Wednesday, March 5, 2008

An Exchange...

I recently had a discussion with a creationist at youtube. I think I've found the right method in dealing with them: Stay calm and rational, and after four or five responses, wish them the best, tell them you'll have to agree to disagree. Recommending a book never hurts either. I always try and recommend Ken Miller's "Finding Darwin's God"; or even better, a christian evolutionist website like Answers in Creation.

The Guy made several claims: The geologic column doesn't exist in its entirety anywhere in the world, bent strata indicate the rock was laid down catastrophically, and so on and so on. What bothered me is that he accused talk origins of making false claims, and insisted that there really was no complete geological column in one location. Luckily, talk origins always provides enough information for me to be able to check out their claims from other (and often better) sources. Sure enough, it does exist in one place. It disappoints me that creationists will swallow so much malarky from one or two creationist sources without bothering to do real research to get the facts.

Anyway, at one point we discussed human fossils. I asked why it was that humans are absent from all but the very top of the geologic column. He directed me here. There are several things about this article that are very hypocritical and downright stupid:

The first issue to consider is what we actually find in the fossil record.
~95% of all fossils are shallow marine organisms, such as corals and shellfish.
~95% of the remaining 5% are algae and plants.
~95% of the remaining 0.25% are invertebrates, including insects.
The remaining 0.0125% are vertebrates, mostly fish. (95% of land vertebrates consist of less than one bone, and 95% of mammal fossils are from the
Ice Age after the Flood.)1
The number of dinosaur fossils is actually relatively small, compared to other types of creatures. Since the Flood was a marine catastrophe, we would expect marine fossils to be dominant in the fossil record. And that is the case.

Actually, sediments are usually deposited in water, so it isn't any surprise that most of the fossils we find are marine organisms. We certainly don't need Noah's flood to account for it! Another thing about this that is totally inconsistent is that this guy makes a huge deal out of only a few vertebrate fossils existing, yet creationists are constantly demanding finely graded chains fossils leading from past organisms to present (on occasion we actually find these, but they are rare and of course this only happens under the right conditions).

The article goes on to make speculations and invent excuses about why no human fossils exist in deeper strata. I stick to my original objection: It makes no sense for humans to have missed fossilization for the first 3 or 4 billion years of the fossil record, and then to have started fossilizing by the thousands around the Pliocene. That is, unless they didn't exist back then.

By the way, check out this link for a hilarious creationist take on the geologic timescale.


Romeo Morningwood said...

You are right to remain calm and not get emotional because all they have on their side is emotional evidence. I know because I tried to understand it back in the 80s.

The other thing to remember is that they have NO intention of really looking at your data..NONE whatsoever because it is all a Lie from Satan who is trying to challenge their Faith. They can't afford to give up an inch because if they spring a leak it is game over and they don't have an ARK ready.

I always admired how GOD made the sun after plants, now THAT is a miracle. That chart lines up about as close as it ever can.

Great stuff.

Aaron said...

I've done a few posts on my blog, Atheist Armaments, speifically about strategies for dealing with Creationists.

One thing I will say is that Youtube is *NOT* the place to be having arguments on this topic. They have a 500 CHARACTER limit (which I would have already exceeded in this comment alone), and you can't post more than 3 comments in a burst. On top of that, their comment navigation is really buggy. I have a hard time finding my discussion on there sometimes.

-- Anyways --

I agree with Lord T up there -- they won't look at your data (not the ones who heatedly argue you anyways). The best you can do is either (a) talk circles around them (what I frequently do) and (b) present them with hard evidence (as you did) to directly refute their claims.

It sucks that the arguments frequently descend into outright gainsaying, but that's what they're comfortable with *shrug*.

AIGBusted said...

Hi Aaron!

I agree with what you and LT said. And by the way, you can send personal messages to people that can be as long as you like (which is what we were doing). I agree, comments are no way to have a debate.

Baconeater said...

Lots of great videos on Youtube. Potholer54 has great stuff you can throw in creationists faces every time.

Anonymous said...

I'm dealing with a creationist or two at this video:

I actually pointed them to part 1 of your Evolution of Creationists post.

Not that it will make a difference.