Neil deGrasse Tyson on The Importance of Science Literacy

NeildeGrasseTyson - CopySubmitted by Elaine Magliaro, Weekend Contributor

Last week, I wrote a post titled “Cosmos” Host Neil deGrasse Tyson Speaks Out about the News Media, Flat Earthers, Science Deniers, Climate Change Skeptics, Religion, and Dogma. Tysonan astrophysicist, director of the Natural History Museum’s Hayden Planetarium in New York City, and the host of Fox Networks’ new science series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odysseyappeared on a multi-part series on Moyers and Company in January. Tyson and Bill Moyers explored a variety of topicsincluding the nature of an expanding, accelerating universe (and how it might end), the difference between “dark energy” and “dark matter,” the concept of God in cosmology and why science matters.

In the final episode of the series—which I’ve posted below the fold—the two men discuss science literacy and why it’s so critical to the future of our democracy, our economy, and our country’s standing in the world. Their discussion lasts about twenty minutes.

 

“Science is an enterprise that should be cherished as an activity of the free human mind. Because it transforms who we are, how we live, and it gives us an understanding of our place in the universe.”

~ Neil deGrasse Tyson

********************

~ Submitted by Elaine Magliaro

The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

215 thoughts on “Neil deGrasse Tyson on The Importance of Science Literacy

  1. Paul Schulte, You asked Ms. Magliaro if she would have another interesting topic this weekend. This is a, “You’re not the boss of me” answer. Welcome to Weekend @ Turley’s!!

  2. Annie, actually, with the way the MSM goes out of its way to provide “balance” never mind the facts with regard to so much else today (the economy, global warming come to mind), I wouldn’t be surprised if the creationists were given a platform on some non-christian network.
    Anyway, probably will get a gig on CBN. Wonder what they’ll call it? Could be fun…

  3. Well… the creationists have over 400, 000 churches in america, and hundreds of TV evangelists.. Doctor Tyson has one Planetarium: how much more equal time does the Almighty require ?

  4. Do we seem to have a protagonist agenda against Elaine, Nick?

    I think Elaine does fine work, If you don’t like her topics, view points or writing style then as the professor has pointed out and suggested to several others …. You are free to go to another site that comports with your view points….

    Other than that… Please leave people you disagree with alone…. You can be a bully…

  5. Annie, if some creationists do their own program on another network, I am pretty sure they would invite Tyson to participate. Unfortunately, I doubt Tyson would accept. His method of indoctrination is dependent upon censorship of critics.

  6. David,
    I wouldn’t accept either. There is no point in trying to debate science with people who don’t believe in science or the scientific method. Creationists remind me of Chester A. Riley in the old comedy series Life of Riley: “Don’t confuse me with facts, my head is made up.”

  7. Chuck, I think you have created a stereotype of creationists the same way that some Southern Democrats in that past created a negative stereotype of blacks. Not all creationists discard science and the scientific method. Claiming that they do is like claiming all scientists are atheists. It simply is not true.

  8. davidm2575

    Chuck, I think you have created a stereotype of creationists the same way that some Southern Democrats in that past created a negative stereotype of blacks. Not all creationists discard science and the scientific method. Claiming that they do is like claiming all scientists are atheists. It simply is not true.
    ===================
    “All” is how Texans pronounce “oil.”

    Other than that it is a canard.

    The majority of churchianity believes that the universe or cosmos was created less than 10,000 years ago and that evolution did not, does not, and will not happen.

    Get real.

  9. Dredd wrote: “The majority of churchianity believes that the universe or cosmos was created less than 10,000 years ago and that evolution did not, does not, and will not happen.”

    I doubt most of “churchianity” believes the cosmos was created less than 10,000 years ago. The seminaries are stronger advocates for evolution than the scientists are. I constantly hear from “churched” people on this list express objections to creationist interpretations.

    In any case, the subject was not “churchianity” but creationists. I am a creationist, but I am not one of your “churched” people. Where does that place me in your analysis? Nevertheless, I am not a young earth creationist, and even though I am a creationist, I also believe that evolutionary processes are part of the history of biological organisms of the planet. One only needs to look at the existence of human races to understand the truth of that. I don’t think there is a “churched” person who could argue with the fact that if the Creator did make Adam and Eve, humans have evolved since that time because the races have distinct differences between them caused by geographic isolation.

  10. Dredd wrote: “The majority of churchianity believes that the universe or cosmos was created less than 10,000 years ago and that evolution did not, does not, and will not happen.”

    I doubt most of “churchianity” believes the cosmos was created less than 10,000 years ago. The seminaries are stronger advocates for evolution than the scientists are. I constantly hear from churched people on this list express objections to creationist interpretations.

    In any case, the subject was not “churchianity” but creationists. I am a creationist, but I am not one of your churched people. Where does that place me in your analysis? Nevertheless, I am not a young earth creationist, and even though I am a creationist, I also believe that evolutionary processes are part of the history of biological organisms of the planet. One only needs to look at the existence of human races to understand the truth of that. If the Creator did make Adam and Eve, humans have evolved since that time because the races have distinct differences between them caused by geographic isolation. I don’t think there is a churched person who would argue against that line of evolutionary thinking.

  11. I tried to reply to you Dredd. I tried twice, but the WordPress Vortex swallowed them up. If someone retrieves one, we only need one. They both say the same thing.

  12. I am an Eighth Day Dog Adventist. We believe in science not some religion. It sounds like a contraction in terms but if you have a dog for a pal you will understand.

  13. Ever play a game of marbles?
    God did, billions of years ago.
    One flick gave us the big bang…
    … sending marbles scattering.
    The evolution of that flick is still unfolding before our eyes.

  14. Elaine M,
    For the sake of ‘BALANCE’ can we have a story about how Mothra created life on earth with one huge flap of his butterfly wings?

  15. It is EZ to put the blame on some 400,000 churches.
    I would put the REAL blame on the US public education system which managed to crank out some 150 Million individuals who believe in Creationism!

  16. Max-1

    Dredd,
    We all know the landing and moon missions were staged… :P
    =============
    Yep.

    I have heard that too.

    Incredible what the agnotology challenged succumb to.

  17. davidm2575

    Dredd wrote: “The majority of churchianity believes that the universe or cosmos was created less than 10,000 years ago and that evolution did not, does not, and will not happen.”

    I doubt most of “churchianity” believes the cosmos was created less than 10,000 years ago.
    ====================
    In 2012 Gallup results for ALL Americans on this statement: “God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years” was 46%, the trend being upward from previous years.

    Concerning Christian church goers exclusively, that 46% of all Americans means that only a 4.1% increase in their belief would put the notion into the majority percentage.

    Some Christians dissent from the questioning, arguing that the question to the general public is not sufficient as a question for the religious realm, so the Gallop poll may not suffice when polling religious groups.

    Thus, even though there are figures that indicate the “young Earth” is a significant view when polling all Americans, “Christianity Today” and others want a different question for any poll for church and mosque attendees exclusively.

    Either way, the 46% and growing number was a surprise.

  18. Science is simply a word/term that we use to describe our knowledge and the technology we develop/use to discover more about what God long ago created. People have made many “religious” assumptions due primarily to a lack of understanding the scriptures. For example, we might say “It took a million years to get there.” describing a trip to see some distant friends or relatives. The same is true about the scriptures and understanding what they are and are not saying. To make a “religious” assumption and then later find out that assumption was wrong due to scientific discoveries is nothing different than what happens in science…we make assumptions “theories” based on the information available and then usually later learn that our assumptions were incorrect and then develop new and improved “theories”. As we continue to learn and discover things it only proves to me ore and more how science and the scriptures go hand in hand.

  19. davidm2575

    I tried to reply to you Dredd. I tried twice, but the WordPress Vortex swallowed them up. If someone retrieves one, we only need one. They both say the same thing.
    ====================
    Ditto, except only one of mine got censored by WordMess.

  20. avidm2575

    I tried to reply to you Dredd. I tried twice, but the WordPress Vortex swallowed them up. If someone retrieves one, we only need one. They both say the same thing.
    ====================
    Ditto, TWO of mine got censored by WordMess, except they are two different replies.

    Cheers.

  21. PaulRevere Ware.

    I have not seen any posts from itchingbay and humping dogs for a long time. Are you perhaps an associate of the dog pack.

  22. Diogenes

    It is EZ to put the blame on some 400,000 churches.
    I would put the REAL blame on the US public education system which managed to crank out some 150 Million individuals who believe in Creationism!

    rafflaw

    Diogenes,
    Your number is way too high!
    ====================
    2012 U.S. population 313 million
    .46 x 313 = 144 million

    150 – 144 is 6 million overestimate = 4% overestimate

  23. David: ” What I want is honest and meaningful acknowledgement that correlation analysis between atmospheric CO2 and temperature rise does not prove man has caused global warming.”

    You said that on last weeks post, and it’s one of the few honest statements you’ve ever made in this forum and it is the very definition of confirmation bias.

    Another quote from last week:

    “The general theory of evolution as a grand explanation for the origin of species is not even close to being a law. It is not really even a testable theory in science. It is a research paradigm. Scholars generally do not question evolution or attempt to test its predictions, but rather they simply use it as an intellectual framework for discussion and giving meaning to studies. Data that does not conform to the paradigm often is ignored, discarded, or explained away.”

    And here you say:

    “I am not a young earth creationist, and even though I am a creationist, I also believe that evolutionary processes are part of the history of biological organisms of the planet.”

    I see a similarity between your position on evolution and your insistence that you’re not religious, merely theist. You’ve probably been hairsplitting your entire life; making ridiculous and meaningless distinctions between things that nobody else gets, and then blaming people for not trying hard enough to understand what you’re saying. I’ll bet that in your private moments, you compare yourself to Noah.

    As far as evolution goes, you keep insisting that researchers discard data that doesn’t fit, as if they’re agenda is try and deny a Creator. Don’t you think that if there were any data to prove the existence of a god, that someone somewhere along the line would jump at the chance to present it? Anyone who did so successfully would join the pantheon of scientific thinkers who changed the world.

    I once compared Intelligent Design to a sort of trump card that bible thumpists can throw down on the explanation of any phenomena. Photosynthesis? How could it not be proof of an Intelligent Designer; after all, how could a dumb plant come up with a system for converting sunlight into sugar and oxygen?

    Creationism is your trump card for evolution. But the researchers of the world are too lazy or god-haters to acknowledge it. Yo keep saying that there’s data that proves creationism. What is it, or do we have to wait for your book release? (Note the question mark.)

    You’re probably right, though, about creationists inviting Tyson to appear on their show. That’s because they crave validation and attention.

  24. David: ” What I want is honest and meaningful acknowledgement that correlation analysis between atmospheric CO2 and temperature rise does not prove man has caused global warming.”

    You said that on last weeks post, and it’s one of the few honest statements you’ve ever made in this forum and it is the very definition of confirmation bias.

    Another quote from last week:

    “The general theory of evolution as a grand explanation for the origin of species is not even close to being a law. It is not really even a testable theory in science. It is a research paradigm. Scholars generally do not question evolution or attempt to test its predictions, but rather they simply use it as an intellectual framework for discussion and giving meaning to studies. Data that does not conform to the paradigm often is ignored, discarded, or explained away.”

    And here you say:

    “I am not a young earth creationist, and even though I am a creationist, I also believe that evolutionary processes are part of the history of biological organisms of the planet.”

    I see a similarity between your position on evolution and your insistence that you’re not religious, merely theist. You’ve probably been hairsplitting your entire life; making ridiculous and meaningless distinctions between things that nobody else gets, and then blaming people for not trying hard enough to understand what you’re saying. I’ll bet that in your private moments, you compare yourself to Noah.

    As far as evolution goes, you keep insisting that researchers discard data that doesn’t fit, as if they’re agenda is try and deny a Creator. Don’t you think that if there were any data to prove the existence of a god, that someone somewhere along the line would jump at the chance to present it? Anyone who did so successfully would join the pantheon of scientific thinkers who changed the world.

    The danger with creationism, as I see it, is that allows mankind to behave recklessly towards the environment. We see this in comments from politicians who claim that global warming is part of god’s plan for us. If there was a creator, the thinking goes, he created us to worship and glorify him, therefore the Intelligent Designer has a vested interest in ensuring our survival. Whatever mess we create, he’ll rescue the righteous.

    I once compared Intelligent Design to a sort of trump card that bible thumpists can throw down on the explanation of any phenomena. Photosynthesis? How could it not be proof of an Intelligent Designer; after all, how could a dumb plant come up with a system for converting sunlight into sugar and oxygen?

    Creationism is your trump card for evolution. But the researchers of the world are too lazy or god-haters to acknowledge it. You keep saying that there’s data that proves creationism. What is it, or do we have to wait for your book release? (Note the question mark.)

    You’re probably right, though, about creationists inviting Tyson to appear on their show. That’s because they crave validation and attention.

  25. Elaine M.

    RTC,

    I retrieved one of your comments. Are there more? The spam filter fills up quickly.
    =================
    I have two recently eaten by WordMess replies to davidm2575

  26. Elaine M.

    Dredd,

    I went through ten pages of the spam filter but didn’t find either of your comments.
    ==============
    It was ~3.5 hours before your search that I first complained, so WordMess wins again.

    Stuff happens.

  27. davidm2575

    Dredd wrote: “The majority of churchianity believes that the universe or cosmos was created less than 10,000 years ago and that evolution did not, does not, and will not happen.”

    I doubt most of “churchianity” believes the cosmos was created less than 10,000 years ago. The seminaries are stronger advocates for evolution than the scientists are.

    ======================
    I posted replies that WordMess ate without even burping up a trail for Elaine to follow.

    So here is all I can recover from what I posted:

    Overall, while a slight majority of the pastors surveyed fall under the label of Young Earth Creationism (54%), sizeable portions of clergy accept Progressive Creation (15%) and Theistic Evolution (18%).

    The numbers varied widely based on a number of factors, however. Pastors of mainline churches were most likely to accept Theistic Evolution, while non-Mainline, Charismatic, and Southern Baptist pastors were overwhelmingly Young Earth Creationists. Pastors of larger churches were also more likely to accept Theistic Evolution.

    (A Survey of Clergy and Their Views on Origins, emphasis added). Generally congregations go to a specific church because they agree with the teachings and beliefs of the pastorate.

  28. David2575 claims, “His method of indoctrination is dependent upon censorship of critics.”

    Except creationism is not science. So there is literally nothing to criticize. Further, name one critic that has been silenced? Not being invited to one show is not being “censored.” How many more churches are needed to project your level of whining about it? Dr. Tyson has but one office.

    It’s like having a debate between the AFC East of the NFL vs Mascera by Maybelene. Your complaints register as making zero sense.

    You’re just upset that fewer and fewer take creationism seriously. You’re irritated because government will not promote the bully you need to institutionally knock other people down so you can “believe.” That bully is fleeing the stage.

    It’s as transparent as air, David.

  29. Religion is mocked on this blog on a weekly basis at least, and, of course, the target is almost always Christianity. The ammo for this mockery is purportedly found in the fruits of the “scientific method” anthropomorphically speaking with a unified voice as it reveals to us the truth of physical reality.

    I am a trial lawyer and have done this work exclusively for nearly 25 years. I have litigated and tried tobacco, asbestos, hormone replacement therapy, benzene, beryllium, med mal, and many many murder cases. In this time I’ve tried more than 300 cases to verdict.

    My experience, therefore, is in the day-to-day testing of the veracity of truth claims and in particular “scientific” truth claims. I know the things that I’ve seen.

    Over this entire time I have dealt with scientific questions. I have seen biased and lying PhD after biased and lying PhD. I have seen each lay claim to the “scientific method.” On each each occasion experts take the stand and claim that their side is the side doing “good science” and that their side is the side following “the scientific method” – and each side comes to opposing conclusions. This same dynamic extends outside the courtroom and into the peer reviewed journals and them into the textbooks. I see this as I see these same experts cherry pick what research they choose to “believe” and as I see large corporations fund “fund” researchers and journals in order to ensure the “scientific” validation of a predetermined agenda. Bias and perversion and agenda driving what you all would call objective science.

    The notion that science is a singular body of knowledge that speaks with one voice and answers all questions of physical reality accurately is nonsense.

    The notion that there is a singular and generic scientific method that applies to all disciplines, except in the most vague and therefore meaningless sense, is also nonsense.

  30. T.V. claims “The notion that science is a singular body of knowledge that speaks with one voice and answers all questions of physical reality accurately is nonsense.”

    Except this is not the function of science. A conversation requires another listener — you — and you are not required to listen. Nor are you required to accept even so much as one scientific principle. The modern era — constructed based on science — will continue to hum along, so believe whatever you like.

    T.V. claims, “The notion that there is a singular and generic scientific method that applies to all disciplines, except in the most vague and therefore meaningless sense, is also nonsense.”

    Who has made this claim? Science certainly doesn’t. If you want to talk about spiritual matters, the language of science creates many conflicts for those who proceed from belief. This is not the fault of science, which you are free to ignore.

    If you are looking to science for answers, you are on the wrong path. Science is about the questioning.

  31. Tony Vieira sez: “The notion that science is a singular body of knowledge that speaks with one voice and answers all questions of physical reality accurately is nonsense.”
    ***************************************
    That is a true statement. If science was static with all the answers to everything, there would be no need for ongoing research, more professional journals, or continuing education.

    It is also true there are people who will testify to all kinds of things for a fee. Some may believe what they say, and others are just venal and dance to the tune of “who brung them to the dance.”

    However, there are many things that have been proven to be true, and are only called theories because every last detail has not yet been identified. A scientific theory is different than an unprovable philosophical theory. I wonder how a creationist would fare under a rigorous Daubert based cross-examination? Oh wait. That has already happened.

    Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School Dist., 400 F. Supp. 2d 707

  32. Selective retrieval is unprofessional and rude. Are Darren or raff available to help folks? I have none stuck, I’m speaking for the other back benchers.

  33. Nick, in all seriousness, I walk with most here on most issues. Where I depart from the majority is on this one. I think I’m open while many think I must be narrow. And the fight goes on. And my wife is unhappy that I’m blogging in church. Gotta go.

  34. Do we need science? Yes, but we must remember that a great deal of science is theory, with no substantial proof. We have scientists spouting new theories all the time in order to win recognition, notoriety, and financial security.
    Christians/Creationist question many of their theories, and with good reason. Many scientist are found to be wrong in their hypothesis. Some of them go years before realizing that their theory is wrong.
    For example, look at Stephen Hawking–For years he was awarded notoriety for his Black Hole theory, which recently he recanted and said he was wrong.

    From Popsci.com . Stephen Hawking has a big announcement. No, it’s not that aliens exist or that humans won’t survive another 1,000 years on Earth. The physicist claims, in a paper posted online Wednesday, that the idea of an event horizon—the point of no return at a black hole—conflicts with quantum theory. With no event horizons, there are no black holes, according to Hawking.

    “There is no escape from a black hole in classical theory,” Hawking told Nature News. Quantum theory, however, “enables energy and information to escape from a black hole.” Instead of an event horizon, Hawking’s new paper proposes a so-called apparent horizon, which would suck in matter and eventually spit it out in a much different form. Hawking says trying to predict what this matter will be like would be like trying to predict the weather: possible, but very difficult to do.
    Science is NOT one singular body of knowledge and it shouldn’t be. There are too many scientists who agree with a certain body of scientists that proclaim a certain theory and ride on their coat tails, backing the proclamation, as if it’s some good ole’ boys club. That’s like the Hans Christian Anderson story of the “Kings New Clothes.” One scientist says it and all the others agree.

    Science needs to be many bodies of knowledge proving and disproving a hypothesis and theory.

    The science touting atheists/agnostics on this site seem to think that agreeing with every scientific method makes them more intelligent and “open minded,” than one who claims to be a Christian. But all I see is more closed minded comments. How preposterous!

  35. Giovanna,

    Many Christians are scientists. I attended parochial schools for twelve years. I was taught about evolution in biology class in high school. I don’t think most people here have a problem with religion. Speaking for myself–I believe “religion” becomes a problem when religious fundamentalists demand that creationism be taught in science class.

  36. Giovanna claims, “The science touting atheists/agnostics on this site seem to think that agreeing with every scientific method makes them more intelligent and “open minded,” than one who claims to be a Christian.”

    This sounds like you asking for permission to continue to beat the tribal drum, Us v Them, “christians” (as if there is only one flavor of that) v “athiests/agnostics.”

    You also seem to have swept practically every other religion/non-religion off the table, which means most of humanity. Your post speaks volumes to that kind of blind exclusion.

    Creationism is not science. It is not an “either/or” proposition. Attempts to make it so only diminishes people of faith, not the other way around.

    Because what you call “spouting new theories all the time” is an acknowledgement we live in a universe that is not static, including our awareness of it. No one is forcing you to believe any theories. You remain free to reject them all, for reasons of your own making. Your vote still counts the same in our free society.

    The modern world, impossible without science, will continue on. The goal of actual science is never to shut down a point of view, but to consider all views. Circling back around to “dead ideas” is permitted. Close-minded, however, it is not. That seems to be projection on your part.

  37. Nick,

    If you have such a hard time with Ms. Elaine, have you thought of moving to another blog? It appears that you dislike her, so you disregard the civility rules that you claim to hold near and dear to your heart. You don’t want to appear like a hypocrite, do you?

  38. Tony Vieira

    Religion is mocked on this blog on a weekly basis at least, and, of course, the target is almost always Christianity. The ammo for this mockery is purportedly found in the fruits of the “scientific method” anthropomorphically speaking with a unified voice as it reveals to us the truth of physical reality.

    I am a trial lawyer and have done this work exclusively for nearly 25 years. I have litigated and tried tobacco, asbestos, hormone replacement therapy, benzene, beryllium, med mal, and many many murder cases. In this time I’ve tried more than 300 cases to verdict.

    My experience, therefore, is in the day-to-day testing of the veracity of truth claims and in particular “scientific” truth claims. I know the things that I’ve seen.

    Over this entire time I have dealt with scientific questions. I have seen biased and lying PhD after biased and lying PhD. I have seen each lay claim to the “scientific method.” On each each occasion experts take the stand and claim that their side is the side doing “good science” and that their side is the side following “the scientific method” – and each side comes to opposing conclusions. This same dynamic extends outside the courtroom and into the peer reviewed journals and them into the textbooks. I see this as I see these same experts cherry pick what research they choose to “believe” and as I see large corporations fund “fund” researchers and journals in order to ensure the “scientific” validation of a predetermined agenda. Bias and perversion and agenda driving what you all would call objective science.

    The notion that science is a singular body of knowledge that speaks with one voice and answers all questions of physical reality accurately is nonsense.

    The notion that there is a singular and generic scientific method that applies to all disciplines, except in the most vague and therefore meaningless sense, is also nonsense.
    =================
    True enough, even though having some anecdotal components.

    Remember that both religion and science must be “mocked” anytime either one wishes to get cozy with government and then issue the rules.

    But also do not forget that our jury system, which you have used an incredible number of times, is a remedy against government, not against religious or scientific institutions (Why Trial By Jury?).

    Because in a larger sense all our “knowledge” is in some degree composed of “trust” and/or “belief” (The Pillars of Knowledge: Faith and Trust?).

  39. Dredd wrote: “So here is all I can recover from what I posted: Overall, while a slight majority of the pastors surveyed fall under the label of Young Earth Creationism (54%), sizeable portions of clergy accept Progressive Creation (15%) and Theistic Evolution (18%).”

    If you look at the actual survey results, 35% expressed doubt about Young Earth Creationism. Only 19% were actually Young Earth Creationists. The 54% number is playing a little loose with the definitions. Also, 743 telephone interviews is not a very big sample, and usually not very scientific in terms of random sampling methodology. I suspect they focused more upon certain Protestant denominations and were less thorough toward including Orthodox and Catholic priests. Notice their use of the word “pastors” instead of priests. Furthermore, it focused upon pastors and not those churched individuals sitting in the pews. So I still remain skeptical that the majority of the churched are young earth creationists. Nevertheless, numbers in the 40% is rather high considering the censorship and discrimination of the creationist framework from the public school system.

  40. James Knauer wrote: “Except creationism is not science. So there is literally nothing to criticize.”

    I was talking about the censorship of critics of evolutionary theory, not creationist theory. Surely you are not suggesting that theories of evolution are not science and therefore not subject to criticism?

    As for creationism being science, any empirical evidence suggestive of a creator that is potentially falsifiable is science. I would say that young earth theories of origins fall into this camp because several empirical clocks seem to falsify them if we accept the commonly accepted assumptions about these methods. If science is able to falsify this tenet of a Young Earth, then the Young Earth model is subject to empirical testing and is scientific by the commonly accepted Popperian definition of science.

    James Knauer wrote: “Further, name one critic that has been silenced?”

    Robert Gentry for one. Have you ever watched Ben Stein’s movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed? He interviews several. Positivists are not open to creationist interpretations of data. Who could possibly doubt this bias in science?

    James Knauer wrote: “You’re just upset that fewer and fewer take creationism seriously. You’re irritated because government will not promote the bully you need to institutionally knock other people down so you can “believe.””

    I’m not upset or irritated about anything. I just like honest discussions that are not dismissive of information because the questions being asked are difficult to answer. For me, I am deeply interested in the truth. I like the question of origins and am open to rational viewpoints based upon empirical studies from all sides.

  41. I suppose I could stick this observation into any comment thread on this blog, but picked this one at random. People, I have seen more projection today than I would expect at a six-screen cinema. I have seen more mature interactions among seventh graders.

    The Encyclopedia Britannica says, “Projection is a form of defense in which unwanted feelings are displaced onto another person, where they then appear as a threat from the external world. A common form of projection occurs when an individual, threatened by his own angry feelings, accuses another of harbouring hostile thoughts.”

  42. Dr. Stanley, assuming, for the sake of argument that what you say immediately above is accurate as pertains to all the comments made and that all of us, excepting you, are childish brats projecting right and left, what makes you think that you can shame people into right conduct let alone right thinking? And what is right conduct and right thinking and shame (or peace and love and joy) anyway after your materialistic and anti-metaphysical evolutionary worldview does it’s work of “scientifically” cutting itself off from the moral absolutes that can only legitimately flow from a creator god? By what authority do you declare right from wrong? There is no right and wrong in cause and effect or in the near infinite number of prior chemical reactions that brought you from mineral to conscious mind via the medium of the primordial soup. And how does a mere conjurie of meat, even one in a human package” escape your inescapable materialistic determinism. We can’t help but be whatever we will be, right?

    And, of course, I intend no personal offense. I only write in order to demonstrate the contradiction. And I’m still going to read that case. Good night.

  43. davidm2575

    Dredd wrote: “So here is all I can recover from what I posted: Overall, while a slight majority of the pastors surveyed fall under the label of Young Earth Creationism (54%), sizeable portions of clergy accept Progressive Creation (15%) and Theistic Evolution (18%).”

    If you look at the actual survey results …
    ================
    I am the one that provided the link to the poll results, after having read them.

    There is no ambiguity in the 54%, but there is nuance in that type of poll because there are 450 denominations with different interpretations of just about anything that can be interpreted.

    And that poll fits quite logically with the Gallup poll that found 46% of all Americans are Young Earth Creationists.

    That you are skeptical, don’t believe it, worship, or no longer wear robes is irrelevant.

  44. Taxpayers fund creationism in the classroom
    By STEPHANIE SIMON
    | 3/24/14
    http://www.politico.com/story/2014/03/education-creationism-104934.html

    Excerpt:
    Taxpayers in 14 states will bankroll nearly $1 billion this year in tuition for private schools, including hundreds of religious schools that teach Earth is less than 10,000 years old, Adam and Eve strolled the garden with dinosaurs, and much of modern biology, geology and cosmology is a web of lies.

    Now a major push to expand these voucher programs is under way from Alaska to New York, a development that seems certain to sharply increase the investment.

    Public debate about science education tends to center on bills like one in Missouri, which would allow public school parents to pull their kids from science class whenever the topic of evolution comes up. But the more striking shift in public policy has flown largely under the radar, as a well-funded political campaign has pushed to open the spigot for tax dollars to flow to private schools. Among them are Bible-based schools that train students to reject and rebut the cornerstones of modern science.

    Decades of litigation have established that public schools cannot teach creationism or intelligent design. But private schools receiving public subsidies can — and do. A POLITICO review of hundreds of pages of course outlines, textbooks and school websites found that many of these faith-based schools go beyond teaching the biblical story of the six days of creation as literal fact. Their course materials nurture disdain of the secular world, distrust of momentous discoveries and hostility toward mainstream scientists. They often distort basic facts about the scientific method — teaching, for instance, that theories such as evolution are by definition highly speculative because they haven’t been elevated to the status of “scientific law.”

    And this approach isn’t confined to high school biology class; it is typically threaded through all grades and all subjects.

    One set of books popular in Christian schools calls evolution “a wicked and vain philosophy.” Another derides “modern math theorists” who fail to view mathematics as absolute laws ordained by God. The publisher notes that its textbooks shun “modern” breakthroughs — even those, like set theory, developed back in the 19th century. Math teachers often set aside time each week — even in geometry and algebra — to explore numbers in the Bible. Students learn vocabulary with sentences like, “Many scientists today are Creationists.”

  45. Creationism Controversy: Understanding and Responding to Creationist Movements
    National Center for Science Education
    http://ncse.com/creationism

    Excerpt:
    “Creationism” refers to the religious belief in a supernatural deity or force that intervenes, or has intervened, directly in the physical world. Within that broad scope, there are many varieties of creationist belief. Some forms of creationism hold that natural biological processes cannot account for the history, diversity, and complexity of life on earth. Such “anti-evolution” creationists have been leading opposition to the teaching of evolution since the 1920s.

  46. Dredd, just because you provided the link does not mean that you are paying attention to the data. Only 19% from that survey said they believed with certainty that the earth was less than 10,000 years old. Another 35% believed that God created life in six 24 hour days, but they doubted the concept of a young earth. The 54% is from adding the 35% + 19%. So the statement that 54% of these pastors are young earth creationists is wrong. I know this was stated in the report, but it is another one of those cases where the data do not support the researchers’ claims.

  47. Dr. Charlton, I read Kitzmiller v. Dover, the issue in the case was simply whether ID was or was not creationism by another name. The issue was distinctly not whether ID represents an accurate picture of some aspect of physical reality. Quite frankly I’m uninterested in the first question and, being what it is, it has nothing to do with what we all have been discussing. Good head fake though.

  48. Now I understand Annie, you’re agreeing with Tyson where he says that:

    “I think the media has to sort of come out of this ethos that I think was in principle a good one, but doesn’t really apply in science. The ethos was, whatever story you give, you have to give the opposing view…”

    The notion of the “marketplace of ideas” and the airing and vetting of opposing views “doesn’t really apply in science.” And how awful that someone would actually complain of such a thing anyway.

  49. Annie, it is really funny to read an article alleging creationists DEMANDING AIRTIME and being unable to find any such demands. They mention Professor Faulkner, but no quotes of him demanding airtime, only comments from him about how the topic is not open discussion as Tyson claims. They link to another article that is even more outrageous, claiming that creationists demand EQUAL airtime, but again, no quotes of any creationists DEMANDING EQUAL AIRTIME. It is hard to take the Huffington Post seriously when they skew the news so badly.

    You and others use loaded words, such as DEMAND, EQUAL AIRTIME, COMPLAINT, etc., when really we are only talking about the obvious, and that is that creationist interpretations are censored from the discussion while claiming that everything is up for discussion (including the sci-fi idea of finding life on Titan).

  50. david, You can point out propaganda to a propagandist and they just won’t see it, or admit it. As you know, being correct is almost irrelevant to that ilk.

  51. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/10/neil-degrasse-tyson-media-climate-change_n_4933814.html

    “I think the media has to sort of come out of this ethos that I think was in principle a good one, but doesn’t really apply in science. The ethos was, whatever story you give, you have to give the opposing view, and then you can be viewed as balanced…you don’t talk about the spherical earth with NASA and then say let’s give equal time to the flat-earthers.
    Plus, science is not there for you to cherry pick. You know, I said this once and it’s gotten a lot of Internet play, I said the good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.
    I guess you can decide whether or not to believe in it, but that doesn’t change the reality of an emergent scientific truth.”

  52. Briebart…. Unbiased news you can count on… You know propagandist and there ilk…. Nick aka dagda….the Civility Rule is really cool if you say… Serenity now….

  53. Elaine, read Hawkings book, The Grand Design, it purports to be about first things. Exactly what Cosmos is about. And it is almost all cosmological philosophy (particularly the initial chapters) and very little hard science – yes, he carries your flag, he talks one way and he walks another.

    Going further, understand that there are many more modes of valid information and knowledge gathering than just what’s found in science. By way of example, math, logic, and ethics all are modes of reasoning and none of them are science – in fact, science presupposes them as it must in order to function.

    And by the way, the canons of science require that in order for something to be science it must be observable, testable, and repeatable. Have you measured what’s asserted on Cosmos by that criteria. Of course you haven’t. And that ought to be a sign to you that maybe you haven’t seen the issue through unbiased eyes.

    Ah, but who cares about all this anyway, right? We all know the religious are stupid, primitive, and biased…and not worthy of hearing, just ask Annie.

  54. Religion is religion, it isn’t science. No one is denying anyone’s right to believe what they want, but it doesn’t mean it gets to be real science and shouldn’t be presented as such.

  55. Tony,

    No one said he/she thought religious people were stupid and primitive. Many religious people believe in evolution. Some religious people, however, insist that creationism is science–and demand it be taught in science classes in public schools.

  56. Annie quoted Tyson saying: “I said the good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.”

    This is subterfuge… another way of saying: if we slap the label of science on it, then you know it’s true.

    Oh, how convenient. The courts ruled creationism is not science. I guess it’s not true then.

  57. Annie wrote: “Religion is religion, it isn’t science.”

    Most religions do not deny the physical world. Much theology has been built upon the understanding that the Creator is understood by understanding his creation. One could argue quite easily from history that religion invented science.

    The phrase, “Creationism isn’t science,” is another one of those lies told often enough that gullible people believe it. Yes, I know, some judges have declared it so, but that does not make it true. Use your own mind. If a system of study is based upon empirical data, and it is open to falsification by empirical data, then it is science. That doesn’t mean it is true. It just means that the method of acquiring knowledge is through the physical senses, empirical observation and empirical measurements. There is a form of creationism that is strictly religious, dependent upon non-empirical sources, but there is another form of creationism that is based upon empiricism.

    The truth is that religion is inclusive of science, but the positivist scientists are exclusive of religion.

  58. Elaine, hear me and judge me. I don’t believe in evolution – it is the religion of materialism – an actual opiate of the masses – it evokes the cry, God is Dead! What a relief, huh?

    And, by the way, for someone who purports to believe in God such a belief (in evolution) would be the most nonsensical and indefensible position – it would be more logical to espouse atheism.

    And neither do I think creationism should be taught in “public” schools.

  59. Tony Vieira

    Dredd, thanks for your comments. And thanks for the links to your blog. I will read it. I appreciate greatly you taking the time to do the work.
    ===============
    Free means free Tony.

  60. davidm2575

    Annie wrote: “Religion is religion, it isn’t science.” … One could argue quite easily from history that religion invented science.
    =================
    Oh, and that one to “argue” would by my davey.

  61. David whines, “The phrase, “Creationism isn’t science,” is another one of those lies ”

    Creationism is not science, David. You can huff and puff all you want.Nor is creationism going to be taught in the classroom. Why not teach kids Bugs Bunny is the Unvarnished Unassailable Truth That May Not Be Questioned? That isn’t science, either.

    Because to even question you, David, is considered “sinful”: (another made up word) by almost half of America, though thankfully that number is on the decline.

    The days of belief are waning, David. The days when you could bully people around with your non-religion religion are also coming to an end. Clearly, it has made you unreasonable, enough to equate creationism and science.

  62. James, you call David names, and true to narrow form, mock him in a variety of ways on the way to making an “argument” that persuades no one off of a position they already have – because it’s nothing but name calling and mockery. And then ironically, you call him the bully.

  63. James Knauer wrote: “Creationism is not science, David. You can huff and puff all you want.Nor is creationism going to be taught in the classroom.”

    I’m not huffing and puffing. I know for a fact that creationism includes science, despite your huffing and puffing to the contrary. Scientific theories that include intelligent design components will continue to be taught in the classrooms of private schools because the information is meaningful and useful. Public schools will censor that information, and so they will continue to fail and progress toward inferior education. People will be pulling their children out of public education. It already is happening. The scientists will continue burning books while the private school sector will be looking for ways to broaden the education of its students. Those who cannot afford private schools will opt for home school and virtual school solutions.

    James Knauer wrote: “Why not teach kids Bugs Bunny is the Unvarnished Unassailable Truth That May Not Be Questioned? That isn’t science, either.”

    Scientific theories of origins with tenets of Intelligent Design are nothing like how you characterize them. They are based upon empirical evidence, like a careful study of the fossil record, the analysis of empirical clocks like radiometric dating or the period of comets, analysis of the measurements of the speed of light, analysis of catastrophic events like Mount St. Helens to understand hydrogeologic sorting and the rate of formation of sedimentary deposits like the Grand Canyon, and the study of polonium halos in granites… to name just a few. Read an article by the following creationist published in Science 184:62 and please explain how this is the same as teaching kids Bugs Bunny.

    http://www.halos.com/reports/science-1974-radiohalos.pdf

  64. Charlton S. Stanley, PhD, ABPP bleated:

    I wouldn’t accept either. There is no point in trying to debate science with people who don’t believe in science or the scientific method. Creationists remind me of Chester A. Riley in the old comedy series Life of Riley: “Don’t confuse me with facts, my head is made up.”

    Nothing is wrong with science. I see an awful lot of confusion and bait-&-switch going on, throwing around the “science” word on this blog.

    Since simply means “knowledge gained by observation.” Period. That’s it. Science isn’t someone’s belief, or philosophy.

    We Creationists love to talk about science. But when you step away from science and venture into a belief system masquerading as science, such as the idiotic belief of evolutionism, then we have a problem.

  65. Creationists to Neil deGrasse Tyson: Evolution isn’t scientific, but the Book of Genesis is
    By Juan Cole | Mar. 25, 2014
    http://www.juancole.com/2014/03/creationists-evolution-scientific.html

    Excerpt:
    Creationist Ray Comfort complained that Neil deGrasse Tyson had misrepresented the Bible.

    The astrophysicist and host of Fox’s “Cosmos” said recently that using the Bible as a scientific source was problematic, because no one had ever scientifically proven a theory based on scripture.

    Comfort said last week on his online “Comfort Zone” program that Tyson wasn’t qualified to make that determination because he’s not a theologian.

    “You know, the word ‘science,’ it’s kind of a magical word,” Comfort said. “‘I believe in science.’ It just means knowledge, that’s all it means. There’s different areas of science, different areas of knowledge. When you say the Bible is not a science book, you’re saying it’s not a knowledge book? It tells us how God created the Earth!”

    Knowledge, of course, is not quite all that defines science, which is characterized by systematic methods of observation in pursuit of new understanding.

    But Comfort insisted the Bible was a science book because it described the origins of the universe.

    “It gives us the basis for all creation, and it passes the scientific method,” he said. “It’s observable – Genesis – and testable. Evolution is not. You can’t observe something 60 million years old, but you can observe what Genesis says.”

  66. What in Genesis passes the scientific method?

    Why are creationists in such an uproar over Cosmos? I think it’s because they want Creationism to be seen as science because of an overwhelming desire to have religious dogma taught in public schools on the taxpayer’s dime. Would the creation stories of other belief systems get equal billing? This notion that they are being “censored” is a dead giveaway, censored by whom, by what? No one is censoring churches and private schools from teaching the biblical creation story. There is this recurring theme lately of a war on religion, while no one is prohibiting anyone from their religious expression. That expression has no place in public schools because we have something called Separation of church and state.

    Religionists can complain all they want, they can be pushy and obnoxious all they want, but our government is still a secular one, I wonder how long it will survive? In Arizona we saw what could happen when religionists try to legislate their bigotry based on their belief system. The Hobby Lobby case being argued now in front of the Supreme Court could decide just how much religionists can inject their belief system on others in the future. If decided in favor of the religionists, it could be a brave new world in which religionists can bully their way into many different areas of our lives. Theocracy would get a foothold in our country.

  67. Elaine M quoted: “Creationist Ray Comfort complained that Neil deGrasse Tyson had misrepresented the Bible.

    The astrophysicist and host of Fox’s “Cosmos” said recently that using the Bible as a scientific source was problematic, because no one had ever scientifically proven a theory based on scripture.

    Comfort said last week on his online “Comfort Zone” program that Tyson wasn’t qualified to make that determination because he’s not a theologian.”
    ================

    The problem here is that Ray Comfort is an evangelist / theologian, not a scientist, but he is being portrayed here as if he was a creation scientist. Reverend Comfort is addressing Tyson because Tyson stepped away from science and into theology when he stated that Biblical theories have never been proven. Anybody familiar with archaeology knows how wrong Tyson is about that statement. Ray Comfort is addressing it from his theological perspective. Even Reverend Comfort’s broad definition of the word “science” is from the etymology of the word’s Latin source and its meaning during the Middle Ages, not from its more narrow modern connotation.

  68. Annie wrote: “This notion that they are being “censored” is a dead giveaway, censored by whom, by what? No one is censoring churches and private schools from teaching the biblical creation story.”

    They are being censored from institutions of public education. Everyone is forced to pay for education and forced to send their children to schools which censor information.

    Originally, the concept of separating church and state was based upon the fact that education only taught the views of one particular establishment of religion. The arguments made by Jefferson was that it was not right that the public should be forced to pay to support only one viewpoint of religion. So the concept of church / state separation was based upon allowing all viewpoints. When Jefferson established the University of Virginia, he did away with the Divinity School and with a Professor of Divinity, replacing it with a Professor of Ethics who would teach the proofs of creation and the Creator. However, he gave away land to each religious sect and encouraged their presence on campus to teach their philosophies concerning the right way to worship God to the students. How different this concept is than the modern concept where creationism banned from public institutions of education.

    Annie wrote: “… but our government is still a secular one, I wonder how long it will survive?”

    Our government initially was founded upon the idea of a Creator and rights conferred by that Creator. Our founding document appealed to Providence (God) to establish us. Such is clearly NOT a secular government. The modern concept is to change our government into a secular government. There are many arguments that a secular government cannot survive when it denies the Great Lawgiver as the source and foundation for its laws.

  69. davidm2575

    Tyson because Tyson stepped away from science and into theology when he stated that Biblical theories have never been proven. Anybody familiar with archaeology knows how wrong Tyson is about that statement.

    =====================
    I would agree he is blustery and overblown in that statement.

    The example of the Hittite Empire, mentioned in the Bible, comes to mind (2 Kings 7:6: “For the Lord had made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses, even the noise of a great host: and they said one to another, Lo, the king of Israel hath hired against us the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us.”).

    Tyson types ridiculed the passages that referred to the Hittites as an example of myth, because archaeologists “knew” back then that no such empire existed because it had never been found by archaeologists.

    Then they found it:

    At the turn of the century, skeptics viewed the Bible as myth rather than real world history . For example, the Bible makes over 40 references to the great Hittite Empire. You see, 100 years ago, no archaeological evidence had ever been found to prove it really did exist. “Just another Bible myth!” skeptics charged in an attempt to destroy our faith in the Bible. This, however, cannot be said today, for in 1906, Hugo Winckler uncovered a library of 10,000 clay tablets. These ancient records fully documented the long lost Hittite Empire and confirmed the reliability of the Bible. Later excavations uncovered Boghazkoy, the capital city of this “mythical” empire.

    (Bible Website). Fairness is healthy, so both religionists and scientists ought not flip out because they have differences.

  70. Byron

    Dredd:

    Ever hear of Ockhams Razor?
    ==============
    a.k.a occams razor (“It states that among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected” – Wikipedia).

    Selecting the hypothesis is the easy part.

    Proving it with predictions and observation is the more difficult part.

  71. David,
    There is a vast difference between archeological confirmation of biblical events, people and places, and hard sciences of biology, astrophysics and chemistry. The bible as a record of kings, towns, villages and Roman conquest is different than evolutionary biology, deep space astronomy and particle physics.

    I have discussed this with both Jewish and Muslim acquaintances who are scientists. Dietary rules, such as Kosher, probably arose out of observation of who got sick after eating what. Back in the deserts of the Middle East, shellfish, diary products and other foods could make one sick or even die. Of course, they had no idea what caused it. No microscopes, and no science of biology and parasitology in those days, so it must have been because their favorite Deity had somehow made it unclean.

    Some still observe the old dietary habits out of custom and sense of history, just as some Catholics still follow the custom of no meat on Fridays. At the same time, many don’t bother with those rituals which grew out of ignorance of causes of disease. One of my best friends is a Jewish scientist. He still observes most of the old rituals and holy days, but will eat a ham sandwich or plate of shrimp as quickly as any gentile.

    I have to go out of town in just a few minutes. Will be back late this evening. Hope everyone’s day is what they want it to be.

  72. Charlaton Stanley wrote: “There is a vast difference between archeological confirmation of biblical events, people and places, and hard sciences of biology, astrophysics and chemistry.”

    So archaeology is not science anymore? It seems to me similar in that we are talking about empirical evidence either confirming or disproving Biblical statements. They are not really that much different. How is digging up the remains of human civilizations that much different than digging up the remains of organisms (fossils)?

    In regards to biological evolution, the Bible makes statements about polydactyly and gigantism. Such has often been a source of mocking in the past, but confirmed by science as our knowledge has increased.

    Two of the most outrageous astrophysical statements in the Bible concern the sun standing still for a whole day for Joshua, and in another place the sun moving backwards by 10 degrees for Hezekiah. One might think science could never explain such statements, but it is odd that the Chinese history during the reign of Emperor Yao recorded the same type of event around the same historical time as the Joshua event (except the Chinese record it as the sun not setting for 10 days). Who really knows whether we should just out of hand dismiss such statements or whether we might be able to understand them better when our knowledge increases. There are complete magnetic reversals of the poles recorded in the geologic record that are not fully understood. Even if we do conclude these statements are false, does it really then mean that all Biblical statements concerning empirical evidence are false? That would be like claiming since Galileo was wrong about what causes tides then he must be wrong about his heliocentric view of the solar system.

  73. http://thelucascritique.wordpress.com/2014/01/22/sir-francis-bacons-refutation-of-atheism-and-the-necessity-of-one-true-faith/

    Along with developing the scientific method, he also wrote tracts about religion. In an age where an increasing number of people in the Western World are regarding themselves as “atheist”, “agnostic” or even “I don’t know”, Sir Francis Bacon’s essay Of Atheism is extremely relevant. This relevance is bolstered by the fact that his life counters the claim by many atheistic apologists that religious people are “irrational”, “dim-witted” and incapable of understanding science; here we have the very man who developed the scientific method and was an extremely devout Christian.

    Sir Francis Bacon is counted as one of the most influential figures in scientific history, and his essay Of Atheism is useful reading for all those in the “atheist”, “agnostic” and “I don’t know” category looking to challenge their beliefs.

  74. David,
    I never said archeology was not science. It is science. So is paleontology and anthropology. Apparently you misread what I wrote. The Bible describes people, places and things. It also describes some events. As an historical record, biblical accounts of actual historical events can be physically checked. Archeologists believe they may have found the remains of the villages of Sodom and Gomorrah, for example. That there were certain kings and rulers is a record that can be independently verified.

    What is in dispute is interpretations of biblical verses and commentary. For example, trying to interpolate the length of time humans were here, based on an oral genealogy and counting generations. For an oral genealogy to even begin, there must be a culture and a language. Otherwise, how could an oral history even begin? Culture and language did not appear overnight. It evolved. In fact, culture and languages are still evolving. Here is a simple example: One of the reasons the MMPI was revised and became the MMPI-2 was due to changes in word meanings and understanding between 1942, when the test was first published and 1984 when it was necessary to revise it. Test takers were being asked questions using language that was commonplace in 1942, but antiquated and out of use by the early 1980s.

    The bible recorded events, but due to lack of scientific understanding, many of them were probably misinterpreted, and are still being misinterpreted, by the concrete-minded who cannot comprehend parables, analogies and metaphors.

  75. dm2,

    “. . . the study of polonium halos in granites…”

    From:

    Reports of the National Center for Science Education
    Volume 30, Issue 5. 2010
    “Origin of Polonium Halos”
    Lorence G Collins & Barbara J Collins

    “It has been more than twelve years since we (Collins 1988, 1997b; Hunt and others 1992) discussed Robert Gentry’s hypothesis proposing that polonium (Po) halos and granite were created nearly instantaneously on Day Three of the Genesis Week (Gen 1:9–10; Gentry 1965, 1970, 1974, 1983, 1988). It is worth examining new information pertinent to the origin of polonium halos.”
    . . .

    “Polonium halos occur in biotite in granites of supposed magmatic origin, and the half-lives of the polonium (Po) isotopes are short (218Po, 3.05 minutes; 214Po, microseconds; and 210Po, 140 days). Gentry claims, therefore, that no matter how much original polonium may have been present in the granite magma, all would have decayed to stable lead (206Pb) in 5 million years, long before the biotite in which polonium halos are found could have formed. He asserts on that basis that polonium halos can be used to support the literal interpretation of the Bible that granite in the earth was created during Day Three of the Genesis Week and not over a period of ~4.6 billion years (Dalrymple 1991). This rapid formation of granite during Day Three and supposed disappearance of polonium isotopes during 5 million years are ideas that are also promoted by Snelling (2008a, 2008b).”
    . . .

    “Gentry and Snelling’s claims are without validity (Collins 2008). These creationists ignore the fact that uranium in the original magma would be continuously supplying polonium isotopes during the 5 million years of cooling.”
    . . .

    “The rapid rates at which crystals can grow in calcite vein-dikes or pegmatites in the presence of steam and the rapid rates at which radioactive isotopes can diffuse from areas of relatively high pressures into possible large open fractures are important factors in the formation of polonium halos.”
    . . .

    “If polonium halos truly had a nearly instantaneous origin as suggested by Gentry (1988), then even more examples of other polonium halo types would be expected to occur, such as (1) halos of 215Po and 211Po that are derived from radon gas 219Rn in the radioactive uranium (235U) decay series or (2) halos of 216Po and 212Po that are derived from radon gas 220Rn in the radioactive thorium (232Th) decay series. But they are not found (Collins 1997b). The reason is that the radon gas atoms (219Rn and 220Rn) in these two decay series which are the precursors for the other radioactive polonium isotopes have half-lives in seconds, and their daughter polonium isotopes have half-lives in seconds and microseconds instead of 3.05 minutes for 218Po and 140 days for 210Po in the 238U decay series (Collins 1997b). However, Gentry found only one kind of Po-halo sequences among three possible kinds in biotite and fluorite of supposed instantaneous origin.”

    http://ncse.com/rncse/30/5/origin-polonium-halos

    Additionally, Richard Wakefield (ring a bell, dm2) has presented argument of Gentry’s sloppy fieldwork and misunderstanding of basic geologic structures such as intrusive/extrusive and the differences between rhyolite and granite since at least 1997.

    I’m sure you know of this.

  76. gbk wrote: “I’m sure you know of this.”

    Yup, and I’ve debated online with Wakefield and others years ago in the past. Wakefield is a firefighter / amateur geologist who believes textbook stuff and can’t get his head outside the box when someone proposes something outside the textbook paradigm. I’ve even exchanged samples of mica with polonium halos. This article is dishonest when it says, “These creationists ignore the fact that uranium in the original magma would be continuously supplying polonium isotopes during the 5 million years of cooling.” The entire research of Gentry centered on this question of testing for secondary intrusion. He even studied rocks that had secondary intrusion of polonium to compare with the mica of the granites. When someone says Gentry ignores this idea, it is clear that they have not read him and that they are the ones who are ignoring information. Like a lot of the counters of the talk origin archives and anti-creationist educational sites, they blow just enough smoke to fool the uneducated.

  77. dm2,

    Oh, you mean this:

    “The problem is not the disappearance of polonium through 5 million years, as Gentry and Snelling suggest, but the inability of polonium ions produced during this time to migrate from scattered uranium atoms in very viscous magma to precipitate as polonium atoms in a localized place in a growing biotite crystal lattice so that polonium halos can form.”

    Or this:

    “There are two possible mechanisms to make this concentration happen. The first is by the formation of either vein-dikes or pegmatites containing uranium minerals that are associated with chemical replacement processes (metasomatism). The second is by the formation of pegmatites containing uranium minerals that result from magmatic processes.”

    Or this:

    “Polonium ions nucleate in biotite and fluorite because these ions are large and can fit only in large sized holes in a mineral lattice. Such holes occur in biotite and fluorite but not in the other kinds of minerals commonly found in granite. The polonium ions nucleating on the faces of growing biotite crystals and fluorite subsequently became enclosed inside these crystals. The enclosed polonium ions would then begin to decay and emit alpha particles. The alpha particles, shot out in random patterns, would cause damage to the crystal lattice producing spheres with different radii, destroying the lattice structure and producing a disordered pattern, known as a glass, which appears as a black circular spot under the petrographic microscope.”

    Your knowledge of everything is truly humbling. Your obviously blessed.

  78. dm2,

    “Yup, and I’ve debated online with Wakefield and others years ago in the past. Wakefield is a firefighter / amateur geologist who believes textbook stuff and can’t get his head outside the box when someone proposes something outside the textbook paradigm.”

    Boxes come in all sizes. Can you cite a time, location, and venue of this debate?

  79. dm2,

    Oh, I see — it was an “online” debate. You mean much like your “debates” here.

    Never mind, I thought you meant a real debate.

  80. dm2,

    “This article is dishonest when it says, “These creationists ignore the fact that uranium in the original magma would be continuously supplying polonium isotopes during the 5 million years of cooling.” The entire research of Gentry centered on this question of testing for secondary intrusion. He even studied rocks that had secondary intrusion of polonium to compare with the mica of the granites. When someone says Gentry ignores this idea, it is clear that they have not read him and that they are the ones who are ignoring information.”

    Can you cite specific examples of how, “they have read him [Gentry],” and how “they” are ignoring information?

  81. Ahh, Byron,

    I was wondering when you would show up.

    “Isnt radioactive decay pretty well understood?”

    What really is your question, Byron?

  82. Byron,

    This one is for you.

    The socialist granite demanded more from the capitalist uranium decay than polonium could offer — and that’s why we have pebbles on the beach.

  83. dm2,

    From my comment @ 9:17:

    “Can you cite specific examples of how, “they have read him [Gentry],” and how “they” are ignoring information?”

    Should be:

    “Can you cite specific examples of how, “they have NOT read him [Gentry],” and how “they” are ignoring information?”

    It seems they have “read him” and they are refuting his findings.

  84. gbk:

    Read it but dont know enough about geology. Can understand some of the concepts but not enough to know if it is correct.

  85. dm2,

    “Like a lot of the counters of the talk origin archives and anti-creationist educational sites, they blow just enough smoke to fool the uneducated.”

    Don’t take it personal.

    But yeah, all those anti-creationist sites out there should be shut down for the smoke they blow. Those uneducated fools — what to do?

  86. Byron,

    “Can understand some of the concepts but not enough to know if it is correct.”

    Is this an example of an oxymoron, or a paradox?

    Nah, can’t be a paradox because the statement might be true. But oxymoron doesn’t quite fit either.

    I guess the implied question of what is “correct” needs to answered to have any hope of unraveling this conundrum.

    If “correct” is a self-determined perspective absent of evidence, then I guess it doesn’t matter what one calls the original statement.

    What is “correct,” Byron?

  87. gbk wrote: ““Can you cite specific examples of how, “they have NOT read him [Gentry],” and how “they” are ignoring information?””

    You already pointed it out yourself earlier. Maybe you were being sarcastic and I mistakenly thought you understood something that you do not understand.

    Consider this quote: “If polonium halos truly had a nearly instantaneous origin as suggested by Gentry (1988), then even more examples of other polonium halo types would be expected to occur, such as (1) halos of 215Po and 211Po that are derived from radon gas 219Rn in the radioactive uranium (235U) decay series or (2) halos of 216Po and 212Po that are derived from radon gas 220Rn in the radioactive thorium (232Th) decay series. But they are not found (Collins 1997b).” Clearly the Collins’ here are not following the argument of Gentry at all. They rely only upon their ingrained notion that only the Uranium decay series could be the source of the polonium halos. At first, Gentry accepted these types of explanations, but he began to wonder about why the radiation was extinct, and how 218Po halos could appear in isolation without the other isotopes. It was exactly these observations that led Gentry to conduct further studies which he later published in peer reviewed scientific journals. Following is the section of the book that basically repeats these principles and outlines how these observations led Gentry along a path of research to test the issues raised:

    http://www.halos.com/book/ctm-02-b.htm

    In any case, my reason for raising Gentry’s work was not to get into a debate here about Polonium halos. This is clearly not an appropriate forum for this type of discussion. Rather, my point was that work by creationists like Gentry is indeed science. How could scientists either find agreement or disagreement, or do any kind of empirical analysis if the subject matter is not science?

    This is the problem all the time with this subject. If a debate is inconclusive, it is because the opposition is making a religious argument, so give science more time and they will eventually be able to find an explanation. If a debate does conclusively falsify a creationist notion through empirical means, then the mantra is see, creationist views are wrong. Well, if empiricism can falsify a tenet of a creationist theory, then clearly that theory was subject to empirical falsification and was therefore scientific to begin with. The bottomline is that creationist arguments like the ones Gentry made are not like arguing for Bugs Bunny or how Mothra created the earth. Gentry’s arguments are based upon empirical observation, the formulation of hypotheses based upon such observations, the testing of those hypotheses to eliminate the ones that lack explanatory power, and finally the formation of an overall theory to explain the empirical data. For a scientist or judge in court to come along and proclaim such not to be science is an insult to the scientific method handed down to us since the days of Francis Bacon.

  88. dm2,

    “In any case, my reason for raising Gentry’s work was not to get into a debate here about Polonium halos. This is clearly not an appropriate forum for this type of discussion.”

    Then why raise it as a point in your list of creationist science?

    “Rather, my point was that work by creationists like Gentry is indeed science.”

    That presents an erroneous conclusion.

    “If a debate is inconclusive, it is because the opposition is making a religious argument, . . .”

    It was Gentry that argued that the pegmatite and biotite samples that he collected were “created” over the span of minutes. Does he, as apparently you do, expect no rebutal?

    Gentry’s work, and by extension your reference to it, is laughable.

  89. gbk:

    I understand some of the concepts of the paper you linked to, like fissures, uranium decay, the various minerals which constitute granite and some others.

    I do not understand higher level geological concepts because I have never studied geology to an great depth.

    I am politely asking for your take or understanding of this paper in layman’s terms and your opinion as to the level of accuracy of the paper.

    Is it hard to understand that someone might not know enough to know if a scientific paper has merit?

    My perception is that you are a scientist having something to do with this type of thing and would be able to explain the basis of the problem and the reason for the conclusion the paper comes to.

    I am not asking a leading question nor do I have time to undertake a study of geology which would allow me to understand your position and DavidM’s position.

    I am personally a believer in evolution and a 5 billion year old earth but am certainly willing to look at other evidence which is presented.

    If Gentry’s science is wrong, please tell me why you think so in layman’s terms.

  90. “Polonium Halos” Refuted
    A Critique of “Radioactive Halos in a Radiochronological and
    Cosmological Perspective” by Robert V Gentry
    Thomas A Baillieul
    http://www.csun.edu/~vcgeo005/baillieul.pdf

    Excerpt:
    ANSWERS IN NATURE

    Do the rocks from which Gentry drew his samples represent the “primordial” basement rocks of the originally created earth?

    Gentry is a physicist, not a geologist. Contrary to accepted geologic reporting practice, he consistently fails to provide the information that a third party
    would need to collect comparable samples for testing. For his research, Gentry utilized microscope thin sections of rocks from samples sent to him by others from various places around the world. Thus, he is unable to say — and others are unable to confirm — how his samples fit in with the local or regional geological setting(s). He also does not provide descriptive information about the individual rock samples that make up his studies — that is, the abundance and distribution of major, accessory, or trace minerals; the texture, crystal size and alteration features of the rocks; and the presence or absence of fractures and discontinuities.

    Because Gentry does not acknowledge that the Precambrian time period represents fully 7/8 of the history of the earth, he does not recognize the wide
    diversity of geologic terranes that came and went over that enormous time span. In Gentry’s model, any rock looking vaguely like a granite and carrying the label Precambrian is considered to be a “primordial” rock —a claim that is patently incorrect. True granites are themselves evidence of significant crustal recycling and elemental differentiation (see for example, Taylor and McLennan 1996) and cannot be considered primordial. A little detective work by Wakefield (1988) showed that at least one set of rock samples studied by Gentry are not from granites at all, but were taken from a variety of younger Precambrian metamorphic rocks and pegmatite veins in the region around
    Bancroft, Ontario. Some of these rock units cut or overlie older, sedimentary, and even fossil-bearing rocks.

    Furthermore, polonium halos are found only in rocks that contain myrmekite — a replacement mineral intergrowth — which is a clear indication that the rock is not “primordial” but one that has undergone significant change over an extended period of time. Collins (1997) has noted these and several other contradictory situations between the polonium halo hypothesis and observed geological relationships in the field.

  91. DavidM wrote: ““In any case, my reason for raising Gentry’s work was not to get into a debate here about Polonium halos. This is clearly not an appropriate forum for this type of discussion.”

    gbk wrote: “Then why raise it as a point in your list of creationist science?”

    You seem to have a hard time communicating. I did not give a “list” of creation science. I offered one of Gentry’s papers as an example of how it was not what James Knauer claimed when he wrote, ““Why not teach kids Bugs Bunny is the Unvarnished Unassailable Truth That May Not Be Questioned? That isn’t science, either.” The article published in the peer reviewed scientific journal Science is clearly science, despite your assertions otherwise.

    DavidM wrote: “Rather, my point was that work by creationists like Gentry is indeed science.”

    gbk wrote: “That presents an erroneous conclusion.”

    No it doesn’t. I gave you proof that it is science, showing an empirical study by a scientist who published his results in a peer reviewed scientific journal. Any moron can read the paper and see that it is clearly science. The scientists who first read the study and decided to publish it agreed that it was science worth publishing. Gentry’s scientific work is based upon empirical observation, not upon Bible interpretation. If you read his book that I linked to earlier, you will see a progression that he took in constructing hypotheses and conducting scientific tests for them. The objections raised by his critics were previously raised by Gentry, but the difference is that rather than being satisfied with armchair quarterbacking, Gentry actually did the scientific work to test the ideas. For example, in searching for the original source of the halos, he conducted ion microprobe analysis and published these results in another peer reviewed scientific journal Nature 244:282-283. It seems that rather than take the time to read what Gentry offers, you choose to believe in your favorite trusted guys. This style of learning is more akin to religion than science. You rely upon authority rather than examine the evidence for yourself. For you to claim that Gentry’s work is not science is completely laughable. You would have to explain how studying radiohalos and publishing the results in peer reviewed scientific journals is not science. If you are successful at doing that, then you will have completely redefined science for the entire world. Good luck with that.

    gbk wrote: “It was Gentry that argued that the pegmatite and biotite samples that he collected were “created” over the span of minutes. Does he, as apparently you do, expect no rebutal?”

    Of course he expects rebuttal, and he has taken the time to answer his critics, including those in the creationist camp like ICR. For you to make such a statement shows how you have not even taken time to browse his website long enough to just look at titles much less open up the documents to read the research and rebuttals for yourself.

  92. Byron wrote: “I do not understand higher level geological concepts because I have never studied geology to an great depth.”

    Byron, I encourage you to read “Creation’s Tiny Mystery.” It is written for the layman, explaining radioactive decay at a high school level of understanding. It then builds upon that knowledge to lead a person to understand the scientific studies. He also covers some of the legal case “McLean v. Arkansas” which cost him his access to Oak Ridge National Laboratory. If you like, I would even purchase the book for you to read if you don’t want to read it online. I have donated copies of it to university libraries and some science professors in the past because the information is censored by scientists. By reading the book, if nothing else, you will come to learn of the bias in science against people like Gentry who are willing to follow objectively the empirical data to whatever conclusions it might suggest.

    After you read the book, then read all the rebuttals posted online. You will find that most of them were already considered by Gentry. Some newer ones are addressed in other works on Gentry’s website. Unlike many scholars, Gentry actually has worked at answering critics and articulating rebuttals. The man is in his 80’s now.

  93. Elaine, the issues raised in your post have been rebutted not only in his original work, but also in an open letter reply to Andrew Snelling in 2003. The problem is that Gentry is bucking a uniformitarian mindset, a bias, that is difficult to penetrate. People confuse opinion with facts and rely upon scientific opinion to rebut the facts that Gentry presents. It is interesting how the article starts out attacking Gentry as being a physicist rather than a geologist, despite his many years of work in the field of geology, yet says nothing about people like Wakefield who they also quote to rebut Gentry. Wakefield’s occupation is as a firefighter. Geology is simply a hobby for him. Doesn’t it strike you odd when science educators resort to using amateur evolutionists to stand up to creationists who are scientists?

  94. DavidM:

    “Doesn’t it strike you odd when science educators resort to using amateur evolutionists to stand up to creationists who are scientists?”

    That certainly strikes me as odd unless they [other scientists] just dont want to do so for some reason like not wanting to give equal time to other theories.

    The paper that you posted above by Gentry certainly seemed like science to me. People can disagree about the hypothesis and the conclusion but the methodology seemed scientific.

  95. Byron,

    Read the Introduction to the article to which I posted a link in an earlier comment.

    BTW, I never thought of you as being a believer in young Earth creationism

    *****

    Origin of Polonium Halos
    Reports of the National Center for Science Education
    Title: Origin of Polonium Halos
    Author(s): Lorence G Collins &nbsp &nbsp Barbara J Collins
    Volume: 30
    Issue: 5
    Year: 2010
    Date: September-October
    Page(s): 11–16
    http://ncse.com/rncse/30/5/origin-polonium-halos

    Excerpt:
    INTRODUCTION

    It has been more than twelve years since we (Collins 1988, 1997b; Hunt and others 1992) discussed Robert Gentry’s hypothesis proposing that polonium (Po) halos and granite were created nearly instantaneously on Day Three of the Genesis Week (Gen 1:9–10; Gentry 1965, 1970, 1974, 1983, 1988). It is worth examining new information pertinent to the origin of polonium halos. Gentry points out that most granite petrologists believe that all granite bodies of large size are formed deep in the earth’s crust from magma (molten rock) and that as much as 5 million years are required for this magma to be cooled sufficiently for biotite mica to begin to crystallize (see sidebar on p 13 for descriptions of these minerals).

    Polonium halos occur in biotite in granites of supposed magmatic origin, and the half-lives of the polonium (Po) isotopes are short (218Po, 3.05 minutes; 214Po, microseconds; and 210Po, 140 days). Gentry claims, therefore, that no matter how much original polonium may have been present in the granite magma, all would have decayed to stable lead (206Pb) in 5 million years, long before the biotite in which polonium halos are found could have formed. He asserts on that basis that polonium halos can be used to support the literal interpretation of the Bible that granite in the earth was created during Day Three of the Genesis Week and not over a period of ~4.6 billion years (Dalrymple 1991). This rapid formation of granite during Day Three and supposed disappearance of polonium isotopes during 5 million years are ideas that are also promoted by Snelling (2008a, 2008b). [Thomas A Baillieul’s detailed summary and critique of Gentry’s views begins on p 17.]

    Gentry and Snelling’s claims are without validity (Collins 2008). These creationists ignore the fact that uranium in the original magma would be continuously supplying polonium isotopes during the 5 million years of cooling. The problem is not the disappearance of polonium through 5 million years, as Gentry and Snelling suggest, but the inability of polonium ions produced during this time to migrate from scattered uranium atoms in very viscous magma to precipitate as polonium atoms in a localized place in a growing biotite crystal lattice so that polonium halos can form. The question to ask, therefore, is: how has it been possible for uranium to concentrate in local sources so that polonium, which is derived from the decay of this uranium, could nucleate in growing crystals of biotite or fluorite? There are two possible mechanisms to make this concentration happen. The first is by the formation of either vein-dikes or pegmatites containing uranium minerals that are associated with chemical replacement processes (metasomatism). The second is by the formation of pegmatites containing uranium minerals that result from magmatic processes. Both mechanisms are examined in this article.

  96. David, I have come to the conclusion that for many folks here, and elsewhere, facts are what they believe, and opinion is what others believe. It’s not complicated in their minds.

  97. To all, I have come to the conclusion that for some folks here, and elsewhere, facts are what they believe, and opinion is what others believe. It’s not complicated in their minds.

  98. annie,

    It’s terrible how some of us folks believe the “opinions” we hear spouted by astrophysicists, geologists, petrologists, biologists, paleontologists, climatologists, and other scientists. How silly of us!
    ;)

  99. You are correct Elaine!
    Chuck,
    4.4 billion or 3.8 billion years compared to 2 or 3 thousand years old? Creationists didn’t miss it by much! :)

  100. Elaine:

    “It’s terrible how some of us folks believe the “opinions” we hear spouted by astrophysicists, geologists, petrologists, biologists, paleontologists, climatologists, and other scientists. How silly of us!
    ;)”

    Not really, always have an inquiring mind and question the “settled” science.

    If everyone just took scientists word for things, how would we progress?

    I believe evolution occurs but I dont think a wolf like creature changes into a whale because it needs to exploit aquatic food sources. What caused the mutations that allowed for the adaptation?

    There always seems to be a leap from one species to another, it doesnt seem gradual, it seems interupted.

    There are all sorts of questions to ask.

  101. Byron,

    Read some books about evolution…about punctuated equilibrium. Read books written by the late Stephen Jay Gould and Carl Sagan…by other scientists. I have. I keep my mind open to learning new things. I don’t think our Earth was created about 6,000 years ago. Do you?

  102. Charlatan Stanley wrote: “The oldest piece of earth’s crust found to date was discovered in Australia. It is a piece of zircon 4.4 billion years old. The oldest previous specimen of rock was 3.8 billion years old. Two different methods of dating were used, and both methods were confirmative.”

    As you know, I am an old earth creationist. To be fair to the YEC, we ought to agree that if their creationist theory is falsified by scientific analysis of empirical data, then their theory was scientifically testable. Right?

  103. rafflaw wrote: “I didn’t realize that Neil degrasse Tyson was an amateur scientist?”

    Tyson is a good astrophysicist. He is a scientist. I was talking about Wakefield and how the science educators quote his opinion in regards to Gentry who is a scientist like Tyson. I would love to hear Tyson comment on Gentry’s work, but I doubt he has ever read it.

  104. Science is NEVER, I repeat NEVER settled. The Jesuits taught me that. Not some union sycophant education industry clone.

  105. davidm,

    You claim you are an old Earth creationist. Yet, you provide information about Gentry’s work–which is “supposedly” proof of a young Earth.

  106. Rock-star astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson urges crowd to embrace science
    Lecture » Questions can lead to societal progress, says Tyson.
    By Lindsay Whitehurst
    The Salt Lake Tribune
    First Published Mar 25 2014
    Last Updated Mar 27 2014
    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57729290-78/tyson-science-cosmos-lecture.html.csp

    Excerpt:
    When science loses ground in culture, the world becomes darker. We become less able to defend ourselves from natural disasters. We ask fewer questions. We even dream less.

    So says rock-star astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who spoke to a sold-out crowd at the University of Utah on Wednesday.

    “We are steeped in science. All of us. It has shaped the society and culture in which we live. Without it, we’d still be in caves, so you got to embrace it,” he said.

    That’s one of the mission statements of his reboot of the TV show “Cosmos.”

    “I sense a trend in America that STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Math] fields, that they’re just a luxury … or you don’t need to think about it because we’re not interested,” he said. “That’s not the America I grew up in. I don’t recognize it.”

    He recalled the 1960s, when the country was trying to get to the moon — and despite the political turmoil of the times, artists and writers were imagining what wonders might come next. That changed.

    “People stopped dreaming about tomorrow,” he said. But there’s an easy way to begin to turn that around, he said.

    “Being scientifically literate doesn’t mean you know science. It just means you know how to ask questions,” he said.

  107. Right-wing billionaires, creationism and pseudo-science: Why is a wingnut giving commencement speech at Montana’s best tech college?
    Uproar at Montana Tech as a conservative funder of creationist museums is asked to speak at top engineering school
    Eric Stern
    3/27/14
    http://www.salon.com/2014/03/27/right_wing_billionaires_creationism_and_pseudo_science_why_is_a_wing_nut_giving_commencement_speech_at_montanas_best_tech_college/

    Excerpt:
    A major funder of “creation museums” has been selected — strange as it may seem — to be the commencement speaker at Montana’s leading institution of science, Montana Tech, the mining and engineering school in Butte that has produced some of the world’s top geologists.

    The speaker is Greg Gianforte, a conservative billionaire whose philanthropic endeavors include funding museums whose purpose is to discredit Darwinism and persuade visitors that the Earth is 6,000 years old, that North America’s geology was carved by Noah’s flood, and that dinosaurs coexisted with early humans.

    To say the least, Gianforte is an odd choice to address an audience of young men and women who are embarking on careers in the earth sciences, many as mining and petroleum engineers. On the day Gianforte speaks, these graduates will be ending four years of studying how the Earth, and everything in it, formed over billions of years out of stardust.

    They will now be sermonized by a man who bankrolled the 20,000-square-foot Dinosaur and Fossil Museum in Glendive, Mont. This museum’s website warns that “when you visit a major natural history museum, you will see wide-eyed children being funneled into an abyss of deception.” The curator of the museum told the Billings Gazette that “there’s no scientific proof whatsoever that evolution ever took place.” Visitors are shown displays and dioramas that explain how the dinosaurs likely died out 4,300 years ago, during the great flood.

    Odder still is the fact that Gianforte is no stranger to science at all. He is a computer scientist, who built a massively successful company, RightNow Technologies, that he sold for over a billion dollars in 2011 to the Oracle Corp. And he has donated money to Montana Tech for its computer science program, which is presumably why the chancellor of Montana Tech, Don Blakketter, invited him to be the guest of honor at graduation.

    Professors have asked Blakketter to revoke the invite on the grounds that Gianforte is anti-science whereas Montana Tech is pro-science, and students are discussing staging a walkout during the speech. I put in a call to Blakketter, but did not hear back.

    The objectors are not only upset about Gianforte, but also the inclusion of his wife, Susan, in the program. She was invited to co-deliver the commencement speech with her husband. Susan Gianforte is a vociferous opponent of laws designed to protect gay people from being targets of discrimination. She believes businesses should have the legal right to refuse service to gay customers, and she has been leading the charge against an anti-discrimination ordinance that is now being debated by the city council of Bozeman, where the Gianfortes live.

  108. Elaine wrote: “You claim you are an old Earth creationist. Yet, you provide information about Gentry’s work–which is “supposedly” proof of a young Earth.”

    Proof of a young earth? No it is not. You obviously have not read Gentry at all. Perhaps you just embrace the biggest rock star scientist rather than looking at the empirical evidence the way a scientist does. Gentry’s work does not prove a young earth. His novel theory is that granites were not formed through a remelting of sedimentary rocks, but rather they were formed through a process yet to be understood that involves very rapid formation — within minutes rather than millions of years. His theory also is that granites rather than basalts are the foundation rocks of the earth. What about his work makes you think it is supposedly proof of a young earth?

  109. Dr. Robert V. Gentry, Nuclear Physicist
    Earth Science Associates
    http://www.creationists.org/robert-gentry.html

    Excerpt:
    Background

    Dr. Robert V. Gentry is a nuclear physicist who worked 13 years for the Oakridge National Laboratory as a guest scientist. During the time he worked there, he was recognized as the world’s leading authority on polonium halos. It is interesting to note that when he began his research, he was an evolutionist. Today, Dr. Gentry is a fully convinced young earth creation scientist.

  110. Elaine – so because Gentry is a young earth creationist, you think this work with polonium halos is suppose to prove a young earth? I do not understand your logic, but living with many women in my household, I have come to accept that men and women have different brains and think differently.

  111. Radiometric Evidence of Rapid Creation
    http://www.icr.org/article/young-age-for-moon-earth/

    Excerpt:
    Dr. Robert V. Gentry has radiometric evidence that the basement rock of the earth was formed in a cool state, not in a molten condition. A cool initial state of the earth gives support to a young age for the earth. His research involves the study of pleochroic halos (colored spheres) produced by the radioactive decay of Polonium 218. He analyzed over one hundred thousand of these halos in granitic rocks which had been taken from considerable depths below land surface and in all parts of the world.

    Two very important conclusions were drawn from this research 1) The Polonium 218 was primordial, that is to say, this radioactive element was in the original granite. 2) Because the halos can only be formed in the crystals of the granite, and the Polonium 218 half-life is only 3 minutes, the granite had to be cool and crystallized originally. The Polonium 218 would have been gone before molten granite could have cooled. It would take a very long time for a molten earth to cool.

    The final conclusion can be summarized in this brief quote from one of Gentry’s technical papers: “The simple evidence of the halos is that the basement rocks of the earth were formed solid.” “Halos in other minerals can be shown to give equally startling evidence of a young earth.”5 One needs to read some of Gentry’s technical articles to see how clearly he established his conclusion that the Polonium 218 was primordial. That in itself presents problems to conventional radiometric dating. The conventional radiometric dating postulates would not jibe with this initial state which Gentry has identified.

  112. Elaine quoted an article by Eric Stern: “Why is a wingnut giving commencement speech at Montana’s best tech college?”

    The ignorance and bigotry of Eric Stern toward creationists is very disturbing. This kind of bigotry leads to book burnings, censorship, intellectual tests for political office, and objecting to speakers based upon the content of their speech.

  113. I’m beginning to think that Nick is jealous of Elaine…… That has to be something true…. Every time he gets the opportunity to say something to her in a derogatory way he does…. Oh…. I think I know how that feels….l

  114. davidm said: “I do not understand your logic, but living with many women in my household, I have come to accept that men and women have different brains and think differently.”

    *****

    Thank heavens I think differently from you…so does my husband. He must have a “female” brain…huh?

  115. Elaine M wrote: “Thank heavens I think differently from you…so does my husband. He must have a “female” brain…huh?”

    Maybe. Most men these days are rather feminine. They have been emasculated by the feminist movement. I would love to have a beer with your husband sometime and find out what he really thinks about polonium halos when you are not around. :-)

  116. davidm,

    So sorry to hear you’ve been emasculated by the weaker sex. Maybe that’s why you have a problem with outspoken women like me. I’m really not after any male’s manhood. If a man can’t convince me he is right about a subject…maybe it’s not because he’s been emasculated–maybe it’s because he hasn’t got a good argument.

    ;)

    BTW, my husband doesn’t drink beer. He also doesn’t suffer fools gladly.

  117. Elaine, David acts as midwife, birthing his own babies at home, that’s takes testicular fortitude. His wife is pretty brave too. Unless you make your wife give birth at home with no real midwife, you just aren’t a real man.

  118. Elaine wrote: “Maybe that’s why you have a problem with outspoken women like me.”

    I don’t have a problem with you. Please stop taking these discussions so personal.

    See, that’s another difference between a man and a woman. Two men can get in an all out fist fight with one another, then put their arms around each other, head back to the local bar and be best buds. Two women… not so much. Disagreements for them are much more personal.

  119. davidm,

    Okay…I’ll make that a more generalized statement: You have a problem with women…especially outspoken women.

    I never generalize about men. They are all so different. My husband isn’t the kind of man who hangs out in bars, drinks too much, and then gets in fist fights. BTW, that doesn’t sound like “manly” behavior to me. That sounds like juvenile/puerile behavior.

  120. davidm, This is the pathology of faux feminists. You treat them as equals when they really want that ol’ fashioned deference afforded women in the 50’s. They pull this horseshit on me also, and they sometimes bring in my wife, as was done w/ you in a weasel way.

  121. “Most men these days are rather feminine. They have been emasculated by the feminist movement.”

    Oh, brother. Another day, another wingnut.

  122. david, I forgot, the vapid videos are part of the pathology. Can a Fiore be far behind? She must get a kickback on those.

  123. Nick,

    Whose pathology…. What are your credentials…. Are you a certified medical professional that is capable of making these type of calls…. Did you get a degree in forensic that you can post for all to laud at….

  124. “They pull this horseshit on me also, and they sometimes bring in my wife, as was done w/ you in a weasel way.”

    Said by the bad-news-boy who first brought his wife to this blog and pumped her book.

    (The moral of the story? Don’t “bring” your wife to a blog. Some might call it common sense.)

  125. Anon,

    I’ll probably get reported for saying something unkind to nick…. But then again…. If someone’s going to pick on others…. And they don’t like the heat… And it burn their fingers…..Maybe they should quit lighting up that crack bowl…..

  126. Elaine and Annie, Annie and Elaine, I have a question. Faux Feminism, is it an evolutionary trait or is it of the devil? Choose wisely.

  127. Devil of course. :evil: However, I still have a little of the Fundamentalist Evangelical in me from my first18 years in the Assemblies of God Church, you know Sarah Palin’s childhood church.

  128. dm2,

    “His [Gentry’s] novel theory is that granites were not formed through a remelting of sedimentary rocks, . . .”

    —————————————————–

    This is either a purposefully disingenuous or ill-informed statement, both from Gentry’s view and geological science for the following reasons.

    This statement of yours suggests that granite is only formed through the re-melting of sedimentary rock — which even Gentry doesn’t claim.

    Geologist use three broad classifications of granite, (after the chemical composition, size of phenocrysts, phaneritic texture, color, and other details), to classify granite:

    1) I-type — formed from the melting of pre-existing igneous rock.
    2) S-type– formed from the melting of pre-existing sedimentary rock.
    3) M-type– formed from intrusive magma flows.

    There is also A-type, a variation of partially melted I-type, but still intrusive.

    Gentry’s “novel theory” is his suggestion that the concept of uniformitarianism is invalid and that polonium halos prove, in Gentry’s words, “instantaneous creation” of granite.

    It is not that, according to you, “granites were not formed through a remelting of sedimentary rocks.”

    Gentry plainly states this on page nine, in the Overview of his book “Creation’s Tiny Mystery.”

    You should study your own references more, dm2.

  129. Elaine:

    there are women who think the same way as the man in your video above.

    Or do you think only men are capable of thinking those thoughts?

  130. dm2,

    “I did not give a “list” of creation science.”

    You most certainly did @ March 25 — 12:07 pm:

    “Scientific theories of origins with tenets of Intelligent Design are nothing like how you characterize them. They are based upon empirical evidence, like a careful study of the fossil record, the analysis of empirical clocks like radiometric dating or the period of comets, analysis of the measurements of the speed of light, analysis of catastrophic events like Mount St. Helens to understand hydrogeologic sorting and the rate of formation of sedimentary deposits like the Grand Canyon, and the study of polonium halos in granites… to name just a few.”

  131. Byron,

    I’m sorry that I missed your post of March 27 @ 9:59. I don’t subscribe to this blog so sometimes I miss follow-ups:

    ———————————————

    gbk:
    I understand some of the concepts of the paper you linked to, like fissures, uranium decay, the various minerals which constitute granite and some others.

    I do not understand higher level geological concepts because I have never studied geology to an great depth.

    I am politely asking for your take or understanding of this paper in layman’s terms and your opinion as to the level of accuracy of the paper.

    Is it hard to understand that someone might not know enough to know if a scientific paper has merit?

    My perception is that you are a scientist having something to do with this type of thing and would be able to explain the basis of the problem and the reason for the conclusion the paper comes to.

    I am not asking a leading question nor do I have time to undertake a study of geology which would allow me to understand your position and DavidM’s position.

    I am personally a believer in evolution and a 5 billion year old earth but am certainly willing to look at other evidence which is presented.

    If Gentry’s science is wrong, please tell me why you think so in layman’s terms.

    ———————————————-

    First, I would think that my responses in this thread would give credence to what I think of Gentry’s conclusions.

    Second, geology is more complex than most people realize, and I am far from an expert.

    Third, just consider the size of granitic batholiths — the Idaho batholith has a surface area of over 15,000 square miles.

    Fourth, consider that if Gentry is right, that the Idaho batholith would have come into existence within milliseconds (214Po).

    Take some classes, read textbooks. You want an easy answer, I can’t offer it.
    Gentry’s rationale, though, reminds me of this classic cartoon:

    http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2008/09/then-a-miracle-occurs-public-beta/

  132. dm2,

    “You seem to have a hard time communicating.”

    This is laughable, given the source.

    Don’t mistake your own verboseness for what you fault me for.

  133. dm2,

    “I gave you proof that it is science, showing an empirical study by a scientist who published his results in a peer reviewed scientific journal. Any moron can read the paper and see that it is clearly science.”

    I never argued that Gentry’s measurements of halos wasn’t science, just his conclusions — as Gentry expressed in his book.

    You don’t take criticism well, do you?

    You essentially call me a moron, and then take a distractionary tactic of, how did you put it: “[m]ost men these days are rather feminine. They have been emasculated by the feminist movement.”

    Yeah, that has a lot to do with your list of creationary science, doesn’t it?

  134. Nick,

    “Science is NEVER, I repeat NEVER settled.”

    That’s what makes it science, Nick.

    Thanks for your lucid comment.

  135. dm2,

    “For you to make such a statement shows how you have not even taken time to browse his website long enough to just look at titles much less open up the documents to read the research and rebuttals for yourself.”

    ————————-

    Testy, are we? You accuse me of essentially not agreeing.

    I have read what is on Gentry’s site. More specifically, I first read his book in the mid ’90s of the prior century. The wealth of information from his site has not offered new information in the many decades since his book’s publication in 1992.

    Gentry claims there was no evidence of uranium or thorium — the decaying precursors of polonium — in his biotite samples.

    This claim should be contrasted to the fact that many of his samples of biotite came from the Faraday uranium mine in Canada, and the fact that “granite” has one of the highest ppm of uranium (up to 20ppm) of any “rock.”

    Gentry’s claims should also be contrasted with other mechanisms of uranium migration, as discussed in links given above, in extreme temperature and pressure environments.

    Why do you assume, dm2, that your veneer of knowledge should not be questioned?

  136. David insists: “What I want is honest and meaningful acknowledgement that correlation analysis between atmospheric CO2 and temperature rise does not prove man has caused global warming.”

    Unfortunately, science isn’t like Burger King, where you can order it your way.

  137. Byron

    Elaine:

    there are women who think the same way as the man in your video above.

    Or do you think only men are capable of thinking those thoughts?

    *****

    Not according to davidm. He claims that men and women think differently because their brains are different.

    davidm wrote: “I do not understand your logic, but living with many women in my household, I have come to accept that men and women have different brains and think differently.”

    *****

    Byron,

    Why don’t you talk to davidm about the possibility that some men and women may “think the same way?”

  138. Genesis vs. Geology
    The claim that creationism is a science rests above all on the plausibility of the biblical flood
    Stephen Jay Gould
    Sep 1 1982
    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1982/09/genesis-vs-geology/306198/

    Excerpt:
    CREATIONISM reveals its nonscientific character in two ways: its central tenets cannot be tested and its peripheral claims, which can be tested, have been proven false. At its core, the creationist account rests on “singularities”—that is to say, on miracles. The creationist God is not the noble clock winder of Newton and Boyle, who set the laws of nature properly at the beginning of time and then released direct control in full confidence that his initial decisions would require no revision. He is, instead, a constant presence, who suspends his own laws when necessary to make the new or destroy the old. Since science can treat only natural phenomena occurring in a context of invariant natural law, the constant invocation of miracles places creationism in another realm.

    We have already seen how Whitcomb and Morris remove a divine finger from the dike of heaven to flood the earth from their vapor canopy. But the miracles surrounding Noah’s flood do not stop there; two other supernatural assists are required. First, God acted “to gather the animals into the Ark.” (The Bible tells us [Genesis 6:20] that they found their own way.) Second, God intervened to keep the animals “under control during the year of the Flood.” Whitcomb and Morris provide a long disquisition on hibernation and suspect that some divinely ordained state of suspended animation relieved Noah’s small and aged crew of most responsibility for feeding and cleaning (poor Noah himself was 600 years old at the time).

    In candid moments, leading creationists will admit that the miraculous character of origin and destruction precludes a scientific understanding. Morris writes (and Judge Overton quotes): “God was there when it happened. We were not there…. Therefore, we are completely limited to what God has seen fit to tell us, and this information is in His written Word.” Duane Gish, the leading creationist author, says: “We do not know how the Creator created, what processes He used, for He used processes which are not now operating anywhere in the natural universe…. We cannot discover by scientific investigation anything about the creative processes used by God.” When pressed about these quotes, creationists tend to admit that they are purveying religion after all, but then claim that evolution is equally religious. Gish also says: “Creationists have repeatedly stated that neither creation nor evolution is a scientific theory (and each is equally religious).” But as Judge Overton reasoned, if creationists are merely complaining that evolution is religion, then they should be trying to eliminate it from the schools, not struggling to get their own brand of religion into science classrooms as well. And if, instead, they are asserting the validity of their own version of natural history, they must be able to prove, according to the demands of science, that creationism is scientific.

    Scientific claims must be testable; we must, in principle, be able to envision a set of observations that would render them false. Miracles cannot be judged by this criterion, as Whitcomb and Morris have admitted. But is all creationist writing merely about untestable singularities? Are arguments never made in proper scientific form? Creationists do offer some testable statements, and these are amenable to scientific analysis. Why, then, do I continue to claim that creationism isn’t science? Simply because these relatively few statements have been tested and conclusively refuted. Dogmatic assent to disproved claims is not scientific behavior. Scientists are as stubborn as the rest of us, but they must be able to change their minds.

    In “flood geology,” we find our richest source of testable creationist claims. Creationists have been forced into this uncharacteristically vulnerable stance by a troubling fact too well known to be denied: namely, that the geological record of fossils follows a single, invariant order throughout the world. The oldest rocks contain only single-celled creatures; invertebrates dominate later strata, followed by the first fishes, then dinosaurs, and finally large mammals. One might be tempted to take a “liberal,” or allegorical, view of Scripture and identify this sequence with the order of creation in Genesis 1, allowing millions or billions of years for the “days” of Moses. But creationists will admit no such reconciliation. Their fundamentalism is absolute and uncompromising. If Moses said “days,” he meant periods of twenty-four hours, to the second. (Creationist literature is often less charitable to liberal theology than to evolution. As a subject for wrath, nothing matches the enemy within.)

    Since God created with such alacrity, all creatures once must have lived simultaneously on the earth. How, then, did their fossil remains get sorted into an invariable order in the earth’s strata? To resolve this particularly knotty dilemma, creationists invoke Noah’s flood: all creatures were churned together in the great flood and their fossilized succession reflects the order of their settling as the waters receded. But what natural processes would produce such a predictable order from a singular chaos? The testable proposals of “flood geology” have been advanced to explain the causes of this sorting.

    Whitcomb and Morris offer three suggestions. The first—hydrological—holds that denser and more streamlined objects would have descended more rapidly and should populate the bottom strata (in conventional geology, the oldest strata). The second—ecological—envisions a sorting responsive to environment. Denizens of the ocean bottom were overcome by the flood waters first, and should lie in the lower strata; inhabitants of mountaintops postponed their inevitable demise, and now adorn our upper strata. The third—anatomical or functional—argues that certain animals, by their high intelligence or superior mobility, might have struggled successfully for a time, and ended up at the top.

    All three proposals have been proven false. The lower strata abound in delicate, floating creatures, as well as spherical globs. Many oceanic creatures—whales and teleost fishes in particular—appear only in upper strata, well above hordes of terrestrial forms. Clumsy sloths (not to mention hundreds of species of marine invertebrates) are restricted to strata lying well above others that serve as exclusive homes for scores of lithe and nimble small dinosaurs and pterosaurs.

  139. gbk wrote: “This is either a purposefully disingenuous or ill-informed statement, both from Gentry’s view and geological science for the following reasons. This statement of yours suggests that granite is only formed through the re-melting of sedimentary rock — which even Gentry doesn’t claim.”

    It is suggestive of no such thing. The context was about Gentry’s specific samples and his conclusion that all granites containing these 218Po halos are primordial rocks. If all granites are primordial, this clearly leads to the conclusion that none of them would be of secondary origin, such as from the remelting of fossil bearing sedimentary rocks.

    There is debate among creation scientists. Some think Gentry is wrong to conclude all granites primordial. Their creationist model classifies granites using Flood geology, which is very different from Gentry’s theory. Gentry thinks they are confusing interpretations with facts and challenges them for empirical evidence on the matter the same way he challenges the positivist scientists. The context in this scientific debate among creationists concerns granites of secondary origin, particularly those claimed to be the remelting of fossil bearing sedimentary rocks. It also is a criticism of positivist scientists concerning the source location of Gentry’s samples.

    Some quotes from Gentry:
    “In fact, the phase equilibria experiments being cited have nothing to do with the claim that granites are secondary rocks derived from fossil-containing sedimentary rocks. The common man cannot readily see that. But he can understand the fact that if this claim had merit, many others would long ago have employed these procedures to prove this contention by synthesizing granite in the lab, something which thousands of experiments have failed to accomplish.”

    and…

    “In other words, by closely assimilating experimental data with interpretations, and by omitting discussion of the critical, underlying assumptions used to transfer data into conclusions, they leave the impression — which is almost universally accepted as fact — that their interpretations follow logically from the experimental results. The truth is just the opposite. In truth the experimental results disprove their interpretations. It’s the same old game that began in the Garden of Eden, of merging truth with error so closely that few can distinguish between them. The result is a gigantic hoax that perpetuates the ruse of evolution and its vast deception that granites are secondary rocks derived from the melting of fossiliferous sedimentary rocks.”

    As for the “list” of creation science, if you consider that a list, whatever. There are much better lists out there, actual lists. I was just mentioning a few examples off the cuff and focused upon one specific study as an example.

    For what its worth, scientists often disagree about conclusions. One does not have to put forward a correct conclusion in order for it to be considered science. What qualifies as science is applying rational thought to empirical data and drawing conclusions from it. From Gentry’s perspective, his studies and his challenge to the scientific community to falsify his theory by producing a single hand sized piece of granite with a 218Po halo through naturalistic means more directly contradicts the theory of the naturalistic formation of granite than the Copernican disproof of the Ptolemaic system. That Copernican disproof stood for 100 years before Galileo took it up, and it took yet another hundred years before it slowly became embraced as a more accurate model of our solar system. Gentry’s work is only 25 years old. Nobody should be surprised if establishment science ignores it the same way they ignored Copernicus. Such does not make his work unscientific. If you accept the empirical basis of his work, then you should accept that his “creation science” is indeed science, contrary to what our modern court systems have declared. I certainly understand the difficulty of accepting his conclusion. It goes contrary to most of scientific thinking which is based solidly upon the uniformitarian paradigm. But such does not invalidate his research as being unscientific. It is, afterall, scientifically testable. Gentry has put forward a scientific test to falsify his theory. According to the philosopher of science, Karl Popper, and the majority of scientists, that makes Gentry’s work scientific.

  140. gbk wrote: “You don’t take criticism well, do you? You essentially call me a moron…”

    What? I never even implied that you were a moron. I was just pointing out that the scientific nature of Gentry’s work is rather obvious. His interpretations and stated implications of his work obviously are not according to mainstream science, just as the work of Copernicus was not, but Gentry’s work is solid science.

    Why do you try to make the discussion about who does or does not like criticism or rebuttals? Do you think I would be posting in a hostile forum like this if I did not invite rebuttals and criticism? The difficulty for you the critic is to keep your criticism focused upon the science rather than making it personal. When a person starts to question the character of me or Gentry, I realize that the logic of my arguments are too much for them to handle. That is when I start to back away from the discussion. There is not much use in giving a person more information than they can handle.

  141. Elaine M.

    Genesis vs. Geology
    The claim that creationism is a science rests above all on the plausibility of the biblical flood
    Stephen Jay Gould
    Sep 1 1982

    … Since science can treat only natural phenomena occurring in a context of invariant natural law, the constant invocation of miracles places creationism in another realm.
    ===================
    That is from a used book store textbook (dated “1982”) and is a relic of religion:

    Why are we confident of that? We’re confident of that because we have a kind of metaphysical belief that there are laws of nature that are outside time and those laws of nature are causing the outcome of the experiment to be what it is. And laws of nature don’t change in time. They’re outside of time. They act on the system now, they acted on the system in the same way in the past, they will act the same way in a year or a million or a billion years, and so they’ll give the same outcome. So nature will repeat itself and experiments will be repeatable because there are timeless laws of nature.

    But that’s a really weird idea [for scientists] if you think about it because it involves the kind of mystical and metaphysical notion of something that is not physical, something that is not part of the state of the world, something that is not changeable, acting from outside the system to cause things to happen. And, when I think about it, that is kind of a remnant of religion. It is a remnant of the idea that God is outside the system acting on it.

    (If Cosmology Is “Off,” How Can Biology Be “On?”).

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