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What Made The Creationist Footprints In The Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre?


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#1 MarkForbes

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 03:29 AM

http://www.guardian....-national-trust

What made the creationist footprints in the Giant's Causeway visitor centre?

The National Trust isn't endorsing the nonsense of the young Earthers – it just knows the value of the crank pound



Posted Image
The Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland. Cooling lava formed stacks of basalt rock about 60m years ago, but the visitor centre also includes a creationist account of how it appeared. Photograph: David Sanger/Getty Images

The National Trust in Northern Ireland has shocked some people by opening a new visitor centre at the Giant's Causeway that includes the creationist account of how these marvellous basalt columns appeared (God did it, miraculously) alongside the scientific one.
There is something uniquely dispiriting about young Earth creationism(YEC). It's not just that it's wrong – and wrong in ways that were entirely apparent to intelligent Christians in the 1860s, let alone the 1960s – but that it needs such a mountain of futile effort to maintain even the shadow of plausibility. It's like pretending that George W Bush wrote the works of Shakespeare.
If the YECs are right, almost every scientist in the world, since science became a profession, has been part of a deliberate conspiracy to distort and conceal the plain truth. It's not just biology, but physics, geography, history, archaeology, chemistry and geology which are all arranged, deliberately to conceal and contradict the truth of the Bible. Oh, and biblical studies themselves, because these also suggest that the idea of "the truth of the Bible" is not as simple as it seems.
What would it be like to live in a world where all the authority figures were so determined to lie to you, solely in order to preserve their own authority? That sounds like a rhetorical question, until you realise that it has a horrible and disturbing true answer: it wouldn't be too different from the world that many of us now live in. The paranoiac and mistrustful elements of creationism, and its stubborn rejection of the good faith of authority, are aspects of a much more general attitude towards society. Creationists look at scientists the way the world now looks at bankers.
Creationism isn't a kind of benevolent nonsense, like most forms of New Age belief systems. It's malevolent, and it makes sense about society. It says that the bastards run the world, and they will lie and cheat and persecute to keep their power. Science is almost irrelevant in this context – certainly, no YEC can take seriously the idea that scientists are primarily motivated by the love of truth and so they cannot engage with science as it is actually practised. But it's not completely irrelevant. There is one myth of science that bears on creationist hatred. This is the claim that modern science shows that human beings don't matter. In one modern form, it says we don't even exist, that we're "vast lumbering robots built by genes" (Richard Dawkins) or "An animal infested with memes" (artificial intelligence philospher Daniel Dennett); in older forms it claimed that the individual was nothing compared to the race, or the species, or the universe as a whole.
The claim that ordinary, powerless people don't matter at all is central to our contemporary market economies, too. It is not just assembly line workers who are treated as machines. Increasingly, all of us are, , even in jobs that once seemed skilled or really difficult. The other day I had a spam from IBM urging me to "Read about the real life experiences of two customers who used Rational Development Solutions for Power to save money and create workload optimised developers who were much more productive in meeting innovative business challenges than ever before."
I don't want to be a workload optimised developer, or a workload optimised writer for that matter. But the world will not take much notice of my preferences, or yours. If we are to change it, we need reasons and explanations, not just wants. And we can't get the reasons and explanations that we need without reaching outside science, and outside the market.
To the extent that creationists, too, are trying to do that, we should sympathise. The trouble is that their answer involves erecting a whole other structure of lies, with which we should not compromise. Anyone who doubts the moral and intellectual damage that creationism does should look at Jonny Scaramanga's blog about his experiences in a fundamentalist home schooling system in England.
But it is not the creationists who are to blame for the Giant's Causeway display. It is the National Trust, which freely choose to advertise their views with taxpayers' money. They are doing this because they are part of a market economy. If their job is to maximise visitor numbers it is absolutely right to appeal to every crank group they can find: there should be creationist stories, and also the saucer-cult explanations and the leprechaunist myth. And to judge from the pictures, the centre does in fact have models of figures from Irish mythology, like Finn McCool, scattered round it. This is in some ways the cruellest insult to the creationists: it tells them that theirs is just another story, and not, as they need it to be, the truth. But the market doesn't recognise truth, only prices.

Source: http://www.guardian....-national-trust
Seems to be the common cliché-ridden rant and fallacious reasoning. Debunking should be an interesting, but not really challenging exercise.

#2 Portillo

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 08:46 PM

I cant believe there are still people who dont believe the fact of evolution.

#3 Bonedigger

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 11:02 PM

I cant believe there are still people who dont believe the fact of evolution.


Posted Image Yes!! I mean, who can question the evidence before their eyes that life just "pops" into existence given an organic soup, lizards just sprout wings and fly off into the sunset, and shrew-like critters enlarge their brains to contemplate the ultimate question of "Life, the Universe, and Everything" (the answer to which, of course, is forty-two...and if you don't understand that you either haven't realized the pointlessness of human existence in a random universe, or...you haven't read the satirical, cynical, and humorous writings of the late Douglas Adams Posted Image ).

#4 AFJ

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 08:16 AM

If the YECs are right, almost every scientist in the world, since science became a profession, has been part of a deliberate conspiracy to distort and conceal the plain truth. It's not just biology, but physics, geography, history, archaeology, chemistry and geology which are all arranged, deliberately to conceal and contradict the truth of the Bible.

Nice strawman. First, not every scientist is buys into evolution. http://www.answersin...home/area/bios/

Second, many creationists are not "scientists," or "biologists" but are in a science based field like medicine, engineering, teaching (science, math). I go to an evangelical church, where the pastor is a retired MD, and our base player is over the veteranary department at LSU. We also have a petroleum geologist, two chemical engineers, a mechanical engineer, a high school chemistry teacher, and several high school math teachers. I also know a botany professor (former evo) who did plant research at the University of IL--he is now an evangelist, and has headed the science departments at several Bible colleges. They are all YEC.

When I asked the botany professor what made him turn away from evolution he explained that the utter complexity of the cell was number one. He said there is no biochemical observation that can explain how the cell could develop by the chemistry alone. He said this was the catalyst that exposed the delusion he had been under, and caused him to turn to God.
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#5 JayShel

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 09:02 AM

http://www.guardian....-national-trust


There is something uniquely dispiriting about young Earth creationism(YEC). It's not just that it's wrong – and wrong in ways that were entirely apparent to intelligent Christians in the 1860s, let alone the 1960s – but that it needs such a mountain of futile effort to maintain even the shadow of plausibility. It's like pretending that George W Bush wrote the works of Shakespeare.


That is how I feel about evolution, how strange.


If the YECs are right, almost every scientist in the world, since science became a profession, has been part of a deliberate conspiracy to distort and conceal the plain truth. It's not just biology, but physics, geography, history, archaeology, chemistry and geology which are all arranged, deliberately to conceal and contradict the truth of the Bible.


Science began with Christian creationists. I wouldn't say they are trying to conceal the truth of the Bible, but they have bought into a lie (their presuppositions excluding God) and are determined to prove that lie, thus they come up with appeals to the future to save face because their explanation of biodiversity and their assessment of the earth's history has become increasingly less plausible in light of modern scientific discoveries.

Oh, and biblical studies themselves, because these also suggest that the idea of "the truth of the Bible" is not as simple as it seems.
What would it be like to live in a world where all the authority figures were so determined to lie to you, solely in order to preserve their own authority?


It happens all the time, just read the news on any given day, people lie to preserve their authority, to save face, to protect others, it often takes some serious digging to find the truth.

Creationists look at scientists the way the world now looks at bankers.



True, because we audit their work, and we notice their truth claims and conjecture is filled with bias. We attempt to separate the truth of their work from their bias, and when we do that, we see that science fits our bias in addition to their bias. So who is right? I guess it depends on who you talk to.

Creationism isn't a kind of benevolent nonsense, like most forms of New Age belief systems. It's malevolent, and it makes sense about society. It says that the bastards run the world, and they will lie and cheat and persecute to keep their power. (underline added)


I wouldn't say lie and cheat in most cases, just ignore and dismiss viewpoints other than their own, and when has this NOT been true? You need to make money to have a job right? Otherwise it's volunteer work (which means you pay out of pocket for gas money, food, clothes, car repairs, etc etc etc). If the talking heads think you are wasting their time, no money for you. Even if you chose to volunteer, you need access to scientific equipment to be able to do relevant research. If the talking heads think you are wasting their time on their expensive equipment, then no equipment for you, because on that equipment, time is money. They would rather press on with research that "pays the bills" than take a chance on someone that they have no faith in. In this way, science has become more of a supply meeting demand (to make money) vs exploring God's creation as it started out.

Science is almost irrelevant in this context – certainly, no YEC can take seriously the idea that scientists are primarily motivated by the love of truth and so they cannot engage with science as it is actually practised.



Again the same straw man. We attempt to separate truth from bias, not throw the baby out with the bath water.

There is one myth of science that bears on creationist hatred. This is the claim that modern science shows that human beings don't matter. In one modern form, it says we don't even exist, that we're "vast lumbering robots built by genes" (Richard Dawkins) or "An animal infested with memes" (artificial intelligence philospher Daniel Dennett); in older forms it claimed that the individual was nothing compared to the race, or the species, or the universe as a whole. The claim that ordinary, powerless people don't matter at all is central to our contemporary market economies, too. It is not just assembly line workers who are treated as machines. Increasingly, all of us are, , even in jobs that once seemed skilled or really difficult. The other day I had a spam from IBM urging me to "Read about the real life experiences of two customers who used Rational Development Solutions for Power to save money and create workload optimised developers who were much more productive in meeting innovative business challenges than ever before."
I don't want to be a workload optimised developer, or a workload optimised writer for that matter. But the world will not take much notice of my preferences, or yours. If we are to change it, we need reasons and explanations, not just wants. And we can't get the reasons and explanations that we need without reaching outside science, and outside the market.
To the extent that creationists, too, are trying to do that, we should sympathise.


Ok...that's a rant and a half...


The trouble is that their answer involves erecting a whole other structure of lies, with which we should not compromise. Anyone who doubts the moral and intellectual damage that creationism does should look at Jonny Scaramanga's blog about his experiences in a fundamentalist home schooling system in England.


"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain"...seriously...if you examine his argument with the same amount of scrutiny that he is using on Creationists, you get the same result, "structure of lies" based on naturalistic assumptions and presuppositions. <Obligatory deferment to some other Christian-bashing authority.>


But it is not the creationists who are to blame for the Giant's Causeway display. It is the National Trust, which freely choose to advertise their views with taxpayers' money. They are doing this because they are part of a market economy. If their job is to maximise visitor numbers it is absolutely right to appeal to every crank group they can find: there should be creationist stories, and also the saucer-cult explanations and the leprechaunist myth. And to judge from the pictures, the centre does in fact have models of figures from Irish mythology, like Finn McCool, scattered round it. This is in some ways the cruellest insult to the creationists: it tells them that theirs is just another story, and not, as they need it to be, the truth.


I see what you did there...do you write your own jokes? Guess not since I've heard it all before. Guess you missed the part where your "story" is mixed in the fray and "not, as [you] need it to be, the truth". Again, "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain". Let us know when you are ready to debate the evidence then, Mr "Opinion Section".

But the market doesn't recognise truth, only prices.


Ironically, this is what I was saying about scientific research previously...hung yourself on that one...

#6 MarkForbes

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 02:35 AM

I've seen that "Christianity (the church) oppressed science" straw-man argument pretty often. When confronted with the fact that science actually rose from christian scholasticism and that the foundational fathers of science were all dedicated Christians. They do not know what to say. So I think investigating the matter of the Christian roots of modern science should be a worthwhile endeavor.

#7 SomchaiA

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 01:43 AM

I'm disappointed that nobody has commented upon the origin of columnar basalt. That is what the OP started out with. If God did this through divine intervention over more typical hardening of the rocks, what was His purpose? What is wrong with the geologic explanation that it results through the way a melt cools?

#8 MarkForbes

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 03:03 PM

Well, the rocks look a bit like crystalline structures. So there is a possibility that this is indeed the result of matter following some natural laws as we know it from sugar or salt crystals. That of course that doesn't exclude any direct intervention, but it is a plausible alternative explanation. Anyway the mechanism that lead salts to become crystals give an impression of design.




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