We found another example of what we call the creationists’ scientific method. You remember how it goes:
Today’s example is from the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom. You can read all about it in this article at their website: Counting Earth’s Age in Lightning Strikes.
ICR posted that story in mid-November. We saw it back then, but as with most things they post, we decided that it was too stupid to bother with. New developments, however, have caused us to reconsider. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:
Scientists recently studied the Drakensberg Range in South Africa, discovering that lightning likely damages mountain surfaces far more often than previously thought. Lightning also generates fulgarites, and these two finds call into question old age assignments for Earth’s land features.
Whoa — that’s quite a leap! Here’s the paper they’re talking about, published in Geomorphology: Lightning as a geomorphic agent on mountain summits: Evidence from southern Africa. You can’t read it without a subscription, but there’s a news story about it from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg: New evidence on lightning strikes. It says:
Lightning strikes causing rocks to explode have for the first time been shown to play a huge role in shaping mountain landscapes in southern Africa, debunking previous assumptions that angular rock formations were necessarily caused by cold temperatures, and proving that mountains are a lot less stable than we think.
Professors Jasper Knight and Stefan Grab from the School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies at Wits University used a compass to prove – for the first time ever – that lightning is responsible for some of the angular rock formations in the Drakensburg.
Knight and Grab mapped out the distribution of lightning strikes in the Drakensburg and discovered that lightning significantly controls the evolution of the mountain landscapes because it helps to shape the summit areas – the highest areas – with this blasting effect.
Knight and Grab are challenging centuries old assumptions about what causes mountains to change shape. “Many people have considered mountains to be pretty passive agents, just sitting there to be affected by cold climates over these long periods of time.
There’s more, of course, but we added some bold font to make it clear that this is about the summit area of mountains. We don’t see anything that might support ICR’s grandiose claim that this questions “old age assignments for Earth’s land features.” Let’s see what else ICR has to say:
How might this finding affect overall erosion rates estimated for entire continents? Geologists have studied erosion rates worldwide for decades. A 2011 meta study collated hundreds of data points, finding that land erodes on average at 40 feet every million years. At this rate, all continents reduce to sea level in only 50 million years — far too fast to accommodate the billion-year age assignments of so many exposed Earth rocks.
ICR cites a creation science article as their source for that information. They continue:
But those studies never took into account these new lightning data, a factor which would only accelerate the erosion rate, making Earth’s old age assignment even less credible.
Aaaargh!! Lightning is eroding entire continents! Here’s how their article ends:
Why are continents and high mountains still standing despite dramatic lightning damage and relatively fast erosion rates? The answers to these questions are the same — the world is only thousands, not billions, of years old.
Like your Curmudgeon, you too must be dazzled. But wait — as we previously told you, we saw that ICR item weeks ago and didn’t think it worthy of mention in our humble blog. What changed our mind? Gather ’round, dear readers. There’s more to tell.
It seems that ICR is a very influential source of information — at least for some people. Look what just appeared at the website of WorldNetDaily (WND) — described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page. We learned about it due to the vigilance of our Retard-o-tron™ with its sirens and flashing lights.
WND’s headline is Phenomenon throws twist into age of Earth. It’s labeled as a “WND Exclusive.” They use ICR’s article as their source and then … well, they go totally berserk. Here’s what they say:
Two South African research scientists have documented a phenomenon that indicates a particular type of soil erosion might have taken place in a split second rather than eons, as mainstream scientists have believed. The conclusion could upset widely accepted estimates for the age of the Earth.
Then they cite and quote from ICR’s “analysis”:
Brian Thomas, the science writer for the Institute for Creation Research, said the new research findings make “earth’s old age assignment even less credible.” Most scientists long have estimated the earth is more than 4 billion years old, while many who believe the Genesis account of creation took place in a literal six days believe it’s only thousands of years The finding that lightning can accomplish in a millisecond what previously was thought to take generations calls into question “old age assignments for earth’s land features,” Thomas wrote.
We’ve given you enough excerpts. You can click over to WND to see how far this craziness has gone — and it’s just getting started. It won’t be long before it becomes “common knowledge” among all creationists that science has “proved” the Earth is young.
Thanks to our Retard-o-tron™, you were there at the … ah, genesis of this item of folklore. Now go forth and spread the good news — the creationists’ scientific method has triumphed again!
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