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A Non-Debate with a Young Earth Creationist

by Brian Dunning, Oct 30 2008

So there I was, 30,000 feet without a parachute.

I was flying to North Manchester, Indiana to speak at Manchester College, where I gave my introductory talk on critical thinking called Here Be Dragons and had a smashing good time. The fellow sitting next to me on the plane was a friendly family man, with his entire family in tow, including at least three kids (it was a bit hard to keep count). We got to talking, and he learned all about my podcast Skeptoid and the subject of my talk. His name was Bill Morgan, and I found him to be personable, intelligent, well read and with a good general knowledge level. By trade he is a mechanical engineer for the Navy.

And then he asked it: “What are your thoughts on the creation of the Earth?”

Now I’d already noticed that his wife was reading and marking a well-used Bible, occasionally sharing passages with him and the kids, so I knew right away to take my own advice and not have this conversation at all. As much as you’d like to hear me tell the tale of a great creation debate, I don’t think it’s ever appropriate to argue a man’s religious beliefs in front of his children, so I told him straight out I do not have religious beliefs but would not discuss it further. He got out a crowbar and tried harder, but that didn’t work either. Then he used an air drill and charges, but I kept my secrets buried deep. Finally he gave up, and drifted instead into telling me more of his own background.

“Have you ever heard of a Randi … Bob Randi, Jim Randi, something like that?”

“Oh sure,” I told him, “James Randi, I know him well. He wrote the foreword to one of my books.” And we talked a little bit about the Million Dollar Challenge and one or two other things.

“How about Shermer,” he asked. “Bill Shermer, Steve Shermer, one of those. You might not have heard of him.”

“Michael Shermer,” I corrected. “I know him well too. He wrote the foreword to another of my books.” By now his wife was paying close attention, and I very much had the feeling of a gazelle being circled by lions asking probing questions.

“I once moderated a debate between Michael Shermer and Kent Hovind,” he said, “at UC Irvine in 2004.”

Really! Well, what are the chances, me of all people being seated next to him of all people. He gave me his 17-page tract, one page of which I’ve reproduced here for you, full of the most staggering scientific ignorance one can imagine. It was the worst of the tired old arguments so poorly framed that even most Young Earthers don’t try to make them any more: Piltdown Man, the Peppered Moths, “no transitional fossils”, the second law of thermodynamics, science requires starting assumptions based on faith. Nothing we haven’t heard before.

I marvel that he gave me this document. Obviously, in Bill’s experience, he knows the scientific answers to all the claims in his document. He’s heard them a hundred times and he’s smart enough to understand them. He simply believes differently. There would be no point in having a conversation with me; he would hear the same answers from me that he’s heard a hundred times before. I’ve heard his claims a hundred times. Does he suppose that if I’m told one more time that seashells on top of Mt. Everest are proof of Noah’s flood, that I’ll suddenly abandon all reason and seek only superstitious explanations for our world?

Bill and I had a pleasant conversation about all sorts of skeptical topics (religion aside). Apart from the obvious, his skeptical credentials are impeccable. Bill is the opposite of a raving lunatic, or a paranoid delusional conspiracy theorist. He’s the perfect example of how a smart person can believe weird things.

But his beliefs are not entirely harmless. Thumbing through his document, I think of all the career opportunities closed to people with his beliefs. I think of all the contributions that cannot be. When you deny cosmology, by extension you must deny relativity and mathematics. When you deny biology, you have to deny organic chemistry, and thus mathematics again. You can’t contribute to nuclear physics if you deny radiometric dating. It’s hard to make contributions to economics if you deny its foundational premises like game theory and number theory that also describe processes in natural selection. You can’t contribute to geology or chemistry if you think fossilization happens in less than 6,000 years. You can’t contribute to the emerging power of genetic algorithms in computing if you refuse to accept its guiding principle of biological evolution. Sciences may be distinct, but they are all interlinked and cross dependent at some level. How is it possible to agree that some people occasionally do win the lottery even though the chances of any given win are practically zero, but disagree that the occasional rare mutation will be beneficial? You have to be able to say that sometimes 2 + 2 = 4, except for those times when I think it should be 5.

Bill’s web site is Feel free to check it out.

53 Responses to “A Non-Debate with a Young Earth Creationist”

  1. > There would be no point in having
    > a conversation with me

    How about asking questions like this one: “what kind of evidence would make you change your mind on transitional fossils?”

    Methinks old-style debates are good up to a point, because they inevitably become the talking equivalent of medieval jousting.

    Belief-changing challenges may provide the additional information that is otherwise likely to be missed, by the audience and perhaps even by some of the debaters.

    For example, the fact that some people argue on pure faith. And if that’s the case, it is easy to show what an oxymoron their position is: out there trying to convince others, even if there is absolutely nothing that will ever make them change their own certainties.

  2. Mike B says:

    As a scientist, there was a point in my teenage years when I began to recognize the inconsistencies with religious teachings and science. Religion taught us there was an omnipotent (yet invisible) being that could never be physically realized. Science taught logic and a rigorous method for physically testing the world. I chose to become the forever skeptic and adhere to the rules of logical reasoning and skepticism.

    What factors influence our end decision and how can we affect those outside influences? The church has been thinking these same thoughts for quite a long time and we see their efforts come to fruition in educational ministries of “Sunday schools” and youth groups.

    I have been thinking about establishing a local organization that offers programs on critical thinking, science and skepticism to youth, teachers, and schools. I’m still in the early stages of research and determining if there is a need for such programs in the community.

    I apologize for such a disjoint post – I could have written a 10-page post easily.

  3. Anatoly says:

    I certainly feel more stupid after reading Bill’s website. Inanity such as that should come with a parental warning.

  4. mike says:

    I think you underestimate the human capacity for compartmentalization in your last paragraph. Some of your examples of “you can’t contribute to X while denying Y” are reasonable, and your point is taken in general, but some of your examples are a real stretch. I would imagine it’s pretty easy to be willfully ignorant of biology and cosmology but still be an expert in math, for instance. But people are much better at believing contradictory things than you give them credit for.

  5. Doubting Foo says:

    Wow…I think my head would have exploded sitting next to him. You are more patient than I am!!!

  6. Joe says:

    More blind leading the blind. I’d love to see Bill debate any of the skeptologists in front of his followers. Of course there are plenty of people who will just assume what he is saying is correct.

  7. Harknights says:

    The best part was

    “Water has to evolve.”

    That’s good stuff.

  8. Devil's Advocate says:

    When religion is inculcated in children it sets up a sort of belief template that can extend into anything else they may learn as they age. Once a child has been taught that it’s OK to believe on faith, and where the tenets of that faith include all sorts of highly unlikely events (life after death, burning bushes, immaculate conception, etc., etc.), and further, that having faith in such notions is of great emotional value (credo consolans), you’ve implanted in that child the necessary mental or intellectual template for believing all manner of nonsense.

    Skeptics have either never had that ‘template’ implanted, or have mnanaged to overcome it as adults, and are thus less likely to believe anything on faith. Many of the paranormal topics have direct connections to religion, in fact, endorse much of what religion teaches. For religious believers, a ‘ghost’ may be taken as evidence that the ‘spirit’ survives corporeal death. ‘Ghosts’ fit the template and are more easily believed.

    Dunning was wise to understand the futility of arguing against young earth creationism with an advocate. Any argument or discussion with any hope of one changing the other’s mind must begin with some measure of commonality between the two participants as regards the basic components of the argument. Dunning proceeds on basic science principles and held findings. Mr. Morgan proceeds on religious dogma along with the aforementioned mental template allowing just about anything to be held as true, sans evidence, on faith alone. Furthermore, within the fundamentalist wing, it is considered a sign of spiritual strength, a sign of great and honorable faith, to believe *despite* all evidence to the contrary.

    Handed a plastic spoon and asked to move a mountain, Dunning properly declined. When you run into such faith-based willful ignorance as expressed by the Bill Morgans of the world, the best thing to do is simply smile and walk away.

  9. Alan Mead says:

    I’m glad it was a “non-debate.” I think those are the best kind with true believers.

  10. Ian says:

    I agree with mike(comment #4): you said he was an engineer, which requires a lot of math (at least to become one), and often understandings of various other inner-workings of the world. But the critical thinking part is not taught in engineering, and sometimes you end up with completely disjointed people.

    You can do something even though you believe completely contradictory things. We evolved to work this way!

  11. Holly says:

    My best friend has a B.S. in Astrophysics, but is religious. She’s moving to agnostic, but still reads the bible for advice. For example, she read the bible for its advice on sex before marriage, and came to the conclusion that “God doesn’t really care about it.” I don’t know which part(s) she read to come up with this conclusion but it must have been New Testament. I have the sneaking suspicion that people smart enough for advanced “hard” science careers might be the same way, a la carte and barely religious anymore.

  12. Kirsten says:

    Airplanes are such great places for encounters like the one you’ve described. You are stuck in a crowded, claustrophobia inducing space designed to hopefully make you forget for a set period of time that you are hurtling 30,000 feet above the earth in a tin can with Dyson vacuum cleaner motors strapped to it. This inevitably either leads to completely ignoring ones neighbor, or striking up a conversation that you would never otherwise get into because you know that you will either not likely run into them again or you’ll die in a spectacular firey crash and not likely run into them again because you don’t believe in heaven or hell.

    I had a similar conversation with a Mormon gentleman a few years ago, and wrote about it in my blog:

  13. Wendy says:

    WOAH. Bill’s website says:

    “What ever you decide to believe on the subject of Creation Vs. Evolution, I hope you base your belief upon facts and observation.”

    Consider it done! Lol

  14. Mark says:

    “Feel free to check it out.”

    Am I wrong if I don’t check it out, even though I feel free to? Honestly, I don’t think I have the stomach for it today.

    Just as some people cherry-pick the parts of the bible they choose to adhere to, I find I’m better off limiting my exposure to online woo.

  15. Frank says:

    Here’s a few questions for Bill. During the debate between Dr. Shermer and Mr. Hovind, did you learn anything new? How did you incorporate that into your 17 page document? Has that document changed over the years? How did it change and what caused you to change it? I personally like the example of the transitional form predicted by archeologists and found during the Dover trial.

  16. Baal of Confusion says:

    While I understand the resons for not debating in this situation, I would like to add that I am forever grateful that when I went to college, there were people who were willing to confront me directly on my creationist beliefs. If not for those sometimes rather heated debates, it probably would have taken me much longer to reach a reasonable understanding of evolution, and indeed science and skepticism in general.

  17. oldebabe says:

    re: Devil’s Advocate: “Skeptics have either never had that template implanted or have managed to overcome it as adults, and are thus less likely…” While it is insidious to inculcate supernatural beliefs into young minds, making these kinds of either/or statements overlooks those who may have had the ‘template’ implanted at an early age, but without any prompting (I, at 8 years of age in a Baptist home)start to doubt what is being said due to evidence to the contrary, which then leads to questioning, which is the beginning of skepticism and, I think, eventually, toward critical thinking as a goal. One doesn’t have to wait to be an adult to see hypocrisy…

    The desire/search for evidence, skepticism, etc., and why it seems natural and self-evident to one person and not to another, is hard to fathom. It seems that the belief/faith/feeling thing is a kind of self-administered brain-washing, and may have nothing to do with whether there is or isn’t a ‘prime mover’. It seems more like an excuse to abnegate one’s responsibility to accept or direct the realities of one’s life, and places ‘blame’ elsewhere. And attempting to enlighten that kind of person is exasperating, and a waste of time, as Dunning rightly surmised.

  18. UtahUnicorn says:

    I’m surprised to read Kirsten’s comment. Doesn’t she know the difference between Mormon and a Jehovah’s Witness?
    (“I had a similar conversation with a Mormon gentleman a few years ago, and wrote about it in my blog:“)

  19. [...] young-earth creationism — omnologos @ 20:28:02 (comment to Brian Dunning’s “A Non-Debate with a Young Earth Creationist” entry in the new skepticblog blog) [...] He gave me his 17-page tract [...] It was the worst [...]

  20. Tiki Mon says:

    My favorite illustration of our problem comes from “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court”. The Boss carefully sets up and wins a logical debate, yet his audience think THEY won… because they cannot distinguish good arguments from bad.

    At its root, that’s the problem. Creationists use different – and flawed – tools to evaluate information. You cannot win, because they don’t know when they’re beaten.

    Much is said about finding bridges between religion and science. I really don’t believe one can bridge such fundamental differences.

  21. Walkiria says:

    Mike said “But people are much better at believing contradictory things than you give them credit for.”

    I totally agree, and it’s what I thought as I read the last paragraph of the blog entry. Tt’s really fundamental to the beliefs of most of the modern religious people we all know. I have a friend which I never talk religion with because I know he’s religious beliefs won’t go beyond being beliefs. He actually doesn’t have any theories or answers to the most basic questions, and he knows that. I just don’t know if I could live like that.

    Baal of Confusion said “If not for those sometimes rather heated debates, it probably would have taken me much longer to reach a reasonable understanding of evolution, and indeed science and skepticism in general.”

    I’m just like that. I’ve always thought critically, but for most of my adolescence I got lazy. For me, thinking if God existed or not was a big discussion that I just didn’t want to have with myself. I thought that it would totally change the way I was and how I interacted with the world. And I think there are alot of people with this struggle, they just don’t want to take that step. They realize that they believe evolution but still believe there is a God. That’s how people go on living, they just ignore the disonance.

    So they can actually be brilliant mathematicians and still be religious, people are funny that way.

  22. Julian says:

    “I’m surprised to read Kirsten’s comment. Doesn’t she know the difference between Mormon and a Jehovah’s Witness?” -UtahUnicorn

    They both wear suits and come knocking when you’re entertaining real guests. I can understand the mix-up.

  23. Dr. T says:

    “…I think of all the career opportunities closed to people with his beliefs.”

    In my experience, almost no careers are denied to devout Christian creationists, including biology. I know medical researchers who are creationists. About the only career denied to a creationist is paleontology. Even some geologists are creationists. They rationalize that billion year old rocks just appear to be old due to the actions of God six thousand years ago.

    Strangely enough, our stupid personnel laws prevent us from asking scientists whether they engage in magical thinking or believe that the earth and its inhabitants were created less than 7,000 years ago. I would never hire a scientist who was also a creationist or a believer in feng shui or a user of magic crystals.

  24. Erik says:

    I, too, just checked out this guy’s website. I started reading the “Ten Quick Reasons Why Creation is a Better Explaination than Evolution”. Then the logical fallacies and factual errors started to hurt my brain. It’s so wrong, it’s funny. Read his difinition of the 2nd Law of Thermo for a good laugh.

  25. “It’s hard to make contributions to economics if you deny its foundational premises like game theory and number theory that also describe processes in natural selection.”

    This should at least be qualified, “capitalist economics”. It has had enough curve-fitting applied to qualify as a science, I suppose, though I don’t even see that borne out by predictive theory. For comparison, see ParEcon. So “foundational” seems a stretch.

    – John (does my facebook link work?)

  26. llewelly says:

    Didn’t Bob Barker of Free thought radio write a book on what one should say to change the mind of a creationist?

  27. GL says:

    @Tiki Mon: You also can’t win because they know with certainty that they can’t lose.

  28. It’s things like this that make me fear that my head may ACTUALLY explode from the ignorance around me! Dr. Plait has a great picture for instances like this: “The Stupid! It burns!” :)

  29. Frank says:

    Another question comes to mind: “How many transitional fossils would you have to see to convince you that this argument is false?”

  30. Aaron W. Johnson says:

    I just finished perusing Bill’s website. Nothing like old recycled arguments and claims from a book that was composed over a period of several hundred years by several different authors and then edited by a council of the religious to fulfill both religious and political goals to support ones argument. I prefer data derived through testable, repeatable, and potentially falsifiable hypotheses. The saddest part about Bill’s site and so many other websites, blogs, and television specials, is that the combination of high-quality visual production with charismatic presenters makes it difficult for the non-scientist to peel through the layers of malarkey and get to the nuts and bolts of the arguments being presented. We face an uphill battle.

  31. April says:

    Good grief. I’m much too much of a hot-headed person. I can’t stand listening to those beliefs; they’re too ludicrous to me. I realize that they feel the same about my non-belief, but damn. It’s so frustrating to me to know that many intelligent people can hold onto beliefs that are obviously based on no real fact whatsoever.

    My husband and I were discussing Sarah Palin, to go on a slightly related tangent, and her YEC beliefs came into play. We have a friend staying with us, who’s as fundamental as you can get without attending church every time there’s a service, and he said something like, “Sorry to disappoint.” I boggled a little. He’s quite intelligent, religious beliefs aside, and so it completely astounds me that he believes in the YEC idea. This is one area in which I wisely kept my mouth shut. I’m not so certain I could’ve done as you did and still carried on a conversation. Immature perhaps, but there it is nonetheless. I cannot abide what I see as chosen ignorance (e.g. stupidity), and this is blatantly that, IMO. Kudos to you.

  32. BaS says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with Maurizio(#1)

    I usually have phrased it “What would it take to convince you that you’re wrong?” but actually #1’s version “what kind of evidence would make you change your mind” is even better!

  33. BillWhite36 says:

    In comment #23, Dr. T. says, “Even some geologists are creationists. They rationalize that billion year old rocks just appear to be old due to the actions of God six thousand years ago.”
    It’s been a long time, but the last time I got caught up in a discussion with a creationist, he trotted out that statement. I asked incredulously, “Why on Earth would He do that?” He whispered almost conspiratorially, “To fool us into thinking they were older.” I didn’t have an answer to that, so I went back to work. He rattled on for a while, but I ignored him and he eventually drifted back to his own desk.
    Now I have an answer, but I hope never to get into such a discussion again. I’d like to ask: “If God put those rocks and fossils there and made them appear to be millions or billions of years old to fool us, how do you dare not believe they are that old? If God intended you to believe they are that old, then you ought to believe they are that old.”
    I suppose they’d have some kind of nonsensical answer to that. A bit of doggerel my grandmother used to quote:
    Convince a man against his will,
    And he’s of the same opinion still.

  34. Jim Brock says:

    reminds me of the discussions I have with the anthropogenic global warming believers. The key to scientific theories is the ability to project results. According to the black boxes, we should be roasting in Hell by now. Instead we have had ten years of global cooling.

    No wonder I am skeptical.


  35. Cat Girl says:

    I really admire you for staying calm. I think you handled this situation exactly right. We should all realize that people are much more likely to get defensive and stop listening when you get upset or angry. The best thing to do is remain calm and really know what you’re talking about. It might not change their mind immediately, but some of the things you said in a calm way will stick with them and they’ll start to think about it. This is useful for any type of debate.

    One thing that may be helpful in a situation like this is to ask the person what they think the theory of evolution actually is. Then you can point out that scientist don’t actually think that a giraffe ever gave birth to a fern, or the humans descended from monkeys.

    P.S. It never hurts to mention Gregor Mendel, who was the ‘father of modern genetics’ and a great biologist at the same time as being a monk. Also, too many people (on both sides) think that scientist=atheist, but the two are not mutually exclusive.

  36. Tanizaki says:

    “Much is said about finding bridges between religion and science. I really don’t believe one can bridge such fundamental differences.”

    A number of comments have expressed similar sentiments, but this post was the most direct. I think such a position is wrong. Most scientists throughout history, and I suspect even many today, had/have religious beliefs. Copernicus, Newton, Kepler and Ibn Sahl might be some names you know. One of the first proponents of the Big Bang was a Catholic priest. And as Cat Girl noted, Mendel was a monk.

    What Bill and his ilk are concerned with is preserving Biblical literalism, which is not compatible with observed science. However, it is ham-fisted to say that religion and science are somehow in conflict. To the contrary, at least for me, part of my love of science is that I view it as an act of worship.

  37. Rob says:

    I think you just met Sagan’s William Buckley…

  38. Sher says:

    I once made the mistake of accepting the Watch Tower magazine offered by a JW at the door because I find them amusing mainly (the magazine that is). Well, this old guy must’ve put me on his prospect list because he kept coming back . . .

    Fast forward a year and my daughter had a life-threatening event which necessitated receiving many units of blood. The next time this old guy came to the door I said that I had a hard time with a religion that would’ve allowed my daughter to die rather than get a blood transfusion. He looked at me blankly for a second, smiled and said, “Well, that shouldn’t stop you from reading the bible.” I was stunned and didn’t say anything really.

    The next time he came to my door I politely told him to take me off their list and not come back again.

  39. Peter says:

    I like your classy ways of not insulting a man in front of his children Brian. Me I probably would’ve done what I always do when I come across a true believer. I would have a three hour debate about how religion is a waste of time. I like debating about religion, guess it’s just in my nature to be argumentative towards incompetence.

  40. RickK says:

    I’ve been in an email debate (thru Yahoo!Answers) with a 15-year-old creationist. It seemed worth the effort at first, but the kid is beyond hope. He ignores any facts, and won’t engage in logical arguments that show the fallacy of a Young Earth belief. He keeps coming back to “show me a monkey turning in to a man today and I’ll believe you.” *sigh*

    It didn’t help that the kid types in internet chatroom pseudo-English which renders him nearly illiterate.

    There is an element in our culture that is proudly, aggressively ignorant.

  41. RickK says:

    Actually, one question I’d love to pose to Bill Morgan:

    “What’s the ancient Hebrew word for ‘billion'”?

    Since there wasn’t one, it’s a fair followup question to ask how Bill and his ilk can be so arrogant as to believe the words of a few fallible humans with limited vocabularies and to ignore God’s direct evidence in the rocks and living things around us.

  42. theCardiffGiant says:

    I checked out his site and looked over the list of 219 cells in the human body which ends with the question “Do you honestly not see design in any of these cells?”

    And honestly, the only way the functions of those cells might be evidence of creation is if the creator were working in a much older laboratory and needed to 219+ design ways to protect his creation from infection, or keep it from falling over, or have fibrous kidney tissue unrelated to filtration.

    That’s creation — that’s tinkering.

  43. Jim Brock says:

    The Jehovah’s Witnesses believe it is their duty to spread the gospel to every corner of the world, so that “the end may come”. I respect the sincerity of these people; it is their lack of intellectual honesty that bothers me. I have had numerous discussions with Witnesses about their interpretation of the Bible, and alwys came away with the feeling that they not only couldn’t think but that they couldn’t read.

    Not to mention that the Bible was written by many sources and probably had some funny stuff added along the way.

  44. sonic says:

    I don’t believe your claim that belief would limit career opportunities is based on the best evidence.
    On a different note-
    While I may agree that this persons ‘how it all started’ myth is odd or hard to believe, do you know of a ‘how it all started myth’ that isn’t?

  45. Kim says:

    @41 “Since there wasn’t one, it’s a fair followup question to ask how Bill and his ilk can be so arrogant as to believe the words of a few fallible humans with limited vocabularies and to ignore God’s direct evidence in the rocks and living things around us.”

    I have been wondering this very thing myself. Do they have a pat answer for it yet?

  46. jimboforreason says:

    I was at my son’s soccer game last fall, enjoying the beautiful game. He goes to an American school outside of London, England. It is a fantastic school (ivy covered walls, flowere beds, pea gravel walkways) with fantastic students. Many of the American families there are from Texas…working for BP, Shell, other oil companies. I got to talking to one of the Dads (from Texas) on the touchline. He is an engineer. He asked me what I did. “I write and teach about science and science understanding.” He pressed me a bit. “Do you write about creationism?” I told him I had…as a science educator in Kentucky I wrote several scathing articles about the new creation museum in Kentucky and how it has become the de facto science center for the Christian homeschool movement in my state. After explaining this to him he said, “Well, I am one of those creationists.” Whoops. After pulling my foot out of my mouth, looking out at the soccer pitch, I asked, “Do we have two goals or one?”

  47. Forrest says:


    Why are we in all of these ridiculous evolution debates today? It is simple in a very complex way. Most christian peoples ARE brainwashed to believe the way they do and I’m told approximately 45% of all christians becamse so as a child, (Or maybe born-again christians).

    In any case, I am a person who was a FULL ON born-again christian brainwashed into believing, praying, etcetera until I was 32. I fully realize WHY and how all of these wars against evolution happen. Mostly it is because the MINISTERS, Priests, etc, know that if they are found out, the churches will simply implode and they will be out of ways to earn megabucks. Sound far fetched? Well it isn’t.

    If you are one of those who believe that you simply can’t change the mind of the bible believer, think again. There are now THOUSANDS of atheists who used to be fully into christianity as myself who like you get frustrated and blown away at the backlash and resistance to listen to facts and reason. But you CAN do it and you must to help save the minds of our youth from utter ignorance and stunting them from knowing the truth about life.


    One of the most powerful things we can do today is let the WORLD KNOW that the Old Testament is proven not to be true beyond any shadow of doubt. As a fundamentalist christian you are taught that the bible is holy, it is infallible, and there is NO WAY to prove it untrue. In fact, many people think that the bible almost if not totally equals “God”. Today’s skeptic may think, we have already done this, true… but we get off track and we let the ministers gain vast ground by not sticking to the point we are not gaining much ground.

    TEACH PEOPLE THAT THE BIBLE IS PROVEN TO BE FALSE BEYOND ANY REASONABLE DOUBT THROUGH SCIENCE. IT IS POINTLESS TO ARGUE EVOLUTION WITH THESE PEOPLE WITHOUT DISPROVING THE BIBLE FIRST! These christians who are fundamentalist and are pushing the agenda to take evolution out of the schools ALSO believe that if the bible is in err ANYWHERE, then they MUST question the entire bible. This IS the way they believe. This is a Call to ALL SCIENTISTS to stick to the point of proving through proof positive science, that the bible isn’t true.



    THE GOOD NEWS? If you listen to me, and I certainly hope Richard Dawkins gets a hold of this and Michael Schermer, you will find that today’s technology IS NOW AVAILABLE to prove the bible has one major story that is false through Genetics. That is Noah and the Ark.

    I know that most of you realize that there are millions of reasons why Noah and the Ark simply could not have happened, but I feel the strongest argument is yet to be had about this story…. genetics.



    First, know the difference between the age of the Earth and the Age of humans on the Earth according to the bible. There are many fundamentalists who do not believe the Earth is 6,ooo years old and they don’t think this matters. BUT THEY ALL BELIEVE that Adam and Eve were created by God and MILLIONS OF THEM KNOW that the bible is dated by listing the ages and lines of persons there. This means that Noah and the Ark, for BOTH FUNDAMENTALISTS that believe the Earth is 6,000 years and for those who believe the Earth is much older, TOOK PLACE ABOUT 4,350 YEARS AGO. I REPEAT. ALL of the charlatans and brainwashed that you debate CANNOT REFUTE that the Noah and the Ark Story took place 4,350 years ago. DO NOT LET THIS GO. REPEAT THIS OVER AND OVER AGAIN UNTIL YOU GET IT!

    THE ANSWER AGAIN IS GENETICS! HOW? Today we have the ability to see where people came from through genetic testing. We know for instance that Oprah is from the western part of Africa.


    SO? you ask? Let me tell you. It is very simple. Get genetic testing done comparing ABORIGINES IN AUSTRALIA to WHITES IN THE UNITED STATES. What will you find? That there is NO WAY we are related to these aboriginal peoples even TEN THOUSAND YEARS AGO, even TWENTY THOUSAND YEARS AGO. Perhaps it would be thirty or even forty thousand years ago.

    Now I am sure there are those of you out there who may know wealthy persons in the cause that can GET THIS WORK DONE and DO IT QUICKLY. But even without it THIS WILL TERRORIZE THE FUNDAMENTALIST CHARLATANS AND LIARS! They simply WILL NOT be able to get out of this one. Only the most severely brainwashed will still adhere to their “faith”.

    Hope you enjoyed this…. now get off your lazy …. and GET TO WORK!

    Look, my point is,

  48. Forrest says:

    Arrrgh I left stuff out.

    NOAH. Noah entered the ark at 600 years old. He left the Ark at 601. If that isn’t incredible enough, he had three sons and three daughters-in-law that repopulated the WHOLE EARTH. Okay, that being said, you must realize that the Australian aborigines have been isolated from the other humans on the Earth for TENS OF THOUSANDS of years, perhaps 20 to even 40 thousand years. Which means that our connection to them FAR pre-dates the Noah and the Ark Story.

    (Just for fun, try wondering what happened to Noah’s funeral? After all this would have taken place about 4,050 years ago and he was the father of all mankind).

    Okay, Once most persons ARE convinced that science is correct about Noah and their ministers are frankly, nothing but a bunch of liars, you will end the battle of evolution versus creationism (or the red herring intelligent design) Whether they still with to believe in an intelligent designer or not truly becomes mute, at least with this issue.


    I don’t know mind if you have my e-mail. It is

  49. Forrest says:

    DAMN please forgive my spelling and typos… of course I meant moot and who knows, I am writing fast and not really paying much attention.

  50. John Vezina says:

    The inability of believers to accept evidence boggles my mind even today. It boggles my mind even though I also was once a believer. I don’t have an answer to this interesting question, but perhaps I might give a few clues as to why creationists can’t accept the evidence.

    1. They are aware of contradictions in their faith, but believe that further study or discoveries will vindicate their faith.
    2. They are told that prophecy declares that in these times many deceivers will arise trying to destroy the faith so that even the “elite” will be at risk. They believe that somehow modern scientific arguments are part of that deception and they just aren’t smart enough to see through the deception, hence they fall back on the ‘word of God.’
    3. Modern science is too complex to understand. Who has access to actual fossils or the resources to duplicate physics experiment at home? The only way is to go through the education system past the graduate Ph.D. level and then MAYBE you might get to see for yourself.
    4. The ‘good’ in Christianity is so very very good, but it is mixed in with rubbish. It’s hard to separate the two and still keep some sort of spirituality going.
    5. I once feared that if I let go of the Bible and it’s teachings, that I would no longer be a ‘moral’ person. I now know that I don’t need a God to be moral. I assume that other people have or had the same fear.

    I could go on and on but I want to keep this as short as possible.

    The bottom line is that I was once brainwashed too but I pulled my own self up with my own boot straps and dug very deeply into it in order to finally and forever shed the slavery of religion.

    By the way, the comments by Forrest (47, 48, 49) that Christians will ‘get it’ is probably not likely. I agree with his approach that proving the Bible false, or partly false is an essential first step. But I don’t like his writing style as it seems just as extreme as fanatical evangelists.

  51. George Stearns says:

    Bridging the bible and science is not hard, fundamentalism though is a different matter. When I was young I was a Catholic believer, now I am an atheist. The bible can be believed as mans explanation for the world as understood at the time. In general, it is not a bad attempt, even though over time the explanations have become more clear. God is mans explanation for those things that he does not understand. The stories in the bible were the equivalent our classrooms today. Most of the time we teach our students what we have learned but not how the things we know have been found out. As a result they take our word for it without developing the critical skills it takes to question other things they are told. When some of the things they learn as young people are fantastic, it appeals to their imaginations and just becomes one more (fact) in their life, who can blame them. It becomes a real problem because it sets a pattern which most carry through life.

  52. CharlesP says:

    I just have to chime in (several months late to the original discussion so it probably won’t be read, but I feel compelled anyway) that I consider myself one of those people who were deprived of career opportunities because of the beliefs I was raised in. I bought into the whole YEC thing for years, having never attended a public school (church schools all the way) until one semester of community college which didn’t even include a science course.

    It wasn’t until I was nearly 30, with a third kid on the way, that I really started looking at the evidence for age of the universe and evolution. What had been a somewhat skeptical and tentative christianity for the past decade became a theistic evolution worldview, a deistic evolution, then agnostic, and now atheist. The problem for me was that because of my parent’s belief I was kept in schools which didn’t present any of this information and though I had a reasonable level of mathematical/scientific thinking ability it was never a path I could really explore in my youth when all those school opportunities are open to you. I’m a self taught programmer for a living these days so I may have retained some of the brain function, but, while in theory I could go back to school and change careers, for the time being, I need to do the work that feeds the family.

    Many, most even, of my friends (and all of my family) are still religious, and I don’t consider all of them to be idiots, but it does pain me to hear them talk about literal interpretations of biblical “history”. I’m now struggling with how to handle this in regards to my children (and my quite religious wife).

  53. Tom says:

    Nice to find all of Brian’s posts, and to peruse them.

    The link to Bill’s web site is broken.

    Too bad….