Creationist Wisdom #704: An Offended Christian

Today’s letter-to-the-editor, like the last one we wrote about, appears in the Lexington Herald-Leader of Lexington, Kentucky, the second-largest city in the state, and they have a comments section. Their headline is Christians should be offended. The newspaper has a comments feature.

As with the previous letter, we learned about this one thanks to a tip from one of our clandestine operatives, code-named “Blue Grass,” who specializes in Kentucky issues.

Because the letter-writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. His first name is Brown, and we think he’s a farmer. Brace yourself for some excerpts from his letter, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

According to the July 8 Herald-Leader, David Silverman, president of American Atheists, was on hand to protest the use of state tax incentives for Ark Encounter.

That earlier article is here: Protesters decry tax breaks for Ark park that hires only Christians , and it refers, of course, to Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter. Then Brown says:

Why would our government discriminate against a legal business that brings jobs and promotes tourism for our state, Christian or otherwise? Have we become so accustomed to being put down for being Christians?

[*Sigh*] The letter-writer apparently never heard of the US Constitution. Let’s read on:

If Silverman read Genesis, he would see that all living things are designed with the ability to reproduce in like kind. You plant a tomato seed, you get a tomato plant. All the animals, birds, fish and humans are living today only because they were designed by their Creator to reproduce in like kind.

That’s nice, but what does it have to do with anything? Brown explains:

Man toys with reproduction, but when a man and woman produce a baby, it is a human being. This is not evolution; this is reproduction in like kind.

Oh. Okay. We’re glad that’s cleared up. Here’s more:

Silverman said an 8-year-old could prove Earth’s age. Our solar system is located on one finger of the Milky Way galaxy.

How does Brown know that? Neither the solar system nor the galaxy are in Genesis. And why does he even mention the galaxy? The next excerpt tells us why:

To determine Earth’s age, you would have to determine the galaxy’s.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! The Earth and the Milky Way have the same age? We didn’t know that. What’s Brown’s point? Here it comes:

That may be difficult since carbon dating has proved to be inaccurate in numerous cases.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! And now we come to the end:

Christians should be offended by the constant denigration of our faith.

Maybe they should be offended by Brown’s letter. But it’s a good one for our collection.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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18 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #704: An Offended Christian

  1. That may be difficult since carbon dating has proved to be inaccurate in numerous cases.

    First, only someone completely ignorant of dating methods would consider using radiocarbon dating to determine the age of the earth or the galaxy.

    Second, I’ve looked at many of those creationist claims of “inaccurate dating” and none of them hold up to scrutiny. They’re creation “science,” same as always.

  2. Coyote says: “First, only someone completely ignorant of dating methods would consider using radiocarbon dating to determine the age of the earth or the galaxy.”

    Yes, for the age of the galaxy, we use ice cores.

  3. So xtian you don’t like being offended!! Who gives a schite at your offense!

  4. Obviously, you both are wrong. Everybody knows that we determine how old space is with tree rings from the Christmas Tree Cluster.

  5. michaelfugate

    I think most of the denigration is by Christians; they keep saying really ignorant things.

  6. Christmas tree cluster? I am always amazed at the names of celestial objects. But I suppose it goes back to the human brain wanting to connect the dots and come up with something that resembles a past image, or maybe wishful thinking, or like canals on Mars, or seeing jesus’ face in a screen door. Frankly, I saw a gaseous nebula with stars, that’s it. But once in a while something does make sense, like the Ring Nebula (http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/files/2013/07/11cdf16b-ffd0-436e-ac39-699c865d48ba_resized-590×472.jpg) in Lyra.

  7. Our Curmudgeon perpetuates a scientific error, viz.

    for the age of the galaxy, we use ice cores

    In fact, ‘galaxies’ are named from the Greek word for ‘milk’ (γάλα), as they were formed when Zeus tricked Hera into breastfeeding the demigod Heracles and snatched away her mammary, spraying the heavens with her lactations–the degree of sourness of which is a reliable indicator of age.

  8. DavidK,

    Yeah, I’m the same way. I don’t have a very active sense of pareidolia. I still have to try very hard to imagine the “man in the moon.”

  9. Offended Christian Brown says,“That may be difficult since carbon dating has proved to be inaccurate in numerous cases.”

    And as a retired science teacher, I am totally offended by his complete lack of science literacy. Oy vay!

  10. Firstly, out of fairness: it has been known since the 1930s that coal contains measurable amounts of 14C. The harder the coal, the smaller the amount of 14C, and it is completely absent and if the coal is completely graphitised. So it originates from reactions of 14N in the coal; see http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/c14.html So it is true that taking 14C nominal dates at their face value can lead to errors.

    More interestingly to me, does anyone know why so many people equate radiometric dating with carbon-14 dating? Is this an error lingering in textbooks, or the result of TV programmes about dating archaeological finds, or a deliberate focusing by creationists on a method which, when misapplied, gives an age for the Earth that is too long for them merely by a factor of 10, rather than a factor of 750 million?in

  11. Many people think that “epicenter” is a fancier term for “very much the center”; and “penultimate” is “the the very last of the ultimate”. So, too, “radiocarbon dating” is thought to be the precise scientific term for “dating using radioactivity”.

  12. Why radiocarbon rather than uranium/lead or ptassium/argon? A simple malapropism, as you suggest, for radiometric? Could be

  13. I think that radiocarbon was one of the first isotopes to be used in dating. The first one to come to the attention of the public. Shortly after WWII, when radioactivity became famous. And it was used in dating things of historical interest, like Ancient Egyptian artifacts. And it won Libby a Nobel Prize.
    My guess is that few people know that there are many different forms of radiometric dating.

  14. TomS:
    “My guess is that few people know that there are many different forms of radiometric dating.”

    Good point. And another example of the general lack of science knowledge among the public.

    Perhaps the problem lies in the fact that for decades now we have been teaching the earth sciences at the junior high level only. Ask yourself — how much of what you were taught in 7th grade do you remember today?

    How about a core requirement of a general science overview course for all high school seniors? “Science for Citizens.” Teach the Enlightenment!

  15. Uranium/helium and then uranium/lead was used in the first 2 decades of the 20th century; that’s how Rutherford established that the Cambrian was some 500 Mybp. Radiocarbon was developed by Libby in the 1940s. One of the first papers (1947) established that 14C was absent in oil, and 14C dates for aracheological specimens appeared from 1950 onwards. Raw 14C dates *are* (slightly) unreliable because the cosmic ray backgrund has changed over time, but modern dates are calibrated back some 10,000 years by tree ring counting methods.

    It seems then that the equating of “radiometric” with “radiocarbon” is a mixture of immediacy effects (Egyptian mummies have more human interest than ancient rocks), and malapropism as TomS suggested

  16. I was going to point out that there are minor problems with radiocarbon dating, but Paul Braterman beat me to it. *sob*

    Silverman said an 8-year-old could prove Earth’s age. Our solar system is located on one finger of the Milky Way galaxy.

    I can’t figure out from this quote whether it’s Silverman or Brown who’s supposed to be giving the finger to the galaxy, which s usually spoken of as having “arms” (rather like those of a starfish, pun intended) instead.

  17. My suggestion to Brown:, “If thy ignorance offends thee, pluck it out”

  18. Paul Braterman, having come from a background in creationism, most of the time when you come across a piece of creationist lore that seems insensible like this, it’s because any honest evaluation of the argument would actually repudiate creationism, and so it’s best left unexamined.