Creationism and Daylight Saving Time

In our ceaseless efforts to bring you timely information about creationism, we searched for news about the fact that tonight is when we are all (mostly all) required to turn our clocks back an hour.

In the US, this tyrannical mandate is the result of the Uniform Time Act — an intolerable governmental intrusion into all of our lives which upsets the natural order of things twice a year. Like you, we have clocks everywhere — not only the usual clocks sitting around all over the place, but on our wrist, in our cell phones, our computers, television sets, and microwave ovens. We also have timers for outside lights and lawn sprinklers, and of course we have clocks in our automobiles.

But the greatest inconvenience is that our splendid dogs, Deimos and Phobos, have built-in timers to tell them when they should be fed, and they don’t like their routines to be disrupted. Truly, this is an outrage!

It’s quite obvious that no rational person likes this state of affairs (your Curmudgeon being the universal standard for rationality, of course). Therefore, we wondered what creationists think of the situation, and we assumed that their attitude would be nothing like our own. To confirm this hypothesis, the Curmudgeon’s Chronology Conjecture, we went searching — or dumpster diving — at our usual sources of creationist wisdom to see if they had anything to say.

We found only one mention of the subject, and it revealed little more than supine acceptance. Although it’s only marginally relevant, we decided to bring that one article to your attention. It’s at the website of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom, with an elegantly simple title: Times.

The article was written by Henry Morris, the now-deceased founder of ICR. We recently wrote about him (The Creation Science of Henry Morris), so we won’t repeat our description. We found this article by using ICR’s search feature, where it’s dated 26 October 2006. Morris died a few months before that date, so either their search engine is in error or this was published posthumously.

Most of Morris’ article isn’t relevant to our grievances about Daylight Saving Time, but because he’s the only creationist we could find who even mentions the topic, we decided to excerpt what little he says on the subject. Here it comes, with bold added by us and scripture references omitted:

A common statement about the entity of time is to the effect that everyone knows what time is, but no one can precisely define it. In modern physics, especially Einsteinian physics, time is considered to be the fourth dimension of space, so that cosmic phenomena that involve both space and time are often expressed in units of spacetime.

Time is a spatial dimension? Amazing! Let’s read on:

But most people are more concerned with just knowing the time-of-day or punching a time clock or something else related to their daily lives. Twice a year, we have to reset our clocks as, by government decree, we advance our clocks one hour to go on daylight saving time or — as happening today — moving them back to standard time.

As we said, Morris simply accepts the situation without protest. Obedience to authority — no matter how crazed — must be deeply ingrained in the creationist mind. We continue:

The word “time” or “times” occurs more than 700 times in the Bible.

Wow — 700 occurrences! As we’ve pointed out before (Creationism & Life on Other Worlds), the planets are mentioned only once. Time must be very important to creationists. But why do they so readily submit to governmental tinkering with it?

Here’s one more excerpt:

One thing we can say for sure! “Now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.”

Indeed, but starting tonight, the government decrees that it’ll be postponed for an hour. This is blasphemy! Why don’t the creationists make an issue of it?

See also: The Butler Act, Your Clock, and Uranus.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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20 responses to “Creationism and Daylight Saving Time

  1. retiredsciguy

    Hey, I’m no biblical scholar, but isn’t there something about the sun standing still for about an hour or so? Wouldn’t that be the earliest reference to DST?

  2. retiredsciguy says: “Wouldn’t that be the earliest reference to DST?”

    By Jove, you may be right! But it seems much simpler just to reset clocks.

  3. Well, if they claimed that the Creator invented DST, Ben Franklin would roll over in his grave.

    Anyway, I don’t mind Fall Back, but dammit if Spring Forward ain’t just awful!!! My sleep schedule is screwed for WEEKS!!!! I hate it!

  4. Benjamin Franklin

    “Every morning, as soon as the sun rises, let all the bells in every church be set ringing; and if that is not sufficient?, let cannon be fired in every street, to wake the sluggards effectually, and make them open their eyes to see their true interest. “

    WTF was I thinking?

    Ah, they can’t all be winners. Hell, who plays the glass ‘armonica these days?

  5. You had your moments, Ben.

  6. I agree with Cur (and his two god like pets)… my masters totally ignore the time change… which means the time change does not affect me at all.

  7. So if you had your choice and could adopt one or the other as the only time (no more spring forward and fall back), which would you prefer – daylight savings time, or “standard” time?

    Personally, I like standard time…earlier nightfall means more opportunity to see the stars.

  8. . . . Curm, if your dogs are named Phobos and Deimos, does this mean you’re Mars?

  9. Cheryl Shepherd-Adams asks: “does this mean you’re Mars?”

    Well, I don’t like to brag …

  10. Ed asks:

    So if you had your choice and could adopt one or the other as the only time (no more spring forward and fall back), which would you prefer – daylight savings time, or “standard” time?

    I could be well moved, if I were as you …
    But I am constant as the northern star,
    Of whose true-fix’d and resting quality
    There is no fellow in the firmament.
    The skies are painted with unnumber’d sparks,
    They are all fire and every one doth shine,
    But there’s but one in all doth hold his place:
    So in the world; ’tis furnish’d well with men,
    And men are flesh and blood, and apprehensive;
    Yet in the number I do know but one
    That unassailable holds on his rank,
    Unshaked of motion: and that I am he …

    — Julius Caesar, Act III, Scene 1

  11. Aye, but where fixed be thou?
    Of early dark,
    Or later light?

  12. I’d leave it the way it is now.

  13. Aw! Not me! I like waking up with some light to help me get going! I’d leave it at fall back. Then again, I have chronic sleep problems, and DST in the spring really makes me suffer. 😦

  14. LRA says:

    Aw! Not me! I like waking up with some light to help me get going!

    My dogs never let me sleep late, so I’m always up before the sun. I suppose it’s good to have the end-of-day rush hour traffic still in daylight hours, so maybe that’s a consideration. But the big thing to me is to fix it at one time or the other and then just leave it alone.

  15. Oh, I’m sure there’s some wacko out there somewhere who could find some passage in the bible and twist it to justify DST. Never doubt the creativity of creationist zealots.

  16. I don’t care whether it’s standard time or DST, I hate the change and wish we could pick one or the other.

  17. retiredsciguy

    Ed says,
    “Personally, I like standard time…earlier nightfall means more opportunity to see the stars.”

    Sounds like you’re an amateur astronomer, Ed. Would you say that DST drives you star-craving mad?

    Actually, DST isn’t so bad for astronomy as long as you don’t have to get up early in the morning. Being retired has benefits. Obviously, we have the same number of hours of dark, DST or not. It’s light pollution that REALLY sucks.

  18. Gabriel Hanna

    Re: Daylight Saving Time: Benjamin Franklin’s suggestion was OBVIOUS SATIRE.

    I went home, and to bed, three or four hours after midnight, with my head full of the subject. An accidental sudden noise waked me about six in the morning, when I was surprised to find my room filled with light; and I imagined at first, that a number of those lamps had been brought into it; but, rubbing my eyes, I perceived the light came in at the windows. I got up and looked out to see what might be the occasion of it, when I saw the sun just rising above the horizon, from whence he poured his rays plentifully into my chamber, my domestic having negligently omitted, the preceding evening, to close the shutters.

    I looked at my watch, which goes very well, and found that it was but six o’clock; and still thinking it something extraordinary that the sun should rise so early, I looked into the almanac, where I found it to be the hour given for his rising on that day. I looked forward, too, and found he was to rise still earlier every day till towards the end of June; and that at no time in the year he retarded his rising so long as till eight o’clock. Your readers, who with me have never seen any signs of sunshine before noon, and seldom regard the astronomical part of the almanac, will be as much astonished as I was, when they hear of his rising so early; and especially when I assure them, that he gives light as soon as he rises. I am convinced of this. I am certain of my fact. One cannot be more certain of any fact. I saw it with my own eyes. And, having repeated this observation the three following mornings, I found always precisely the same result.

    Yet it so happens, that when I speak of this discovery to others, I can easily perceive by their countenances, though they forbear expressing it in words, that they do not quite believe me. One, indeed, who is a learned natural philosopher, has assured me that I must certainly be mistaken as to the circumstance of the light coming into my room; for it being well known, as he says, that there could be no light abroad at that hour, it follows that none could enter from without; and that of consequence, my windows being accidentally left open, instead of letting in the light, had only served to let out the darkness; and he used many ingenious arguments to show me how I might, by that means, have been deceived. I owned that he puzzled me a little, but he did not satisfy me; and the subsequent observations I made, as above mentioned, confirmed me in my first opinion.

    I bristle when people say Franklin “invented” it. It was a JOKE that he would be horrified to see people two hundred years later enshrine in Federal law and CITE HIM AS THE AUTHORITY.

    Re Morris:time is considered to be the fourth dimension of space,

    Oh my God, no. No, no, no. Time is most definitely NOT a fourth dimension of space, that’s why it’s described with imaginary numbers. Any idiot can give any number of reasons why time is different from the Cartesian directions, but the half-educated never tire of showing off their erudition by casually mentioning this “fact”.

  19. Gabriel Hanna

    Re: Franklin. I couldn’t quote the whole thing, it’s easy enough to look up. The reason Franklin, according to his essay, and his friends didn’t believe that the sun came up so early is that they habitually stay up all night carousing and then wake up some time after noon, so none of them had ever known, from personal experience, that the sun rose long before “normal” people could possibly be up.

    Did you know China is all one time zone? The poor Tibetans and Uighurs have to just put up with being four hours behind the sun, Beijing doesn’t care. (Well, that’s hardly the worst of their problems.)

  20. Gabriel Hanna says:

    Oh my God, no. No, no, no. Time is most definitely NOT a fourth dimension of space …

    I had to pluck that out from his article for a brief scoff, just to show you that I’m awake when I post these things.