Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Debunking Creationism 301 (Advanced) - Lesson 1

  1. Mar 7, 2004 #1
    Christian creationists put the Earth's age and the age of the Universe between 6-10,000 years old, with 6,000 being the most popularly stated number.

    The stars in the Universe (except for our Sun) are MILLIONS AND BILLIONS of LIGHT YEARS away from us. How we can possibly be able to either see or just scientifically detect ANY stars?

    Please explain how this obvious contradition is scientifically possible with reference to any empirical evidence.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 7, 2004 #2
    1. Because they are wrong.
    2. Because they are speaking about civilization on earth and not
    the physical age of the earth much less the universe though some
    will deny that.
    3. Because it is a folk tale, myth, oral tradition of creation that
    all cultures have in their background that has been taken
    seriously and literally because it is written in a book that they
    consider holy and inspired by God and thus must be literally
    true. (because if they doubt any of it, all of it comes into
    doubt, so shallow is their faith and understanding.)
  4. Mar 11, 2004 #3
  5. Mar 11, 2004 #4


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    How can we see stars that have burned out millions of years ago?
  6. Mar 11, 2004 #5

    Your kidding right?
  7. Mar 11, 2004 #6
    Ummmm...did your little brother hack your password?
  8. Mar 11, 2004 #7


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    I think what he means is the following: if creationists were right, not only would we see light from stars that would need to have been emitted much before the universe was created, but also light from stars that were never there.

    In order for that to happen, a god would need to include, in his creation plan, light coming towards us containing the depiction of the demise of these stars.

    This way, such god would be using quite a contrived way of helping us believe.
  9. Mar 11, 2004 #8


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    One of the problems with creationism is that it's not scientifically falsifiable. It's easy to create ad hoc explanations for every observation in a system that does not require completeness -- that is, any observation can be explained by 'god made it that way'. This means that creationism is worthless as a scientific theory and that it cannot be debunked.

    This suggests that the appropriate tactic for debunking creationism is not to demonstrate that it is incorrect, but to demonstrate that it is superfluous.
  10. Mar 11, 2004 #9
    Exactly...I was telling someone the other day about how to combat pseudo-science. You can't match evidence for evidence, because they can just make stuff up, and you spend all your time chasing down each individual claim. You have to attack the true foundation, which is superstition and willful ignorance.
  11. Mar 28, 2004 #10

    You hit it on the head there. In religion the "believers", follow blindly the messages that they seem to recieve from their god/gods. They call this faith. And to them without faith you are doomed for you cannot follow the god/gods. but any smart person soon realises that these "messages" are either coincidences or are made up but the founder.
  12. Mar 30, 2004 #11

    Unfortunately due to my comp. being on the fritz I was unable to continue my last post so here goes.

    Those with "faith" seem to believe that everything good that happens to them is given by their god. If something bad happens to them it is either a test by thier god, or by some sort of bad god (Just a thought, what if some of the good stuff was a test from the bad god). Not to mention the fact that either something was 'meant to be' or coincidence, with the religious the line between the two is less than paper thin and i believe these religious people get many a paper cut as they traipse their way back and forth over this line. And I have even seen evidence of some religious people saying that they had gotten a vision of two people and that they were meant to be, but those people broke up 2 years later. The only question I pose is what do we do about these people, I mean do we ignore them and their craziness? Do we prove them wrong? (This may be hard to do as proving religion wrong is about as easy as counting and grouping all the atomic material in the universe) What does anyone suggest? :confused:
  13. Mar 30, 2004 #12
    The problem with this approach is that you can use it against any view. Even legitimate ones. How will you ever know if a view is legitimate unless you look at the sited evidence 1 by 1? It's easy to assume based on prior experience that there is a biased foundation of belief but if the one guy with the real proof ever showed up, this approach wouldn't filter him out. I've seen this approach by you in the forums and I have to say it is one of the most frustrating things to me. No one will argue that this might not be a practical approach for the average religious wacko. But I've seen the line get blurry. Hell even I have been the victim of this approach and I think faith is for the birds. I think careful judgement has to be used in order to use this approach. It's too easy to be intellectually lazy and just assume anyone that disagrees with you has a biased foundation of belief.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2004
  14. Mar 31, 2004 #13
    Funny that!

    Isn't it funny that everyone who has posted here has posted against religion. There has yet to be one statement for religion. So I have come to some conclusions. Nobody who is on here is truly religious. Nobody is willing to back up religion. Or it just plain can't be backed.
  15. Apr 1, 2004 #14
    I don't think this is really a religious vs non-religious issue even though historically the conflicts would seem to indicate otherwise. Many scientists are deeply religious, but they don't treat the bible as a textbook on cosmology (besides, there are plenty of other creationisms around other than that one).

    NateTG has made a very profound statement a few posts up about creationism not being not scientifically falsifiable. On another forum, the debate rages, but the evolutionists are having a hard time despite presenting better scientific arguments because the other side refuses to accept them.

    You don't want to fight the creationism 'fire' with fire. It's rather like trying to tell someone that an opinion is wrong.

    of course, we don't have to have this conflict that has gone on for so long.
    thomas henry huxley (darwin's bulldog) maintained that true reason could never quarrel with true religion - just as reason is a medium for the revelation of truth so is religion a medium for the revelation of morality:

    "between science [true reason] and religion as spiritual aspiration or religion as humility, or religion as morality, he saw no conflict ..."

    in friendship,
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2004
  16. Apr 1, 2004 #15


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    There is a special issue of Scientific American out right now, on a magazine rack near you. It has a painting of a T. Rex on the cover. Young-Earth creationists have the problem of explaining how all those species of dinosaurs came and went over just the first fraction of the last 10,000 or so years.

    Old-Earth creationists might allow that there were dinosaurs tens of millions of years ago. But a problem for them is that there were clearly carnivorous dinosaurs, going by evidence such as shape of teeth. Biblical literalists like to say that prior to Adam and Eve there was no death, no pain, no suffering. But if a carnivorous predator like T. Rex didn't inflict pain on other living things, nothing has done so!

    So do the Old-Earth creationists have to maintain that Adam and Eve lived even earlier than the earliest carnivorous dinosaurs?

    The same issue has an article on a find of 25-million-year-old amber. The photos in the article show all kinds of creeping, crawling, stinging, biting, blood-sucking little vermin. Again, not a very nice thing for the Lord to have put on Earth before there was a sinful Adam and Eve for Him to blame it all on.
  17. Apr 1, 2004 #16
    There are also creationist who don't believe in the literal intepretation of the bible, that God created the universe and all that it contains and science is simply discovering God's methods of creation, God's mind. I have often said here at the PF's; "God said let there be light. Big Bang!"
  18. Apr 1, 2004 #17
    well just to be equitable(?), here is a fascinating(?) article (posted by a creationist on another forum) from Creation Magazine that conclusively shows how Noah's Ark could have not only carried all (including dinosaurs) that was needed to start life all over again after the flood:


    The article deals with space requirements, feeding, excrement and produces a resounding conclusion as well. Enjoy(?)

    in friendship,
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2004
  19. Apr 1, 2004 #18


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    What would you guys say to someone that refuses to believe evolution by chance mutation and natural selection alone is feasible and that intelligent intervention of some sort is the only alternative. I've effectively shown the fallacy of Dr. Murray Eden's calculations of the mathematical improbability of single-step cell construction and of the existence of hemoglobin. I've also pointed that, even if chance mutation and natural selection are improbable, it doesn't make any competing hypothesis any more probably, as Eden and his followers seem to think. This guy is very obstinate and insists that since evolution can't be proven, we must treat it the same as any other theory. Should I just give up?
  20. Apr 1, 2004 #19


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Where did you show it? Some sort of publication?
  21. Apr 1, 2004 #20


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    Nothing that prestigious. Just another forum. A decidely non-scientific forum.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook