Good to know we’re in such safe hands

Stark just sent me this link and I felt I had to share it with you in a post (because not everyone reads comments):

I don’t blame her personally – she’s a politician, so I’d hardly expect her to be smart or anything – but it’s her completely unquestioning confidence in her “fact” that’s the scary thing. She seems not to notice anything even remotely peculiar or troubling about the idea that the Earth is only 6,000 years old.

This is ARIZONA, for pity’s sake! Even if you want to believe that the entire Grand Canyon was carved out during Day Forty of Noah’s Flood, as all that water was mysteriously draining away through some plughole in the Pacific, you only have to stand on the edge of it for a few seconds to see that the vertical mile of very hard sediments it cuts through couldn’t conceviably, not by any stretch of even such a badly atrophied imagination, have been laid down in a mere forty days and forty nights. Or even 4,000 years, which is the most we could allow, even assuming the Flood finished on the Tuesday before Jesus was born. I mean, if all that solid rock was just silt from the Flood then it had to get there from somewhere uphill. The Rockies, presumably, so did they just erode into trillions of tons of dust during a wet weekend before the Deluge started in earnest? And the peculiar distribution of all those darned fossils in it ought to be a bit troubling, to say the least…

I really find it hard to believe than anyone can live in this 200 million to two billion year-old landscape for more than a week and not notice how utterly inconsistent it all is with the idea of a 6,000 year-old Earth. But then she lives in Phoenix and all that heat can addle one’s brain. Mercifully, up here in Flagstaff, where the air is clearer and our blood stays below boiling point, people seem rather more rational.

Anyway, she clearly has a damn good argument for opening a uranium mine. I’d trust her judgement, wouldn’t you?

Thanks, Stark!

GC2

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About stevegrand
I'm an independent AI and artificial life researcher, interested in oodles and oodles of things but especially the brain. And chocolate. I like chocolate too.

9 Responses to Good to know we’re in such safe hands

  1. Stark says:

    Actually, with her cognitive skills, I’d even give her control of our uranium-tipped missiles. Or maybe I’m going too far? 🙂

    Great arguments against her though! For some reason I forgot how many great examples of Earth dynamics/formation there are in Arizona… (How could I have forgot when all those beautiful pictures you took? :))

  2. Stark says:

    (Oops, I also forgot to say)

    I find it to be so reassuring that life and the Earth started the day humanity began writing down history. 🙂

    • stevegrand says:

      Have you read the comments on YouTube? Fascinating!

      • Stark says:

        Ugh, I try to avoid reading comments on Youtube videos primarily for how things like this happen:

        “ewoowoo74, a human has to mate with a human in order for anything to be passed on. Try screwing a chimpanzee and report back on how many new species result from the union.”

        We’re doomed. 😀

      • stevegrand says:

        I love it! How about this one:

        “andrewh23, you claim my approach lets me disregard every piece of scientific evidence there is. No, my worldview lets me accommodate all the facts without abandoning faith in God and His word. BTW, if God had just created us all 20 seconds ago with a lifetime of memories, that WOULD be our world. There’d be no “trick” involved. That’s what it means to be a CREATOR. You can create a movie, drama, novel, etc. in imitation of God; that’s analogous to how God has created and defined our reality.”

        Now I can’t argue with that. It’s all just a stage set, designed to fool us into thinking the Earth is very ancient (apart from the stuff in the Bible, of course, which maybe wasn’t supposed to leak out). My only question would be “why? Was God bored?”

        Here’s my favorite so far:

        I would say Arizonians should be ashamed, but I live in Louisiana 😦

  3. Stark says:

    I was waiting for that bit of rationalization! 🙂
    God put the dinosaur fossils there to test our faith.
    Sadly, what we do in the name of God also seems to be what we do in the name of cognitive dissonance. 😦

    If I were God, I wouldn’t do all this dirty work of a top-down creator, I’d be pretty chuffed at making a dynamic universe that could do the amazing things we see in it from a bottom-up approach. But that’s just me.. 🙂

    LOL @ Arizona vs. Louisiana comment. Right on. 🙂

  4. Nicholas Lee says:

    Leucochloridium paradoxum is a particularly nasty form of parasitic flatworm that uses snails as part of its life cycle. The worm in its larval, stage, travels into the digestive system of a snail to develop into the next stage, sporocyst. The sporocyst grows into long tubes to form swollen “broodsacs” filled with tens to hundreds of cercariae. These broodsacs invade the snail’s eye tentacle, causing a brilliant transformation, of the tentacles, into a (presumably exquisitely painful) swollen, pulsating, colourful display that mimics the appearance of a caterpillar or grub.
    The broodsacs seem to pulsate in response to light intensity, and in total darkness do not pulse at all. The infection of the tentacles of the eyes seems to inhibit the perception of light intensity. Whereas uninfected snails seek dark areas to prevent predation, infected snails are more likely to become exposed to predators such as birds. Birds are the definitive hosts where the cercariae develop into adult distomes in the digestive system of the bird. These adult forms sexually reproduce and lay eggs that are released from the host via the bird’s excretory system. These droppings are then consumed by snails to complete the life cycle of this parasitic worm.

    This story is useful in two ways, firstly because a caring god would presumably not create something that caused such appalling pain to snails. Secondly I think that Leucochloridium paradoxum is an excellent analogy for the way that the meme of religion causes humans to change their behaviour patterns in ways that enhance the propagation of the meme with callous disregard to its effects on the human host.

    Once infected with the religion meme, a human’s ability to rationalise appears to become dramatically reduced to the point where they will create elaborate confabulations to justify the obvious and absurd contradictions between their beliefs and the basic evidence of their senses. Religion also causes the infected individual to actively seek out other individuals to infect, with particular focus on children and other vulnerable and impressionable groups. The infection also causes the individual to exhibit hostility towards out-groups consisting of individuals infected with different strains of religion and uninfected individuals who exhibit resistance to infection.

  5. stevegrand says:

    That’s beautifully put, Nick! Thanks very much for that. I think your analogy is excellent, even though I don’t suppose most religious people would like to think of themselves as infected hosts!

    I guess many Christians would have no problem with a caring god doing such things to snails because they are taught that snails are merely here for our benefit and have no moral status. But here’s a quote from David Attenborough that solves that one:

    ‘Telling the magazine that he was asked why he did not give “credit” to God, Attenborough added: “They always mean beautiful things like hummingbirds. I always reply by saying that I think of a little child in east Africa with a worm burrowing through his eyeball. The worm cannot live in any other way, except by burrowing through eyeballs. I find that hard to reconcile with the notion of a divine and benevolent creator.”‘

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