|The Early Days of a Better Nation|
Ken MacLeod's comments.
“If these are the early days of a better nation, there must be hope, and a hope of peace is as good as any, and far better than a hollow hoarding greed or the dry lies of an aweless god.”—Graydon Saunders
Contact: kenneth dot m dot macleod at gmail dot com Blog-related emails may be quoted unless you ask otherwise.
The Human Genre Project
Comrades and friends
' ... a treeless, flowerless land, formed out of the refuse of the Universe, and inhabited by the very bastards of Creation'
War and Revolution
Impossibilists and Ilk
Viva La Quarta
For the sake of the argument
Saturday, December 29, 2007
The book is Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters by Donald Prothero. It's a detailed, superbly illustrated explication of the fossil record by a professional palaeontologist, specifically written to refute - no, to expose the lies and deceits of - Young Earth Creationism and Flood Geology. There's been nothing like it since Arthur Strahler's magisterial Science and Earth History, which came down on creationism like a ton of sedimentary rock. Though accessible to beginners, it doesn't talk down, and it doesn't mince words. Prothero isn't afraid to bring out the areas of evolutionary theory that are controversial, or where there are unsolved problems. Nor does he hesitate to call what the creationists write 'lies' and 'drivel'. He points out that Christians, even otherwise fundamentalist Christians, who work as geologists for oil companies just laugh at Flood Geology. They'd never dream of using it to find oil.
Creation science is a purely destructive enterprise, like comment trolling or wiki vandalism. Its entire impact results from scrawling across the work of real scientists questions and cavils phrased in a manner just scientific-sounding enough to trouble anyone who knows nothing in detail about the field being traduced. The habit of deceit starts early:
Q: What advice would you give young-earth creationists about their future education and research in their given field?This advice is guaranteed to damage the lives of two young people: the 'silent' student, going through the motions of acquiring a PhD with a mind firmly shut, and the genuinely interested student who isn't there, because the place they might have had - the opportunity of a lifetime, perhaps - was taken by a creationist troll.
The creationists' claim to piety deserves no more credit than their pretence at science. What can be the faith of those who cut and crush to fit this ludicrous chronology the work of the Ancient of Days?
And the frisson when I look at the book? Well, that's another story, which I've told elsewhere.
Surprised to see this book not getting any flak from the creationists and ID'ers ... yet. I guess it will take a while to come up wuth arguments that can "refute" its rock solid argument.
A pedant writes: if it weighs the same, does it matter of what particular rock the ton is constituted?
Thanks, Andrew - hope you enjoy the rest of it.
Just need to make a comment here. I'm a Christian. I also belive that proper science is vital to our understanding of the world around us. It's a shame that this needless battle causes so much ill-feeling. The Bible is not a sience book. It's not even a history book. But it does teach us about our relationship with God. By the same token, science does not disprove the existence of God. Proper science mustn't have any agenda other than to find the truth of the physical world. The sooner we stop trying to use it to either prove or disprove the existence of God the better!
Fair do's Anon, I have no quarrel with people who take the position you have. If you read the small personal note I linked to at the end of the above post you'll see I say that explicitly.
I got the book for Christmas too and a very good read it is. I also know Glenn from online creation-evolution debates and alerted him to the mention he gets.
Steve, I hope you enjoy Learning the World. The YECs do have more sophisticated-sounding theories now, with maths and computer models and everything: 'runaway subduction' for the Earth and rapid, recent, local space-time expansion for the universe. It would have been nice if Prothero had looked at these, but it's not really his job - after having been in the trenches against Gish and Morris I'm sure he had better things to do with his time, and as you say he does demolish the central contention that the entire geological column and fossil record are artefacts of a recent global catastrophe - and, of course, that the record doesn't bear out evolution.
"Fixtures" are a great piece of hardware to examine to determine whether the Coach Purses
Hey, I've got to the first reveal on The Execution Channel.
By The Worst Blogger In The World, at Sunday, December 30, 2007 12:20:00 am