long and nauseating. If you are interested, however, TalkOrigins.org has a comprehensive list of rebuttals here, here and here. In fact, it’s a good idea to just take a loog over that entire list. If you ever find yourself unsure of what the science has to say on a topic that a creationist has raised, the rebuttal and answer is likely there. Some of the assumptions scientists are accused of making don’t even make sense.
The Global Flood “Theory”.
Right, so if you’ve got the millions of years of geological evolution, slow sedimentation over millions of years of the sedimentary rock. Or, versus, say the young Earth creationist’s model, what the Bible says. That there was a global flood which would lay down layers very rapidly and the creatures get buried and fossilised very quickly. There’s two ways of explaining the same data let’s see what we see in the fossil record.” – Calvin Smith.
Are you honestly serious? Two ways of explaining the data? As in, both are extensively peer reviewed and evidentially supported competing theories? No. What you mean to say is that there is the scientific explanation which has stood accumulated vast amounts of evidence, stood strong against the brutally stringent effects of peer-review and re-examination. Versus. The account of an anonymous bronze-age desert dwelling monotheist somewhere in the middle of Mesopotamia who, at best, was plagiarising the Epic of Gilgamesh. These are not competing explanations for the same data. One isn’t even an explanation at all.
YouTube vlogger and outspoken atheist, Thunderf00t, already visited some of the supposed predictions of the global flood “theory” in the first instalment of his “Why do people laugh at creationists” series. The assertion that the Biblical flood can equally explain sedimentation as currently held, scientific, theories is laughable. TalkOrigins.org demolishes it once again right here.
The Pattern to the Claims.
It occurs to me that there is a glaringly obvious pattern to the claims being made. Simply put, these claims are not new. They’re not claims that haven’t been responded to in the past and entirely destroyed. Really, there’s no reason to for me to go too far out of my way to address these nonsense assertions to evidence—a few seconds spent at TalkOrigins.org can show that the evidence these creationists are claiming is not evidence at all.
Simply put, these claims to science that are being made are nonsense. They don’t exist. The evidence to support your Bible (as literal fact, at least) does not exist. The tactics employed by those who make these assertions speak volumes as to the veracity of their claims. Quote mining, deliberate dishonesty (or stupidity) and preying on the uneducated. These aren’t the tactics required to prove divinely inspired truth. If the Bible was the literal Word of God (capitals included to imply importance), then it seems that such truth would be self evident. Since atheists such as myself exist and question the validity of the claims—since science outright eliminates such claims—then it can be concluded, with considerable certainty, that the literal interpretation is unfounded. Furthermore, it can be extrapolated that the God of such an unfounded interpretation does not exist.
This is not uncertainty. No evidence can exist to suggest that no god exists. But it can be said, without uncertainty, that the literal God of the Bible does not.