5 Greatest Bits of Creationist Science

Categories: Random Ephemera

Amy Watts via Wikipedia
Creationist car spotted on Broad Street in Athens, Georgia.
People take a very dim view of Creationism because it's, you know, wrong. I'm not saying that there's no God and that He had nothing to do with the way things turned out, I'm just saying that asking Biblical literalism to be considered science is like my daughter insisting Harry Potter is her brother. I'm glad you like a book and all, folks, but eventually you have to walk outside and smell the gravity.

That said, just because someone believes a wrong thing doesn't make them a dumbass, and more importantly it doesn't make the thing they believe in not awesome as hell! I've got a running offer with hard-line conservative Christians that I will totally trade them acceptance of gays and lesbians for acknowledging that dinosaurs and man coexisted. My friends get church weddings, and all I have to do is look at pictures of tyrannosaurs with saddles on them? Where do I sign?

Today I wanted to look at some of the scientific theories Creationists have tried to forward to explain away the science debunking a Young Earth model. In many cases, their theory is better than real life.

See also: Creationists Ruined My Ability to Enjoy Watching My Daughter Ride a Dinosaur

Alain R via Wikipedia
Simulated view of a black hole in front of the Large Magellanic Cloud
White hole cosmology: When people clash about the age of the Earth with Creationists they usually use the fossil record and stuff like that because it's really hard to argue with giant skeletons. However, there is also something called the starlight problem. What it means is that we know the universe is more than 6,000 years old because since the speed of light is constant, we can measure the distance of interstellar objects based on how long it takes the light from those objects to hit us.

Creationist Russell Humphreys decided to tackle the starlight problem and how to resolve it with Biblical literalism in his 1994 book Starlight and Time. His theory? That God created the world inside of a black hole, subjecting Creation to massive time distortions so that billions of years might pass outside the black hole while only a few days would pass within it. This would, he said, explain why quasars and such are so much older than the Young Earth he believes in. It doesn't because his math has more errors in it than a Cubs game, but the image of God tinkering with the planet inside a black hole workshop is metal as hell.

Friendlystar via Wikipedia
Anisotropic synchrony convention: Another attempt to explain away the starlight problem is anisotropic synchrony convention. The idea behind this theory is that light does not travel at a constant speed. Instead, it moves toward us at infinite miles per hour, but away from us at 1/299,792,458 of a second. That's why we can see objects that the speed of light should indicate are billions of light years away on a Young Earth.

The weird part about this theory is that it can actually work within the realm of known physics. It's basically impossible to test if light travels faster one way than another due to the problem of perfectly synchronizing clocks to measure it. Therefore, we just sort of assume that light does in fact maintain constant speed because even though you can make this idea work, it turns relatively simple equations into pointlessly complicated ones.

Piece continues on next page.

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It's hard to understand how people who believe in the supernatural can spend so much time trying to explain the Bible in perfectly natural and scientific terms. If you believe Jesus walked on water and God made Adam out of dust, why bother with the rest of it? God clearly didn't need science. It's pretty dumb to try to explain the Bible in scientific terms. Creationists just lay a trap for themselves.

timblack2 topcommenter

Just a note. Not all Christians are creationists. It's a relatively new bit of kookery with the literal Genesis types. Nice article, though. I hadn't known several of these. I will never view peanut butter the same way.

Andrew M Scearce
Andrew M Scearce

"eventually you have to walk outside and smell the gravity" just made it onto my favorite quotes list

paval topcommenter

from Wikipedia, but also in other books of truth:

For a theory to qualify as scientific it must be:

  • consistent (internally and externally)
  • parsimonious (sparing in proposed entities or explanations)
  • useful (describing and explaining observed phenomena)
  • empirically testable and falsifiable
  • based upon controlled, repeatable experiments
  • correctable and dynamic (changing to fit with newly discovered data)
  • progressive (achieving all that previous theories have and more)
  • tentative (admitting that it might not be correct rather than asserting certainty)

For any hypothesis or conjecture to be considered scientific, it must meet at least most, but ideally all, of the above criteria. The fewer which are matched, the less scientific it is. If it meets two or fewer of these criteria, it cannot be treated as scientific in any useful sense of the word.


@timblack2 You can't pick and choose what you believe from the bible.  Either you believe it or you don't.  People say its divine but then explain away what they deem ridiculous by saying it was written by man.  I have more respect for Christians that acknowledge what is in there, and despite their disturbing logic, will defend it.


@merdad @timblack2 Jesus taught his followers by using parables. A parable is a simple kind of symbolic story, sort of like an allegory, and he intended these stories to reflect the relationship between God and man. The point of the parable is not to describe an historical event; it's to make a complex point more simply.

I see no reason to embrace the Old Testament creation as a literal event. It would make more sense to read it like a parable. The precedent is there. And even the most fundamentalist of Christians acknowledge that there is symbolism in the Bible. They just struggle to understand that more of it is probably symbolic than history. (Not that there isn't any history in there, just that one need not suspend our logic and our modern understanding of nature to make Genesis bend to our need to believe.)

timblack2 topcommenter

@merdad @timblack2 Nope. Not picking and choosing at all. Islam, Judaism and Christianity all hold the fist 5 books of the Old Testament as sacred scripture and none have taken it literally in millennia. Not  until relatively recently. My point was that "literal Genesis" is a new and uniquely American Protestant take. It didn't exist until mid 19th century as a reaction to Darwinism and the German reason movement as they saw it as a threat to their faith. You're assuming what Christians deem as ridiculous as being what an atheist deems as ridiculous. Oddly, atheists and evangelicals misunderstand and misinterpret the Bible in similar ways. The majority of Christians (Catholics being the vast majority of Christians globally) don't see it that way (as do the other two faiths) although that may not seem the case for an American who is immersed in our Protestant culture. I don't think I will change any minds on a Village Voice publication's combox but if you have any interest in the discussion, check out Strange Notions. It's a great site that is a (civil) talking place for atheists and Catholics alike. Good stuff.

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