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Tue Nov 20, 2012, 04:57 AM

Slate: Why Doesn't Florida Senator Marco Rubio Know How Old the Earth Is?

Another GOP "rising star". Glad to know they're doing something about the image of their party as flat-Earth ignoramuses.

...not.


http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2012/11/19/florida_senator_marco_rubio_the_age_of_the_earth_is_a_great_mystery.html

I'm not a scientist, man. I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that's a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States. I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow. I'm not a scientist. I don't think I'm qualified to answer a question like that. At the end of the day, I think there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created and I think this is a country where people should have the opportunity to teach them all. I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says. Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I'm not sure we'll ever be able to answer that. It's one of the great mysteries.


It's "one of the great mysteries!" The "jury's still out!"


No, dude, it isn't.

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Reply Slate: Why Doesn't Florida Senator Marco Rubio Know How Old the Earth Is? (Original post)
Warren DeMontague Nov 2012 OP
coalition_unwilling Nov 2012 #1
davidn3600 Nov 2012 #3
coalition_unwilling Nov 2012 #6
peace frog Nov 2012 #11
griloco Nov 2012 #21
BadgerKid Nov 2012 #28
tclambert Nov 2012 #14
jerseyjack Nov 2012 #24
Jim__ Nov 2012 #20
coalition_unwilling Nov 2012 #40
Nevernose Nov 2012 #58
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2012 #2
A HERETIC I AM Nov 2012 #13
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2012 #32
A HERETIC I AM Nov 2012 #35
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2012 #37
Spider Jerusalem Nov 2012 #4
coalition_unwilling Nov 2012 #7
brokechris Nov 2012 #10
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2012 #33
Posteritatis Nov 2012 #57
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2012 #59
dotymed Nov 2012 #16
darkangel218 Nov 2012 #5
agentS Nov 2012 #8
Warren DeMontague Nov 2012 #9
Bernardo de La Paz Nov 2012 #12
rizlaplus Nov 2012 #15
Ghost of Tom Joad Nov 2012 #17
NNN0LHI Nov 2012 #18
jsr Nov 2012 #23
Marmitist Nov 2012 #19
exboyfil Nov 2012 #76
jerseyjack Nov 2012 #22
rickyhall Nov 2012 #25
tridim Nov 2012 #26
Baitball Blogger Nov 2012 #27
GaYellowDawg Nov 2012 #29
hfojvt Nov 2012 #30
Warren DeMontague Nov 2012 #34
hfojvt Nov 2012 #38
Warren DeMontague Nov 2012 #39
KittyWampus Nov 2012 #41
Warren DeMontague Nov 2012 #42
TheKentuckian Nov 2012 #63
Warren DeMontague Nov 2012 #68
TheKentuckian Nov 2012 #71
Warren DeMontague Nov 2012 #73
hfojvt Nov 2012 #45
Warren DeMontague Nov 2012 #47
hfojvt Nov 2012 #48
Warren DeMontague Nov 2012 #49
hfojvt Nov 2012 #50
Warren DeMontague Nov 2012 #51
hfojvt Nov 2012 #52
Warren DeMontague Nov 2012 #53
hfojvt Nov 2012 #64
Warren DeMontague Nov 2012 #69
retread Nov 2012 #72
Warren DeMontague Nov 2012 #80
jsmirman Nov 2012 #54
Warren DeMontague Nov 2012 #60
hfojvt Nov 2012 #61
jsmirman Nov 2012 #62
hfojvt Nov 2012 #65
jsmirman Nov 2012 #66
hfojvt Nov 2012 #70
jsmirman Nov 2012 #74
hfojvt Nov 2012 #75
jsmirman Nov 2012 #78
Laochtine Nov 2012 #77
Posteritatis Nov 2012 #56
hfojvt Nov 2012 #67
rock Nov 2012 #31
Odin2005 Nov 2012 #36
geomon666 Nov 2012 #43
demwing Nov 2012 #44
retread Nov 2012 #46
BlueStreak Nov 2012 #55
Puzzledtraveller Nov 2012 #79

Response to Warren DeMontague (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:08 AM

1. Hit these fucktards with, oh, say, radio-carbon dating and the fact that it

 

pretty conclusively shows the Earth is some 4.5 billion years old and they'll come back with something like "radio carbon dating is just a ploy by Satan to trick us into not believing in God." I shit you not, I've heard this or some iteration thereof more times than I care to remember.

Source article is a good read, imo, and well wortht he time.

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:13 AM

3. Yep. And Satan put those dinosaur bones in the ground to confuse us also

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Response to davidn3600 (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:28 AM

6. Didn't Noah or Moses or some such figure ride a dinosaur to work each day? - n/t

 

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #6)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:01 AM

11. Actually, that was Alley Oop

Look at that caveman go!


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Response to peace frog (Reply #11)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:24 AM

21. oop, oop nt

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:43 AM

14. No, no, no. God did it to test us. He just miracle'd up all these peculiarities to see if we could

keep our faith despite all the facts and evidence. It's the Divine Sense of Humor at work.

Any argument you can come up with to dispute the faithful--well, that's just another miracle. Convenient things, these miracles.

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Response to tclambert (Reply #14)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:28 AM

24. Faith is trying like hell to believe in something you know can't possibly be true.

 

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:19 AM

20. Radiometric dating; but not radio-carbon dating.

Radio-carbon dating is only effective to compute dates of up to about 60,000 years.

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Response to Jim__ (Reply #20)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 12:16 PM

40. Much appreciated. I had been using "radio carbon dating" for

 

Last edited Tue Nov 20, 2012, 12:51 PM - Edit history (1)

both methods in error. (Shows what happens when an English major ventures into the physical sciences

You might enjoy a piece I wrote a couple months back and cross-posted here:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021156152

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 06:17 PM

58. They just say its not accurate

Or "there are problems with it." I had a student tell me that not 90 minutes ago, in fact. But I teach at a public high school and don't teach science, so therefore I just bit my lip and said, "Really? Is that so?"

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:12 AM

2. One of the "flat-Earth ignoramuses"? Well if the Earth isn't flat, how could it have been flooded?

 

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:39 AM

13. Ever seen a puddle on a patio?

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #13)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:59 AM

32. Sure. But the Bible(s) doesn't say that God flooded the patios one patio at a time.

 

God, according to each Bible, flooded the entire earth.

In fact, the flooding of the entire earth is the reason why we don't have unicorns any more. The term "unicorn" is found nine times in the King James Version of the Bible (Num. 23:22; 24:8; Dt. 33:17; Job 39: 9-10; Psa. 22:21; 29:6; 92:10; Isa. 34: 7)

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #32)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:19 AM

35. Well......

Unicorns can swim


&feature=youtube_gdata_player


Sent from my iPhone

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #35)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:24 AM

37. That must explain it.

 

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:24 AM

4. This comes as not much of a surprise

most recent poll showed that 46% (!) of Americans believe in the literal truth of Biblical creationism.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #4)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:30 AM

7. Haha. That's hilarious to anyone with more than a passing knowledge of

 

the book of Genesis, wherein two competing accounts of creation are offered within the first two chapters. Almost like God himself couldn't make up his own mind how it happened and in what order

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #4)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:49 AM

10. Catholics aren't fundies--they are free to believe in

science because they don't have a literal interpretation of the bible. Rubio just doesn't want to insult the rabid evangelicals. Obviously already planning on 2016

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Response to brokechris (Reply #10)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:08 AM

33. "Catholics ... are free to believe in science ..."? What about Galileo Galilei and his telescope?

 

He dared to look toward heaven but didn't find it.

What about all the men (and some women) that we sent into outer space? If there is a heaven up there, why didn't they find it?

"Catholics ... are free to believe in science"? I know a number of good Catholics (practicing Catholics) who are free to keep their mouths shut.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #33)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 06:14 PM

57. Oddly enough, things change in four hundred years.

The Catholics have been okay with the correct age of the earth and a lot of its implications since at least Vatican II.

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Response to Posteritatis (Reply #57)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:11 PM

59. All have?

 

Some Catholics (particularly the elderly) still have different views as to whether it is OK to eat meat on Friday.

You imply that Catholics have uniform beliefs and "The Catholics have been okay with the correct age of the earth and a lot of its implications since at least Vatican II."

Do you know that it wasn't until 1992 that the Vatican formally and publicly cleared Galileo of any wrongdoing.

Moving formally to rectify a wrong, Pope John Paul II acknowledged in a speech today that the Roman Catholic Church had erred in condemning Galileo 359 years ago for asserting that the Earth revolves around the Sun.

http://www.nytimes.com/1992/11/01/world/vatican-science-panel-told-by-pope-galileo-was-right.html

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #4)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:02 AM

16. Unfortunately, my Daughter has become one of the 46%.

She was Valedictorian of her graduating class from a great (very) Liberal Arts college. She married a terrific man who is now in the Seminary, I respect their faith. I share much of it.
Three years ago, she would have scoffed at the idea of a 5000 y.o. earth. Why can't all Christians (and other religions, some do) admit to the scientific facts? They can admit that R.C. dating may be off some but not millions of years.
They do not have to read the Bible as a literal history and guide but as a figurative book that we can use to help guide our lives.
We had a Episcopalian Priest when she was young who admitted as much and was very candid about the Bible and it's similarities to ancient Greek and other mythologies. It worries me and I love her but I wish her religion was much more moderate..hopefully, with age, her views will moderate.
No one knows the absolute truth but science has given us some pretty accurate estimates (IMO). Belief in a supreme being is not mutually exclusive from science. I know many Dr.'s who believe in God and credit him with with many miracles, yet they are people of science...

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:24 AM

5. He probably knows, he just wants to be politically correct and not upset the teabaggers nt

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Response to darkangel218 (Reply #5)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:39 AM

8. Exactly

He has to say he believes that bullshit, otherwise he faces a primary and he loses, the winner of which goes to the Dems.
The Rethugs are total morons- and their base likes being lied to.

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Response to agentS (Reply #8)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:43 AM

9. If 46% of the country honestly believes this gibberish

I find it totally conceivable that they can find candidates who honestly believe it to.

And we wonder why we're losing science jobs to other countries.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:33 AM

12. Not a leader. A leader would have courage to stand for science. Doesn't take much courage.

He's a follower, a captive of polls, corrupted by the pursuit of power. Or just stupid. But I think the first explanation is ultimately simpler and more likely.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:50 AM

15. Jesus & the Dinosaurs



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Response to rizlaplus (Reply #15)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:13 AM

17. That is hilarious

Thanks for making me laugh out loud this morning

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:15 AM

18. I think most politicians are atheists

They just say whatever it takes to get elected.

Don

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Response to NNN0LHI (Reply #18)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:27 AM

23. Most are sociopathic soulless whores

Murderous sociopathic soulless whores when in a warmongering mode.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:16 AM

19. Oy Vey...

 

"I think there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created..."

No, there's one theory and a couple of religious fairytales. Though I'm guessing that only the Jewish fairytale counts in Rubio's book. No wonder the rest of the world thinks that the U.S. is a fucking laughingstock...

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Response to Marmitist (Reply #19)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 05:23 AM

76. Actually several competing hypotheses on the creation (origin) of the universe

All centering on expansion from some singularity. After that we are not sure (multiple universes, expansion and retraction, etc). What is obvious is the history of the universe from that singularity expansion (this rises to a scientific theory with mountains of supporting observational data - just look at the Hubble images and the background microwave radiation).

Why an initial singularity? What was before? These questions will have to be answered before an adequate theory of the origin of the universe is developed.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:27 AM

22. Rubio is a poopy-head.

 

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:06 AM

25. I was taught in the synagogue

that the Torah is the history and traditions of the Jewish people, not the unerring word of G-d. I believe the Universe is G-d and and science are His rules.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:22 AM

26. I've said it before, Rubio is a 100% dumbass.

It's not just his views on the age of the Earth either. It's everything.

Watch one of his speeches, he's sub-Dubya dumb.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:45 AM

27. The reason they can get away with this, is because they do alright for themselves

social networking. It brings down the IQ of an entire community down. That's how right-wing communities are born.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:56 AM

29. He's even got the literalist account wrong.

SIX days. SIX days, and a 7th of rest.

This just goes to show you how stupid and stubborn that fundamentalists are. Anyone who casts uncertainty at evolution is all right by them, even if he has the theology wrong.

And, everyone - radiocarbon dating has nothing to do with the age of the earth. Radiocarbon dating is only good to about 60k years back. Different forms of radiometric dating are used for longer time periods; potassium-argon and uranium-lead are more appropriate when talking about the age of the earth.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:01 AM

30. My bet is that most members of DU don't KNOW how old the earth is

Our "proof" is based on faith. We can memorize a number like 4.5 billion years, and accept that number based on faith. "Science says it. I believe it. That settles it."

Futhermore, I would say that Rubio is far more correct than the author of this article, in spite of the absolute certainty of said author's pronouncements.

"Science, and how it tells us the age of the Earth, has everything to do to do with how our economy will grow. By teaching our kids actual science, we can guarantee the future of this country and its economic growth."


Yes, yes, yes. All hail the great God science. Learn it, worship it, or this great vengeful God will kill us all.

Is that our "jobs plan" then? "Teach our kids actual science." and then economic growth will happen automatically with an invisible hand or something? It seems to me that a Keynesian stimulus and investment in infrastructure does not really depend on any sort of belief in 4.54 billion years or 5.45 nanoseconds or anything in between. That "arguing" about it isn't going to help create any jobs. Except for that of Phil Plait who presumably got paid for his useless article.

I guess the really important thing though, to Phil, is that if I ask the butcher, baker and candlestick maker "How old is the earth?" they will all give the same answer that they memorized in school - 4.54 billion years, and be absultely certain about it.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #30)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:09 AM

34. I knew we'd get at least one.

No, it's not "based on faith". It is based on evidence. Verifiable PHYSICAL evidence. Only in.. well, nowhere- is an assertion that someone pulls out of thin air considered somehow 'equivalent' to data backed up by physical evidence.

The Earth is approximately 4.5 Billion years old. That is not "faith", that is not "fanciful speculation", it is not "debatable". It is a FACT. The Earth is NOT 6,000 or whatever years old, it was not made by magic in a week.

Sorry.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #34)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 12:06 PM

38. you say it is based on evidence

you believe it is based on evidence.

Have you actually seen the evidence?

Can you prove your "Fact" in the same way that I can prove the pythagorean theorem?

Because I cannot, and I have probably taken more university science classes than you have.

And I can read on Wiki that rubidium-87 has a half life of 50 billion years. And I have to wonder, how is that half-life measured and known? If I have a 50 kg sample of rubidium in one year, approximately .000001 grams of it will have decayed. We have some way to measure .000001 grams? Can we wait 10 years until .00001 grams have decayed?

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #38)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 12:14 PM

39. Yes. It is based on evidence. I have seen the evidence.

Why do all the rocks give the same answer? Why does the fossil record and the geologic record tell the EXACT same story consistent with the DNA record? Why are there no mammal fossils in the Pre-Cambrian layer?

...Satan?

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #39)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 12:54 PM

41. No you haven't seen the evidence. You've learned the measurement systems used

and accept them and their conclusions as gospel.

I am not arguing for or against anything here. Just pointing out the underlying philosophical point.

Using radiometric dating to measure we find meteors that have fallen to earth dating to 4.5 billion years old.

Measuring the decay of the oldest Earth rocks gets us not quite that far back.

It is entirely conceivable (philosophically POSSIBLE) that our radiometric measuring system might in the future be proven as inaccurate.

There might arise even more sophisticated means to measure meteors etc and find the Earth is even older, for instance.

In other words, philosophically, I don't know that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old but I can say that according to our best scientific measurements available it is probably 4.4 billion years old in a solar system that is 4.5 billion in a universe that is 17 billion years old when measuring rate of its expansion. But that might change in the face of more advanced measuring techniques of the future.

All of what I wrote may seem really silly to argue such a point. But IMO, it helps to occasionally try and broaden ones view of what we know & what we think we know.

As for the idiot Republican in question... no matter what means of measure... he's still an idiot. It's just a matter of where he falls on the idiot spectrum

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #41)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 12:55 PM

42. It is a FACT.

Deal with it.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #42)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 10:38 AM

63. No, it is an assessment using our best tools and methods.

He is right that our present measurements may be proven imprecise either way by future technological advances or discovery of unaccounted for data.

It is close to fact as we can muster and it may even be dead on, making it a fact.
What if a new method puts the Earth at 5 billion or 4 billion? Then 4.4 could not be a fact, facts are stubborn things, they do not change, our estimate may eventually be revised.

Your gist is good but the idea that we are at the end of knowledge isn't.

Best estimate and fact are not one and the same.

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Response to TheKentuckian (Reply #63)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 04:47 PM

68. The precise age down to the 4th decimal? Of course, a best assesment. And science is always looking

for better answers.

However, if the question in the neighborhood of 4 &1/2 Billion vs. 6,000 years? In the context of that "debate" (such as it is) the 4.5 Billion (approx) is a FACT.

I stand by that, and I'm tired of people trying to use the process of the scientific method- whereby questions are continually asked and answers are continually, ideally, improved- as some sort of asinine backdoor to arguing that "oh, well, you're not certain (just a theory, yakno yakno) so that means that ALL answers are just as reasonable and just as possible.


They aren't. It is a fact that the Earth is more than 6,000 years old. For the Earth to actually BE 6,000 years old would require a ridiculous set of assertions and presumptions that is akin to saying "yes, well, you're a head in a jar dreaming all this"

I suppose it's possible, just like it's possible that one day invisible monkeys will fly out of my butt. But if we're dealing with an objective, evidence-based approach to understanding reality, we would do well not to take such assertions very seriously.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #68)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 02:47 PM

71. I didn't get the impression that the exchange was a debate between Jesus riding dinosaurs

and scientific understanding but rather a debate within scientific understanding.

Are you certain that you are not so accustomed to arguing the issue with flat earth types that you cannot perceive any other debate and maybe that some are more strict in word usage than you, i.e. you say 4.4 billion is a fact compared to 6k, I don't perceive fact as a point of comparison but as an absolute and as such cannot apply "fact" status to I know is a best guess.
I don't like language to be defined by the fuckwits and I don't like feeding them by making assertions of fact that must be revised with discovery.

The 6k mentality is absurd, absurd to the point that I'm not even sure it is self justifying. That is to say that even the Bible the silly guesstimate is based on doesn't support such, at least not very strongly.

The count to my ability to detect is some goofy shit like counting the generations listed in various books of the Bible, the estimated time since Christ, and add 7 days. All from a starting point that acknowledges the pre-existent state of the Earth which is stated as being void and without form at the beginning of the creation story. According to the same justification for their guesstimate the Earth was in place.
It further states that when Cain left there were other people who he feared would kill him as a kin slayer and from among which he found a wife.
They don't even have their story straight from the stories they base their beliefs on.

Anyway, I think we are on the same page here just maybe slightly shouting past each other and hung up on language usage more than content of thought, though I think you may well have been engaging in an argument that wasn't really being made at the time.

Theocratic thinkers create a distortion that inhibits debate and conversation outside their actual sphere of influence. We cannot wonder at the accuracy of our methodology, the capabilities of our technology, or accept the possibility of unknown variables in reaction their nonsensical certainty, to do risks losing the ignorant, the uncertain, and the young.
I'm not worried about them, they are internally dishonest and I don't want to shade in their direction as a response.

The idea that their faith is dependent on the accuracy of some weirdo genealogical creative accounting means it is pretty damn flimsy and is the static feedback of their own doubt to so stridently push on something that has no consequence to cosmic cause and effect anyway.

Fair disclosure, I believe in God. My God is not limited by how old the planet or the universe is or by processes used to formulate all we observe.
Their god must be little more than themselves, a notch ahead of them on an evolutionary scale but bumped up without the benefit of going into the power. Little different than the old Star Trek episode where they try to leave the galaxy and the two potentially most psychic members suddenly develop great power. Kirk's friend still had human appetites, fears, pettiness, and ignorance.

I don't know what the point is other than to say, the human mind is an awful small box to put a God of any worth into. At best, it would seem like being operating in two dimension's perception of another operating in three, times 10,000 or something.

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Response to TheKentuckian (Reply #71)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 05:24 PM

73. The person I was arguing with was challenging the basic validity of radiometric dating itself- as a

Last edited Fri Nov 23, 2012, 06:20 PM - Edit history (2)

Tool, and asking why trilobite fossils could be found near the beach. In short, floating some fairly standard creationist tropes.

A fairly cursory search of that individual's posts quickly indicates where they are coming from. Fine, whatever, but I'm not wasting my time on it.

That said, the scientific data on the age of the Earth has, to my mind, no bearing on one's belief in a "God"- or many "Gods"- unless ones theology is deeply intertwined with a story that contradicts the scientific evidence. I dont believe in any God or Gods (although nailing own a precise definition of what those words mean is, as always, a challenge) however many religious people have no problem reconciling their faith with the truth of evolution and the actual age of the Earth.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #39)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 03:57 PM

45. first of all

leave my sister out of this.

We are supposed to be talking about the evidence. You say you have seen it. I say that I have not. Where did you see it and what did you see?

All the rocks give the same answer?

All what rocks?

Moon rocks? Rocks from Europe and around the globe? Who tested these rocks and when? What kind of test did they do? Where did you see or read about these tests? A geology textbook? A website? A scientific journal?

What pre-Cambrian layer are you talking about? Where was this found? In what excavations?

As far as layers go, I can walk along the surface in Upstate New York and find shale with triolobites in it. And seashells. I did so myself, back when I was about twelve. Are those from the current era since they were on the surface? I can also walk along the surface in South Dakota and find shark's teeth. Is that from a land shark in the last 50 years? Why aren't those things down in some Cambrian layer instead of sitting on the surface?

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #45)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:37 PM

47. Oh for fuck's sake.

Really?

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #47)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:21 AM

48. not a fan of explicating?

I am more than happy to share the things that I know well http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=1777348

mostly to an apathetic audience.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #48)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 02:50 PM

49. I'm not a fan of "debating" creationism, which you certainly seem to be trying to advance.

I'm not going to waste my fucking time.


There are plenty of good scientific resources on the web that will straighten out your "questions" about fossil layers and geologic ages and why there might be, for instance, trilobite fossils close to the beach.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #49)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:44 PM

50. no the debate is about the age of the earth

nobody has said anything about creationism. I have said basically three things.

1. I have not seen any evidence for a 4.5 billion year old earth
2. most people who strut and preen about 4.5 billion years have not seen any evidence either, merely accepted that number on faith
3. the floor is open to anybody who wants to prove me wrong and show me this evidence and explain their proof

Now you threw in the red herring of pre-cambrian fossil layers and I foolishly jumped on it, but that is hardly the main issue.

I am certainly capable of memorizing the number 4.54 billion and spouting it and scoffing at those who doubt its veracity, but that does not seem like a very scientific thing to do. The scientist that I am, says that I should ask for proof, for verification. Are you saying that is a bad thing? That I am committing some sort of heresy by questioning the pronouncements of the high priests?

Of course, one other point I tried to make, is that I, like most people here on DU, am not really interested in spending even an hour of my time studying this issue or trying to understand it. I could really give a rat's ass whether the earth is 4.54 billion years old or 4.54 nanoseconds old. It does not make one whit of difference in my life. And most DUers who cannot begin to prove that 4.54 billion is a scientifically accurate number, don't give a rat's ass either.

What they have done is

a) memorized a number that they believe to be true based on faith, faith in their teachers and textbooks and faith in the great god SCIENCE.

Of course, you are going to object that it is not faith, but I say that if you cannot prove it yourself, then it clearly is faith. It may be a reasonable faith, but it is faith nonetheless.

What is a less reasonable faith, in my view, is the fervently held belief that

b) the wheels will fall off of our technological society if children are not taught from an early age to memorize the number 4.54 billion and to believe in it absolutely and without question.

I don't believe that the number 4.54 billion has any more use in, or relevance to, most people's lives than Chebyshev's theorem does or Stoke's theorem does.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #50)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:47 PM

51. So you think that all the radiocarbon evidence is.. what.. faked? Inaccurate?

It's all inaccurate but it all coincidentally gives the same inaccurate number?

I'm "strutting and preening" because I am mentioning WELL ACCEPTED SCIENCE in the face of total fucking blather?

How "inaccurate" would all the mountains of data have to be, for that 4.54 Billion to be off by 4.54 billion minus the "Biblically scientific" number of 6,000 years, hmmmm?

Edited to add: Radiometric, not radiocarbon.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_the_Earth

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #51)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:52 PM

52. I am fairly certain that radiocarbon evidence does NOT prove the earth is 4.5 billion years old

At least, I have faith in wiki, which tells me that radiocarbon dating is only good to about 50,000 years.

So, if you think it is radiocarbon, that kinda proves you don't know what you are talking about and have accepted 4.54 billion on faith.

You have not seen any more mountains of data than I have, but you are certain they must exist (and you may be right, but I would like to see the mountain come to me).

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #52)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 04:54 PM

53. There is SCIENTIFIC data. That's how old the Earth is. Deal with it.

If your theology can't be reconciled with scientific fact, then your theology is wrong.

End of story.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Reply #53)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 10:42 AM

64. by "deal with it" you seem to mean

"accept it on faith" just like you do.

It is very easy for me to deal with it, because my theology DOES NOT CARE, is NOT CONCERNED WITH, how old the earth is. It's like the old joke. What is worse, apathy or ignorance?

Answer: I don't know and I don't care.

I am not arguing here for any number. What I am saying though is - I will not accept 4.54 billion years ON FAITH. Just because you say so. Just because you say there is evidence.

I am willing to accept any number once I see some evidence, but I also am not gonna spend hours digging for evidence. It is not that important to me (and yes I know that I have already wasted an hour on this useless argument).

I am willing to admit my ignorance. First, that I have not seen evidence. Second, that I do not understand the processes. Before I accept radiometric dating, I must also see evidence that this is an accurate method. As I asked, how do we know that a half life is 50 billion years? I admit it - I don't know. I CAN see that it might be hard to measure. After all if 1/2 decays in 50 billion years, that would mean that 1/100 billionth part decays in one year, and only 1/10 billionth in ten years. Well, what method was used to measure that precisely? Again, I admit it - I don't know.

Should I accept all these things on faith just so I can be friends with you? So I can be friends with others who have accepted 4.54 billion years on faith and feel it is their right to jeer at anybody who does not accept the one true faith? "There's one who does not believe 4.54 billion years!! Stone him! Stone him!"

That's how it looks to me. I have considerable years of useless university education and two degrees from State Universities, and I took six years worth of classes in my five years at Minnesota, and took extra classes in high school. I also read my roommate's history textbook, anthropology textbook, and did a lot of other extra-curricular reading. I strongly suspect that if I do not know these things, that most other people do not know them as well. Even though they are happy to join this group in three minutes of hate.

My theology, however, does not accept hate.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #64)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 04:49 PM

69. I don't care whether you believe it or not. I don't waste my time debating creationists.

If you have the intellectual curiosity, you can find the answers yourself.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #52)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 03:17 PM

72. My memory may be faulty on this. The 4.54 or so billion years has little or nothing

to do with terrestrial rocks. Too much weather and erosion.

However, meteors that survive entry and collision show about 4.5 billion years. All of them show the same age!!
The conclusion is the age of the solar system.

You are free to offer evidence the earth was formed at a different time than the rest of the solar system.

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Response to retread (Reply #72)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 12:48 PM

80. For the record, here is the wikipedia on oldest dated Earth rocks.

They dont go all the way back, but some come close. Some can be traced back to the Hadean (pre life, early Earth formation) era.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oldest_dated_rocks

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #45)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 06:00 PM

54. You just asked a lengthy string of silly questions and made a useless

anecdotal observation - no, wait - a meandering anecdotal reflection.

I don't blame him for not wanting to play your game. Who wants to play with someone flinging feces at the walls to see if some of it gets on the ceiling?

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Response to jsmirman (Reply #54)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 08:41 PM

60. There's just no fucking point.

"AHA! You haven't personally done the radiometric dating of every single rock from every geologic strata, not to mention moon rocks, yourself! So how do you KNOW? Huh? Huh?"

Or

"Scientists now say 4.54 billion years, and a decade ago they said 4.7! Aha! Aha! See? So it was 4.7, and now it's 4.54 so they're obviously just making shit up as they go along... and tomorrow it could TOTALLY BE 6,000 years! It COOOOOULD!"

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Response to jsmirman (Reply #54)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 09:55 AM

61. What is a silly question?

The claim was made "all the rocks give the same answer".

Well I, myself, have not seen ANY rocks. So I asked about five questions trying to pin down "what rocks"? I am being told, and being expected to accept on blind faith that "there are mountains of evidence". Well, how about showing even TWO pieces of evidence?

1. Such and such a rock was dated by such and such a method by such and such a group of sicentists and gave such and such an answer.

Fill in the such and such's and you would have ONE piece of evidence. How many pieces of evidence have YOU seen for this claim of 4.54 billion years?

Nobody wants to play the game, I feel, because 99% of us have not seen ANY evidence. Our only "evidence" is "it says 4.54 billion years in a science textbook" and we conclude, on faith, "it is written in a science textbook, so there MUST be evidence out there".

As for my anecdotal reflection. Well, I was responding to a red-herring that my opponent threw out there. He's the one who dragged pre-Cambrian layers into the debate for some reason.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #61)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 10:21 AM

62. Nobody wants to play your game because you are rejecting science and offering nothing

fact-based/evidence-based or logic-based or even founded on a non-laughable scientific theory.

Your approach in this this thread is boring and unconvincing. I took science classes in one of the country's best high schools for math and science and everything else, btw. I did well in them. I understood basic physics and chemistry and there was a heck of a lot of logic behind the systems of matter and physical relationships that were taught to me. I learned how scientists established their claims, supported them, and had them subjected to thorough, thoughtful review.

I don't need to see a damn rock. I will not reject these well-founded theories on the basis of thoughtless, empty, desperate attack.

You present nothing compelling for your side. I don't think anyone is buying the bag of nothing that you are selling.

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Response to jsmirman (Reply #62)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 11:23 AM

65. I have not rejected science

What I have rejected is - faith in science.

You don't need to see a rock, because you were taught to have faith in science.

I am not asking you to reject anything, I am asking you to admit your ignorance, and your faith.

Which you have. Thanks for that.

You admit that you have not seen any rocks, but you still have faith. That's what I said in my first post on this thread.

"Our "proof" is based on faith. We can memorize a number like 4.5 billion years, and accept that number based on faith. "Science says it. I believe it. That settles it.""

You were taught to have faith in science. For what it is worth (probably nothing) I was taught much more science than you. I took perhaps a dozen physics courses at a University. Not a high school - a University. In my freshman physics class, the Prof announced the top five students. I was number 5. I was having some trouble in the third semester, but then scored 100% on two straight exams.

I had a moment though, trying to help my room-mate with freshman physics. He had flunked the first semester, took it again and got an A, and was now on the second semester, asking me about some formula. And he said "I don't understand that". And I thought, and maybe said, "Understand? Hell, I don't understand it either. I memorize formulas and then I put numbers in those formulas on the test and get the correct answers." That's how I got A's and B's. Memorizing - not understanding.

Dang, all those college classes and I missed the part where I was supposed to learn to have faith in science. I did graduate though with a 3.29 GPA and got a job for the military at the Utah Test and Training Range where scientists study better ways to make weapons of mass destruction. That's probably where these drones were perfected.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #65)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 11:52 AM

66. Congratulations to you

I went to Yale and then Georgetown Law. My epeen is mighty strong.

I continued to study things that follow the manner of hypothesis + evidentiary support -- subjected to challenge = much stronger probability than someone just saying something.

I'm sorry for you that it's been all about memorizing.

It has not been that way for me, at all.

It has been about searching for the truth, finding a truth that seems to emerge from that study, compiling evidence that supports the hypothesis that *I* arrived at (NOT by memorization), challenging that evidence with academic rigor, presenting my findings, and then having them subjected to highly critical review.

For what it is worth, people who know much more science than you think your arguments are laughable.

For what it is worth, which in my mind is a lot, believe it or not, true historical study, real journalism, and the study of law actually all follow the same methods of investigation and analysis as science.

Congratulations on freshman physics. I'll take my UNIVERSITIES against most anyone, as well. And I learned to reject bullshit at those places, and also studied the evil that is wrought when faith utterly subjugates reason.

I have no more time for you. Goodbye.

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Response to jsmirman (Reply #66)

Fri Nov 23, 2012, 02:42 PM

70. For what it is worth

"In my opinion, science has become a superstition for both the mass of people and the scientists themselves. For the mass it has the power of magic, for the scientists it has the exclusive virtue of an orthodox theology."

Crappy scholarship though, I cannot remember and did not note the source. I think it is from Vannevar Bush.

But as you wrote "For what it is worth, people who know much more science than you think your arguments are laughable."


It could just as easily read "people who know much more theology than you think your arguments are laughable."


But what exactly were my arguments again?

I have argued, that "we the liberal masses have accepted 4.54 billion years without ever seeing the "evidentiary support" nor "subjecting it to challenge". We have instead just memorized that number, accepted it on faith."

So why wouldn't you agree with me that this is not a valid method of understanding?


" continued to study things that follow the manner of hypothesis + evidentiary support -- subjected to challenge = much stronger probability than someone just saying something."

Yet what is the supposed "proof" we have for the age of the earth.

1. somebody just says something. A statement - the earth is about 4.54 billion years old.
2. somebody just says something else - there is factual evidence to support the above number

Yet when these statements are "subjected to challenge". The challenge is not answered by showing any of the evidentiary support. It is just answered by stronger and more confident statements, and insults and dismissal.

How do I know that the earth is 4.54 billion years old?

I guess it has been proven because "my arguments are laughable" (very strong statement without a drams worth of evidence to back it up)

and because I am not worth arguing with

"I have no more time for you. Goodbye."

And in your mind, this is some sort of scientific proof? Some sort of rational argument?

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #70)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 06:51 PM

74. Sorry, the person you tried to reach

is now too busy for your long and probably repetitive post.

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Response to jsmirman (Reply #74)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 03:44 AM

75. but not too busy to be an a$$hole

Did they teach you that in law school? To "win" arguments with "la la la, I can't hear youuuu".

Truly impressive.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #75)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:33 AM

78. Dude, my life is more important than an argument you drop in on

intermittently with points that haven't been very convincing.

I have something urgent to do. I had time last Thursday. I don't now. Sorry.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #70)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 06:05 AM

77. I have no faith in science

I know the scientific method works.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dalrymple/scientific_age_earth.html (a short read)

The age of the Earth doesn't effect me in the least. If the consensus of the scientists in the field of
study deem that 4.5 billion is a workable theory I'll take their word for it, until something better comes
along, that's how science works. There is no absolute truth in science, only best fit at the time.

Now since you seem to be a knowledgeable person with a better theory, please publish it. A Nobel
prize awaits

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #38)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 06:12 PM

56. Translation: "I don't understand this stuff, so nobody else possibly can." (nt)

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Response to Posteritatis (Reply #56)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 11:56 AM

67. bad translation

I did not say I COULD not understand it. Only that, even with my eight years of University education including many physics courses - that I DON'T understand it. Most people here probably do not have more education than I do, so I have my doubts that most understand it any better than I do.

They accept it on faith - faith in scientists, or faith in science.

Well, when I was a freshman in college, back in the dark ages of 1980-81, there was a silly, but popular book, called "The Jupiter Effect". I was arguing with my roommate that it was nonsense, and he shot back that "the author has a PhD" and that I was a mere Freshman. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jupiter_Effect So wiki quotes Dr. Gribbin saying that he is sorry about his crackpot theory, but I doubt that. He probably made a fair amount of money, based on his credentials as a "scientist".

Here's another pointless anecdote. Back in 1990, I submitted a paper into a student contest. It was a decent paper, good enough that my prof had me present it at the Western Social Sciences conference in Portland. It did not win a prize though. There were supposed to be two prizes, but only one was given. One that I never read, although I heard it was about chaos theory. I speculate that the second prize was never given because of my paper. That some wanted to give me the second prize and some others said "no way" and that those who liked my paper refused to endorse the 3rd place.

That is speculation, but what the hell DID happen to the second prize that was supposed to be awarded? And at least one Prof - my own, thought my paper was pretty good.

Then I got my peer reivew. Two reviewers rebutted my arguments by saying "this paper sucks". Only one gave a thoughtful response.

My paper, you see, was critical of some of their philosophies. They, being in authority, did not have to answer my criticisms with facts or logic, they could just say "thumbs down".

Having graduated with my MA and living in the woods, I ALMOST did another research paper, that I was going to title "Kiss noise". My thesis was that many articles in a certain journal (the one that rejected my paper) quoted the book written by the editor of the journal. That basically part of the reason they got published, seemingly, was because they kissed the ass of the editor. Hence the name "kiss noise".

But I never completed the project. Where would I have published it? And what good would it do to make enemies like that? Plus, I happen to have liked the book by the editor.

The point of my anecdote though, is that I have been kinda close to this thing which is called "peer review" and it seems to be based, at least partly on two things - 1) conformity and 2) ass kissing.

Then again, it is not like economics is really a science. But other people have faith in peer review without ever having experienced it.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:02 AM

31. The "jury's still out!"

For ignoramuses.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 11:21 AM

36. It's 4.53 billion years old, dingbat!

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 12:58 PM

43. He knows how old the Earth is estimated to be

He just chooses to believe in a fairy tale.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 12:59 PM

44. He said why

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 04:06 PM

46. The jury's still out. He is afraid to study the earth too much. If he goes too far he may

fall off the edge!!


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Response to Warren DeMontague (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 06:08 PM

55. So ... the two choices are "7 days" or "7 eras"

Now we're getting somewhere.

But I might humbly suggest there is a third possibility, as unlikely as it may seem to a person of Rubio's uncommon mental abilities.

The earth wasn't "created" at all. Like all other planets and stars, it aggregated over a period of billions of years after the "big bang". If one would like to refer to the "big bang" as the "creation of the universe" that's OK with me. But it didn't take 7 days or 7 eras, whatever that means. Planets gradually accumulated as gravitational forces caused matter to combine. And roughly 4.5 billion years ago, the earth reached a mass that we would recognize today and continued with the process of developing an atmosphere and life itself. And since that time, some of us have been trying to evolve -- some more successfully than others.

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Response to Warren DeMontague (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:53 AM

79. why do we care?

For people who loathe republicans we sure are obsessed with what they think.

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