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|How Many Creationists/biblical Literalists Can Fit On The Head Of A Pin? Part II
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Posted by S.H. Le on December 1, 1999 03:42:29 UTC
Just in case you had the superhuman patience to read through all those anti-creationist arguments, here are some more (they couldn't all fit in one post). So, here are even more things creationists/biblical literalists hate:
(In our image continued):
The first is whom the One and Only God meant by "our"--but that's really a theological question, not related directly to creationism. The second question, however, is right on target: If man was made "in [God's] image", then Adam must have looked just like God--right? But wait--it gets more confusing. Man is immediately referred to as "them", so maybe it's not just Adam who looks like God. Then to further confound literal-minded youngsters, "...in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." If God is male (the assumption of 97.83% of all creationists), then how could a female be made in His image?
Let's grant the general creationist assumptions (correct me if I'm wrong): God is male; men are made "in [His] image" in only a general way (maybe even Adam didn't look exactly like Him); and women were made with necessary differences to enable reproduction. Still a load of embarrassing questions arise. Much has been made of Adam's navel, and why he would have one, having never been attached to a placenta. I want to know if God has one. I want to know if He has a digestive tract. If so, why? Does He eat? If so, what, and why would he need to? Does He excrete? Where? What happens to it? Does He have lungs? Why would He need them? Does He have sweat glands? And naughty stuff: does He have genitals? Why would He need those? Does He even have two legs, and feet, and toes? Why would He need them, unless He's bound by gravity, as we are?
Childish questions? Of course, but only because they arise from a literal (i.e., childish) reading of Genesis. But the point is profound: either God has human-like organs and glands and body parts, or He doesn't. If He does, why, and what does He use them for? If He doesn't, then made "in [His] image" has no literal meaning.
One of the ways that creationists try to weasel out of the volume of water needed for Noah`s Flood is to say that the Earth was much flatter then--the oceans were shallow, and the mountains were more like low hills. Therefore, much less water was required to flood the entire planet. All the mountains were raised after the Flood (or towards the end of it), and the oceans became deeper, allowing the water to drain off (creating the Grand Canyon in the process). This raises two embarrasing questions :
1.How did Noah`s Ark land on top of Mt. Ararat (about 9000 feet high) if the water was never that deep? 2.Where did the deep-ocean fish come from - those hideous monstrosities that are all mouth, teeth and luminous lure and can only live at incredible depths and pressures? Super-fast evolution again?
(suggested by Adrian Barnett) ...to which I would add a corollary question: How, during a worldwide flood when seawater and freshwater would be pretty much thoroughly mixed, would ANY fish survive? I've had enough experience with aquaria to know that darn few freshwater fish species can tolerate saltwater, and vice versa. A flood of the whole Earth consequently would kill off all but a few brackish water species, capable of surviving rapid changes in salinity. Since the oceans and lakes are jam-packed with species exquisitely sensitive to even slight changes in salinity, today's fish have to have evolved since the one-world-ocean of the Flood. Sorry, I just don't believe in evolution--not the lightning variety that creationism demands!
Albert Chan points out that... Creationists hate faith. They count on evidence, words, logic, and arguments to uphold their views. All this reflects how weak (or even absent) their faith is. "See, we can prove that evolution is wrong, so that automaticlly means that the Bible is correct." This implies a notion that [Genesis] is correct... just because evolution has (in their minds) been "proven" wrong. But then it follows that the Bible can in principle be proven wrong. (Something which can be proven right can in principle be proven wrong.) If [creationists] argue that they do have faith, and that the Bible is right regardless of the validity of evolution, then why on earth would they care about whether evolution is right or wrong?
Steven Gay reminds us that wisdom teeth are a bit of a problem for modern humans--and any parts of our bodies that serve no purpose, are in the way, or are just more trouble than they're worth are a bit of a problem for creationists to rationalize. Why would a Master Creator give us more teeth than will fit in our jaws? I don't think I know anybody who has had all four third molars grow into place with the others and serve as useful chewing teeth. In some people they never erupt. My top two grew out, but having no bottom ones to work against, they were useless for chewing. A great many people simply have to have them removed or suffer severe dental problems--because modern jaws are just too small to accommodate third molars. Wisdom teeth make sense as evolutionary leftovers (probably in the process of evolving away entirely). What sense can creationists make of them (especially if one lives to the biblically promised threescore and ten)?
The Last Little Piggie
...the one who went, "Wee, wee, wee!" all the way home. (For those with deprived childhoods, I'm talking about little toes). They're one more body part that is in the way, all too easily injured, and, when you stop to think about it, useless. We don't use them in walking. In parts of the world where people go barefoot most of the time, little toes missing through accident or disease are quite common, and don't hinder the person's mobility at all. Think we need them for balance or something? Our cloven-hoofed fellow mammals get by with two toes on the ground. Horses manage to be mighty fast with just one! Predatory mammals generally put four down. Do we need the extra because we're bipedal? Ostriches are on their feet all day and can outrun anybody I know--how many toes do they use?
Think about it: other primates have prehensile toes. Kids notice right away that monkeys really have four hands. A fifth digit is pretty useful if you're climbing through branches (and secondarily manipulating objects). Our little fingers are truly useful and probably in no danger of disappearing. But we quit climbing in trees with our rear "hands" and they became feet--which explains why they have useless fifth digits.
And while we're at it...
What is that thing hanging off the back of your dog's lower leg? It's his "dewclaw", and it's entirely useless. On some dogs it's so much in the way that it's surgically removed. It's not a result of selective breeding, either. Cats have 'em, wolves have 'em, tigers have 'em. What would it possibly be except a now-useless fifth toe, in the process of disappearing through evolution?
The Land Down Under
Ed Vinson asks just how far it is from Mt. Ararat to Sydney, and which of Noah's sons got stuck with herding all those numbats, wombats, platypi, and wallabies down there without mixing any rats in. G'day, Mate!
Lower Back Pain
Kate Harrop-Allin asks the perceptive question: Why should this condition afflict such a huge percentage of the adult population (I read somewhere that more working days were lost for this than for almost any other reason) when we were supposedly "created" in our present bipedal form?
Other associated problems with our relatively recently-acquired bipedalism (that other animals don't seem to have trouble with):
extreme difficulty in childbirth varicose veins arthritis
....... all of which indicate that we evolved, and quite recently too, from an animal that was predominantly quadrupedal.
They live only in Australia. Their diet is so restricted--to a few subspecies of eucalyptus--that they're threatened now by destruction of the only kinds of trees they will eat. It's also hard to imagine them migrating. Over many generations they might slowly spread through an area--but travellers, they ain't.
And when they did migrate over 9,000 miles, in a tiny herd from Ararat to New South Wales, eating a convenient trail of long-disappeared eucalyptus (which took how many years after the Flood to grow?), they left no trail of koala fossils behind.
A suggestion for creation "researchers": instead of wasting endless hours combing through the writings of real scientists to find phrases to yank out of context that make them seem to doubt evolution--instead of that, put together a real research expedition! Find us that bee-line trail from northern Turkey to Australia. Find us those fossilized eucalyptus leaves, koala footprints, and koala bones. While you're at it, it would be lovely if you turned up a few kangaroos, giant moas, marsupial lions, Tasmanian wolves, and platypuses along that superhighway to the South Pacific.
Enjoy yourselves in Afghanistan.
I have determined, after extensive surveying, tabulation, and data analysis, that the average creationist in the U.S. earns $21,387.29 in family income; owns 1.2 cars, 1.8 TVs, and 2.3 kids; and has, at some point in his life, answered to the name "Bubba". He has less than one year of college. Yet he knows more about paleontology than Bakker or Horner or Currie (or he thinks that what they know is wrong--same thing). He knows more about the definition of evolution than Gould or Dawkins. He knows more about biology than Dobzhansky or Mayr. He knows more about cosmology than Hawking, Smoot, or Witten, and more about human fossils than Johanson or the Leakeys. He knows more "true" geology than geologists, more physics than physicists, more astronomy than astronomers--and more about everything than atheists like Asimov or Sagan. Humble, they're not.
This isn't about the things creationists are just wrong about, like how old the Earth is, but about things that I suspect a good many know are not true, or gross distortions of the truth. The general one is that there is a great debate among scientists about whether species have evolved. A joyous update is that only a few die-hards still believe in the Big Bang. There are plenty of other amusing examples:
human footprints alongside dinosaurs human artifacts found among dinosaur bones a geological column that is almost never in the "proper" order described by geologists proof from all over the world of a worldwide Flood the "NASA computer" that revealed the "extra day" when the sun stopped to give the Israelites more time to conquer Jericho the deep hole geologists drilled and then had to fill in hurriedly when they heard the screams from Hell Darwin's "deathbed recantation" (the "Lady Hope" story)
Nothing seems too silly or too obviously wrong to pass along.
Their own eyes
...defeat them doubly. First, creationists trot out that old saw about how nothing as complex as an eye could evolve in stages, since a half-eye is no good at all. Darwin himself trounced that one roundly by merely observing that there are creatures alive today with eyes in all "stages of development", from a few light-sensitive cells, to a cup-shaped receptor with no proper lens, to eagle eyes far sharper than ours. Other creatures seem to get along fine with half-eyes and even 1/100 eyes.
Then for the final insult, human (the pinnacle of creation) eyes are clearly an engineering mistake! The retinas are inside out. The nerves and blood vessels come out through the light-sensitive area of the retina, producing a blind spot, then spread over the front of the light-receptor cells, so that light has to get past the fibers into the receptors. Why aren't the nerves and capillaries behind the receptors, where they would be out of the way and there would be no need for a blind spot? Squid eyes are arranged just that way. Since ours aren't, one is reminded of the maxim that evolution has to work with the materials at hand, adapting systems already in place, with results that often seem jury-rigged or needlessly complicated. Would an Ultimate Engineer make such an obvious blunder, especially having got it right in creatures created earlier?
Thermodynamics according to Isaiah
The temperature of Heaven can be rather accurately computed. Our authority is the Bible, Isaiah 30:26, describing Heaven: Moreover, the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold as the light of seven days. Thus, Heaven receives from the moon as much radiation as the Earth does from the sun, and in addition seven times seven (forty-nine) times as much as the Earth does from the sun, or 50 times in all. The light we receive from the moon is 1/10,000 of the light we receive from the sun, so we can ignore that. The radiation falling on Heaven will heat it to the point where the heat lost by radiation is just equal to the heat received by radiation, i.e., Heaven loses 50 times as much heat as the Earth by radiation. Using the Stephan-Boltzmann fourth power law for radiation, we have (H/E)4 = 50 where E is the absolute temperature of the Earth, 300 K (27 C). This gives H, the absolute temperature of Heaven, as 798 K (525 C)! (For old-fashioned Americans, that's close to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Your kitchen oven won't get nearly that hot.)
The exact temperature of Hell cannot be computed. However, Revelation 21:8 says: But the fearful and unbelieving... shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone. A lake of molten brimstone (or sulfur) means that its temperature must be at or below the boiling point, 444.6 C (above that point, it would be a vapor, not a lake). We have, then, that Heaven, at 525 C, is hotter than Hell, at less than 445 C.
So who says that the Bible has no accurate and useful scientific data? (suggested by Austin Rosenfeld)
Authentic Degrees and Credentials
Isn't education a pain? It seems that creationists are more prone to getting their science degrees from non-accredited (or just plain fake) religious institutions rather than genuine, accredited schools or universities. Sometimes that's too much of a pain, so they go to a degree mill. Fifty bucks and an SASE, and you're a PhD, ready and qualified to refute evolution!(suggested by Daniel Ball)
Their Third Cousins
One of the more idiotic quips I've heard (more than once, I'm sad to say) from creationists is, "If humans evolved from apes, then how come there are still apes around?" I can't speak for the creationists' immediate ancestry, but mine runs something like this: one of my great-great-grandfathers was named Ross. Among his offspring, one married a Thompson and produced children who were Thompsons. One of those children had children of her own who were neither Rosses nor Thompsons, but Icenogles. An Icenogle daughter produced me, who am none of the above, but a Riggins.
Thus, Rosses gave rise to descendants who are no longer Rosses. Some have become Rigginses. But some Ross descendants are still Rosses! There are still Rosses around, even though some of their descendants "evolved" into Rigginses, and a lot of other "species".
This isn't biological evolution, of course, but the principal is exactly the same: an ancestor can produce descendants which are very like itself (of the same species), while at the same time having other descendants which have become something else. The existence of descendants which have varied widely doesn't mean the original type has ceased to exist, or that there wasn't, in fact, a common ancestor. That's as true of anthropoids and Homo as it is of your ancestors, you, and those third cousins who retain the ancestral name that your branch of the family no longer uses.
One of the more bizarre creationist notions is that before the "Fall", all creatures lived in perfect harmony, and all ate plants (it seems to have something to do with death not existing until Adam bit the fruit). Thus we have an idyllic Eden, with herbivorous cheetahs, eagles, rattlesnakes, wolves, tarantulas, and presumably tyrannosauri and velociraptors. Indeed, the lion could lie down with the lamb.
But then there's me and my dumb questions: Unless the carnivores evolved really rapidly after the "Fall", they came originally equipped as they are now--with claws, incisors, fangs, web-spinning apparatus, etc. What need would an herbivorous rattlesnake have for venomous fangs? Why would a cheetah need blazing speed, unless to run down impala--and why would the impala need to be fast unless to escape speedy cheetahs? Why would those infamous peppered moths have needed camouflage? Why would a skunk need its stink, or a porcupine its quills? What sort of grass did a tyrannosaurus eat with its steak-knife teeth? No matter how hard I try, I can't imagine without amusement a black widow trapping what--berries?--in her web, then envenomating them until they quit struggling! A bison is "designed" as a herbivore, and has been one for a long, long time. Your housecat is plainly "designed" as a meat-eater, and would clearly have a devil of a time trying to graze for a living.
Our Founding Fathers
...because they make creationists appear, shall we say, less than intellectually competent when they toss out a howler like, "George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were creationists!" It makes one want to knock on their heads and call out derisively, "Helllooo! Anybody home in there? In what year did Washington die? When was Origin of Species published?" Old George didn't know about germs, either.
Oh, yes, there are still some around, and they make young-earth creationists uncomfortable, because their risible, crackpot notions are based on a literal interpretation of the Bible. In fact, they take the Bible even more literally than most creationists, assuming it means what it says about corners, foundations, and pillars of the Earth, and that mountain from which one could see the whole Earth. When we laugh at flat-earthers, and can hardly believe such nuts are still around--we're laughing at them for having the same belief system as young-earthers: take-no-prisoners biblical literalism.
Chemists, being somewhat familiar with how elements and molecules combine and recombine non-randomly, haven't risen up as a body to declare the chemical origin or subsequent evolution of life to be a flat-out impossibility. Now why do you suppose that is?
That means tree-ring counting. Dendrochronologists, by matching patterns in annual growth rings, can establish a sequence in living, dead, and long-dead trees in certain areas of the world. That can be a very reliable dating technique for, say, a beam used in an ancient shelter. But this archeological specialty must be completely useless and unreliable, since in some areas ring sequences extend back through the supposed date of the Flood, showing no evidence of same, and indeed way past the usual young-earth creation date. One of the conundrums of creationism is that the Earth was apparently created complete with evidence of a past that never happened, including tree rings, other annual layering phenomena, fossils already in the ground, and light from distant stars already most of the way here--revealing cosmic events that never really happened!
Those are annual layers deposited in lake beds. In some places they are clearly distinguishable because of varying colors and compositions of materials deposited in different seasons. We can see them form, over a few years, so we know exactly what causes them and that they do, in fact, represent one year per layer. The problem, of course, (and darn near everything, it seems, is a problem for creationists) is that there are lakes in the world with many times the 6,000 annual varves that could have been laid down since the Creation.
P.S. Annual ice layers in Greenland and elsewhere are also Satanic deceptions.
The Nobel Prize Committee
...is seemingly blind to the enlightenment brought to the world by "creation scientists". Is that because "creation science" would overturn so many "preconceived notions" of the "scientific establishment", with its "deeply-rooted prejudice against all things Christian"? I don't think so, Tim. I'll wager, conservatively, that at least half of all Nobel prizes go for discoveries that overturn, radically modify, or greatly improve upon older concepts. Science rewards the finding of better answers, not hiding from them.
I would like to know, quite seriously, when the last time was that ANY biblical-literalist-creationist won a Nobel prize in ANY field. Also, has anyone ever won for any work that patently supports a major creationist principle, as opposed to the "evolutionary" view of the nature of the world?
Their Own Fingers
The problem is, there are five. That puts us firmly in the mammal "family" (layman's term). All other mammals have five digits per limb, or the vestigial remains thereof, or we can trace the gradual shrinkage and loss of digits through the fossil record (as with horses). But the principal remains: Mammals have five digits--even when there's no good reason. Why should whales have the bones of exactly five digits buried in their flippers? Why should bats have wings seeming awkwardly stretched over exactly five fingers? "Similarity of design"? Oh, come on. The "Designer" found more efficient ways of making aquatic fins and wings for other creatures.
Same old song: the commonality of five digits among the mammal family makes sense only if we are all descendants of a five-digited ancestor. Some of us mammals have good use for five digits, some have already got rid of a few, and some of us are still stuck with useless ones (like dolphins). Remember, that's what a family is: descendants of a common ancestor. -suggested by Kjetil Furnes
Snake Hips and Whale Pelvises
No, I haven't finally gone around the bend. Although there's not a trace left on the outside, boas, pythons, and blind snakes all have completely useless vestigial hipbones buried in their bodies. So do whales. Now why would an as-is Creation ex nihilo include creatures with functionless bones that really look like the evolutionary leftovers of lost limbs?
It is a strictly human disease. Did the Good Lord bestow the gift of gonorrhea on Adam, or was it Eve? Who carried it onto the ark? Why would God instruct Noah to carry any disease organisms or parasites onto the ark? One of Noah's family had to have been infected, but they were the only people worthy enough to be saved on the whole Earth. Which one had the clap? Why would He create anything so nasty anyway? -suggested by Noah Riggins
The lower part of a chicken's legs are not covered by fur, hair or feathers. What's there? Scales. Is this a sign of their evolutionary past when they evolved from their reptilian ancestors? I think this solves the chicken or the egg riddle: the egg came first in the form of the chicken's ancestors. -verbatim from Jim Lobach
My grandfather, down on the farm, used to have a quaint expression, usually leveled at some lazy individual: as useless as the tits on a boar. Creationists, think hard and send me a carefully reasoned answer explaining why God would create both boars and men (and all other male mammals) with useless nipples (which can even be dangerous--men can get breast cancer). The simple biological-evolutionary answer is that as embryos we are all structurally female first, including proto-breast tissue. Only later in fetal development do the male hormones kick in and modify the feminine genital structures into the masculine. But we men are left with useless breast tissue and nipples, which never get the hormonal signal at puberty to develop into functioning organs. The whole thing seems a messy and cobbled-up system for producing two sexes. Why in Heaven's name would a Designer worth His salt come up with so inefficient a system, with useless parts left over? (Evidence of our heritage: in some of our more "primitive" relatives gender is changeable throughout life. Some species of fish and reptiles can switch genders without the help of a Swedish surgeon. They just respond to environmental cues.) -suggested by David Pickering...but hey, I was thinking of it too!
Does God have a beetle fixation? Why else would He create so many different kinds? Maybe He loves them more than man. After all, can a beetle sin? --Noah Riggins
The Efficacy of Science
Funny how science gets it all RIGHT when you want a computer, medical science to heal your illness, anti-lock brakes to save your life - but all evolutionists - using the scientific method you take advantage of all day long - are wrong. -Rob Mickus To which I would add this further note: evolutionary biology gets it right when you want improved corn yields, a vaccine ready for this year's flu strain, or the discovery of new oil fields--but we must keep that a secret from the kids, or at least teach them that magic is an equally valid explanation for how things got to be the way they are.
Noah and His Ancestors
John Hoppner points out that creationists must be a bit miffed at Noah and his ancestors for cremating their dead, because that destroyed all of their evidence of having human remains intermixed in the fossil record.
Libraries and Schools
John has also realized that creationists hate Libraries, because they allow curious people like him to find the resources they list, which have been terribly misquoted. That also makes him think they hate schools, that taught him to read and use the library to get information.
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