Hey, Young-Earth Creationists: Dig This!

The young-Earthers insist that the Earth is only about 6,000 years old. Their evidence is the bible, as interpreted by the Ussher chronology. However, since the work of pioneering geologists like James Hutton, educated people have recognized that the Earth is far older.

We’ve written about this creationist silliness several times. A few examples, starting with the oldest, are: How Old Is the Earth and the Universe? That gives the scientific answer, in which we quoted the the International Planetarium Society as follows:

A fundamental reason why these ancient ages are so widely accepted by the scientific community is that they are derived from several independent lines of evidence accumulated by independent and often competing teams of researchers. Each method involves different measurements and the application of different physical principles to derive ages from those measurements. The physical principles include the same thoroughly-proven principles that underlie the technology that runs the modern world. Hence the fact that the independent methods all yield similar ages reinforces confidence that the methods are sound and accurate despite their complexity and do not contain major fundamental flaws.

Creationists don’t care about such things. Some of our posts about their claims are: Creationism: How Old Is the Earth? (the Answers in Genesis view of things), and then Creationists’ Evidence for “Young Earth” (Jack Chick’s position and more from AIG), and then Young Earth, Old Earth, or Flat Earth? (AIG again).

Today we present more problems for the young-Earthers. At the website of PhysOrg we found this: The oldest ice core: Finding a 1.5 million-year record of Earth’s climate. It says, with a bit of bold font added by us for emphasis:

How far into the past can ice-core records go? Scientists have now identified regions in Antarctica they say could store information about Earth’s climate and greenhouse gases extending as far back as 1.5 million years, almost twice as old as the oldest ice core drilled to date.

They’re trying to get an ice core that goes back 1.5 million years? And they’ve already got one that goes back half that far? Egad — ol’ Hambo will be sputtering mad when he learns of this blasphemy.

PhysOrg gives a link to the published paper in Climate of the PastWhere to find 1.5 million yr old ice for the IPICS “Oldest-Ice” ice core, which you can read online in pdf format here. Back to PhysOrg:

“Ice cores contain little air bubbles and, thus, represent the only direct archive of the composition of the past atmosphere,” says Hubertus Fischer, an experimental climate physics professor at the University of Bern in Switzerland and lead author of the study. A 3.2-km-long ice core drilled almost a decade ago at Dome Concordia (Dome C) in Antarctica revealed 800,000 years of climate history, showing that greenhouse gases and temperature have mostly moved in lockstep. Now, an international team of scientists wants to know what happened before that.

Little air bubbles that show various levels of greenhouse gases in the past? We can hear the creationists muttering: Harumph — those bubbles must have formed due to the turbulence of Noah’s Flood! Let’s read on:

As snow falls and settles on the surface of an ice sheet, it is compacted by the weight of new snow falling on top of it and is transformed into solid glacier ice over thousands of years. The weight of the upper layers of the ice sheet causes the deep ice to spread, causing the annual ice layers to become thinner and thinner with depth. This produces very old ice at depths close to the bedrock.

Annual ice layers? Creationists response: The Flood could have done that too! We’ll let you read the full article and the original paper. Skipping to the end:

“A deep drilling project in Antarctica could commence within the next 3-5 years,” Fischer states. “This time would also be needed to plan the drilling logistically and create the funding for such an exciting large-scale international research project, which would cost around 50 million Euros.”

You know the creationists’ reaction to that: A waste of money! Everything we need to know is in Genesis.

What is to be done about a segment of society — a large segment — that refuses to recognize reality? Our answer is … nothing. If they leave us alone, we should leave them alone. If they get aggressive and try to force their dogma upon us, then uncompromising resistance is essential.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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12 responses to “Hey, Young-Earth Creationists: Dig This!

  1. Ceteris Paribus

    50 million Euros. In round numbers that’s two Ark Parks, plus some inflatable rafts for “left behinders” .

    One wonders if Ham will start a project to core down far enough to check the atmosphere at the Eternal Lake of Fire.

  2. @Ceteris. Interesting thought. Where *do* today’s scientifically sophisticated fundamentalists (yes, yes, I know) think Hell is located?

  3. Remember that YECs are at most 20% of the population, and that those who regularly promote “evidences” for a young earth are a tiny fraction of them. Most evolution-deniers on the street concede the billions of years if not common descent, if forced to think about it for 5 minutes. If anything it’s us “Darwinists” more than anyone who keep YEC memes on “life support” in this age of “don’t ask, don’t tell”.

    Most committed YECs and OECs are immune to any inconvenient facts of course, so the best you’ll get is “la la la, I can’t hear you.” So of course it make no sense to try to reason with them. But there’s an even larger group with varying doubts of evolution, or accepts it but thinks its fair to “teach the controversy” in science class. From my own experience that group is usually surprised to learn about the fatal contradictions and cover-ups within creationism/ID. Unfortunately we mostly act like that group doesn’t exist, while the anti-evolution activists devote most of their efforts to fooling them.

  4. “What is to be done …”
    Or laugh at them. If you can’t get enough of stupid arguments this is for you:


  5. Robert Byers – where are you?

  6. Anywhere but here, Ashley haworth-roberts.

  7. Ceteris Paribus

    Frank J says: “Remember that YECs are at most 20% of the population, and that those who regularly promote “evidences” for a young earth are a tiny fraction of them.”

    Yes, but not only do YECs attend their local voting booths with the same regularity that they attend their local church, YECs also produce a Quiverfull of home-schooled offspring. In a generation or two the current 20% may have produced a majority of the voting population.

  8. Ceteris Paribus is correct about demographics. YEC child indoctrination appears even more dangerous when you are aware that many Fundies are impatient for some crazy to set in motion Luke 19:27.

  9. @Ceteris Paribus and W. Benson:

    The group you are describing are radical fundamentalists, not necessarily YECs. Many (most?) of them have no problem with billions of years of life, though they usually draw the line at common descent. That group is certainly politically active, often securing “minority wins” especially with like-minded politicians, and especially at the state and local level. Most people in that group are not career or amateur pseudoscience-peddlers, so it does not take much to get them to admit that they don’t care whether independent evidence supports their origins account or falsifies evolution, because they simply believe that a book overrules any evidence. Even though that totally undermines what anti-evolution activists of the YEC, OEC and ID variety have been claiming for decades!

    That said, I fear that we are ultimately helping the anti-evolution movement by confusing different groups, especially when we apply the same “creationist” label to career pseudoscience peddlers, honest committed Biblical literalists, and “fence sitters” who mindlessly repeat misleading memes like “I hear that evolution has gaps.” Anti-evolution activists in the past 2-3 decades have been increasingly using a “don’t ask, don’t tell, what happened when” strategy, which they know would not be necessary if there were the slightest evidence for a YEC or OEC origins account. That strategy shrewdly keeps the focus on bogus “weaknesses” of evolution, and away from the real weaknesses and hopeless disagreements within creationism/ID. And that is exactly how they win over many non-fundamentalists who merely think it’s cool to second-guess scientists. Sure there are many other political issues that fundamentalists and non-fundamentalists alike have in common, but evolution need not be one of them. Ken Miller in “Only a Theory” lamented at how anti-evolution activists succeeded in uniting all “kinds” of evolution-denier, while dividing their critics (mostly along theist/atheist lines).

    The bottom line is that anti-evolution activists, if not their clueless audience, regularly bear false witness by recycling long-refuted arguments, covering up fatal weaknesses and contradictions, and using every rhetorical trick in the book to mislead. Activists are hell-bent on censoring valuable information from students, while having the outrageous audacity of accusing us of promoting censorship. If we merely deny that we censor anything, let them keep setting the terms of the “debate,” ignore the huge group that can help us – mostly religious, but not hopelessly fundamentalist – and whine how “creationists” are “lying for Jesus,” we’ll be the only “quiverfull” they need.

  10. Frank J says, yet again:

    That said, I fear that we are ultimately helping the anti-evolution movement by confusing different groups, especially when we apply the same “creationist” label to career pseudoscience peddlers, honest committed Biblical literalists, and “fence sitters” who mindlessly repeat misleading memes like “I hear that evolution has gaps.”

    I’ve asked you before to stop saying that I’m helping them.

  11. Stephen Kennedy

    The age of the Earth is a huge issue for YECs, particularly AiG which instead of seeing the Enlightenment as a great step forward for humanity as we perceive, sees it as the time when science and much of the rest of society accepted that the Earth is millions of years old and abandoned belief in genesis and the flood.

    The article on the research being done on ice cores in Antartica was very interesting and will probably lead to even closer alliances between creationists and climate deniers.

  12. Stephen Kennedy: “…will probably lead to even closer alliances between creationists and climate deniers.”

    It’s a safe bet that every creationist is also a climate denier, so there’s no way the alliances can be any closer.