Skip posted Entry 1541 on October 4, 2005 10:11 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1536


Many readers and posters to PT are well versed in the sheer zaniness of Young Earth Creationism. But even after reading YEC literature for over 10 years, every now and then I’ll come across something that makes me burst out laughing and saying to myself, “No, these guys cannot be serious.”

You really have to exercise some pretzel logic (just to work in a reference to a pretty cool Steely Dan album) to buy into a 6,000 year old earth, and a boat floating around for about a year with 16,000 animals taken care of by 8 people.

A perfect example of this double-jointed mind game came to me in an email from AiG a few days ago containing a link to a PDF pamphlet penned by Ken Ham, AiG’s President.
(http://www.answersingenesis.org/Home/pdf_notice.asp?pdf=/radio/pdf/noahsflood.pdf)

Aside from offering a series of sheerly absurd explanations of how they fit that many animals on board (they took babies), fed them all (a lot of them hibernated, so they didn’t eat), ventilated the ark (without smelling like their heads were shoved into a gorilla’s armpit), and shoveled up all the poop (probably done by undocumented workers, hence not mentioned in Genesis for tax purposes), Ham also wrote a short section regarding the building of the Ark.

On page 4 under the heading “How could Noah Build the Ark,” we read that “there is no reason to believe that they could not [Noah and his sons]… build the Ark between themselves in just a few years.”

Okay, let’s see how…

First we learn that “[t]he physical strength and mental processes of men in Noah’s day was at least as great (quite likely even superior) to our own.” So Noah was stronger and smarter than us, although no physical evidence is offered in support of this claim.

Now things start to get truly loopy.

“if one or two men today can erect a large house in just 12 weeks, how much more could three or four men do in a few years?” Um… three or four men with bulldozers, forklifts, cement mixers and nail guns, or burlap-clad ancients with a mule and a few hammers?

Ah, but wait. AiG has the answer! “…their tools, machines and techniques were not inferior to the ones we have today.” (The sound you just heard was your own eyes snapping open to the size of dinner plates.)

So Noah & Sons had electricity? Internal combustion engines? Lasers and all the other tools we use today? Where is the physical evidence of this?

The truly ironic thing about this is how closely it mimics claims I’ve heard Kent Hovind make in presentations he gave at UC Berkeley during my time in the Bay Area. Hovind once showed a Power Point slide of a clay or stone carving resembling a birdlike thing, and claimed that ancient civilizations may have had aircraft.

I say ironic because AiG regards Hovind as one of those “one-man band” creationists who go around the country spouting “evidences” for creationism so absurd that AiG felt compelled to publish a section on their web page urging supporters to stop using them and making the whole movement about as credible as perpetual motion, alchemy, and Jayson Blair.

The exchange between Hovind and AiG was so entertaining it reminded me of Jane Curtin and Dan Aykroyd doing their Point-Counterpoint bit on the old SNL. I was just waiting for Ham to say, “Kent, you ignorant slut!”

The tract goes even further than just claiming stronger, smarter and better-equipped Ark builders. Subject your sense of reason to this little dandy.

“It is evident from examining the ‘mysteries’ of earlier civilizations that the human race has likely lost just as much (maybe even more) knowledge from before the Flood as it has gained since that time. The idea that ancient generations were more primitive than ours is an evolutionary concept.” (Italics in the original)

Well, I guess if you think Kent Hovind, Leonard Nimoy and Erich von Däniken are authorities on human history, this might make sense. However, if you’ll put the bottle down and take a sober look at real archaeological evidence… um… no.

In the last couple of centuries alone we’ve seen the industrial and information revolutions. We’ve seen the development of aircraft and space travel. Humans have built telescopes that peer to the edges of the universe. We’ve made astonishing medical breakthroughs, and more are certainly in the future. The list could literally go on for miles!

What possible physical evidence does AiG have that any of this stuff existed in a pre-Flood world? Should we be digging in the lower sedimentary layers of the Grand Canyon looking for iPods?

Mozart, Einstein, Dr. Martin Luther King, Ernest Hemingway, Leonardo da Vinci, The B-52s, French Impressionism, Shakespeare…

(If you question the inclusion of The B-52s in the above list you’ve obviously never heard Planet Claire.)

Well, I guess there is one way to see history through AiG’s lens. Just say, “Dude, pass the bong over here.”

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Comment #50973

Posted by steve on October 4, 2005 11:41 PM (e)

What’s Leonard Nimoy have to do with this?

Comment #50974

Posted by KeithB on October 4, 2005 11:48 PM (e)

I think that Jared Diamond in _Guns, Germs and Steel_ makes short work of this. He is very quick to point out that “primitive” folks are every bit as smart - or smarter - than we are in developed countries, but they do/did not have the technology.

Does Ham give any clue as what these “mysteries” are?

The Coso artifact maybe?

Comment #50975

Posted by Reed A. Cartwright on October 4, 2005 11:55 PM (e)

Rock Lobster!

Comment #50976

Posted by Skip on October 4, 2005 11:59 PM (e)

Leonard Nimoy used to host a TV show called Ancient Mysteries that made a lot of silly claims about advanced technologies possessed by ancient civilizations and other nonsense.

Comment #50978

Posted by Brett on October 5, 2005 12:30 AM (e)

Planet Clair? Rock Lobster? Love Shack - that’s where it’s at!

BTW, we shouldn’t forget Nimoy’s sterling work on In Search Of …

Comment #50980

Posted by John Wilkins on October 5, 2005 1:37 AM (e)

Pretzel Logic is one of the best albums of the 70s, on that we agree.

But, although in a very twisted way, Ham is right about one thing - the idea that earlier equals primitive (in the vernacular sense) is an evolutionary noton indeed. In fact, it is prior to Darwin - it is a Lamarckian evolutionary idea. Darwin had no trouble accepting that sometimes later equals less complex or developed. He applied this to his much loved and hated barnacles when he identified vestigial males in some species, after all.

Darwinian evolution allows that things can get worse as well as better. And science and society are, in my opinions, the result of darwinian evolutionary processes. Science in the past 300 years is the technical equivalent of a Cambrian explosion - rapid diversification based on an evolutionary novelty - where it is posited that the Cambrian is due to the evolution of sight or armour, science and technology evolved based on the evolutionary novelites of publishing and experimental testing.

This may, or may not, continue, but one thing is clear - ancient societies were not technologically advanced as we are, and largely this is because they didn’t have any means of publishing their results. When one technologist developed something, it was not passed on beyond the family most of the time. Science evolved when the medieval guild tradition opened up and results were shared.

Comment #50986

Posted by Thomas Palm on October 5, 2005 4:45 AM (e)

But then Nimoy somewhat redeemed himself by appearing in the Simpsons stating:
“Hello. I’m Leonard Nimoy. The following tale of alien encounters is true. And by true, I mean false. It’s all lies. But they’re entertaining lies. And in the end, isn’t that the real truth? The answer is: No.”

Comment #50987

Posted by Zarquon on October 5, 2005 4:54 AM (e)

Intelligent Design:
See the glory of …The Royal Scam

Creationism:
The weekend at the college Didn’t turn out like you planned
The things that pass for knowledge I can’t understand

YEC:
Those days are gone forever, over a long time ago, oh yeah

Comment #50994

Posted by bcpmoon on October 5, 2005 5:36 AM (e)

Don´t forget the B-52´s´ contribution to

Astronomy: There is a moon in the sky (called the Moon)
Paleontology: Rock Lobster (see post #50975)
Chemistry: Hot pants explosion
Biology: Big Bird / Junebug
Physics: Strobe light
Sociology: Channel Z
Religion: Devil in my car
Cooking: Quiche Lorraine
Space Travel: 53 miles west from Venus
Archeology: Mesopotamia

Comment #50999

Posted by KC on October 5, 2005 6:26 AM (e)

Any major dude will tell ya Ham has apparently been reading Chariots of the Gods before bed.

Comment #51002

Posted by Ron Okimoto on October 5, 2005 6:54 AM (e)

It does sound like Dembski could be onto something about space alien designers. They could have put a force field around the Ark to keep it together and they could have put all the animals in stasis so Noah wouldn’t have to bother with all the mess. Would space aliens use a flood to sterilize the planet and start over? Beaming up what you want to save and hitting the earth with a big rock would seem to be more practical, and we even have evidence that big rocks hit the earth from time to time and the biosphere did take quite a beating. Would Genesis survive a space alien assertion?

Comment #51005

Posted by MAJeff on October 5, 2005 7:04 AM (e)

Well, I guess there is one way to see history through AiG’s lens. Just say, “Dude, pass the bong over here.”

Hold on just a second there. Maybe it’s same mushrooms that produced the book of Revelations, but in all my life smoking pot, I’ve never come up with the level of stupid you just laid into. That’s not pot stupid, it goes way beyond ganja-induced idiocy (plus, cheetos would have been mentioned had the bong been in use).

Comment #51010

Posted by derek lactin on October 5, 2005 7:33 AM (e)

I love this piece of vapid special pleading:

“As Woodmorappe points out, no special devices were needed for eight people to care for 16,000 animals. But if they existed, how would these devices be powered? There are all sorts of possibilities. How about by gravity? Wind? And the motions of the Ark? Who knows what technology Noah had available to him.”

This is not ‘bong’ logic. This is ‘anox at birth’ logic.

Comment #51016

Posted by mark on October 5, 2005 8:33 AM (e)

C’mon, now, we all know the ancient people had advanced technology, and the proof is: The Flintstones cartoons on television!

Comment #51026

Posted by NJ on October 5, 2005 9:39 AM (e)

Hey, a Steely Dan inspired anti-creationist thread? I can play, too…

Creationists, in general:
You tell yourself you’re not my kind
Gonna let the world pass by me, the Archbishop gonna sanctify me

Comment #51045

Posted by Arden Chatfield on October 5, 2005 10:51 AM (e)

Where did they get such a ridiculously low figure of 16,000 animals? Do they claim that all the others were able to bob around in the ocean and didn’t need to be on the boat?

Plus, strictly speaking, ‘16,000 animals on the ark’ means just 8,000 species, no?

Oh, BTW:

Hovind once showed a Power Point slide of a clay or stone carving resembling a birdlike thing, and claimed that ancient civilizations may have had aircraft.

This is the truly breathtaking thing about the YEC mindset. They consider all the archaeoogical and geological evidence of a billions-of-years-old earth completely unconvincing, and yet they’re totally open to ‘ancient civilizations’ having airplanes.

Comment #51047

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on October 5, 2005 11:02 AM (e)

Plus, strictly speaking, ‘16,000 animals on the ark’ means just 8,000 species, no?

Species? Gak! Get with the program, man, we’re talking about kinds!

Comment #51054

Posted by Arden Chatfield on October 5, 2005 11:21 AM (e)

Species? Gak! Get with the program, man, we’re talking about kinds!

Hmmm… does ‘kind’ fall somewhere between ‘family’ and ‘genus’?

Or does this all have to be done in the original Hebrew?

Comment #51055

Posted by JSB on October 5, 2005 11:29 AM (e)

If the Flood were only local, how could the waters rise to 20 feet above the mountains (Gen. 7:20)? Water seeks its own level. It could not rise to cover the local mountains while leaving the rest of the world untouched.

I guess Ham has identified a limit to God’s power. Who knew that God could do all those other things, but not this?

Comment #51061

Posted by jpf on October 5, 2005 12:00 PM (e)

Hovind once showed a Power Point slide of a clay or stone carving resembling a birdlike thing, and claimed that ancient civilizations may have had aircraft.

Note the illustration on page 15. Clearly Noah & Sons Construction used pterodactyls to do heavy lifting.

Comment #51062

Posted by Brian Ogilvie on October 5, 2005 12:05 PM (e)

John Wilkins wrote:

This may, or may not, continue, but one thing is clear - ancient societies were not technologically advanced as we are, and largely this is because they didn’t have any means of publishing their results. When one technologist developed something, it was not passed on beyond the family most of the time. Science evolved when the medieval guild tradition opened up and results were shared.

Limited communications is one factor, but a larger one was probably cheap (often forced) labor. M. I. Finley remarks on this in The Ancient Economy: slave societies like ancient Greece and Rome had little incentive to come up with labor-saving devices, especially with a rentier mentality. The rapid spread of water- and wind-powered mills in medieval Europe, or the quick dissemination of mechanical clocks in the fourteenth century, show how technologies could be quickly communicated before print, scientific journals, and other modern means of communication, if people had reason to do so. For that matter, gunpowder weapons are another great example. Guild mentalities (a.k.a. protection of trade secrets, a familiar part of the modern world!) could be overcome with sufficiently large bribes. (Good reads: Jean Gimpel, The Medieval Machine, and Gerhard Dohrn-van Rossum, The History of the Hour.)

The whole idea of progress, by the way, emerged out of the seventeenth-century Scientific Revolution (though it had some 16th-century antecedents) and predates any developed theory of biological evolution. It succeeded the Renaissance notion that the summit of human achievement had been classical antiquity, and that humans should try to emulate the ancients.

Comment #51063

Posted by Carl Zimmer on October 5, 2005 12:07 PM (e)

Just an historical note: the idea that antediluvian humanity was superior to us was a common one for centuries in pre-Enlightenment Europe. The reasoning went like this: Adam, before the fall, had perfect knowledge. After the fall, man’s knowledge of the world began to deteriorate and has reached a pitiful state. This in part was the reason why medieval natural philosophers and physicians did not bother to do original experiments and make original observations of their own. Instead, they trusted Aristotle, Galen, and other Greek writers, because these ancient writers lived so long ago, and were that much more intelligent. Realizing that this was not necessarily so made the scientific revolution possible.

Comment #51070

Posted by CJ O'Brien on October 5, 2005 12:37 PM (e)

Good reads: Jean Gimpel, The Medieval Machine

I love that book.
The factual information content is high, and it’s a very readable bit of scholarly history.
But the thesis, roughly that the present-day industrialized West had reached a technological plateau, was about as poorly timed as an idea can be: 1976, just years before the PC revolution and the dawn of the “Information Age”.

There’s a passage in the conclusion that’s almost painful to read, when you know what’s right around the corner.

Comment #51075

Posted by Pierce R. Butler on October 5, 2005 12:43 PM (e)

We must remember in reading this that Kenneth Ham has an undisclosed conflict of interest in this case. According to the infallible Genesis 9:22-25, after a certain breach of family values by his direct ancestor, his entire line - no exceptions recorded for Ken - have been under a permanent curse (and who could doubt that the efficacy of the immediate post-diluvian period was more potent than that of today?).

Comment #51078

Posted by Arden Chatfield on October 5, 2005 12:50 PM (e)

There’s a passage in the conclusion that’s almost painful to read, when you know what’s right around the corner.

Can you share it, for those of us who don’t own the book?

Was this another Francis Fukuyama moment, where an imprudent historian declared that since everything was perfect nothing big was ever going to happen again?

Comment #51083

Posted by CJ O'Brien on October 5, 2005 1:06 PM (e)

Can you share it, for those of us who don’t own the book?

Was this another Francis Fukuyama moment, where an imprudent historian declared that since everything was perfect nothing big was ever going to happen again?

I’d like to share, but I don’t have my copy to hand. If there’s still discussion this evening on or near the topic, I’ll put it up.

It’s more an attempt to make a parallel between the end of the era he’s discussing (the late middle ages) and the stagnating economies and energy crises of the Seventies. He confidently (and, yes, imprudently) asserts that no new major technologies can be expected to arrest the slow decline of civilization.

Comment #51089

Posted by Steviepinhead on October 5, 2005 1:18 PM (e)

I’m with MAJeff: Ham and Hovind are way dimmer than the dimmest bong-head! At least–back in the day, heh heh–when we were sitting around smoking and elaborating amusingly ridiculous scenarios, we retained some vague concept that the vast majority of these Mind-Shattering New Concepts should Not Be Tried At Home!

Or, even if that crucial caveat eluded us at the time, we generally recalled it later–once we regained our capacity for independent movement–before doing something Really Prejudicially Stupid.

Thus, this key ability to discriminate between (literal) pipedreams and valid brainstorms is one that most (surviving) bong-heads seem to have, and one which–for all the reasons we have aired here before–dyed-in-the-wool boneheads like Ham and Hovind lack.

So, semi-seriously, let’s not unnecessarily constrict our “Big Tent” to leave our substance-sampling brethren on the outside for the mere sake of taking a free poke at the YEC-a-toids.

Comment #51097

Posted by Bob Davis on October 5, 2005 1:35 PM (e)

There are a lot of oral traditions from before the bible that never got written down into the bible. Like the story of Lilith. So there may well be an oral tradition of mechanistic inventions from before Noah’s time that none of us know about but has gotten itself handed down for many centuries to this one Ken Ham person. Thus he, and he alone, could have the truth about the technologies used for the Ark. Either that or he’s making it up.

Maybe he can also tell us about where the bricks from the Tower of Babel landed when it was destroyed. I’ve always wanted to know.

a modest experiment

Comment #51098

Posted by worm eater on October 5, 2005 1:37 PM (e)

Here’s one example: more than 200 species of dogs exist today, from the miniature poodle to the St. Bernard — all of which have descended from one original dog “kind.” All other types of animals — cat kind, horse kind, cow kind, etc. — have similarly been naturally and selectively bred to achieve the wonderful variation in species that we have today. God “programmed” this variety into the genetic code of all animal kinds — even human kind! God also made it impossible for the basic “kinds” of animals to breed and reproduce with each other. For example, cats and dogs cannot breed to make a new type of creature. This is by God’s design, and it is one fact that makes evolution impossible.

I’m new to this game, so someone will have to explain the rules to me. New species can develop over time through natural and selective breeding. But it is different species cannot cross-breed. Ergo, evolution is impossible. Did I miss something?

Comment #51100

Posted by Skip on October 5, 2005 1:41 PM (e)

Well, I take pride in the fact that my post at least demonstrated one more group that does not wish to be associated with creationists: stoners.

And who could blame them?

Comment #51102

Posted by Arden Chatfield on October 5, 2005 1:43 PM (e)

I’m new to this game, so someone will have to explain the rules to me. New species can develop over time through natural and selective breeding. But it is different species cannot cross-breed. Ergo, evolution is impossible. Did I miss something?

Sadly, you didn’t miss a thing.

Comment #51105

Posted by Arden Chatfield on October 5, 2005 1:46 PM (e)

I’m new to this game, so someone will have to explain the rules to me. New species can develop over time through natural and selective breeding. But it is different species cannot cross-breed. Ergo, evolution is impossible. Did I miss something?

You what’s really sad? As impossibly retarded as that argument is, it’s probably plagiarized. He thought it was good enough to copy from someone else.

Comment #51108

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on October 5, 2005 1:59 PM (e)

worm eater wrote:

I’m new to this game, so someone will have to explain the rules to me. New species can develop over time through natural and selective breeding. But it is different species cannot cross-breed. Ergo, evolution is impossible. Did I miss something?

It’s just slightly more complicated than that. If two species can inter-breed (horses & donkeys, lions & tigers, whales & dolphins, camels & llamas) this might be considered evidence that these species are the same “kind”. There is considerable leeway in where an individual creationist will switch over from accomodation to their pre-conceived worldview to complete denial of evidence.

“Kind” is left deliberately undefined to allow maximum apologetic flexibility.

Comment #51116

Posted by Flint on October 5, 2005 2:37 PM (e)

I’m new to this game, so someone will have to explain the rules to me.

Sure. The rules are, there is a finite number of kinds, all created through the poof mechanism, all at once, which is all there ever were nor every shall be. So the only place where “evolution” can be shoehorned into this model is if one lineage of a known (and therefore possible) kind somehow morphs into another known kind. New kinds are simply not possible. And since this morphing is not observed, it does not happen. But we already knew that, because evolution isn’t possible.

Comment #51129

Posted by Steviepinhead on October 5, 2005 3:23 PM (e)

Skip, there ya go, and [makes power fist] right on, man [/power fist]! Now Steely Dan would be proud of ya…

Cough, hack, whoa dude! (Unlike creationism,) that’s some good sh*t!

(Gee, I hope Skip actually IS a “man,” man…)

Comment #51131

Posted by sciguy on October 5, 2005 3:27 PM (e)

Question, Where did all of the extra water come from for the flood? Where did it go? Or did the “Intelligent Agent” suspend the Law of Conservation of Mass for 30 day and 30 nights.

We shure could use a suspension here in the west this winter for hydro production

Comment #51132

Posted by Arne Langsetmo on October 5, 2005 3:32 PM (e)

Strangely enough, I do believe that in fact it is quite possible, perhaps even probable, that the mental processes of a fictional character such as Noah might be superior to Ken Ham’s…..

Cheers,

Comment #51137

Posted by jeffw on October 5, 2005 3:49 PM (e)

Question, Where did all of the extra water come from for the flood? Where did it go? Or did the “Intelligent Agent” suspend the Law of Conservation of Mass for 30 day and 30 nights.

I like the story about the Rainbow that God gave us as a “sign” that he would never destroy the earth in a huge Flood again (I guess it was sort-of an apology for wiping out alot of innocent people, such as children & the unborn.) Presumably, there were no rainbows before the Flood. I guess the laws of light diffraction worked differently back then.

Comment #51156

Posted by Pierre Stromberg on October 5, 2005 5:22 PM (e)

I’m only just catching up to this thread but yes, Ken Ham and quite a few young-earth creationists really do believe that ancient man possessed advanced technology.

And the Coso Artifact was indeed featured on Leonard Nimoy’s “In Search Of…”

There is a remarkable intersection between new-age UFO oriented nutbars and some young-earth creationists.

When I still ran Pacific Northwest Skeptics, I would get some pretty irate email from creationists. They were quite upset that I pointed out their common association with Erich Von Daniken/UFO nutbars.

Pierre

Comment #51157

Posted by brians on October 5, 2005 5:23 PM (e)

Question, Where did all of the extra water come from for the flood? Where did it go? Or did the “Intelligent Agent” suspend the Law of Conservation of Mass for 30 day and 30 nights.

Sadly that is exactly the argument. When you can invoke miracles there is no fallacy in saying that God created enough water to cover the earth, then simply removed it at the end of the flood.

I always wanted to know what happened with all of the predator/prey relationships after the flood. I guess all of the carnivores dieted while the prey population reached sustainable levels? Oh, yeah, that’s right – miracles – I guess God said “Thou shalt not be hungry nor require sustenance”

Comment #51168

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 5, 2005 6:01 PM (e)

So, semi-seriously, let’s not unnecessarily constrict our “Big Tent” to leave our substance-sampling brethren on the outside for the mere sake of taking a free poke at the YEC-a-toids.

“Dave, is that you?”

Comment #51170

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 5, 2005 6:04 PM (e)

There is a remarkable intersection between new-age UFO oriented nutbars and some young-earth creationists.

The YECs are also all over the “cryptozoology” thingie — Bigfoot, Nessie, Mkolo Mkembe. IIRC, “Dr” Hovind was invited to addres some Cryptozoology Conference somewhere or another.

And of course, there is Philip Johnson and his HIV-denial.

Apparently, being a nutter in one area makes it lots easier to be nutty in other areas, too.

Comment #51197

Posted by Skip on October 5, 2005 8:27 PM (e)

Steveiepinhead,

Yes, I think it’s safe to say from a biological perspective I am a man. But then again there was that period in the early to mid nineties when I simply went mad for musical theater……and the obligatory androgynous Robert Smith/The Cure phase in the mid 80s……and then I went through my Tallulah Bankhead period…”Dah’ling!”

…I’ll just stop here.

Comment #51199

Posted by CJ O'Brien on October 5, 2005 8:30 PM (e)

The quotation I mentioned earlier, from Jean Gimpel’s The Medieval Machine, is actually from the Preface, not the conclusion, although the conclusion makes the same comparisons and prognostications, in longer form. The preface is dated June 1975. Gimpel says:

“…Our own last two decades demonstrate that today Western technological society is revealing much the same pattern of history as its medieval predecessor.
We are witnessing a sharp arrest in technological impetus. No more fundamental innovations are likely to be introduced to change the structure of our society. Only improvements in the field of preexisting innovations are to be expected. Like every previous civilization, we have reached a technological plateau.”

Comment #51200

Posted by BlueMako on October 5, 2005 8:30 PM (e)

In my experience, the YECs limit themselves to sea/lake monsters, surviving dinosaurs/pterosaurs, and their ilk. In other words, creatures they (in their minds) can use as propaganda…

Comment #51201

Posted by Steviepinhead on October 5, 2005 8:40 PM (e)

Skip riposted:

Steveiepinhead,

Yes, I think it’s safe to say from a biological perspective I am a man. But then again there was that period in the early to mid nineties when I simply went mad for musical theater…

…and the obligatory androgynous Robert Smith/The Cure phase in the mid 80s…

…and then I went through my Tallulah Bankhead period…”Dah’ling!”

…I’ll just stop here.

Boy, Skip–

(Hmmm, maybe I better find a gender-free starter.)

Golly, Skip, I was just attempting to do an impression of the difficulty a, like, rilly stoned dude–er, person–might have upon suddenly realizing that “man” might have both a gender-specific meaning and a broader one, and feeling awkward and confused over whether he might have stonily committed some sort of PC offense–not that stoner dude’s ever entirely sure what that even means, and then–

you had to go and take my rather tepid humor and run off with it in a much more sophisticated direction, and leave my stoner dude looking even more culturally-challenged than he did at first grunt…

I stand abashed.

And so will stoner dude. Once he can stand at all, that is.

Comment #51262

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on October 6, 2005 8:28 AM (e)

Lenny wrote:

The YECs are also all over the “cryptozoology” thingie —- Bigfoot, Nessie, Mkolo Mkembe. IIRC, “Dr” Hovind was invited to addres some Cryptozoology Conference somewhere or another.

That was the Southern Crypto Conference
on June 18, 2005 in Conroe, TX where his talk was advertised as:

#Dr. Kent Hovind (Living Dinosaurs/Dinosaurs in the Bible): He will present information presented concerning dinosaurs in the Bible reflecting his extensive study in the field of cryptozoology and that there may still be some living dinosaurs in remote corners of the world.

Whether this was an invited lecture or whether he signed up on his own, I don’t know.

Comment #51264

Posted by Fernmonkey on October 6, 2005 8:40 AM (e)

You can’t deny it’s a lot more fun than ID’s preoccupation with bacterial bottoms.

Comment #51270

Posted by Deano on October 6, 2005 9:39 AM (e)

“I always wanted to know what happened with all of the predator/prey relationships after the flood. I guess all of the carnivores dieted while the prey population reached sustainable levels?”

- how about plants? doesn’t seem to me to be much for the animals to eat - was the water freshwater or salt? - either freshwater or saltwater creatures would have had to die out? Is the answer is to resort to yet another miracle? Wouldn’t an Intelligent Designer god find a more elegant way to wipe out a bunch of humans. A flood seems to result in a lot of collateral damage, put Noah and the boys to a lot of work; and need a lot of creative thinking in the miracle department - wouldn’t a bit a germ warfare be a bit more specific?
Next time Lordy ..‘Write it all in a letter to yourself’

Comment #51330

Posted by brians on October 6, 2005 5:45 PM (e)

Wouldn’t an Intelligent Designer god find a more elegant way to wipe out a bunch of humans.

Aside from the overly complicated miracles, wouldn’t the overall design of an intelligent designer be more - well - intelligent? The interdependencies and intricacies of the earth’s biosphere are analagous to software “spaghetti”. Small changes here result in large changes there with system collapse as a potential outcome. Why give one species the ability to so thoroughly threaten the existance of others? Although this obviously applies to humans it is not limited to them - think about the appearance of the first green plants dumping loads of O2 into the atmosphere. Also, what is one to make of the asteroid impact that ended the Cretaceous Period? Did the design get so balled up that the designer’s only solution was to throw a rock at it and start over? One would think that a truly intelligent design would be much more robust.
You go back, Jack, do it again …

Comment #51340

Posted by Skip on October 6, 2005 6:34 PM (e)

Well, as long as we’re on this Steely Dan lyrics kick, I’d like to paraphrase from their very cool song, Black Friday, from Katy Lied:

When the verdict comes, I’m going to stand down by the door,
and watch the DI as they dive from the fourteenth floor!

Comment #51374

Posted by Tom on October 6, 2005 10:55 PM (e)

My, oh my. How common it is for 20th century humanity to point to the accumulation of technological advancements and conclude we are more intelligent than our ancestors. Tell you what. Let’s take away all of our technology, machinery, etc., and start from zero with nothing but the clothes on our backs. Oops, wait, our ancestors had to figure that out to. With only raw materials, could we duplicate the achievements of the Mayan Indians who calculated the solar year with greater accuracy than anyone else until aided with modern technology? Could we figure out how to build walls like the Incas? Or pyramids like the Egyptians? What about Stonehenge or Easter Island? Today, as Ian Malcom put it in Jurassic Park, we are standing on the shoulders of geniuses, but just because we can buy an I-pod doesn’t mean we are.

Comment #51402

Posted by guthrie on October 7, 2005 7:28 AM (e)

It is indeed common to conclude that we are more intelligent, but I dont see many people here doing it.
You seem to be trying to turn the argument around, to saying that we arent geniuses. Whereas teh simple point is that there is no real evidence to suggest that we are any more ore less intelligent overall than our ancestors.

Comment #51403

Posted by Revelation on October 7, 2005 7:32 AM (e)

This just in: The mayans and incas and whomever else, also stood on the shoulders of their ancestors.

Comment #51506

Posted by Skip on October 7, 2005 6:50 PM (e)

I probably didn’t do such a great job of it, but the main thing I wanted to draw attention to was Ham’s claim that “…their tools, machines and techniques were not inferior to the ones we have today.”

This is the classical crank claim about ancient civilizations having technology as sophisticated as ours that can be seen on ratings-hungry cranky TV shows, and at UFO gatherings. If AiG wants to go around claiming to be “scientific”, and then still spout nonsense like this, well, they can’t have it both ways.

In fact, I considered including a qualifier along the lines of basically expressing my view that intelligence is pretty dependent on environment. In a jungle, when it comes to mere survival, chimps are probably more intelligent than we are, at least in the vernacular. Maybe ‘smarter’ is the better term.

I could probably figure out how to fish for termites with a twig too, but I’d probably not enjoy eating them as much as a chimp.

Comment #51515

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on October 7, 2005 7:34 PM (e)

In fact, I considered including a qualifier along the lines of basically expressing my view that intelligence is pretty dependent on environment. In a jungle, when it comes to mere survival, chimps are probably more intelligent than we are, at least in the vernacular. Maybe ‘smarter’ is the better term.

I could probably figure out how to fish for termites with a twig too, but I’d probably not enjoy eating them as much as a chimp.

Heck, place a modern human in the wilds somewhere, and see how long he can survive with just his wits.

Think modern humans are so much smarter than ancient hominids? I’ll be happy to hand you a chunk of obsidian and ask you to make me a handaxe. I promise I’ll wipe up all the blood when you’re finished.

Comment #51520

Posted by kid on October 7, 2005 8:18 PM (e)

Hovind sorta indirectly says: there may still be some living dinosaurs in remote corners of the world.

HOW COOL WOULD THAT BE? And then if we could find the Floresiensis folks, they could ride on the baby tyrannosauruses backs, and it would be like the circus. Or something. Holy crap, that would be cool, and I’m not even kidding.

And Terror-Dactyls! YES! PTERODACTYLS COULD PUT OUT THE WILDFIRES WITH WATER CARRIED IN THEIR BEAKS.

I tell ya, we’ve got to find some Mkolos and that damned Ark ASAP.

Comment #51524

Posted by the pro from dover on October 7, 2005 8:44 PM (e)

i was under the impression that there still are dinosaurs in remote corners of the world (such as central park) where fearful natives talk about them in hushed words that sound like “birds”.

Comment #51547

Posted by Deano on October 8, 2005 8:54 AM (e)

What did God think he was playing at (more from the Ken Ham pamphlet):

“Why did God destroy the earth that He had made?
-And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination
of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.- (Genesis 6:5)
This verse speaks for itself. Every human being
on the face of the earth, except Noah, his sons and their wives, refused to turn away from sin, violence and corruption. The result was God’s judgment. As harsh as the destruction was, no living person was without excuse.
God also used the Flood to separate and to purify those who believed in Him from those who didn’t. Throughout history, and throughout
the Bible, this cycle has taken place time after time. Separation and purification. Judgment
and redemption.”

-seems like God was doing an experiment in selective breeding - wiped out all the sinners and non-believers - however here we are today! so I guess a few suspect genes must have slipped through - what a waste of time. However he did say sorry:

“There’s more. If the Flood were local, God would have repeatedly broken His promise never to send such a Flood again (God put a rainbow in the sky as a covenant between God and man and the animals that He would never repeat such an event). There have been huge “local” floods in recent times (in Bangladesh, for example)—but never another global Flood that killed all life on the land.”

Cool - God has given us the rainbow to promise he’s not going to wipe all of us out with a flood. No he’s going to do that with an apocalypse - when oh when is going to learn that wiping out humanity doesn’t achieve anything?

“You just go back, Jack, and do it again”

Comment #51564

Posted by Jeffrey Worthington on October 8, 2005 1:29 PM (e)

I do not think that ‘primitive’ man was any more or less imaginative then we are. How many of us can make stone tools without consulting a manual? How many of us know how to hunt with the said weopons? How many of us can predict the weather without consulting the 5:00 news? How many of us can go to sea without a compass? We still are not completely sure how the Egyptians constructed the pyramids (although we are certain they didn,t use power tools.) We have only recently found out how Rome made cement. Evolution is fact, however, what I learned in anthropology 101 was that evolution is not linear. There have been many cultural twist and turns that modern Homo Sapians have taken to get to were we are at today. As for Noah. I wonder how the marsupials just happened to get to Australia and no were else? (Opossum exempted)

Comment #51636

Posted by Hiya'll on October 9, 2005 12:55 AM (e)

“I say ironic because AiG regards Hovind as one of those “one-man band” creationists who go around the country spouting “evidences” for creationism so absurd that AiG felt compelled to publish a section on their web page urging supporters to stop using them and making the whole movement about as credible as perpetual motion, alchemy, and Jayson Blair.”

Whose Jason Blair?

Comment #52261

Posted by Kate on October 14, 2005 4:52 AM (e)

Obviously, Noah killed two birds (presumably unclean ones) with one stone: he built a fuel cell fed with animal dung.

What seems especially silly is trying to explain the building of the ark in terms of human capabilities - albeit capabilities enhanced by Atlantis or whatever - when it’s only necessary to say it was a miracle. If nothing else less maths is required.