Cosmic Dancer
August 27, 2005 12:19 PM   Subscribe

Did the Devil bury dinosaur bones to trick people? No longer the Devil's handiwork, dinosaurs are being embraced by Christians, who have reclaimed them for Jesus.
posted by The Jesse Helms (110 comments total)

 
Oh for the love of FSM, this is getting weirder every day.
posted by moonbird at 12:24 PM on August 27, 2005


This is awesome:


posted by Bort at 12:38 PM on August 27, 2005



Science holds that dinosaurs were the Earth's royalty for about 160 million years. Their reign ended abruptly, possibly after a meteorite smacked into the planet, but they're considered the forebears of birds.


Actually, dinosaurs ARE birds. Not that creationists are likely to know that.
posted by Citizen Premier at 12:41 PM on August 27, 2005


Whoops. I meant to say that birds are dinosaurs. Well aren't I a dumb smartass.
posted by Citizen Premier at 12:43 PM on August 27, 2005


...lived many millions of years ago, and that they died out long before mankind came into existence.

But how do we know that these people know what happened? Do they know somebody that was there?


HUH?
posted by StickyCarpet at 12:45 PM on August 27, 2005


My favorite quote of the day: "Give me a break," said Kevin Padian, curator at the University of California Museum of Paleontology in Berkeley and president of National Center for Science Education, an Oakland group that supports teaching evolution. "For them, 'The Flintstones' is a documentary."
posted by leftcoastbob at 12:46 PM on August 27, 2005


I wasn't taught that the devil placed fossils in the earth.

I was taught that god purposely put them in the earth to test our faith. To see if we'd believe in him or in scientists. Also, the earth is 4000 years old tops.

This was an LCMS school. Their official position on the issue is here

ugh
posted by pieoverdone at 12:47 PM on August 27, 2005


"I think God put you here to test my faith, dude." --Bill Hicks

I swear, we need Bill more now than ever.
posted by keswick at 12:58 PM on August 27, 2005


The carbon dating shtick appears to come from this article from these fine folks. I'm saddened to see that a google search on "accuracy of carbon dating years" gives this *cough* astute article as first result, who contend that C14 dating is only reliable for 3000 to 3,500 years.
[Just for the record, as I understand it, C14 dating is useful to approximately 50,000 years when other radiodating methods become more reliable]
(Just felt like doing a little background perusal. Fuck. Please keep these lunatics in the States. Cheers)
posted by peacay at 12:59 PM on August 27, 2005


from my media-educated point of view: very good and professional timing in the movie. seem to have a good feeling for directing sceenes.
good work
posted by seitensprung at 1:00 PM on August 27, 2005


sorry, the above comment was for the other article.
posted it again where it belongs
posted by seitensprung at 1:02 PM on August 27, 2005


From the last link:
Question
"I really enjoyed your site. I find it really informative but I have one question. Are dinosaurs recorded in any other religious books? My friend and I were discussing dinosaurs and how they fit in the Bible and started to wonder whether other religious texts contain them at all. thanks!" Janya L. H. 1/14/01
Answer:
As far as I know, no other religious books mention dinosaurs or dragons. This makes it even more convincing to me that the Bible alone is the inspired Word of God.


1) Evolution is false.
2) Yet dinosaurs existed.
3) So dinosaurs must have co-existed with man.
4) Among all religious texts, only the Bible mentions dinosaurs, so
5) The Bible is the true word of God.

Well! Who can argue with that?
posted by maryh at 1:02 PM on August 27, 2005


double post!

(no, just kidding. but I posted it first)

posted by matteo at 1:05 PM on August 27, 2005


"But how do we know that these people know what happened? Do they know somebody that was there?"

I don't have the words to describe just how vastly that particular specious argument annoys the motherfucking holy fuck out of me.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:11 PM on August 27, 2005


A hyperactive juice that only I can produce
That fuels a giant drill
Bores straight into hell
Releasing ancient demons from their sleep-forever spell

posted by Pretty_Generic at 1:15 PM on August 27, 2005


A hyperactive juice that only I can produce
That fuels a giant drill
Bores straight into hell
Releasin' ancient demons from their sleep forever spell

posted by Pretty_Generic at 1:15 PM on August 27, 2005


omg pleaze stop 'shitting on' Xtians
posted by dhoyt at 1:20 PM on August 27, 2005


Who are you talking to?
posted by Pretty_Generic at 1:21 PM on August 27, 2005


My favorite bit:

The word "Dinosaur" means "terrible lizard". And though they became a menace to man after sin had entered the earth, the dinosaurs were not created that way. Dinosaurs are one of the most beautiful of Gods creations. They were created to peacefully coexist with man. (italics added due to hilarity of praise heaped on the pretty dinosaurs and how nice they are)
posted by mikojava at 1:22 PM on August 27, 2005


Dinosauers-- God's little joke.

Smart Christians, they figured this out without any evidence at all!
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 1:27 PM on August 27, 2005


kicking their punk asses be my paramount priority
posted by Pretty_Generic at 1:31 PM on August 27, 2005


Some Christians have been saying that about Dinosaur bones for almost as long as Christians have been around. Nothing new, the theory never died, it's just new to us 21st century secularites.
posted by stbalbach at 1:32 PM on August 27, 2005


You have to appreciate the ongoing discussion at least. I especially like that everyone's smiling in the graphic, even the (apparent) t-rex's are looking quite amiable.

Point of order though, isn't this more or less a troll, I mean in the sense of presenting humorously inept elements that are supposed to represent all the people covered by the blanket term 'Christians'?

Although I guess if it's ok to promote the "Americans are fascists" or "Muslims are bloodthirsty" themes it's ok to promote the "Christians are stupid" theme, why not. Carry on?
posted by scheptech at 1:38 PM on August 27, 2005


Actually, the first scientific description of dinosaur was made in early 1800s. The christians were around for a lot longer than that.

On privew: Well, scheptech, why don't you post a link that points to the contrary?
posted by c13 at 1:40 PM on August 27, 2005


p_g, that's just incredible. mashed potatoes?
posted by moonbird at 1:53 PM on August 27, 2005


Please note that many other dinosaurs were quite small, and Noah took baby dinosaurs on the ark

And exactly where did Noah get the baby dinosaurs, exactly? Why didn't Noah take the Behemoth, since it was obvously God's favorite?

And how did the baby dinosaurs get from Mount Ararat to Mongolia? Argentina? Utah? South China?

And exactly how did their remains get geologically mixed up *after* the Flood?

So many questions. . .

Any Christian who believes such balderdash is stupid and deluded. Militant ignorance is the root of evil.
posted by rdone at 2:34 PM on August 27, 2005


Although I guess if it's ok to promote the "Americans are fascists" or "Muslims are bloodthirsty" themes it's ok to promote the "Christians are stupid" theme, why not. Carry on?
posted by scheptech


I don't believe that most Christians are stupid, but then I don't believe that most Christians believe in creationism, either.

But I could, of course, be wrong on both counts.
posted by leftcoastbob at 2:38 PM on August 27, 2005


So somebody else knows MC Hawking's Greatest Hits. Good job, P_G, on finding a direct mp3 link, though.
posted by mystyk at 2:49 PM on August 27, 2005


A Noachian snark from The Skeptic's Dictionary:

Still, it seems difficult to imagine how such a small crew could feed all these animals in a single day. There is just Noah, his wife, their three sons and three daughters-in-law. The "daily" rounds would take years, it seems. Delicacy forbids me from mentioning the problems of the "clean-up" detail, but I would have to say that if the noise of all those animals didn't drive Noah insane (not to mention the insect bites), the smell should have killed him. At least they didn't have to worry about water to drink. God provided water in abundance.

Don't forget the velociraptors running around. . .
posted by rdone at 2:50 PM on August 27, 2005


We are all his creations. Touched By His Noodly Appendage.
posted by seanyboy at 2:56 PM on August 27, 2005


I don't believe that most Christians are stupid, but then I don't believe that most Christians believe in creationism, either.

I don't think most Christians believe in creationism coupled with Noah's ark species preservation either. There are thousands of species of ant alone. Hard to see how the feat could be accomplished today. I'm imagining guys in sheepskin and sandals wandering around the entire planet gathering up breeding pairs of ant...

When Christians, and probably lots of people in other situations, say they believe something they sometimes mean they believe there's some truth in there, something meaningful or of value while thinking of the words as allegory or pointers to the truth or perhaps background to some larger point rather than literal truth themselves. Sometimes teachers teach by giving you something to think about as opposed to just feeding you facts.

Then there's the literalists who are a lot easier to amuse oneself with. Perhaps wording with less spin would have read "dinosaurs are being embraced by some Christians.." The last link is actually pretty interesting, they're attempting to reconcile the notion of man and his fall from grace affecting the animals with the notion that dinos lived before man was there. They're accepting that dinos lived, their issue is exactly when because pre-existing animals causes a problem for their way of looking at the Fall which is, again, a very literal one.
posted by scheptech at 3:24 PM on August 27, 2005


Well, my favourite bit in all the rank idiocy of the last link was:

If you are told something repeatedly year after year - you will begin to believe it. Even if it is not true.

Ah, I love irony.
posted by Decani at 3:28 PM on August 27, 2005


"First, for carbon-14 dating to be accurate, one must assume the rate of decay of carbon-14 has remained constant over the years. However, evidence indicates that the opposite is true. Experiments have been performed using the radioactive isotopes of uranium-238 and iron-57, and have shown that rates can and do vary. In fact, changing the environments surrounding the samples can alter decay rates"

Which evidence, show us.

You mean like the conditions inside a nuclear weapon? As a general rule, nuclear reactions are not effect by non-nuclear changes in the environment.
posted by MrLint at 3:30 PM on August 27, 2005


Loved this the best:
"We like to think of [dinosaurs] as creation lizards, or missionary lizards," said Frank Sherwin, a museum researcher and author.

I don't know about creation lizards, but missionary lizards is my favorite position.
posted by OmieWise at 3:32 PM on August 27, 2005


The Bible doesn't explicitly describe dinosaurs that we can really tell . . . But nor does it explicitly describe many other kinds of animals, so it offers no evidence for or against the existence of dinosaurs.

However, the simplest explanation I've heard and one that I like is - God created dinosaurs so they could die, decay and turn into oil and gas for us to use.
posted by cinderful at 3:41 PM on August 27, 2005


God created dinosaurs so they could die, decay and turn into oil and gas for us to use.

Heh, I like that - good one. Maybe they were also created to give us something to argue about, er sorry, learn something with. Of course both these possibilities are dangerously people-centric...
posted by scheptech at 4:01 PM on August 27, 2005


Of course, he could also just put the damn thing in the ground...
Besides, it looks like the majority of the oil was formed from phytoplankton, so your explanation is not that simple.
posted by c13 at 4:02 PM on August 27, 2005


Not dinosaurs.... dragons!
posted by jpburns at 4:10 PM on August 27, 2005


If y'all thank yer so dang smart, why don't YOU try walking on water!!!

adapted from a bumper sticker I saw earlier.
posted by snsranch at 4:23 PM on August 27, 2005


It's funny that real theologians will readily aknowledge that the bible and most other religious texts have been rewritten by various rulers throughout the centuries for the benefit of those rulers. That is to say that these ancient and poorly transcribed writings can hardly be taken literally.

It is also funny that a group of people who don't get this basic idea are currently running what is/or was the most powerful country in written history.
posted by snsranch at 4:31 PM on August 27, 2005


"..."dinosaur" is not found anywhere in the Bible. This is because the word "Dinosaur" was not invented..."

I'm Jewish, raised as an athiest, never read the Bible, and I already could come up with something better than that cop out.
posted by Jack Karaoke at 4:39 PM on August 27, 2005


No, Nostradamus is the true prophet. Whenver he's wrong, it's solely to test our faith.

No no, those Scientologists have it right. Where they don't seem to be wrong? Yep, faith testing.

Remember Solar Temple? Comet hiding spaceship? It's all about the faith.
posted by dreamsign at 5:04 PM on August 27, 2005


"The evidence that contradicts the Theory of Evolution is not often shown to the general public. Leaving people with the incorrect belief that Evolution is true."

Convincing argument, huh?

The thing that worries me about folks who call themselves Christians, even though they see the Bible just as I do (as a man-made educational metaphor, or as a sometimes-useful spiritual guide which should not be taken literally or seriously) is that they nevertheless proceed to send their children to schools where they're told that the Bible is the absolute word of God.

They teach their children to think of themselves as "Christian", and that the word "Christian" means believing in the Bible.

It's hardly surprising when some of their less bright offspring start to believe what they've been told.

Think how many of today's adult nutjob fundies are the children of liberal Christians.

Those folks are one of the many good reasons - for anyone who is genuinely interested in spiritual work - for actively preaching against Christianity (and all the other lie-based religions too) at every opportunity.
posted by cleardawn at 5:22 PM on August 27, 2005


Kids flock to the huge statues. "And it's not like they're crying, 'Oh, mommy, take me out, I'm scared.' They're drawn to it," Chiles said. "There's something in their DNA that knows man walked with these creatures on Earth."

My 5 year old knows more than I do because he listens to his DNA, and I sadly have grown deaf to mine; it just kept babbling at me so I had to tune it out.


"Our national museums (that we fund through our taxes) leave millions of people with information that they are no more than an evolved rock," she wrote

She hit the nail right on the head! I felt exactly like a rock when I left left the Smithsonian last week. Kind of hard and pointy.

The Texas museum sponsors a continuing hunt for living pterodactyls in Papua New Guinea. Baugh said five colleagues have spotted the flying dinosaurs, "but all the sightings were made after dark, and we were not able to capture the creatures."

Yetis! What about Yetis? Were they on the ark too? I suppose Nessie didn't bother with the smelly old ark. She was probably happy as a lark with all the rain.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:42 PM on August 27, 2005


"They're used to teach people that there's no God, and they're used to brainwash people," he said. "Evolutionists get very upset when we use dinosaurs. That's their star."

No, those are atheists or anti-theists.

"Go to Disneyland, they teach evolution. It's subtle; signs that say, 'Millions of years ago' "

No, that's paleontology.

"We like to think of [dinosaurs] as creation lizards, or missionary lizards,"

No, dinosaurs aren't lizards.

I'm sure these quotes are taken out of context but I always notice that people like this are as selective about their science as they are about their bible passages.
posted by 517 at 5:45 PM on August 27, 2005


Got an upcoming birthday? Dinosaur Adventure Land does pizza parties.

I do have an upcoming birthday, but sadly I am on the wrong coast for this. I shall simply have to cry myself to sleep that I am missing out on all the fun!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:14 PM on August 27, 2005


Interesting how the theories are changing. IIRC, it used to be that the dinosaurs existed with man up until the flood, then died. Now they were on the ark, which must be getting bigger with every revision. So. There are no dinosaurs around today, such as the T. Rex, Ankylosaurus, etc, so where'd they go? Also, what about the swimmy dinosaurs? They couldn't have drowned in the flood, because they swam, already. So where are they and/or why'd they die out so suddenly?
I can't really find a current standpoint on it from the Catholic Church, as I've been looking for the past 15 min. at the Holy See website, and the only (English) transcript I've been able to find has been this one from 1950...

Paragraph 5. "Some (...) support the monistic and pantheistic opinion that the world is in continual evolution. Communists gladly subscribe to this opinion so that, when the souls of men have been deprived of every idea of a personal God, they may the more efficaciously defend and propagate their dialectical materialism."


"God willing, we will prevail, in peace and freedom from fear, and in true health, through the purity and essence of our natural... fluids. God bless you all"
posted by Zack_Replica at 6:14 PM on August 27, 2005


This comment is not against Christianity in general, but it is sad to see so many of them ignoring the central spirit of the Bible, which is love and compassion, and instead totally discrediting themselves, and becoming ridiculously easy targets, by their silly, literalist arguments, giving an excuse for their opponents to completely ignore Christians and the Bible and deny that they have any value or relevance at all.
posted by blue shadows at 6:37 PM on August 27, 2005


You know, if us science types stopped pretending that science disproves God (which, er, it doesn't), maybe religious types wouldn't feel so threatened.

Remember, ethics and morals are just as irrational a belief system as creationism, but the amoral are more dangerous than the creationists.
posted by effugas at 6:43 PM on August 27, 2005


As a rabid christian who is deeply saddened by all this... hokum, I for one would just like to point out that I sure would enjoy watching "Noah vs the Dinosaurs" movie. I think there's real potential. I mean, it's no Snakes on a Plane maybe they could combine Jurassic Park and Speed II?
posted by blue_beetle at 6:56 PM on August 27, 2005


Evolutionism is a fairy tale.
posted by bevets at 7:13 PM on August 27, 2005


Now they were on the ark, which must be getting bigger with every revision.

How long is a cubit, anyway?
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:14 PM on August 27, 2005


...[Dinosaurs are] used to brainwash people," he said. "Evolutionists get very upset when we use dinosaurs."

said Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis, a Christian group building a $25-million creationist museum in Petersburg, Ky., that's already overrun with model sauropods and velociraptors.

Guns don't kill people. People kill people.
posted by arialblack at 7:35 PM on August 27, 2005


Bible=curved ball. Using a single source to proclaim your faith is never a good idea .
posted by nims at 7:36 PM on August 27, 2005


I saw a cartoon the other day where the teacher is standing in front of her class saying, "Okay, class, open your science books to Chapter 2, Verse 1."

Ahhhh...I digress. Carry on.
posted by leftcoastbob at 7:40 PM on August 27, 2005


"...ethics and morals are just as irrational a belief system as creationism"

That's the sixth stupidest thing I've read today, and the other five are all quotes appearing in this thread. Congratulations!
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:41 PM on August 27, 2005


How long is a cubit, anyway?

It is the distance between a fundagelical's foot and their mouth.
posted by mystyk at 7:42 PM on August 27, 2005


Most christians aren't this dumb.
Hardly anybody outside a handful of US-states (ok, maybe 2 or 3 handfuls) believes any of this crap.
So don't make this about "christians", just about a bunch of very, very ignorant (both about science & religion) people.
posted by signal at 7:56 PM on August 27, 2005


The Jesse Helms

Did the Devil bury dinosaur bones to trick people?

I have been in hundreds of discussions about evolutionism. The ONLY people who ever make this suggestion are evolutionists. Can you cite a Christian who has made this suggestion in print?

snsranch

It's funny that real theologians will readily aknowledge that the bible and most other religious texts have been rewritten by various rulers throughout the centuries for the benefit of those rulers. That is to say that these ancient and poorly transcribed writings can hardly be taken literally.

Could you name these theologians please?
posted by bevets at 8:11 PM on August 27, 2005


bevets:

The Flood was after the Fall, right? So the prelapsarian vegetarian dispensation for the carnivorous dinos and other animals was over, right? So where did Noah keep six months' worth of meat for the T. Rexes and Smilodons? Were all the animals babies? If so, who nursed them? Were bacteria on the Ark? How about viruses? If there weren't any microbes on the Ark, where did the current population come from?

So many questions. . . .
posted by rdone at 8:12 PM on August 27, 2005


bevets, what are your religious beliefs and why? I'm sure we would all like to know more about you.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 8:12 PM on August 27, 2005


God didn't bury dinosaur bones to test our faith; she gave us the Bible to test our gullibility.
posted by Wet Spot at 8:24 PM on August 27, 2005


I have been in hundreds of discussions about evolutionism. The ONLY people who ever make this suggestion are evolutionists. Can you cite a Christian who has made this suggestion in print?

Not in print, but I used to hear it all the time at the xtian school where I spent too much time in my childhood. When the tough questions would come up in science class, and the correct answers would contradict the Bible in some way, the teacher would answer that perhaps God made things that way to test our faith. Dinosaur bones were such a test.

Everything God did, which was disagreeable or confusing, was considered a test of our faith. Tornado hitting the school, a classmate's parent dying in a horrible accident, the preacher's daughter getting pregnant at 15, all of these things were meant to 'test our faith'. Bad things happening to other people, especially non-christians, now that was God's will.
posted by pandaharma at 8:26 PM on August 27, 2005


Most christians aren't this dumb.

Actually, a majority of Christians are this dumb, and they're getting dumber by the year. Here's the polling data if you don't believe me.
posted by boaz at 8:30 PM on August 27, 2005


Oh, found it.

I have just exercised circular reasoning: i.e. I believe the Bible because Jesus is God AND I believe Jesus is God because I believe the Bible. In my defense, I submit that all human beliefs are founded on a starting point that employs circular reasoning. As a relevant example: those who reject the Bible do so (in part) because they don’t believe Jesus was God and they don’t believe Jesus was God because they don’t believe the Bible.

Jesus Christ.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 8:30 PM on August 27, 2005


Could you name these theologians please?

Bevets, can you name one serious theologian (one with a phd and a faculty member at a reputable university, ideally) who doesn't acknowledge the translation issues with the bible? I have a master's degree in theological studies and I've never met an respectable theologian who would deny that translation is a political act with political consequences.
posted by Hildegarde at 8:34 PM on August 27, 2005


I look out of my window and it's nighttime. A pop-up window appears saying "It's warm and sunny outside your house!". I don't believe the pop-up window.

bevets would say that my disbelief is the product of circular logic and is hence irrational. It is circular logic, you see, because I reject the pop-up (in part) because I don't believe it is raining, and the reason I don't believe it is raining is because I don't believe the pop-up. It's nothing to do with the fact that it blatently isn't raining.

But it's ok! Since there is no way I could possibly avoid circular logic since it is intrinsic to all human beliefs and judgements, then circular logic must be a good thing, and all beliefs based on it are equally valid (except some are more equally valid than others).

2) ????
3) Therefore, God exists.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 8:37 PM on August 27, 2005


This is one scary motherfucking thread. Creatonists have been the bane of my existence for more than 30 years. Crank up the Negativland.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:40 PM on August 27, 2005


There was a nasty pasting-error in that post, but I hope you get my drift. Sorry.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 8:40 PM on August 27, 2005


missionary lizards is my favorite position

NSFW but kinda dark and grainy, cause cameras were much more primitive back then.
posted by CynicalKnight at 8:42 PM on August 27, 2005


Also:

Did the Devil bury dinosaur bones to trick people?

I have been in hundreds of discussions about evolutionism. The ONLY people who ever make this suggestion are evolutionists. Can you cite a Christian who has made this suggestion in print?


Since bevets wants the citations today, I will cite one of the post links in answer to this.

And I quote:

Dinosaurs should be used as an evangelistic tool to bring people closer to the God that made them.

Instead Satan uses dinosaurs as a tool of deception. There is no better animal for Satan to use against the very God that created them, than the animal that represented the very power of God himself.


So Satan isn't exactly burying the bones, but there he is, Satan, using the dinosaurs to CONFUSE US. And this yahoo does indeed appear to be a Christian.
posted by Hildegarde at 8:50 PM on August 27, 2005


it's ironic that jesse helms posted this... i think helms was born well over 6,000 years ago.
posted by muppetboy at 8:59 PM on August 27, 2005


Bevets, if your entire life and belief system is based on circular reasoning, it makes it that much easier for me to understand why you persist in supporting illogical arguments.

Secondly (and not necessarily aimed at you, Bevets) anyone who persists in ignoring the proof in front of them because a single dusty old mistranslated book of dubious authenticity says otherwise is a fool who needs to go and re-read the sections of said book where the "son of God"* uses made-up stories (parables) to teach lessons about morality. If made-up stories were good enough for Jesus, why do the fundies insist upon taking everything else in the book as absolute fact? Just because it's not literally true doesn't mean that anyone is automatically discounting the moral value of the text. There's actually some stuff in there that is good. That whole "treat other people as you would like to be treated yourself" thing, that's worth paying attention to.

*"Son of God" in quotes because honestly there's a lot of debate about whether Jesus was God's son, although the Christians won't talk about it. The Jews think the son of God hasn't come yet, the Muslims think Jesus was a prophet, not literally God's son, and by some accounts all of us are God's children in some way, right? Of course, Christians only invite debate about things that conflict with their world view, like evolution, so you won't hear the Discovery Institute asking for papers that address the "God's Son vs. Just a Prophet" argument, will you?
posted by caution live frogs at 9:00 PM on August 27, 2005


we all know that none of this is true because it involves neither clams nor l. ron hubbard...
posted by muppetboy at 9:02 PM on August 27, 2005


boaz:

That poll indicates that most people are ignorant, not just christians.
posted by rdr at 9:03 PM on August 27, 2005


When creationists get sick, do they go to the hospital? Why go against God's will?
posted by bardic at 9:06 PM on August 27, 2005


I get why some churchs were initially threatened by evolution in that stated that god did not directly create man, but it doesn't seem like this is the problem anymore. It seems like people are going after evolution because they think it somehow disproves the existence of god. It doesn't, nothing in science does and it is unlikely anything in science ever will.

A little thought shows you that disproving the existence of god is much harder than proving the existence of god and that belief in atheism actually requires more faith than belief in theism.

Bevets, why is so much energy wasted on fighting evolution?
posted by 517 at 9:11 PM on August 27, 2005


"Then I wondered, 'What might it look like if these vicious dinosaurs tried to attack Noah's Ark?...'"


posted by kirkaracha at 9:12 PM on August 27, 2005


Is the end goal to get religion (specifically Christianity) taught in public schools? What is their purpose in pursuing this folly? It's insane. And we got a couple of 'em right here swimming upstream. Why do they bother?

It'd be like me coming here day after day and arguing against you all that this site doesn't have a blue background.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 9:14 PM on August 27, 2005


So, Hildegarde, are you proposing that what the bible really needs for the new millenium is a group of dedicated fan-subbers? (borrowed from the process often used for anime, but seems most appropriate)

I figure people doing it for enjoyment of translating itself are less likely to put in political spin...
posted by mystyk at 9:16 PM on August 27, 2005


I like to remind people that a Gallup Poll sometime in the last two years (can't find it again) had 50% of Americans believing that the earth is only 6,000 years old. Whether they are all Christians or not, I don't know, but that's a lot of people who could conceivably be called dumb (IMHO).
posted by Orb at 9:17 PM on August 27, 2005


Mystyk: great idea. I'm all for it. This new bible fan community; it will spawn slash fanfiction?

*ships Jesus/Judas*
posted by Hildegarde at 9:29 PM on August 27, 2005


why is so much energy wasted on fighting evolution?

Special Creation is a keystone of many people's faith. One can either go with the (rather blindingly obvious) evidence that man is just another mammal or one can instead choose to believe that we were made in our creator's image and put here on earth really specially, to live with god's rules, then going to heaven for eternity.

One of these stories is immensely emotionally fulfilling and one is not.

But once Special Creation goes, one is left fighting a rearguard action on which other dogmas are real and which are also fairy tales. For me, I was never a creationist but somewhere along the line I realized that all Christian precepts/dogmas that I had been exposed to were feel-good stories agglomerated over the centuries that has made Christianity the ultimate body of emotionality (sorta like katamari damacy -- Christianity hasn't seen a useful meme that it hasn't appropriated for itself).
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 9:46 PM on August 27, 2005


Well I still like the amiable looking T Rex'es, kinda cute.

Anyhow, I'm trying to get a sense of where this one is going... ok let's see, starts with justifiably negative comments regarding some loopy and esoteric ideas about dinosaurs and people coexisting; moves on very quickly to Christianity good, Christianity bad; Christians themselves dumb, not dumb; a sprinkling of the usual bible translation points; some interesting comments on the relative difficulty of proving/disproving the existence of God; and finally looping back to the asserted stupidity of Christians and some supporting polls and of course the point that polls reflect the general abysmal state of public education in general. Ok finally, something we can all agree on?

If the core concern here is education surely the irony of arguing whether to include abstract concepts such as evolution or the existence of God cannot be lost on folks well aware the average American high schooler in some areas can barely read, identify a picture of George Washington, or find Canada on a map?
posted by scheptech at 9:52 PM on August 27, 2005


And then those people tell you to "say no to drugs"...
posted by clevershark at 10:32 PM on August 27, 2005


boaz writes 'Actually, a majority of Christians are this dumb, and they're getting dumber by the year.'

That poll shows that most christians in the US are dumb (which I don't dispute), not that most christians are.
posted by signal at 10:34 PM on August 27, 2005


"why is so much energy wasted on fighting evolution?"

In my experience it's not so much the desire to protect a literal reading of Genesis, as it is the general tendency of anthropocentrism that almost everyone has. Opponents of evolution will very often say, with a very obvious visceral disgust, "I didn't come from a monkey".

I think it's safe to say that probably 80% of the world's population disbelieves in evolution and finds the idea unsavory. In the developed west, yes, it's usually the Christians who are adamant in opposing evolution. But I think the deeper impulse is chauvinism, not a specific allegiance to a particular religious belief system.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:35 PM on August 27, 2005


Hildegarde: ... yes
posted by arialblack at 10:50 PM on August 27, 2005


"why is so much energy wasted on fighting evolution?"

I'd guess because for some it appears to argue for a type of nihilism. We aren't who we think or hope we are, we are nothing more than some more or less random and entirely meaningless manifestation of physical laws, mere matter or in other words, nothing.

Interesting, one persons anthropocentrism is another's search for meaning?
posted by scheptech at 11:00 PM on August 27, 2005


"at the zoo, when i stare through the glass, i see those eyes looking back at me and it's so...familiar. then i see the flung feces being scooped back up and smeared on the glass, their howling loud and taunting...it is at this moment that i truly see that we are descended from monkey and apes." -jesus ramirez

*dude. i know jesus ramirez, and if he tells you we came from apes, you better sure as fuck believe him.
posted by cloudstastemetallic at 11:19 PM on August 27, 2005


Dinosaurs are now suprisingly less cool.
posted by drezdn at 11:23 PM on August 27, 2005


Rock Music
Trashy Novels
Singing Vegetables
Dinosaurs

What are "Christians" going to ruin next?
posted by drezdn at 11:27 PM on August 27, 2005


Sex?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:13 AM on August 28, 2005


No way. That would be stupid.
posted by rdr at 12:23 AM on August 28, 2005


I don't know about creation lizards, but missionary lizards is my favorite position. -OmieWise

I might could love you...perhaps in that special sort of lizard way... ;)


Opponents of evolution will very often say, with a very obvious visceral disgust, "I didn't come from a monkey". Ethereal Bligh


Bingo! That's the thing I hear the most when I talk to people who demand that creationism or ID be taught in secular schools. There's also a not so subtle racism inherent in what I hear. "Well, black people might have come from monkeys, but we were put here by God..." And this from people who go to church twice a week, and consider themselves to be "good, god-fearing Christians"....who thankfully have given up trying to convert me.
posted by dejah420 at 12:38 AM on August 28, 2005



"...ethics and morals are just as irrational a belief system as creationism"

That's the sixth stupidest thing I've read today, and the other five are all quotes appearing in this thread. Congratulations!

Context: I'm a fairly obsessively ethical and moral individual, as I suspect a number of people here are. Having a scientific mind, however, I am keenly aware that these ethics and morals cannot be logically derived from the structure of the universe -- the universe doesn't want us to be any certain way, it simply is -- and yet, I behave as if the universe did contain some purpose, some goal.

This is irrational behavior.

Oh, sure the enlightenment produced the Social Contracts of Mills and Rousseau's, that tried to rationalize social behavior. And yes, on a societal scale, ethical behavior is exceedingly rational. But on a societal scale we only find ethics when someone is watching. Personal morality -- a deeply held belief that there is a difference between right and wrong, regardless of who is paying attention -- is supremely irrational.

Why do you think Religion is so good at adopting it?

So, I behave irrationally. And so do you. An extraordinarily common belief, historically, was that athiests could have no morals because they didn't believe in a God they'd have to answer to. And yet, athiests the world over proclaimed -- their morals survived just fine, if not better, without the irrational belief in a God high above.

But, if you really look at it -- they didn't lose any irrationality, they just de-deified it. Ask an athiest why he keeps his ethics, and ultimately the answer is...because.

Being an ethical human is a matter of faith.
posted by effugas at 6:17 AM on August 28, 2005


this derail makes the Lucius Annaeus Seneca cry
posted by matteo at 6:30 AM on August 28, 2005


"Having a scientific mind, however, I am keenly aware that these ethics and morals cannot be logically derived from the structure of the universe -- the universe doesn't want us to be any certain way, it simply is -- and yet, I behave as if the universe did contain some purpose, some goal.

This is irrational behavior."


I have not only a "scientific mind", but also scientific training, history of science training, and philosophy of science training. I happen to agree with you regarding your conclusion about the correctness of universal teleology; but I certainly do not agree with you regarding its validity as a rational idea. You are grossly misusing the word "rational" in a way that is, sadly, reminiscent of a Trekkie misusing the word "logical". Or, even worse, reminiscent of an Objectivist.

And I only will mention in passing your equivocation of ethics and morals with regard to rationality.

You wrote: "Oh, sure the enlightenment produced the Social Contracts of Mills and Rousseau's, that tried to rationalize social behavior. And yes, on a societal scale, ethical behavior is exceedingly rational. But on a societal scale we only find ethics when someone is watching. Personal morality -- a deeply held belief that there is a difference between right and wrong, regardless of who is paying attention -- is supremely irrational."

...which displays a hubristic ignorance of the history of moral philosophy in both the west and the east.

You are assuming the necessity of moral relativism as the implication of the primacy of empiricism which is pop philosophy and thus neither properly philosophy nor science.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:32 AM on August 28, 2005


It's all a matter of the law of karma: do good, good things happen; do bad, bad things happen.

George W. Bush's karmic debt is about to play hell with Louisiana.
posted by rdone at 6:56 AM on August 28, 2005


The second Dark Age of Western civilization is nigh.

And this time, we've drained virtually all readily available resources that we may never truly come out of it again.

So.

When can we start colonizing planets? I'm ready to go.
posted by linux at 7:05 AM on August 28, 2005


There's also a not so subtle racism inherent in what I hear. "Well, black people might have come from monkeys, but we were put here by God..."

I've heard "I didn't come from a monkey" many times, and I've never read anything racist into it. May I suggest you are imagining it and crying wolf - which makes it harder to be heard when one is denouncing real racism.
posted by Bort at 8:16 AM on August 28, 2005


"By stem and root and branch we trace, by feather, fang and fur,
How the living things that are descend from things that were.
The moss, the kelp, the zebrafish, the very mice and flies,
These tiny, humble, wordless things---how shall they tell us lies?
We are kin to beasts; no other answer can we bring.
The truth has left its fingerprints on every living thing.
Remember, should you have to choose between them in the strife,
Humans wrote the Bible; God wrote life.
" - Catherine Faber

Full lyrics - here

Download recording sung by Kathy Mar - here (Scroll down about halfway)
posted by tdismukes at 9:09 AM on August 28, 2005


Jesus is god's son. Mary was a virgin.
I think I read about in Project Blue Book too!! The whole alien colonization/hybrid humalien thing.
Fucking cool. Sooooo much better than silly evolution.

Teach that in school.

I have an experiment for someone with kids. -- Teach them the FSM is the truth. See if they believe it!! Would be a riot!! Make them actually believe the world was created by a flying mound of Spaghetti!!! Wont that be cool?? Make up "parables" about how the FSM helps good people, and they get to go to eternal pastaland!! and the bad people get sent to the eternal garbage disposal!!! Read only quotes from some italian cookbook you translate with google!!!

What are the psychological implications of this?
posted by KantoKing at 9:21 AM on August 28, 2005


"Well, black people might have come from monkeys, but we were put here by God..."

I must be leading a sheltered life, can't say I've ever heard such a statement from a living person, sounds like something you might hear in an old movie about the deep south circa 1920.

Humans wrote the Bible; God wrote life.

A fourth combination? Previously we had the usual polar opposites of God+Christ+NoEvolution vs NoGod+NoChrist+Evolution and the inclusive God+Christ+Evolution and now God+NoChrist+Evolution... this should cover all the bases using these elements, there's probably no one out there for either of the two NoGod+Christ combinations?
posted by scheptech at 9:56 AM on August 28, 2005


there's probably no one out there for either of the two NoGod+Christ combinations?

Depends on how you define the Christ part. I believe there is no god. I believe evolution occurred. I also believe Christ existed and that his central message of "be nice" is a good one.
posted by Bort at 10:41 AM on August 28, 2005


I've heard "I didn't come from a monkey" many times, and I've never read anything racist into it.

Easy test: propose that a new theory has come up that shows humans evolved from eggplants. If they act like you are crazy, they are probably racist.

(actually, racism may not be at the root of the creationist impulse, but it seems like they could possibly be related by some deeper tendency.)
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:57 AM on August 28, 2005


Heywood Mogroot: One of these stories is immensely emotionally fulfilling and one is not.

I think emotional fulfillment is where you find it. Personally, I find Christian (and most other visions of an afterlife) to fill me with horror rather than joy.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 12:09 PM on August 28, 2005


OMGZ! I've worked it out! Dinosaurs are 'terrible lizards'. And the devil, was, like, this evil serpent. See, the devil was, like, a dinosaur!!!

That's why god andjesus and the virgin mary have time to do these guest appearances in subways and jars of peanut butter - the devil died after an asteroid crashed into earth and the temperatures plummeted.

Which means that he died when hell froze over. And that this is hell. Oh feck...
posted by twine42 at 4:28 PM on August 28, 2005


"No Scientist was there when the earth was formed or when life began. So any ideas they currently have are only educated guesses."

No Creationist was there when the Bible was written or when life began. So any ideas they currently have are only elaborated folklore.

(Oh, and there are plenty of arguments for a universal morality that exists in both public and private, from Kant to Platonism... That there is no teleological orientation to the universe is irrelevant to morality).
posted by klangklangston at 10:26 AM on August 29, 2005


For what it's (sadly) worth, I have heard the monkey/black thing many many times. Recently.
posted by yodelingisfun at 10:48 PM on August 29, 2005


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