NY Times: Evolutionists Battle New Theory on Creation aka: "INTELLIGENT DESIGN"

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NY Times: Evolutionists Battle New Theory on Creation aka: "INTELLIGENT DESIGN"

Evolutionists Battle New Theory on Creation Evolutionists find themselves arrayed not against creationism, with its roots in the Bible, but against the intelligent design theory: that the Earth must be the work of a cosmic life force.


April 8, 2001

Evolutionists Battle New Theory on Creation


When Kansas school officials restored the theory of evolution to statewide education standards a few weeks ago, biologists might have been inclined to declare victory over creationism.

Instead, some evolutionists say, the latter stages of the battle in Kansas, along with new efforts in Michigan and Pennsylvania as well as in a number of universities and even in Washington, suggest that the issue is far from settled.

This time, though, the evolutionists find themselves arrayed not against traditional creationism, with its roots in biblical literalism, but against a more sophisticated idea: the intelligent design theory.

Proponents of this theory, led by a group of academics and intellectuals and including some biblical creationists, accept that the earth is billions of years old, not the thousands of years suggested by a literal reading of the Bible.

But they dispute the idea that natural selection, the force Darwin suggested drove evolution, is enough to explain the complexity of the earth's plants and animals. That complexity, they say, must be the work of an intelligent designer.

This designer may be much like the biblical God, proponents say, but they are open to other explanations, such as the proposition that life was seeded by a meteorite from elsewhere in the cosmos, possibly involving extraterrestrial intelligence, or the new age philosophy that the universe is suffused with a mysterious but inanimate life force.

In recent months, the proponents of intelligent design have advanced their case on several fronts.

¶In Kansas, after the backlash against the traditional biblical creationism, proponents of the design theory have become the dominant anti- evolution force, though they lost an effort to have theories like intelligent design considered on an equal basis with evolution in school curriculums.

¶In Michigan, nine legislators in the House of Representatives have introduced legislation to amend state education standards to put intelligent design on an equal basis with evolution.

¶In Pennsylvania, where biblical creationists and design theorists have operated in concert, state officials are close to adopting educational standards that would allow the teaching of theories on the origin and development of life other than evolution.

¶Backers of intelligent design organized university-sanctioned conferences at Yale and Baylor last year, and the movement has spawned at least one university student organization — called Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness, or the IDEA club — at the University of California in San Diego.

¶The Discovery Institute, a research institute in Seattle that promotes conservative causes, organized a briefing on intelligent design last year on Capitol Hill for prominent members of Congress.

"They are skilled in analyzing evidence and ideas," said Representative Tom Petri, a Wisconsin Republican and one of several members of Congress who was a host at the session in a Congressional hearing room. "They are making a determined effort to attempt to present the intelligent design theory, and ask that it be judged by normal scientific criteria."

Polls show that the percentage of Americans who say they believe in creationism is about 45 percent. George W. Bush took the position in the presidential campaign that children should be exposed to both creationism and evolution in school.

Supporters of Darwin see intelligent design as more insidious than creationism, especially given that many of its advocates have mainstream scientific credentials, which creationists often lack.

"The most striking thing about the intelligent design folks is their potential to really make anti-evolutionism intellectually respectable," said Dr. Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education in Oakland, Calif., which promotes the teaching of evolution.

Dr. Adrian Melott, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Kansas in Lawrence and a member of Kansas Citizens for Science, a group that helped win the restoration of evolution to the state education standards, said the design theory was finding adherents among doctors, engineers and people with degrees in the humanities.

Intelligent design is "the language that the creationists among the student body tend to use now," Dr. Melott said.

One of the first arguments for the design theory was set out in "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution" (Simon & Schuster, 1996), by Dr. Michael J. Behe, a professor of biological sciences at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. Dr. Behe argued that various biochemical structures in cells could not have been built in a stepwise Darwinian fashion.

Since then, the movement has gained support among a few scientists in other disciplines, most of them conservative Christians.

"I'm very impressed with the level of scientific work and the level of scientific dialogue among the leaders of the design movement," said Dr. Guillermo Gonzalez, an astronomer at the University of Washington in Seattle. The theory "warrants further research," Dr. Gonzalez said.

Leaders of the design movement also look for flaws in evolutionist thinking and its presentation, and have scored heavily by publicizing embarrassing mistakes in prominent biology textbooks.

"There is a legitimate intellectual project here," said Dr. William Dembski, a leading proponent of intelligent design who has a doctorate in mathematics from the University of Chicago and who is on the faculty at Baylor, which receives a small part of its financing from the Texas Baptist Convention. "It is not creationism. There's not a commitment to Genesis literalism."

Dr. Dembski conceded that his interest in alternatives to Darwinian theory was partly brought on by the fact that he is an evangelical Christian, but he said intelligent design could withstand strict scientific scrutiny.

"The religious conviction played a role," he said. But he added, "As far as making me compromise in my work, that's the last thing I want to do."

Evolutionary biologists maintain that the arguments of intelligent design do not survive scrutiny, but they concede that a specialist's knowledge of particular mathematical or biological disciplines is often needed to clinch the point.

"I would use the words `devilishly clever,' " said Dr. Jerry Coyne, a professor of ecology and evolution at the University of Chicago, speaking of the way the theory is constructed. "It has an appeal to intellectuals who don't know anything about evolutionary biology, first of all because the proponents have Ph.D.'s and second of all because it's not written in the sort of populist, folksy, anti-intellectual style. It's written in the argot of academia."

Despite that gloss, Dr. Leonard Krishtalka, a biologist and director of the University of Kansas Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Research Center, said recently, "Intelligent design is nothing more than creationism dressed in a cheap tuxedo."

Dr. Dembski said his rather vague doubts about Darwinism did not take scientific shape until he attended an academic conference in 1988, just after finishing his doctoral thesis. The conference explored the difficulty of preparing perfectly random strings of numbers, which are important in cryptography, in computer science and in statistics.

One problem is that seemingly random strings often contain patterns discernible only with mathematical tests. Dr. Dembski wondered whether he could devise a way to find evidence of related patterns in the randomness of nature.

Dr. Dembski eventually developed what he called a mathematical "explanatory filter" that he asserted can distinguish randomness from complexity designed by an intelligent agent. He explained this idea in "The Design Inference" (Cambridge University Press, 1998).

Dr. Dembski has applied his explanatory filter to the biochemical structures in cells — and concluded that blind natural selection could not have created them.

But in a detailed critique of Dr. Dembski's filter theory, published in the current issue of the magazine The Skeptical Inquirer, Dr. Taner Edis, a physicist at Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo., said that while Dr. Dembski's mathematics were impressive, his analysis was probably detecting only the complexity that evolution itself would normally produce.

"They have come up with something genuinely interesting in the information-theory arguments," Dr. Edis said of intelligent design theorists. "At least they make an effort to get rid of some of the blatantly fundamentalist elements of creationism."

Dr. Behe, whose book provided the biochemical basis for Dr. Dembski's work, said he believed that certain intricate structures in cells, involving the cooperative action of many protein molecules, were "irreducibly complex," because removing just one of the proteins could leave those structures unable to function. If the structure serves no function without all of its parts, Dr. Behe asks, then how could evolution have built it up step by step over the ages?

"I don't think something like that could have happened by simple natural laws," he said.

Most biologists disagree.

"It's flat wrong," said Dr. H. Allen Orr, an evolutionary geneticist and professor at the University of Rochester. Dr. Orr said that cell structures might have been put together in all sorts of unpredictable ways over the course of evolution and that a protein added might not have been indispensable at first, but only later, when many more proteins were woven around it.

"The fact that that system is irreducibly complex doesn't mean you can't get there by Darwinian evolution," Dr. Orr said.

Exactly how a designer might have assembled cell structures, say, is a question seldom addressed by design theorists. But they point out that Darwinists cannot necessarily offer detailed, step-by-step sequences of events for them either.

Dr. Behe, Dr. Dembski and Phillip E. Johnson, a professor emeritus of the law school at the University of California at Berkeley, are regarded as the intellectual fathers of the design theory movement. Mr. Johnson's book "Darwin on Trial" (InterVarsity Press, 1991) has become its manifesto. The book focuses on what Mr. Johnson says are the difficulties Darwinian theory has in explaining the fossil record.

Until last fall, Dr. Dembski was the director of a center at Baylor that was dedicated to the study of intelligent design theory. After complaints from other Baylor faculty members, the center's focus and leadership were changed, and it now includes design theory as well as other philosophical, theological and scientific topics.

Dr. Dembski and Dr. Behe are fellows of the Discovery Institute, the Seattle research institute that promotes intelligent design in its Center for the Renewal of Science and Culture.

The center's $1.1 million annual budget is supplied largely by Christian foundations that broadly endorse the implications of the intelligent design theory, said Bruce Chapman, Discovery's president. Mr. Johnson is an adviser to the institute, he said.

The center, which reaches people through books, articles, lectures and local activism, "is going to be of interest to academics," Mr. Chapman said. "But it's also going to be of interest to people in a more grass- roots situation because they're teaching science or because they're on a school board somewhere."

-- Anonymous, April 08, 2001


God is an engineer!

-- Anonymous, April 08, 2001

I don't think the creationist/evolutionist arguments will go away in my lifetime. One of my son's best friends [he only has three] has been arguing this one with my son since they were about 5. That's 13.5 years now, and I haven't seen either of them waver. My guess is they'll still occasionally argue about this one long after I'm dead. [Some folks just like to do that, I think.] ---

Ain't Nobody Here in Arkansas But Us Monkeys

Bob Lancaster of the Arkansas Times, March 30, 2001


I always feel a little sorry for these yokels when another of them comes down from the hills with a new version of the old legislation to repeal the theory of evolution and to refute the insufferable contention that all of mankind, or anyhow him and his'n, burbled up out of the same gene pool that brought forth also J. Fred Muggs and the only creditable emoter in "Every Which Way But Loose," the fightin' orang Clyde.

Evolution is a concept that is hard on stupid people-perhaps even harder on them than it is on those who are merely grossly ignorant and superstitious and naive.

It offers them no quarter and no consolation, and in the dark of night it whispers to them a terrible prospect, that there's no escape for them, in this world or in the kingdom come, from the conflicted and frightened mortal mess of who they are.

That midnight intimation of doom is no less scary for an ol' boy's believing that the voice of the devil is its deliverer. So there's always the initial pang of sympathy, even if it doesn't last, subsumed in the ensuing flare of resentment against pushy people forked forward by ecclesiastic-raised haints to write their denial fantasies into public policy and oblige general subscription to them by the force of law. The genesis of the little spasm of sympathy, I suppose, is that I've been there myself, before the charitable intervention, there where pinhead seraphs traffic and the glossalalia starts to scan, and so know the discomfiture.

The theory of evolution truly is the dire enemy of everything that the common variety of Christian fundamentalists believe about themselves, this world, and the afterlife. If human beings really did evolve from very different life forms, and if we are still evolving - so that the human beings of a million years hence are bound to be at least as different from us as we are from the hairy, gibbering little upright scramblers of a million years ago-then the entire creationist world view is exposed as a cruel and tacky hoax.

That view simply won't admit of a Creator prying open an australopithecene and sticking an immortal soul in among its giblets. It requires that the first human beings had no ancestors at all, much less beastly ones, and that they looked, spoke, and thought pretty much as we do. They simply appeared out of nothingness not very long ago with all the earth's other flora and fauna, finished products from the gitgo and never works in progress, and the life forms haven't changed since. No new species have appeared, and if some of the originals disappeared, dinosaurs for example, it was only because they didn't come running when Noah honked the all aboard.

If all of this isn't literally true-not just mythically true-then in the creationist view the whole business fades to hoax, as bereft of verisimilitude as a masquerade: Heaven and Hell become fairy-tale places and when you die you die.

A great many of the more sophisticated Christians, and adherents of other faiths, have artfully adapted to the more trying of the Darwinian implications - the geological time scale and the slow development by natural processes of the more complex life forms, including the one clever enough to have made "I'll be a monkey's uncle" into a rather cheerful, humorous figure of speech. But from their high crags of literalism and uniformitarianism, the fundamentalists haven't been able to make that leap. Their faith admits of no accommodation or compromise, and for them the old conflict between science and religion remains stark and irreconcilable. In their estimation, you either swallow the whole camel or strain at the first gnat and beg off altogether. You accept and affirm "the truth," as Rep. Holt outlined it in his HB 2548 a few days ago, or you scuttle your old monkey bohunk on down to the brimstone cubby that already has your John Henry on it.

They've got so much invested in this proposition that one might almost forgive them their trespasses like HB 2548 - or one might if the target of their anti-evolution lurchings weren't always the children. Their own children, your children, all children, waylaid unsuspecting in the classroom when they suppose they're getting the bona fide scientific skinny. Drafting poor old damned-if-they-do-or- don't science teachers to serve as creationism's instrument, its cootied prophets holding forth.

Meantime, science has no such evangels, nor enthusiasts, nor even lobbyists. And it doesn't dispute any of the creationists' redneck calumnies so much as it blithely ignores them. It just goes on about its business serene and oblivious, pondering anatomical relics and examining lizard bones 25,000 times older than those of slain Abel. It doesn't even speak the same language as the yokels eternally laying it siege: 142 years after "Origin." For example, they still haven't the first clue what science means by the word "theory," and give them another 142 years and they still won't know... and won't care, and won't wear no underwear.

And yet defenseless as science appears in these recurrent little sallies ag'in it, there's never the least doubt which point of view will prevail, and which table will end up looking for all the world like the Nairobi Trio. Igno and supe got some new ink with HB 2548, with their old bud dumb middlemanning in the House well to their Rastus and Roofus endplay, but they looked such buffoons that it was awful hard to see danger in them. If a ponderable threat to the integrity of scientific thinking and teaching and learning in Arkansas ever does materialize, surely its point of origin won't be such a congress of clowns.

-- Anonymous, April 08, 2001

This is where I get frustrated. The real problem is the way that ID is *PERCEIVED*; the popular press have this idea that it's just Creationism in a new suit of clothes. Sure, Creationists are flocking into the fold and becoming ID adherents. (Phil Johnson is a good example there.) But that's about like claiming that all conservatives want the old folks to freeze and die or that all liberals secretly long for a socialistic state. It's pure spin based on DELIBERATE oversimplification.

More to the point, deciding a priori that something cannot be correct solely because it gives aid and comfort to an opposing philosophy is hardly objective science. Most of the negative reaction to ID has come from the "classic" evolutionists, who have a knee-jerk reaction against anything that even SMELLS of creationism.

But Behe's original argument (which WAS flawed; it was a starting point!) has long since given birth to other ideas. Biologists like Jonathan Welles at Berkeley, Paul Chien at UC-San Francisco and others are giving ID a serious look. It's not just Dembski and Behe, though that's what ID's opponents want you to believe.

In fact, you KNOW that you're talking to someone who hasn't really investigated ID if they focus on Behe and his arguments against undirected evolution. In fact, ID predates Behe; he didn't create it. Nor is he its only spokesman. The entire field of ID goes all the way back to the Big Bang and through abiogenesis.

Just imagine, just for a moment, that the proto-life on this planet *WAS* seeded by a "master race?" This has PROFOUND implications that would HAVE to be considered, and avoiding that possibility solely because it might give aid and comfort to the religious nuts is hardly objective science.

Perfect example: Paul Davies is NOT a Young Earth Fundamentalist by any stretch. In fact, he plainly states that he's not a Christian; in belief, I would call him an agnostic who (at most) LEANS toward theism. He gives very little aid to the "classic" creationist viewpoint, I assure you.

But in his latest book (The Fifth Miracle), even HE advocates a new "intelligent force" -- perhaps a completely new scientific principle heretofore undiscovered -- to explain the origin of life.

I strongly recommend that book (once again; I know I'm sounding like a broken record here[g]).

-- Anonymous, April 08, 2001

I have every confidence that Flint and Tarzan et al will deconstruct the ID heresy and show us that it is just dressed-up Creationism.

-- Anonymous, April 08, 2001


To be fair, Creationists *ARE* flocking to ID like fish to bait; that's what has traditional evolutionists worried. But in their zeal to protect the theory of evolution against (admittedly-weak) arguments such as Behe's, they're painting ALL of Intelligent Design with a broad brush.

That's what I objected to.

There are plenty of scientists who personally believe that there is some kind of "life force" or "intelligent agent" behind the cosmos, too many to name. Davies is just one of many.

-- Anonymous, April 08, 2001

No, this situation is not so simple. Young earth creationists are as hopeless as Anita's article depicts them, but ID is something very different, all depending on what you take it to really mean.

But most important, ID is NOT science. It is definition and not observation. Yes, we can say life on earth *might* have been created by magic, and it *might* have come from outer space, now what evidence do we have for either one, and how can such speculations be framed in a testable way?

As I wrote before, God *might* have created the entire universe 10 seconds ago, with all the countless indications of great age built right in. Nobody could ever prove otherwise, but the idea leads to no further understanding of anything.

The "spontaneous generation" notion is more tractable. We can show that it is possible, perhaps (depending on the assumptions underlying your model) even likely. ID is not necessary, and why create such complications without need? If Intelligent Design is the answer to a question, it's a much better answer to the question "Given that God created everything, how can we make this idea most plausible to non- believers?" than to the question "How did life arise?"

And that's where *I* get frustrated. I've never heard of anyone taking ID seriously, who does not *already* take God for granted. Drop the God business, and ID seems quaint and silly.

-- Anonymous, April 08, 2001

As I wrote before, God *might* have created the entire universe 10 seconds ago, with all the countless indications of great age built right in. Nobody could ever prove otherwise....

Yes, they could. With C14.

-- Anonymous, April 08, 2001


I've never heard of anyone taking ID seriously, who does not *already* take God for granted. Drop the God business, and ID seems quaint and silly.

That depends on which flavor of ID you're talking about. The biological flavor of ID probably DOESN'T have many people pushing it who weren't at least disposed to be believers to start with. Jonathan Wells, Paul Chien and Michael Behe are all Christians, IIRC. I know that Dembski is (you don't need me to tell you that Phil Johnson is).

(By the way, Phil came here last year and spoke to the church that Sandy and I were attending at the time. He mostly focused on philosophy in the message that we heard.)

In physics/cosmology, now, it's a bit different. Paul Davies has already been mentioned. Paul Tipler at U of Kansas was an atheist. Albert Einstein started as an agnostic. The examples here are legion.

Shoot, John Polkinghorne quit the field and became an Anglican priest over what was, in essense, Intelligent Design (though few were calling it that at the time). :)

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2001


Don't be silly. If God could wave His magic wand and create the entire universe and everything, a little C14 would be trivial. Creationists (now "intelligent design proponents) are talking Big Magic here, no detail of internal consistency too trivial to be overlooked.


I'm not sure about the Einstein business. As I recall, Einstein (at least initially) rejected quantum mechanics because "God does not play dice with the universe." This was not late in Einstein's life either.

I need to read Davies, before I can hold any opinion on his writing. But I certainly have seen discussions about how even the tiniest changes in the 4 forces would make the universe as we know it impossible. And I agree this is quite true, our universe depends on a whole lot of constants being precisely what they are (to a great deal of precision) even to get the general kind of universe we have, much less to allow everything that has developed inside it.

But again, this is arguing backwards, saying that since the pebble could have landed in an infinite number of places, it could ONLY have landed where it did by miracle! We have no idea of how many potential universes never "worked out" because things didn't land exactly right. All we know is that at least one combination works this well. For all we know, there might be any number of other universes, based on constants that produce *something*, inside which denizens are postulating the "Intelligent Design" behind their apparent uniqueness.

Incidentally, I don't understand your continued citing of some scientists who became Christians. Sure, there were some. And some became aficionados of other religions, and even more dropped their religions altogether, and the vast majority didn't change. (And you never mention a single one of them. How very selective!) So what? Perhaps religions rely on popularity contests, but science should not. If I cited some scientists who became athiests, would YOU think whatever support you find for ID had become less persuasive?

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2001

Flint, I think you continue to misunderstand where I'm coming from.

I'm not sure about the Einstein business. As I recall, Einstein (at least initially) rejected quantum mechanics because "God does not play dice with the universe." This was not late in Einstein's life either.

The timeline is what counts. Einstein was an agnostic when he released his original paper. After Edwin Hubble discovered that the universe was expanding (as Einstein's formula had predicted, but which he himself, ironically, rejected at first) in the late 20's, Einstein became a theist. The quote about God and dice came later, IIRC.

But I certainly have seen discussions about how even the tiniest changes in the 4 forces would make the universe as we know it impossible.

A nitpick: it's not four parameters, it's several dozen, at last count.

We have no idea of how many potential universes never "worked out" ...

... but since these other realms cannot be observed, they cannot form part of any scientific theory. (This is the biggest flaw in Andre Linde's "bubble universe" idea; see Hawking's discussion of this in Brief History of Time.)

Now I will do what all creationists do; I will give you a A Quote From A Scientist.[g] (But there's a reason.)

For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason ... [it] ends like a bad dream. For the past three hundred years, scientists have scaled the mountain of ignorance and as they pull themselves over the final rock, they are greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.

That's from Robert Jastrow's book God And The Astronomers. Just for the record, Jastrow remains an agnostic. This quote has been sorely misunderstood by many Creationists, so let me tell you what I think: he was actually talking about what WE'RE discussing here.

Prior to the confirmation of the Big Bang, most scientists (of ALL stripes and flavors) were convinced that they could develop a completely mechanistic view of nature from start to finish; that there would be no need for faith at any point. This, in fact, *IS* the so-called Modern Synthesis (dating to the period around WWII).

The problem is, physicists now know (as much as anything CAN be "known" with certainty) that this is not possible. Either you accept that this universe is unique (and deal with the apparent design, which implies Creation) or *BELIEVE* that there are other universes (which is not science, but just that: BELIEF).

THIS is what Jastrow was referring to.

Again: I ACKNOWLEDGE that you can certainly believe that there are other realms! But many physicists (and cosmologists in general) have become aware of this irony: that, in the final analysis, there will always be places where FAITH is required.

This is VERY significant, Flint, and has been going on under our (meaning laycreatures') noses. The very definition of science -- or at least the underlying philosophy behind the Modern Synthesis, that science would one day be able to develop a completely mechanistic, rational view of everything -- may be invalid.

Incidentally, I don't understand your continued citing of some scientists who became Christians ...

I was SPECIFICALLY addressing your statement that you were unaware of any scientist who took ID seriously.

(I was trying to be ... errr ... helpful.[g])

By the way, Davies and Tipler are NOT Christians. I used them as examples for that reason. I'm just talking about the willingness of many scientists now to accept "Intelligent Design" (at least in some aspects).

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2001


Again we just don't seem able to communicate. Yes, I know there are many parameters all required to work in harmony to produce this universe. Whether this is the only possible universe, I don't know. I remember reading somewhere of some people trying to determine if different combinations of parameters might produce a different but still viable universe. I don't know how that came out, but it strikes me as a foolish exercise. I don't believe we are equipped to investigate the unguessable nature of undefinable realities.

But even if this is the only combination that opens the lock, that doesn't necessarily imply design. Perhaps countless infinitesimal proto-universes are constantly experiencing their nanosecond of existence before falling back into the "foam of probability" due to unworkable parameters. And in such a case, a "winner" blundering into the expansion phase might be something bound to happen.

Now, this is pure speculation, I know that. The purpose of the speculation is to demonstrate that proposals can be made that are testable in principle (although we don't have the technology and may never have it). I agree that at some point, we might be able to go no further and must accept that anything before that is not knowable. But at least to me, there is a qualitative difference between saying "We can never know some things", and saying "THEREFORE, some Creator must have done it!" To me, this is nothing more than a childish attempt to use magic to fill in the blanks. Why not just leave them blank?

I'm not going to claim that science has no boundaries, and indeed on this forum and on Unk's I've said repeatedly that that science is inherently limited, that there are valid questions the scientific method is not equipped to address. But if "Intelligent Design" is a phrase coined to describe regions from which data cannot be collected, then it is poorly named. It really does sound like we're substituting "god did it" for "we don't know".

If, along with Alfred Bester (read "The Stars My Destination"), you want to postulate that the Big Bang was instigated by Will and Idea, go for it. I simply find this unnecessary. I'm content to investigate all that's happened since, and postpone opinion about the cause of the Bang pending new data. We haven't scratched the surface of cosmology, so it's suspiciously early to be ringing in a God as explanation for what we haven't got to yet.

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2001

Flint, you're the "silly" (to put it politely) one. You've obviously never heard of C14 dating.

-- Anonymous, April 10, 2001


Not necessarily. The postulate is that God created the entire cosmos, peeples and all, with the appearance of age. If one can imagine Him doing that, it's not such a stretch to imagine that He diddled the C12/C14 ratios to agree.


-- Anonymous, April 10, 2001

Thanks, Stephen. I was having some difficulty imagining a god who could create us out of nothing complete with our very memories (all in sync with one anothers' memories in the process), and then couldn't distribute His carbon isotopes properly. Even if you believe in a god who is *nearly* omnicient, that's a mighty strange shortcoming!

-- Anonymous, April 10, 2001

Re C14: And God said "let there be half-lives, half lived already!" :^)

-- Anonymous, April 11, 2001

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