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Creationists and mt. st. helens / fossil denial, help

  1. Feb 5, 2007 #1
    Usually when arguing with a creationist, it always comes to Mt. St. Helens (a volcano that erupted 20 years ago, yet inspection of the lava would assume that it is almost a million years old)... I'm sure you've heard of it (if not it's on pretty much every creationist website).

    they also argue that fossils can be created pretty quickly and dated to more than they actually are, radiometry is not to be trusted etc.

    I don't know enough about this subject to have a counter argument and haven't found any website that explains mt. st helens, the internet is flooded with the creationist point of view.

    (maybe this would go in the earth sciences section?)

    anyway, what should I look into, and how is mt st helens explainable?

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 5, 2007 #2


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    I am not sure why the lava isn't at least a million years old. It is not like it was created when St. Helens erupted.
    Lava exists inside the mountain and under the crust long before any eruption. Why would anyone expect it to be anything other then the same age as the rest of the earth.
  4. Feb 5, 2007 #3


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    I recall a debunking of the St. Helens argument used by YECs in one of the clips posted by Extantdodo, on youtube. All sources are cited at the end of the video clip. It's probably one of these two:

    I believe I've also read something on the talkorigins.org site that debunks some of the YEC arguments against radiometric dating.

    Also, see point 14 on page 25 here, under the Appendix section titled "Common Misconceptions...". But to really understand the point there better, you should probably read the entire article.
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  5. Feb 5, 2007 #4


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    Actually, the argon formed from decay of K-39 escapes pretty easily from the molten magma. Once the lava solidifies after the eruption, any Ar-40 produced by the decay is trapped in the rock (high diffusivity in liquid, very low diffusivity in the solid), providing a good measure of the time of solidification.
  6. Feb 5, 2007 #5
    thanks again!

    when I'm stomped by the question I always get an "aha!" look from the creationist as if me not knowing the answer means there is no answer...
  7. Feb 5, 2007 #6
    ugh, but why did we have to evolve into such smug pieces of crap.

    I can't explain the sadness/anger that videos like these make me feel.

    If you ever get the opportunity to go to one of these type of lectures as I have when a friend was trying to save my soul, please resist your impulse not to go. It's much more fun to actually show up and raise your hand every couple of minutes and point out how pretty much every argument is fundamentally flawed... you probably won't win over anyone or change any minds... but it's fun as hell.
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  8. Feb 5, 2007 #7


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    I will have to watch the Youtube videos when I get home (Blocked here at work)

    I went to a get together put on by my old landlord (she was a born again christian) and someone there started to talk to me about how the canyons at Mt. St. Helens took only like a week to form and said that was proof of a young earth/universe (<10000 years). Well, I could not keep to my self and started to explain things to them, (the distances between the galaxies and such. After about 5 minutes I was all alone and everyone else was just kind of looking at me funny like I was from another planet or something. So, I will not be attending any more of those kind of gatherings again.
  9. Feb 7, 2007 #8
    Comedy at it's finest, I wish I got the chance, but fundementalism is about as popular as fox hunting in this country, few people are members of fundementalist churches and those that are are generally not creationists anyway, is this on any comedy channels yet? I kind of stopped the tape when he said now Mr Hovind you don't understand, by then I got the picture, I'll have to watch them again later when I stop smiling wryly enough to take it all "seriously".

    Creationism is a wonderful way of explaining the world by resorting to fantasy, and the entertainment value of it should never be under estimated.
  10. Feb 7, 2007 #9
    I guess it is funny in a way. I'm amazed though at how many non-fundamentalists still don't believe or aren't convinced about evolution... I know some who are on the fence, but now don't know because you have creationist "doctors" and "scientists" spreading lies. ... the guy on the video is obviously insane (literally, not just a form of speech), and I doubt a lot of people wouldn't see through that. but a lot of these so called creation scientists look and sound legit.

    p.s: you really should watch the whole thing for the entertainment value. I watched all of them lol. especially when he gets to the parts where he explains where all the water that covered Noah's arc came from: you see, the earth was covered by a thick layer of ice back then... it surrounded and enclosed the planet, orbiting it outside our atmosphere. apparently this layer of ice increased the pressure down here, which somehow helped human beings live to be 900 years old! how did we not see it it all makes sense now!
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2007
  11. Feb 7, 2007 #10


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    That guy is Kent Hovind. He is an idol to millions of Americans, and owns a creationist theme park which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors.

    Or did...I'm not sure about things since he was convicted of tax evasion (last month) to the tune of millions, and was sentenced to ten years imprisonment. It's very possible, he now also carries martyr-appeal with his fanbase.
  12. Feb 8, 2007 #11
    To answer your question this is where many creationist belive:
    1. The lava is recirculated over many years. The actual plates themselves slides slowly into the sea and eventually back into the earth core which they do. The older plates are eventually melted and mix with the rest of the molten rock.
    2. There are many fossiles found in multiple layers of rocks so they believe that the fossil cannot be two different ages.
    3. They believe St. Helens shows the quickness of how an environment changes.
    It is best just to be open and polite and if you do not agree then politely give your disagreements and why? If you do not have accurate data or analysis then they will tear you to shreads. For more info on St Helens see the www.usgs.gov
  13. Feb 8, 2007 #12
    I liked it when Hovind went on the Ali G show. Ali G said "do you eat bananas?"
    "yes" said Mr Hovind.
    "well that proves that you came from a monkey"
    "that's ridiculous, monkeys are constantly having babies, have you ever heard of a monkey that gave birth to a human being?"

    Ahh, ridiculous, cracks me up!
  14. Feb 8, 2007 #13
    That awesome
  15. Feb 8, 2007 #14


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    I've always found this funny.

    Creationist Geologic Time Scale: an attack strategy for the sciences

    1,500 years. Pre-Flood "Geology." Laws of science invalid.

    (2) Adam and Eve, talking snakes, etc.

    (3) World's waters are in great Venus-like atmosphere or in ground
    water. No rain, no ocean basins.

    (4) Radiometric dating invalid; speed of light changed.

    (5) Humans, dinosaurs, mammals, the "works," all live together in
    peace. Both lions and Tyranosaurus Rex are vegetarians in Eden before
    the "fall."

    (6) Human life spans up to 900 years.

    (7) Battle of Satan and angels produces craters on moon.
    Flood Year: Flood "Geology" - ONE (?) year of normal (?) "science"

    Rain - 40 days

    (8) Big animals run to mountain tops. Not a single dumb human caught
    in all the early flood sediments. All dinosaurs washed off only in
    middle flood-time.

  16. Feb 10, 2007 #15
    And then to think that as a little child, I had to absorb that all.
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