Talk:Geology

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This page implies that you're an atheist if you believe the mountains of scientific research which supports plate tectonics and other foundations of geological science. The vast majority of people who know anything at all about Geology agree with the assertions found in this field of study, so while is this viewpoint marginalized? Everwill 08:45, 22 April 2007 (EDT)

Hopefully, I won't get reverted, but I attempted to acknowledge the controversy, without turning this into a debate page. Conservapedia will become a laughing stock if every science is undermined to support a specific theological conclusion. Everwill 12:43, 22 April 2007 (EDT)

This page should be divided into two parts or made into two articles:
  • Old-Earth Geology
  • Young Earth Geology

Auld Nick 06:52, 27 April 2007 (EDT)

I think it would be more accurate to say Geology and Bible-based Geology. Everwill

Given that early geologists worked within a Biblical framework and the Non-biblical Geology came later, I think it would be more accurate to say Geology and Non-biblical Geology (or Anti-biblical Geology), but as far as names are concerned, I'll compromise on Auld Nick's suggestion. Philip J. Rayment 23:20, 29 April 2007 (EDT)


It's scary just how quickly this page has turned into some kind of theological rant. Additionally, the musings under the "How Old is the Earth" are not supported by credible references, and in some cases the references are broken links.
I would defend any man's right to believe the Earth is any age which might fit his philosophy, but this is like something which would seem familiar to Galileo. Everwill 10:10, 30 April 2007 (EDT)
Could you be specific? Which points don't have references, or which references don't you consider credible? And which are broken? As far as I know, Galileo (see the blue link) believed that the Earth was created around 4,000 B.C. Philip J. Rayment 10:15, 30 April 2007 (EDT)


Reference #16 has a list of "facts". The facts are all dead links. Reference 17 relies upon the opinions of someone with any established credibility. I didn't go any further because the entire Young Earth Creation idea relies upon the belief that geologists worldwide are part of a vast conspiracy to push an atheistic agenda. I'm quite sure I can find a long list of things that Galileo thought, or would have thought, that have since been proven quite wrong, but to do so would be a waste of time. You will dismiss anything which does not support your interpretation of the Bible.
In my experience, mainstream geology finds natural resources. Young Earth Creation geology, on the other hand, finds arguments to support a religious agenda. There is nothing wrong with pursuing the theology behind Young Earth Creation, but it's a waste of time to put the two ideas in side by side. Everwill 12:03, 30 April 2007 (EDT)
Reference 16 is an FAQ list, and the links in that list work for me at the moment, but that site has had some technical difficulties lately, which may be the problem you encountered.
I'm guessing that reference 17 is for the list of links also, rather than the text at the start of the page. If so, there is not a single "someone" to question the credibility of.
That YEC believes that geologists are part of a conspiracy is merely your interpretation and specifically denied by those YECs.
I will not "dismiss" anything that does not support the Bible. I will point out why it is wrong.
Mainstream geology finds natural resources, and also claims to know what has happened in the past, from an anti-Biblical ideology. Creationist geologists also find natural resources, but dispute the claims about the past. Allowing one side to make ideological statements about the past but dismissing others doing so as ideologically driven is not fair.
Incidentally, I'm not a fan of FAQ lists for references (although there may be some cases in which they are appropriate).
Philip J. Rayment 19:10, 30 April 2007 (EDT)

Contents

Locked?

This article has been locked for a long time now. Any chance that it could be opened up again for further improvement? Kenservative 14:55, 3 September 2007 (EDT)

Article in need of serious help ...

This is one of the articles that caused me to walk away from Conservapedia for a long time. There are several assertions in this article which are based upon a gross misunderstanding of geology and a presumption that geology undermines a particular theology. They have stood unchallenged for quite a long time. Until such time as this article and others like it are brought up to standard, Conservapedia will suffer a credibility problem, just as Wikipedia suffers a bias problem. As a conservative, I defend the rights of those who believe in a Bible-based geology and there should be a framework and forum where they can explain their theories and views. That said, this article is not the place to argue whether the Earth was created in 7 days and when the universe was created. Is there anyone else who sees the strong need for a better article here? Everwill 07:48, 30 March 2008 (EDT)

Your concern is expressed in rather vague terms (perhaps deliberately), so I can't be certain what you are getting at, but certain geological ideas do "undermine" the biblical account. However, relatively little of this article is to do with when the universe was created, and what is there seems to be fairly balanced. If this article can be written so that it doesn't mention the old-Earth viewpoint, then there's no need to mention the young-Earth viewpoint either, but I doubt that's really feasible. Perhaps you'd like to make some more specific proposals? Philip J. Rayment 09:09, 30 March 2008 (EDT)


Quite frankly, it's difficult to engage in any discussion with you about this topic because the "Young Earth" position is not dissimilar to the "Flat Earth" position or the "9/11 Truth" position. In all these cases, it is true that some people believe these theories. But, it is also true that the vast majority of informed people know that these theories are preposterous.
As I size up various angles to broach the subject with you, I am only reminded that I will be fighting tooth-and-nail against your strongly held beliefs with facts that have already been discovered by generations of geologists. These facts have been ignored or rejected by you, but are mostly unknown to you. That means it will fall to me to educate you about a great many things. I'm not a very good teacher in the best situations. And, I refuse to teach those who don't want to learn, but rather they wish to use their own ignorance as a basis of argument.
I'm well aware that this may sound insulting, but it is not my intention to insult. It my intention to explain to you and others why I feel debate on this subject is pointless with you. The bottom line is you are arguing from what I believe is a position of absolute ignorance fueled by religious beliefs. To argue against you would be to relive Galileo's argument against the cardinals, bishops and astronomers who believed the Earth was the center of the universe. This is a painful argument and there is no joy in being right. The argument is about educating the position of ignorance. But Galileo made the argument because it was important for others to understand. In this case, others already understand. There is but a tiny head-in-the-sand minority who agree that there is geological evidence that Earth is only 6,000 years old. So, this argument with you has all the pain of Galileo's argument, but none of the nobility of the result. It's just a huge time sink.
That statement aside, I have no idea when the world was created---nor does any geologist. For all I know it was created the day before I was born. But if it was created the day before I was born or 6,000 years ago, the Creator saw fit to leave evidence of an prehistory. In other words, I see absolutely no theology in earth science. (No theology -- except for the obvious fact that the Creation is so intricate and divine as to defy the belief that it was created randomly from randomness.)
All that aside, my best suggestion is that there are two different articles here. For those who want to believe in Young Earth Geology, more power to you. Good luck finding oil and explaining coal. I wish you the best. But, there is no place in a Geology article for those opinions and for that position.
The best you can hope for is two distinct articles/sciences which allow the reader to choose. You cannot hope to blend the two together and be taken seriously by anyone. On this I can see no possibility of compromise. So long as this article stakes out the position that YE Geology and geology are just two different views of geology, Conservapedia will suffer serious credibility problems.
As a parting shot, why not mention that the Celts and Irish believe in fairies who tend the Earth and the Norse believe that earth spirits and dwarves shaped the mountains? Why not mention the Greek creation theory and how the gods deposed the titans before taking their place atop Mount Olympus?
Surely, I can't be the only conservative who has a grasp of the science of geology? Everwill 07:24, 31 March 2008 (EDT)
"...the "Young Earth" position is not dissimilar to the "Flat Earth" position ...": This is nonsense. The "young Earth position" has been held by many millions of people for thousands of years, including many very intelligent people (Ussher, Newton, Kepler, for example) and estimated tens of thousands of scientists today. The flat Earth "position" is largely an invention by evolutionists to discredit creationists (see that article).
"These facts have been ignored or rejected by you, but are mostly unknown to you": I don't ignore facts, and I don't reject them without good reason. And how would you know that they are unknown to me?
"And, I refuse to teach those who don't want to learn, but rather they wish to use their own ignorance as a basis of argument. I'm well aware that this may sound insulting...": Yep. Because I use good arguments, not ignorance. You're using rhetoric and insults.
"The bottom line is you are arguing from what I believe is a position of absolute ignorance fueled by religious beliefs.": I've studied this issue for over 30 years. I'm not arguing from ignorance, and I use scientific arguments as well as religious/philosophical ones.
"To argue against you would be to relive Galileo's argument against the cardinals, bishops and astronomers who believed the Earth was the center of the universe.": Galileo's issues were not so much with the science, but internal politics and rubbing people the wrong way. Many actually already accepted his ideas.
"There is but a tiny head-in-the-sand minority who agree that there is geological evidence that Earth is only 6,000 years old.": There's another insult. You're talking about many highly-qualified scientists there, and simply insulting them rather than refuting their arguments.
"That statement aside, I have no idea when the world was created---nor does any geologist.": Then why do they claim to?
"For all I know it was created the day before I was born.": I take it that you believe the Bible, but if so you don't believe that what He said is true!
"But if it was created ... 6,000 years ago, the Creator saw fit to leave evidence of an prehistory.": Oh? What evidence? Near enough to no scientists managed to see this evidence until around the time that various agnostics, atheists, etc. starting proposing a much older Earth around 200 or so years ago. It couldn't have been very obvious.
"Good luck finding oil and explaining coal. I wish you the best. But, there is no place in a Geology article for those opinions and for that position.": There's nothing hard to explain about coal. And the YEC view has as much right to be in the article as the atheistic view.
"You cannot hope to blend the two together and be taken seriously by anyone.": Why not? Other than people's biases getting in the way, of course?
"...why not mention that the Celts and Irish believe in fairies who tend the Earth and the Norse believe that earth spirits and dwarves shaped the mountains?": Perhaps because, unlike YEC, there's no scientific or other good evidence for them?
"Surely, I can't be the only conservative who has a grasp of the science of geology?": For a layman, I believe that I have a pretty good grasp. And your post has been nothing but rhetoric, with a touch of insult. For someone who claims to have a good grasp of the science and geology, you sure didn't use much of it.
Here's something to think about. I gather that you reject evolution? (If not, ignore the rest of this.) Pretty-well everything you said about YEC (e.g. "the vast majority of informed people know that these theories are preposterous") is also said by evolutionists against those that believe in ID or creation. So what makes your supposedly-minority, supposedly-unscientific, position any more credible that my supposedly-minority, supposedly-unscientific, position?
Philip J. Rayment 09:20, 31 March 2008 (EDT)

For the record: I do not "reject" evolution. Evolution is not a theory. Evolution is a fact. On the other hand, I do not think that the "Origin of Species" fully explains the creation and permutations of life on this planet. Further, I do not think that evolution, survival of the fittest, has anything to do with creation. Creation is wholly apart from evolution. It makes perfect sense to me that God would create an evolving system and would leave evidence of evolution for man to find.

That said, you have kindly and eagerly provided an example of exactly the type of ridiculous internet debate which I refuse to engage. Quotes vs. counter-quotes round and round in circles, it's all pointless.

Clearly, you're quite passionate in your beliefs and if you have (as you claim) studied the field and still haven't changed your mind after thirty years, there is nothing I can type which will change your mind. I understand and allow for the fact that there is a possibility that the minority position might be the correct position. But I also think it foolish for the minority to lead the majority by demanding "equality". Also, it's not my job to change your mind or educate you. (Thank God!)

By the same token, I'm quite sure that there is nothing you can write which will countermand well-documented, provable scientific endeavor in the field of geology.

Therefore, it's best to agree to disagree and move on to other matters.

That understood, it makes most sense to separate these two variant schools of thought, because quite frankly there is no room in modern geology for what you postulate.

To the editors and admins of the site, I plead again. Surely there has to be a conservative who understands geology so that progress need not be hijacked by a tiny but aggressive minority? Everwill 16:06, 31 March 2008 (EDT)

"I do not "reject" evolution": Okay, my mistake.
"Evolution is a fact.": If you mean the whole evolutionary family tree, not it's not a fact, it's a (poor) hypothesis.
"It makes perfect sense to me that God would create an evolving system and would leave evidence of evolution for man to find.": So it makes perfect sense to you that God would do that, then tell His creation that He did it all in six days?
"...there is nothing I can type which will change your mind.": In other words, I'm close-minded.
"...I'm quite sure that there is nothing you can write which will countermand well-documented, provable scientific endeavor in the field of geology.": In other words, you're close minded. Well, I guess that makes us even. Except that you attempt to take the intellectual high-ground that you are right! And I disagree that it's all provable.
"...there is no room in modern geology for what you postulate.": Then modern geology ought to make room.
"Surely there has to be a conservative who understands geology so that progress need not be hijacked by a tiny but aggressive minority?": In other words, because I'm supposedly in a minority, I don't understand geology? Are you really saying that because I don't agree with something, therefore I don't understand it?
Philip J. Rayment 09:23, 1 April 2008 (EDT)

Yes. Everwill 06:09, 2 April 2008 (EDT)

Surely I don't have to point out to you how illogical that is? Philip J. Rayment 06:52, 2 April 2008 (EDT)

Comment

I was asked to comment about this "laughing-stock" article, but frankly I don't see it. Granted, I only gave it a brows and it's entirely possible that I missed these gems, but everything seems ok to me. Certainly, Everwill believes that YEC is untrue, and I am inclined to believe (if only by default and not by education), however, there's nothing wrong with the YEC viewpoint -- in fact, it's encouraged at this encyclopedia. Additionally, it's a pet peeve of mine when in articles it is said "Y is X" instead of "Z believe that Y is X" (I don't know why I did that in reverse alphabetical order, but I digress) however in this article, all of the YEC statements that I saw were properly attributed.

Perhaps, Everwill, you could bring up some more specific claims? (If they are in the section above I apologize; that looked more like a discussion of the correctness of YEC Geology, not a discussion of this article in and of itself). HelpJazz 10:29, 1 April 2008 (EDT)

Perhaps a nice, calm scholarly article comparing young earth and old earth scientific (and/or religious?) views would be helpful at some point. There are excellent reasons for Bible-believing Christians to adhere to the view that the age of the earth is in the thousands of years, as well as excellent scientific reasons for religious people to accept the modern mainstream view of billions of years. --Ed Poor Talk 10:40, 1 April 2008 (EDT)

Ed, with all due respect, the scientific reasons for believing the Earth appears thousand of years old were largely undermined more than 200 years ago. Granted the Earth might be older or younger than it appears, but there is little doubt or controversy about how old it appears. As for an example of a retarded sentence:

Applying these varied and complicated sciences with careful observations and math, scientists who believe the earth is billions of years old assert that one can calculate and extrapolate a presumed age of the Earth.

Belief has nothing to do with calculations. Calculations are calculations and nothing more. We don't know how old the Earth is. In that regard you may believe whatsoever you choose. But we do know the results of the calculations and in that regard there is little argument.

The problem of "appearance of age" is best explained by "Adam's navel". Did Adam have a belly-button? Afterall, he was never in the womb and thus never had a placenta. Did he have DNA? Afterall, he did not have parents and thus inherited no genes. I would say, of course Adam had a belly button and genes. By the same token, geology stands apart from creationism.

The Theory of Earth was published in 1775 and the observations and science of generations of geologists have relentlessly advanced the field since that time. As a result one is free to believe that the earth was created six thousand years ago (or six days ago for that matter), but no informed person can reasonably argue against the evidence of a much older Earth. Geology makes no claims regarding creationism and I'm not sure why it's so difficult for some to believe that God would create a system that makes sense.

It must be understood that at this stage in the game, the burden of proof is not on the field of geology. The burden of proof is on the Young Earth theorists. Geologists around the globe have found pieces of a puzzle that seem to fit nicely together telling the story of this planet. At the risk of making Conservapedia seem foolish, this article might include a link to Young Earth theory, but there is absolutely no room for any Young Earth poppycock in an article about Geology.

When I said the article "needs work", that's because the article in general needs work. I would like to insert more than a few paragraphs into this article and I would like to edit it for further clarity. My problem is I don't want to invest the work while fighting an argument with a well-meaning soul who is quite uninformed about Earth Sciences. To be specific, I have no reason to hold any animosity or grudge against the goodly gentleman Rayment, but I am quite certain from his rhetoric that nothing positive can come from my interaction with him regarding geology.

Because of what I've seen in the study of Intelligent Design and in the case of the IPCC, I'm willing to accept the remote possibility that Young Earth science has some basis in reality. That said, the burden of proof is on Young Earth Theory and not on standard geology because geology is so widely accepted and has practical uses every single day. What I've seen of YE "science" is a reliance on out-of-date facts couple with ignorance of other facts wedged into a particular interpretation of Genesis. I have no tolerance for this argument because the "9/11 Truthers" and others sapped my energy long ago.

The 9/11 "Truthers" taught me that arguing against ignorance is futile because as soon as you explain one mystery another will arise. So with apologies to Mr. Rayment, I can only say that he may be a good fellow and well-intentioned, but he is arguing from a passionate philosophical point but a position of utter ignorance of geology.

I hate to admit it, but this article is sort of an epiphany for me and I must thank Mr. Rayment for that. Although I know that evolution is a fact, I also believe in Intelligent Design Theory. I could never understand why some folks would want to keep ID out of schools. I now fully understand why some liberal parents feel threatened by us conservatives and religious types.

Previously, it was obvious to me the atheistic agenda in teaching Evolution, but I was blind to the dangers of the reverse. Though he will never accept this from me or another, and though this is not intended as an insult, it is clear to me that Mr. Rayment has only a vague and faulty understanding about the science of geology. I respect his right to teach his children whatever he wants. But, I absolutely do not want him teaching my kids anything about Earth Science. Thanks to Mr. Rayment, I now fully understand the issue for our schools: "What does one do with passionately held beliefs which are founded in ignorance?"

I have no easy solution. In this particular case, I think segregation is the best option. This is because, I'm certain that Mr. Rayment is equally certain of my ignorance or of my involvement the geological conspiracy against the Bible.

So, after rambling a while, I'll get to the point. What I'm asking the "powers that be" to enforce segregation here. In an article about Geology, I think that the best Young Earthers can hope for is a link to an article about their theory. I personally refuse to write this article as if there was any controversy between "young earth theory" and "old earth theory". I know too much about the field of study to pretend as if these were two different but equal lines of thought.

I'm a conservative. Therefore, I don't want informed people to think that conservatives are ignorant. I firmly believe that if Conservapedia allows "young earth theory" (disproved long ago) to mingle with modern geology, then we make ourselves look uneducated and ignorant. And I don't say that flippantly or with anything other than Conservapedia's best interests at heart! But for the fact that some people interpret Genesis to mean what they want it to mean, there is little difference between taking young earth theory and flat-earth theory seriously.

I would like to improve and edit this article but I don't have energy for an edit war. If I have to write this much on the talk page before a single edit is made, then you have an idea of what I'm talking about. Everwill 07:14, 2 April 2008 (EDT)

One of the good things about discussion pages is that is reveals the assumptions of article contributors. To collaborate, we need to identify our common ground as well as our areas of disagreement. When we agree, it's easy to help each other write an article, but when we disagree it is often hard to "agree to disagree"; see Conservapedia:Collaborative writing.
Right at the top of your comments, you referred to the problem of Adam's navel:
  • Did Adam have a belly-button? After all, he was never in the womb and thus never had a placenta
Adam's navel (like Schroedinger's cat) is one of those things which are brought up to make us think. So let's consider this. Were Adam and Eve created as adults? Or as brand new people with no experience or memory but with adult bodies? Could they have been created as teenagers, or toddlers, or even as infants?
If Adam and Eve were created as anything other than mature adults, then whose job was it to take care of them? If they were infants or children, who got their food? Who kept them from dangers like drowning or falling off of cliffs? Did angels do this, or what?
I'm not looking for specific answers here and now, so don't worry ;-)
I'm only trying to illustrate the point that Geology relates to Theology. The issue of young earth vs. old earth is a valid and important one. I'm not sure this article should have full coverage of the dispute, but we could take a page out of Wikipedia's book and do what they say they do, even if they are not consistent when push comes to shove.
Let's describe this issue where it best belongs, where readers will be happiest to see it. I suggest something like Creation Science, because in 1988 when I first became interested in the Origins debate that was the term (or Scientific Creationism).
Now, I'm hoping that nothing in what I wrote above shows any "prejudice regarding the issue". I want to be completely open-minded and even-handed in my writing, because I love Philip as a brother but I also respect you, dear sir. And I'm thinking about our readers. For every 1 person who comments, probably 10 or 50 people read these discussions and ponder them. --Ed Poor Talk 07:26, 2 April 2008 (EDT)
"Calculations are calculations and nothing more": Yes, but dates are calculations built on assumptions. See radiometric dating. Otherwise much of Everwill's post, as before, was rhetoric. Philip J. Rayment 08:03, 2 April 2008 (EDT)
Every waking (and sleeping) moment of life is based on assumptions. If we spend our lives questioning every single assumption then we are paralyzed with analysis. Unless you yourself dedicate your life to being a geologist then you have no basis or authority to question the assumptions and conclusions of those who have in good faith dedicated themselves to the study of geology. (Geologists go to church too.)
What about the issue of a flat-earth? Are we going to explain the basis for flat-earth theory? Can we not post a graphic depicting the simple truth that things on the bottom of a sphere fall off the sphere? Can we not point to the obvious fact that the earth pretty much appears flat?
What about Earth-centric astronomy? Can we explain the rationale and the thinking behind why some well-educated well-informed people believed and believe that the Earth, or more specifically Jerusalem, is the center of the universe?
Can we also punch into the article about the Moon the theory that the Moon is made from green cheese?
In other words where do you draw the line. At what point do you realize that the explanations refuting these theories are wastes of time and are only there for the benefit of a tiny tiny minority of people who don't understand/don't want to understand/will never understand why the majority has reached another conclusion? Everwill 11:05, 2 April 2008 (EDT)
Yes, much of life is based on assumptions. That's no reason to disregard those questioning those assumptions and just argue that assumptions need not be questioned. And neither is it intellectually honest to argue that something that is based on disputed assumptions is proved.
If the geologists' assumptions are worldview-based, then I have as much right to question them as anyone else. Besides, there are geologists who question those assumptions also. Geologists are trained in geology, not worldviews.
The shape of the Earth and the composition of the moon can be observed; the age of the Earth cannot.
You draw the line at teaching the evidence, both for and against. And denigrating people who disagree with you is not a good argument. Many of those who believe in a young Earth do understand why others reached another conclusion, because they themselves used to hold to that other view themselves, but have been convinced otherwise, often by the evidence.
Philip J. Rayment 05:31, 3 April 2008 (EDT)

I'm not denigrating and hope it hasn't been perceived as such. I'm going out of my way to remain as respectful as possible. But think of it this way: if you're anything like me (and every other human on the planet), sometimes you're just flat-out wrong.

This time: you're just plain wrong.

Geology (and I) do not claim to know how old the Earth is. No one alive knows the answer to that question.... you claim to know the answer to that question. Geology claims to know how old the Earth appears. Actual age and apparent age are completely unrelated. At the same time, a Biblical scholar would be wise to say that a popular interpretation of the Bible suggests that the Earth is 6,000 years old. It would be unwise and presumptuous to assume that your interpretation of the Bible is fact. Others may interpret the Bible differently.

I'm quite sure that in the mountains of geological evidence that has been compiled you can point to certain factors that support your opinion. Just as the 9/11 Truthers can point to "evidence" to support their beliefs, I'm certain you have evidence to support your belief. I'm equally certain you can find mysteries in the science of geology. That's why we continue to study geology, because we don't understand the entire planet yet. Neither of those two facts change the reality that since the 18th Century, Young Earth geology has been shattered as a theory time and time again by countless geologists.

The question remains: are we going to take seriously the flat-earth theory, the green cheese theory and the other "scientific" theories? Everwill 07:31, 3 April 2008 (EDT)

When you refer to creationists, which includes qualified geologists and other scientists, as "people who don't understand/don't want to understand/will never understand", you're denigrating.
"...sometimes you're just flat-out wrong. This time: you're just plain wrong.": Or you are.
"Geology (and I) do not claim to know how old the Earth is. ... Geology claims to know how old the Earth appears. Actual age and apparent age are completely unrelated": Can you find me one quote from a leading geologist that makes that distinction? I can't recall ever seeing a quote about the age of the Earth that qualifies it as merely "appearance". Here's some I just Googled:
  • "The generally accepted age for the Earth and the rest of the solar system is about 4.55 billion years"Talk.Origins
  • "Modern geologists consider the age of the Earth to be around 4.54 billion years (4.54×109 years)" Wikipedia
  • "...scientists have been able to ... calculate an age for the Earth..."USGS
  • "How old is the Earth? 4.6 billion years (4,600,000,000 years)"[1]
Not even a hint that they are talking about appearance rather than actual age. No, you're making a distinction that geologists don't make.
"It would be unwise and presumptuous to assume that your interpretation of the Bible is fact.": Not at all. Words have meanings, else we could not communicate. Not all written text is clear, but the Bible is quite clear on this, and this is the way that essentially everyone understood it until atheistic geological assumptions took over. Even today, though, the experts of Hebrew and Old Testament say that this is the way that the writer(s) of Genesis meant it to be understood. Would you accept the argument, "geologists say that the Earth is/appears to be 4.6 billion years old, but there's different ways of interpreting that, and it can be interpreted to mean that it's only 6,000 years old? You'd think I was being stupid for arguing that, yet that is essentially what you are arguing about "interpreting" the Bible.
Opposition to mainstream geological ideas does not comprise a handful of "mysteries" and a few facts. It comprises a different but equally valid interpretation of the evidence, based on a different worldview.
I've already dismissed the flat-Earth and green cheese red herrings. They are not scientific theories, but anti-creationist propaganda and a fairy tale.
Philip J. Rayment 09:58, 3 April 2008 (EDT)

Points of Agreement

There are few points of agreement between the modern science of Geology and Young Earth science. But in the interest of advancing the article I'm going to labor through what I see as a very short list of agreement.

  • You have a right to teach your children whatever you want.
  • I have a right to teach my children whatever I want.
  • Cataclysmic geology was a popularly held theory until 1775.
  • A tiny almost invisible minority of "scientists" still believe in cataclysmic geology.
  • The vast majority of working geologists scoff at "young earth theory" and "cataclysmic geology".
  • Working geologists find mineral resources for mining companies, oil companies and others. Working geologists do not ascribe to the science of the 18th century.
  • We are in agreement that unpopular scientific opinion is not necessarily the wrong opinion. For example, it took thirty years to amass enough data for the scientific community to concur as to the cause of the dinosaur's extinction.
  • You believe that geology has something to do with theology.
  • Theoretical geologists in the field perform research every day about the history of the Earth's crust. The percentage of theoretical geologists who concur with standard geological theory are much higher than say Stalin or Hussein's percentage of the popular vote.

That last bullet point alone should be enough to stop a well-reasoned person in their tracks. The rarity of such a concurrence is so rare as to defy my ability to take your position seriously on any level.

My biggest problem is that as a conservative, I don't want to look like naive, foolish or politically-motivated. As a conservative, I support the truth whether it supports my position or not. I can no more embrace young earth geological theory than I can embrace any other 18th century scientific theory that has long since been proven faulty. Furthermore, I cannot stand silent, while under the banner of conservatism someone else champions a position founded in ignorance.

Maybe the conclusion or lesson is that online references such as this and Wikipedia can't work. How does one resolve the fact that there will always be vocal passionate minorities who hold beliefs that contradict accept theory?

All this and the radio-carbon dating article just popped in my head---an article which is mostly poppycock. I suppose I need to walk away and find some liberal moderate friends so I can empathize with them when they are embarrassed by the far left. Everwill 07:31, 3 April 2008 (EDT)

There's actually lots of points of agreement. The only areas of disagreement relate to origins: how old they are and how they formed: Both things that are not observed, but inferred.
"You have a right to teach your children whatever you want.": Up to a point, but if I have my children in a government school, the government decides, not me. The only right I have is to not put my children in a government school.
"A tiny almost invisible minority of "scientists" still believe in cataclysmic geology.": You downplay it a bit too much, especially the "invisible" bit.
"Working geologists do not ascribe to the science of the 18th century.": First, some working geologists are YECs, so that statement is incorrect. Second, creation geology has advanced beyond the 18th century, so that was a loaded statement.
"...it took thirty years to amass enough data for the scientific community to concur as to the cause of the dinosaur's extinction": Even ignoring the creationist component of that community, I don't think they've agreed yet!
"You believe that geology has something to do with theology.": No, not really. I believe that claims about the history of the rocks are claims about history, which conflict with the Bible's claims about history. So it's all about which history is correct, not that geology has something to do with theology, although the history does have implications in other areas.
"The percentage of theoretical geologists who concur with standard geological theory are much higher than say Stalin or Hussein's percentage of the popular vote.": Neither science nor history are popularity contests.
"The rarity of such a concurrence is so rare as to defy my ability to take your position seriously on any level.": Again, see the popularity contest point. Further, how rare do you think it is?
"My biggest problem is that as a conservative, I don't want to look like naive, foolish or politically-motivated.": Sorry, but if you believe in intelligent design, then you already do look that, in the eyes of most scientists. I'm sure that if anti-ID people made the sorts of statements to you about ID that you are making hear about YEC (as they do), you wouldn't accept it. So why should I accept it from you? Second, you should be more interested in the truth than in how you look.
"As a conservative, I support the truth whether it supports my position or not.": So which is your biggest concern? Not looking naive, foolish, or politically-motivated, or the truth?
"I can no more embrace young earth geological theory than I can embrace any other 18th century scientific theory that has long since been proven faulty": Again, creation geology is not stuck in the 18th century: that's not a valid argument. Second, I totally disagree that it has long since been proven faulty.
"All this and the radio-carbon dating article just popped in my head---an article which is mostly poppycock.": Yeah? How about pointing out what's (supposedly) wrong instead of making meaningless hand-waving statements like that?
Philip J. Rayment 10:16, 3 April 2008 (EDT)

Point of order (and Comment part II)

Point of order: Everwill, while I've already stated (if not here then elsewhere) that I agree with the standard viewpoint, however saying that the majority agrees with something therefore it is true is an ad populum (proof by numbers) logical fallacy. This is fallacious reasoning, and does not prove your argument.

Comment part II: I still am not sure I understand the distinction between what you (or Philip) believe and what should be allowed in this article. In other words, why try to convince Philip he is wrong, when it has no bearing on what will be put in the article (this is, afterall, an article talk page)? YEC views are put into articles on Conservapedia, and it sounds to me like you are arguing that it is wrong and should not be allowed into the article. Like I said before, unless I missed something in my cursory overview, this is a well-written article. You might think that YEC is wrong, but that's ok! All YEC views are properly attributed to those who believe them, and they aren't being stated as fact. If the article said "the earth is 6,000 years old", I could rightly see why you would object, but the article says "YECs believe that the earth is 6,000 years old", which is true and verifiable.

So in conclusion, if the article needs work, fix it! If the field of YEC needs work, this isn't really a great forum to try and change that. Perhaps a debate page? HelpJazz 10:32, 3 April 2008 (EDT)

I agree with and understand your assertion ad populum. Here's my problem: I have a finite amount of life, so I can't afford to spend too much of my precious life energy arguing points with a few stubborn and obstinate people that are well understood by a good many people. I also trust in the intelligence in good well of my fellow human beings.
Because of this trust, and my understanding of human nature, I don't feel any need to argue a position held by .01% of the experts in a field. I don't have time to study every rock ever cataloged. I trust that others have done so already. Geology is not a small field. Basic geology is taught at every community college in America.
I can agree to an admission that no one knows when the Earth was made. But I cannot agree that cataclysmic geology is anything more than a fringe position on par with flat-earth society, UFO conspiracy, Moon Conspiracy, alchemy or phrenology or countless other beliefs passionately held by a tiny minority.
I support the minority's right to think what they want. As an oddity or in the wildly improbably chance that the fringe is correct, I support the expression of the fringe idea in a form that others can access. But I can't see room for the fringe position in a serious discussion.
But another of your points is well-taken. Maybe I should at last stop wasting time talking here and begin to make my edits. Perhaps there is no argument after all? Everwill 12:36, 3 April 2008 (EDT)

Gantczak's edits

The recent edits by Gantczak (most of these) I consider to be somewhat unclear and not particularly relevant, and propose reverting them. Philip J. Rayment 21:33, 9 February 2009 (EST)

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