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House Science Member Says Earth Is 9,000 Years Old

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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The earth is about 9,000 years old, according to U.S. House Representative Paul Broun, who is also a physician and member of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology of the House of Representatives. “There are a lot of scientific data that I’ve found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young earth, ” Broun said in a videotape of the Sportsmen’s Banquet held on September 27 at Liberty Baptist Church in Hartwell, Georgia. “I don’t believe that the earth is but about 9,000 years old. I believe it was created in six days as we know them.”

2012 Paul Broun Testimony (Start at 34 minute, 48 second mark)

The video was uploaded to Youtube on Oct 4 by and also appears on the Liberty Baptist Church website. I learned about it from reading a post at Talking Points Memo.

Full disclosure: I believe in God, attend church regularly–Presbyterian Church (USA), for the record–and accept evolution, embryology and the Big Bang.

Update (Oct. 7, 2012): Looks like Liberty Baptist Church removed the video from Youtube. Here is a clip from The Bridge Project, which originally called TPM’s attention to Broun’s remarks.

About the Author: Christine Gorman is the editor in charge of health and medicine features for SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN. Follow on Twitter @cgorman.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. sjn 6:59 pm 10/5/2012

    That’s what we face – one party that at its base depends on anti-evolutionist, flat-earth, global warming denialists – and that’s not even the scariest part of it. Being of Jewish background myself, the real scariest part is that for the biblical fundamentalists such as this “Congressman” so much of the “support” for Israel is based on the belief that a war breaking out in the Middle East will be the sign for the second coming of Christ. So don’t worry about global warming, we’re all either going to die or go to heaven!

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  2. 2. Andrew Planet 7:32 pm 10/5/2012

    Not competent for his position. I bet they don’t let people like him into NASA hardcore. If I’m wrong, it would be counter productive if they did, therefore more costly.

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  3. 3. frankblank 7:38 pm 10/5/2012

    Broun is too stupid to have valid opinion about anything. And yet he has a prescription pad, has a vote to cast in favor of health insurance companies and tax cuts for the rich. Americans have become too stupid to solve their not so intractable problems.

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  4. 4. julianpenrod 7:45 pm 10/5/2012

    In all truth, frankly, besides continued insistences by “scientists”, produced from behind “laboratory” doors, of what they claim they saw in their machines, what proof is there that the earth is older than 9000 years? Really? “Scientists” make pronouncements that they require the public to parrot back indefinitely, but not once, ever, has any real absolute, incontrovertible “proof” been placed in the literal hands of the “rank and file” that the earth is older than 9000 years.
    “Science” devotees respond, but don’t answer, with mockery, anger, attacks, references to where “you can see it in a book”. All what “science” itself would consider inappropriate to “prove” a point, yet things “sciece” devotees readily embrace to promote their prejudice.
    And, with it all, “science” continually admits that what it thought only a short while ago has now been proved wrong. Typically, when faced with that, “science” devotees don’t acknowledge the patent unreliability of what “science” says if it’s always going to be recanting itself, rather, they spin it as, “‘Science’ is always willing to change its claims when new ‘proof’ comes out. That proves everything ‘science’ says at any time is always true!” How long will it be before “science” admits it’s as wrong with the age of the earth as with everything else?

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  5. 5. Physics&Math 7:46 pm 10/5/2012


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  6. 6. Bearly Literate 7:49 pm 10/5/2012

    And yet people keep voting for him and his ilk.

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  7. 7. djacksontx 8:10 pm 10/5/2012

    @julianpenrod If science is wrong, how about producing irrefutable evidence that things like carbon dating are false? You know…things that actually do prove that the Earth is older than 9,000 years old…

    Go back to your bubble please and leave conversations such as this one to the grownups.

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  8. 8. Lord Rahl 8:23 pm 10/5/2012

    This guy is not only a disgrace to all Americans but is also a disgrace to the human race. This guy needs to be removed from the gene pool as fast as possible. He is a poster child of all the is wrong with humanity and any of his supporters should be ashamed.

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  9. 9. Anchovy_Rancher 8:25 pm 10/5/2012

    The backdrop for his “argument” is perfect. Dead animals.

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  10. 10. armnhammer1 8:27 pm 10/5/2012

    You really have no idea how science, the scientific method work or what “proof” actually means. It is a sad commentary on the level of science education in our country.
    Sciene is not done in secret behind laboratory doors (with the exception of propriatary technology developement). Good science is required to be reviewed and if it involves experiments, to be reproducible.
    Scientists do not require the public to “parrot” anything back, perhaps you are thinking of science teachers (this does not make the teacher a scientist by the way).
    Who are the “rank and file” you are refering to? Is that the general public? Keeping in mind that there are levels of science that require an extreamly high level of expertise to comprehend (string theory, quantum physics, etc), the age of the earth and say evolution are not in that catagory.
    A science devotee would, I hope, rarely try to support their position by saying,”It is in a book” but rather might say that the evidence supports this fact.
    I can’t respond to your third to the last paragraph as it made no sense. Your conclusion that because science is self correcting means that it is always wrong demonstrates your lack of understanding of the scientific method. Science must be open to review and to self correction because it is require to provide greater evidence than say opinon, religion or philosophy. All areas of science are not yet know. As we push the boundaries of our ability to gather information we come to deeper understanding of how things work. There are gray areas in our understanding and science does not claim to have every answer. That is not it’s function. There are areas, however, where the proponderance of evidence is so great and from so many disciplines that the likelyhood of it being in error is infinitesimal. Two of these areas are the age of the Earth and evolution.

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  11. 11. armnhammer1 8:28 pm 10/5/2012

    I realy need to remember to do my writing in Word with spell checker since I am such a poor tyist. Sorry for the spelling errors.

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  12. 12. julianpenrod 8:51 pm 10/5/2012

    As repeatedly before, with all the supposed “validity” of “science” no one who defends it can actually provide a single pouint to “prove” its legitimacy. djacksontx does not try to confirm that carbon dating is valid, which presumably would be possible if there was anything that independently, irrefutably confirmed it. Instead they challenge me to prove that carbon dating is wrong. Incidentally, the extreme age of the earth in supposedly billions of years purportedly comes from heavy metal radioactive decay, not rqadiocarbon dating. And armnhammer1 falls back on the old propaganda, that “scientists” report legitimately on what they find in their laboratories”. That they even find things in their “laboratories” and don’t just say whatevewr they want to say. There is no incontrovertible proof that they don’t just make claims without any validity then concoct “evidence” of those claims. Face it. How many outside “laboratory” doors has ever seen proof that “meteorites” aren’t just machined lumps of rock? Who outside “laboratory” doors has ever handled absolute proof that “fossils” aren’t just molded resin casts? Who outside “laboratories” has proof that “electricty” isn’t, in reality, tiny aliens carrying energy? “Science” devotees take it all on faith. They insist “scientists” cannot be lying, that they can’t all be backing each other’s claims up. Just saying “‘scientists’ said it” doesn’t automatically make something true!

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  13. 13. priddseren 8:54 pm 10/5/2012

    Yet more proof as to why government does not belong in science.

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  14. 14. 9:23 pm 10/5/2012

    We need to get these very opinionated and stupid senators out of the committees that they do not believe in. the committees were made to improve an already voted on and created committee, not to make it look stupid and destroy the good name of the people that believe in it.

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  15. 15. Xopher425 9:25 pm 10/5/2012

    Yes, and Mary had her son through parthenogenesis, all humans are descendants from Adam, Eve, and Cain, all animals are descendants from the pairs that Noah brought on his Ark . . . . .

    I’d LOVE to get someone like this who could answer me these questions: What are fossils, if the Earth is 9000 years old? Proof that God is a prankster? That He’s a jerk and likes to torment us? If Adam and Eve were the only two people God created, and of their only two sons, one is dead and the other is banished, then where did every other person come from? And how are we not so inbred from one pair of parents that we’re not all massively mentally challenged?

    What’s his scientific proof? That same magical little book that other non-scientific people use as their “proof” for hatred and bigotry?

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  16. 16. ptayu 9:27 pm 10/5/2012


    You’re using a computer right now. Technology, materials, infrastructure all born out of science, and most importantly, PRECISE science. Do you drive a car? Do you benefit from drugs, such as painkillers? Do you use a smartphone? Electricity?

    You have a very narrow-minded view of what science is and as long as that’s true, no one can explain it to your satisfaction. But rest assured! It works, even if you have never figured out how, and you most certainly take it for granted.

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  17. 17. Daniel Cohen 9:27 pm 10/5/2012

    Ah ha ha ha ha ! !! !!!
    Ha ah ha ha …

    Wow… Really?

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  18. 18. tucanofulano 9:28 pm 10/5/2012

    Pretty typical of physicians and politicians.

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  19. 19. vmfenimore 9:36 pm 10/5/2012

    The earth is 9000 years old. And I wear a helmet made of tinfoil so the aliens can’t read my mind.

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  20. 20. truittjs 9:52 pm 10/5/2012

    Just because I’m conservative doesn’t make me a anti-evolutionist, flat-earth, global warming denialist. The fact that people like him are making decisions on the course of our country is scary. We had a local politician try to have our high school biology books changed to include intelligent design. Parents stood up and shut the idea down. If we let these people run without letting them know their ideas are unacceptable we will all fail.

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  21. 21. mistaj 10:08 pm 10/5/2012

    julianpenrod, and any other Christians who have determined that science is wrong:

    Scientists do not use one, finite method to determine the age of the earth. We use multiple techniques and disciplines to determine the age of the earth because we accept that the burden of proof is on us. This burden is taken on by the entire population of scientists and any one expert would be willing to describe the evidence via their talks, books, publications, etc. We don’t care if anyone accepts our theories except other informed scientists and interested public. If you do not understand the methods, then it is as if you are criticizing a book you have never read, or a person you have never met. But simply doubting science does not make you correct.

    The problem with this conversation is simple.

    You are a deconstructionist.

    You will never allow science to make assumptions, like:

    - we assume physics holds at all time and locations
    - we assume mathematical axioms to base our theories
    - we assume the scientific process we have determined actually works
    - we assume that simple models can determine complex interactions in real, dynamical systems
    - we assume properties like mass, temperature, size and time are things we can accurately measure

    If you are going to question science, then YOU truly are a scientist. You SHOULD question if the earth is really 4.5 billion years old. Honestly, I think too many scientists just assume this reality.

    But along with this healthy mesure of skepticism, you must question EVERYTHING. How do you know the earth is 9,000 years old? I don’t believe you. Where is YOUR proof? I am going to assume you take it on faith, because that is what good Christians do.

    Beware of putting faith in arguments like the video on this site. Not because you will be judged, or because you will be led astray – but because you are going to spend the rest of your life missing out on one of the most beautiful parts of being a human being: Science helps you understand the physical world around you. It is a wonderful, human thing to collect information, give it structure, and then apply your understanding to new ideas and techniques. We are often wrong, but we are more often correct. This is the scientific method.

    And if you doubt my conviction and EMPATHY, I used to believe the earth was 9,000 years old, now I am beginning a PhD program where we regularly determine the age of the universe to be 14 billion years old.

    There is no benefit to you, or other Christians, to believe that science is a fabrication. There is no need, in Christian beliefs, to think that science is wrong. This is actually a great rift you are creating between the informed public and your churches. It is a way of “othering” the rest of society. Don’t do it, all it will do is isolate you.

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  22. 22. grandpa 10:43 pm 10/5/2012

    sometimes when I look at actions and beliefs of some members of humanity…I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

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  23. 23. julianpenrod 11:12 pm 10/5/2012

    Xopher425 asks what fossils are if the earth is not more than 9000 years old. Again, nothing says that what “scientists” parade in front of the public and call “fossils” are not just resin casats. In fact, I’m not sure I know of anyoine who wasn’t a “scientist” or paid by “science” who provably found, say, a dinosaur fossil. Teams of “scientists” conduct “digs”, then claim they found “fossils”.
    As for the indignation Xopher425 suggests toward God being a “prankster”, Xopher425 doesn’t seem to display any particular animosity toward “psychologists” who telkl subjects they’re testing them for one thing when they’re actually testing them for something else.
    And, among other things, it’s supposed to be one of the old wive’s tales that “science” constantly claims to overturn that inbred people necessarily are unintelligent.
    ptayu challenges me that computers, electricity, cars all came from “science” and asks how I can question its legitimacy. If ptayu had looked to my earlier post, they would have seen, for example, my statement that no “science” devotee has ever proved that electricity isn’t tiny aliens carrying energy. Who say tiny aliens don’t do all the work even of computers and cars. No “science” devotee tries to prove that there aren’t tiny aliens doing it, but they insist that everyone believe that there aren’t. “Science” makes claims of all sorts, then changes them, then “science” devotees praise “science’ for being willing to change its mind, but don’t ever address the implication of the fact that it’s always changing it’s mind! That things taken as “proved” today, and argued so vehemently for, can be dispensed with tomorrow! Why do they argue so defiantly and determinedly if they don’t have a guarantee from “science” that this point or that won’t be abandoned sometime in the future?
    mistaj “judges” that a problem is that I don’t understand that “scientists” use various methods to determine age and compare notes with each other. The fact is, that is only what they claim to do! And mistaj either doesn’t undefstand when I stated that in so many words before, ot they are determined to avoid that part of the issue. At no time was absolute, utter, incontrovertible direct proof of the ages claimed placed literally in the hands of the “rank and file”. Again, the “scientists” said this and that from behind “laboratory” doors, but never once provided direct proof. Then mistaj proceeds to “analyse” that I don’t believe physics holds true at all times, that mathematics can be used to analyse physics, that the so called scientific method works. Yet, note carefully, mistaj, like all the rest, fails to note that I am saying the “scientsits” provide nothing absolute and unquestionable by way of direct proof literally in “rank and file” hands of what they say!
    And, incidentally, I never said I believe the earth is 9000 years old. I said, and this is verifiable, that “scientists” never placed literally into “rank and file” hands unquestionable proof that the earth is 4.5 billion years old.
    The fact is straightforward. I make the point about “scientists” making proclamation but providing nothing other than instructions to believe them, but “science” devotees consistently demonstrate an inability to make heads or tails of what I say. Or a refusal to address it because they know they can’t.

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  24. 24. RSchmidt 11:28 pm 10/5/2012

    Many posters have commented about how much of an idiot this guy is. While I do not dispute that, I think the worst part is that he was elected by Americans and put on a science panel by Americans. Yes he’s an idiot, but how idiotic are the american people for putting him in a position of authority over a subject which he knows nothing about? Obviously each and every american is not to blame for this. But this is truly an embarrassment for a country that spends as much as it does on education, that thinks of itself as a leader in science and technology and that has an amendment in its constitution that implies a separation of church and state. You’ll notice the constitution does not demand a separation of science and state yet with all these narrow minded right wing religious fanatics, that seems to be exactly what the US has accomplished.

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  25. 25. RSchmidt 11:35 pm 10/5/2012

    @julianpenrod, your ignorance is mind blowing. Please take a few moments of your life to try and understand the scientific method, basic logic, and some basics about the areas of science you are attacking. The problem with being an idiot is that you are the last person that seems to realize it. While you are at it please look up dunning-kruger. It will explain why you think you know more than you do. Remember, “it is better to have the world think you are a fool, than to open your mouth and confirm it.”

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  26. 26. Archy Bunka 12:07 am 10/6/2012

    Yabba dabba doo!

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  27. 27. thevillagegeek 1:10 am 10/6/2012

    Julianpenrod demonstrates, through several rambling posts, that when one attempts to disguise one’s lack of comprehension and coherence with volume, only the fools are fooled.

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  28. 28. thevillagegeek 1:14 am 10/6/2012

    @vmfenimore, where did you get your helmet? I’m a busy crank and have little time to make a nice one myself, what with all the angst and smug superiority of the ‘knowing’ crowd to keep up with. Is it a one-size-fits-all flexible or did you have to find the right size. As you know, being so much smarter than everyone else, we usually need the bigger tinfoil helmets…

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  29. 29. thevillagegeek 1:20 am 10/6/2012

    Well said, @mistaj.

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  30. 30. ldobehardcore 1:29 am 10/6/2012


    julianpenrod is either (in descending order of likelihood)

    A Troll, don’t pay any attention to him or feed him. Report him if he’s violating the site’s TOS.

    A crank, don’t pay any attention to him or feed him. Report him if he’s violating the site’s TOS.

    An incredibly ignorant person who is angry at the whole world, and has a very disorganized thought process. Don’t pay any attention to him or feed him. Report him if he’s violating the site’s TOS.

    Is a schizophrenic or has some kind of mental disorder. Don’t pay any attention to him or feed him. Report him if he’s violating the site’s TOS. Then check his profile to see if you can report him to whichever locality he’s in if available so he can have his lithium or antipsychotics adjusted.

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  31. 31. rbivins 2:08 am 10/6/2012


    Unfortunately for your denialist view of science, there happen to be things on earth and in history that are in themselves older than 9,000 years. Even if you claim that there is little evidence that directly dates the Earth to billions of years, there is ample direct proof that the Earth is much older than 9,000 years. Carbon dating is a simple method of dating things as old as 62,000 years. It is simply a matter of counting molecules and multiplying by the length of time it takes those molecules to decay. Very simple. Requires only basic arithmetic skills, and is available to any person who has learned his or her times tables.
    There is nothing “behind laboratory doors” on that front. In fact, high school students reproduce these results all the time.
    Unfortunately, there have been instances, as you’ve pointed out, where scientists did in fact try to manufacture science by manipulating evidence. And some have gotten away with it for years, but in every case the truth did come out eventually. Like table-top fusion and those bogus cloning claims out of Korea. How were those spurious claims finally exposed? The most important part of the scientific method; which is other labs must reproduce your experiment and draw the same conclusion.
    Also, competition among scientists keeps collusion at bay. Scientists are more concerned with finding the truth than they are will brainwashing the “rank and file”. There is just no motive for the conspiracy you claim. There is no way that Russian, or Iranian, or Chinese scientists would participate in a global conspiracy to defraud the populace in collusion with American scientists. We would be exposed immediately just as a matter of national pride if we EVER attempted anything so far-reaching. You can trust me on this one.
    9,000 years isn’t even enough time for the world’s population to grow from two people to the current population of 7 billion.

    What is another regular change that we can count backwards? We can count the regular mutations that happen to DNA. Counting those changes backwards lets us know the people are older than 9000 years. Since God created the Earth first; and in fact created the Earth long before he created Man, the Earth has to be older than us, by some large margin.

    The arrogance of man to think that God is restricted to the same 24-hour day as we are is Babylonian. Read your Bible, and see how God usually treats those with that level of hubris. The length of one day on Earth isn’t even constant, and has been growing. A day used to be between 2.5 and 6.5 hours and has been gradually increasing ever since. If the length of the day isn’t even constant, then how can this idiot think he knows how long the day was for God?
    There is just too much repeatable and direct evidence for the age of the Earth for anyone who sits on a scientific committee to think the age of this planet is only 9,000 years. For you to believe him shows your gullibility. Maybe you don’t believe in science, but the age of the Earth is in the realm of math, and math is fully supported and endorsed by all tenants of Christianity. Math is encouraged by every book of the Torah, the Old Testament, the New Testament and Jesus himself. Don’t tell me you are cherry-picking your parts of the Bible? Are you?

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  32. 32. metamorphmuses 2:30 am 10/6/2012

    @julianpenrod – Forget about science, forget about the age of the Earth. It’s not clear to me what conditions of satisfaction you use to establish that anything whatsoever is a fact. The way you write, your statements go beyond conventional skepticism and suggest doubt in empiricism itself. If I weren’t convinced you subscribed to a narrow Biblical view, I would suppose that you were a Solipsist. Perhaps the writings of George Berkeley would interest you

    In any case, if you hope to engage in a productive dialog with anyone of ANY point of view, you must desist from your rampant use of logical fallacies. Your attitude toward scientists and anyone sympathetic to them is clearly, overwhelmingly negative. This leads you to indulge in an Association Fallacy, specifically “Guilt by association as an ad hominem fallacy” (look it up if you need to). In short, listing your doubts about a particular view leads you to mistrust all statements by anyone who espouses that view. No matter what you believe in, this is bad logic, plain and simple. Furthermore, proclaiming your disbelief at any and all utterances by scientists and those who may be persuaded by them does not substitute for actually making a claim and substantiating it.

    Please note, I have not put forward any defense of science or scientists. Nor have I attempted to disprove any supposed beliefs you may have. I merely take issue with your demonstrably specious logic.

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  33. 33. way2ec 3:07 am 10/6/2012

    Thanks to the commentators that take the time to try and respond to the gobbledygook of julianpenrod, but I have to agree with Idobehardcore, attention and feeding are not helpful. Both s/he and Paul Broun if asked for “proof” can cite one and only one text, that being the Bible. As if that text doesn’t have enough errors, “leaps of faith”, and total lack of logic to make one question theology… it continues to be used to “help” us with science. I for one do not try to refute the bible thumpers… it is pointless, rather I “ask” them (or am I goading them) to help me “understand” things like putting every species of plant and animal of the entire planet onto an ark with enough food for all, and with a 9000 year planetary history… Noah had to have put dinosaurs on the ark as well, or we are back to God putting fossils into the ground as some kind of test of “faith”. The six 24 hour days is yet another logic/science “test” since the planet isn’t created on the first day. It’s as if I want the “believers” to tell me that God decided in advance to use 24 hours for his “days”, 12 for the daytime, 12 for the nighttime, ignoring of course the change in the seasons. Christine Gorman’s posting this here for all SciAm readers along with her disclosure that she believes in God and attends church suggests that our attention shouldn’t be directed at our beliefs in God, or the use of the Bible to understand “God’s plan for us”, but rather how do we scientifically literate members of society “help” those in the religious communities reconcile things like scientific timelines with their misreadings of their Bibles. To simply allow one of God’s days to be something other than 24 hours doesn’t have to become a threat to their belief in God (but it does), but for them to insist that the Earth is 9000 years old, without any proof from their side, DOES threaten our goal of a scientifically literate population. I accept ALL creation myths, what an important beautiful testimony to our ancestors trying to answer the questions where do we come from, how did it all begin. But the current schizophrenic culture of religion and science in a society whose goal is (or should be) scientific literacy is dangerous. Will I be reading here about religious fanatics attempting to destroy natural history museums’ fossil collections? Are their attempts to force their “creation science” into science textbooks any more absurd than scientists forcing their way into churches and Sunday schools to demand “equal time” to the teaching of basic science, let alone logic (as in where did all the water go after the Flood and all the animals get back to their continents and repopulation of the Earth without inbreeding from Noah’s family, the list is endless). Dare I pun in conclusion “Thank God for the separation of church and state?”

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  34. 34. blindboy 3:08 am 10/6/2012

    ……but is Penrod really his name? Peabrain seems more likely.

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  35. 35. thejerk 3:12 am 10/6/2012

    For the record, I think the earth is older than 9000 years. That being said, i think julianpenrod’s larger point is that scientists are made out of people. How in the hell do we know current dating methods are reliable?

    I’m not making a judgement one way or the other about the age of the earth, however, every time I read or hear, “scientists say” or “I believe in science,” I think of “Brave New World”. It sounds like the blind faith devoid of the skepticism upon which science depends.

    For instance, I’ve read that creation can’t be proven.
    Why not? Why can’t mathematics be used. Or, why can’t one believe in a creator and love science at the same time? Why would a Creator deny us the awe of discovery?

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  36. 36. way2ec 3:17 am 10/6/2012

    This is from my Mac dictionary. I think it does a very good job of defining the effects of our cultural schizophrenia, the dangers that aren’t just threatening us, these are the dangers that we are dealing with… Schizophrenia…a long-term mental disorder of a type involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation.

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  37. 37. thejerk 3:18 am 10/6/2012

    Science isn’t about consensus.

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  38. 38. Sacrieur 3:22 am 10/6/2012

    Believe what you will about the age of the Earth, believe that it was just created tomorrow, as mind boggling as that may seem.

    However, upon entering a public office one is expected to uphold certain principles — even if they rub against one’s personal religious ones. I know it’s a difficult concept to grasp for some, but if you cannot put your god second to the country, then you have no business being in that position. Swear an oath to the country, or swear an oath to a god; one cannot have it both ways.

    This means that all political officials must operate in a secular capacity. There is no room for disbelief in evolution due to belief in God. These people represent atheists and agnostics, Catholics and protestants, and Hindus and Muslims. The only way to win is to not play the game.

    It’s religious favoritism that is the enemy of democracy and freedom.

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  39. 39. blindboy 3:24 am 10/6/2012

    ……the jerk. Truth in advertising?

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  40. 40. MassimoMercuri 3:30 am 10/6/2012

    This is a scientific site … In my understanding the people commenting here should have a certain level of school, or a sincere willingness to learn more.
    I do not know precisely how old is the Earth (nor does anyone else really), but would be nice if we at least base our hipothesis on facts and findings, not on superstition or clichés that sound really embarassing.

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  41. 41. blindboy 3:45 am 10/6/2012

    Yes! Yes! Massimo. If you know nothing about a subject why on Earth (or any other planet for that matter) would you choose to advertise your ignorance by expressing opinions about it. Now I’m off to to express my opinions about the correct order of the begettings in whatever book of he bible they occur in, which doesn’t really matter since I have never read any of them……but hey I have a right to an opinion and I’m going to use it!

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  42. 42. MassimoMercuri 3:45 am 10/6/2012

    And what is really scary is this “scientist” from the video speaks in the same way (note: it only “sounds” less aggressive) than any other religious fundamentalist (read: potential terrorist) and he is in a goverment of a country with capabiltiy to accomplish major mass destruction.
    People like that are dangerous for humanity.

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  43. 43. SpiderJon 4:05 am 10/6/2012


    “And I wear a helmet made of tinfoil so the aliens can’t read my mind.”

    They don’t work apparently – indeed, they make the problem worse! See

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  44. 44. elizabettac123 5:13 am 10/6/2012

    Shouldn’t someone on a science committee actually know something about science? This is deplorable and speaks volumes about why the U.S. is so messed up.

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  45. 45. UncleBohb 5:48 am 10/6/2012


    “Who outside ‘laboratory’ doors has ever handled absolute proof that ‘fossils’ aren’t just molded resin casts?”

    Perhaps it doesn’t happen anymore, but when I was a kid, my friends ans I would go “fossil hunting.”

    Even today, real fossils aren’t that hard to find outside of laboratory doors.

    I recommend you find a few, and show us the mold-lines, and the simple analysis required to show they are made of resin. Anyone could have done so in the 250 years since the publication of “On the Origin of Species,” even though many have shared your view. Now, why is that?

    It is because you are wrong, and feeble-minded besides.

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  46. 46. Stue Potts 6:29 am 10/6/2012

    Broun is not the only bigot in Congress. I wonder how many of our illustrious representatives agree with him and whether or not any of that group are Democrats.

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  47. 47. 9monkey 6:47 am 10/6/2012

    Ok, Can we now force Georgia to succeed from the union?

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  48. 48. WizeHowl 6:48 am 10/6/2012

    I am not surprised by this at all, after all you Yanks voted for this jerk and his kind. That is what is so scary! Then you have people like julianpenrod who obviously has no knowledge of what Science is, and studies have shown your country is overrun with people like this.

    I know Australia has it’s share of wankers in politics, after all, you only have to look at our red headed leader, but at least she is an atheist, she may not be much on science and technology but at least she doesn’t believe the world was created in 6 days and is only 9,000 years old!

    But just think in a few weeks you guys get the chance to get rid imbeciles like him, and hopefully you and your country men wont vote in any more of these jerks.

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  49. 49. dbtinc 8:13 am 10/6/2012

    How ever did this cretin make it to and thru medical school and more importantly what political twit put him on this committee? Sometimes democracy is not all it’s cracked up to be. Please – not only do we need freedom of religion but also freedom FROM it as well. Sadly, this idiot also represents like-minded knuckle draggers as well.

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  50. 50. outsidethebox 8:57 am 10/6/2012

    I read an article like this and wonder what his opponent must be like, to lose to this guy.

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  51. 51. gasandbeer 9:50 am 10/6/2012

    I don’t subscribe to the “6 days as we know it” thing, rather “6 periods of time”. But how we got here doesn’t factor into my life. Christianity is simply a book of wisdom for me on how to live, and I like it. It works for me as it does for millions.

    I believe there is evolution at work and the universe is infinite, I just don’t ponder those mind-blowing concepts (nothing against those who do) as the struggles and challenges of daily life are all-consuming. I’ll sit up and listen when “the truth” hits the front page of every outlet on the same day.

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  52. 52. Phobos 10:00 am 10/6/2012

    He has no opponent in this election. He’s running unopposed.

    He’s from Georgia, so he’s basically pandering to the ignorant southern masses who buy into that hellfire and brimstone stuff. I live in TN, and it’s really not too different here.

    But you couldn’t title this article “US Politician either liar or fool” because….well…What else is new?

    Our population is getting what they paid for with education. The politicians love it because it’s easier to control stupid people. MUCH EASIER to get stupid people to vote for you because they’re too dumb to tell when you’re full of it.

    I mean. This is the same guy that tried have 2010 federally recognized as “The Year of The Bible” and then claim it was for historical purposes. If that’s not pointless pandering, I have no idea what is.

    As I said, he can’t really be voted out because he’s running unopposed. However, somebody should look at removing him from the Committee on Science, Space and Technology of the House of Representatives. If he’s got proof that the earth is only 9000 years old, and it’s empirical enough to pass rigorous peer-reviewed scrutiny, I’m sure the fine people here at SciAm would love to break that story.

    Anybody ask him for a response to the video going viral or subsequent criticism yet? If you guys do, be sure to ask for that proof. Along with the proof to back his belief of a six-day planetary construction job.

    The Bible doesn’t count as empirical evidence.

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  53. 53. Lewtheprof 10:28 am 10/6/2012

    3:18 am 10/6/2012
    “Science isn’t about consensus.” Really? Just look at and then ponder for a moment the way data is considered, and the reporting has and is being done on “global warming, as if it is both absolutely proven and completely undisputed, and then get back to me on that assertion. Political ideology, popularity of a cause or idea (pack mentality), and the going along to get along mentality can be a powerful influence,, even for some, even many “scientists.”

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  54. 54. Luca 10:34 am 10/6/2012

    It is incredible!!

    NASA fitted with a charlatan like this!

    Disturbed fanatics from the old mid-oriental cristian cult should be banned.

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  55. 55. Luca 10:37 am 10/6/2012

    “Who outside ‘laboratory’ doors has ever handled absolute proof that ‘fossils’ aren’t just molded resin casts?”

    Please mr pernod .. stop drinking!!

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  56. 56. gasandbeer 10:40 am 10/6/2012

    Stop stereotyping “the South” as the ignorant masses. There are ignorant masses everywhere. 18-25 yr olds and African Americans that voted for Obama. There’s masses who have addictions to alcohol, drugs, or pornography. Millions worship celebrity, or worshipped at the church of Oprah.

    I’d much prefer to hang out in the south than I would in pretentious, materialistic, hedonistic, idol-worshipping Hollywood (from Tennessee, lived in L.A. 40 years, now in Austin). Billions of dollars and severe poverty living side by side. The South is a much better place.

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  57. 57. Phobos 11:03 am 10/6/2012

    Dear Gasandbeer,

    Perhaps I was generalizing a bit, but you have a much more staunchly religious population in The South, that also has a more ignorant view of scientific stances mostly due to favoring their ancient system of belief over staying open to new ideas. I didn’t even mention all of “The South”. Just a particular demographic.

    This can be true in any population, but this particular demographic is certainly more prevalent in Georgia than say Los Angeles. You’ll get a lot farther with “PEOPLE DIDN’T COME FROM MONKEYS, THE WORLD WAS MADE YESTERDAY AND GOD LOVES US ALL” in TN or GA than you will in Colorado, Oregon, or California.

    I’m not going to touch the Oprah or Obama thing because that already shows you have a particular bias towards those voters and viewers, and yet you stand here and try to soapbox against stereotypes. I mean, you just stereotyped Hollywood, so kindly get off your high horse.

    I didn’t say The South was a terrible place, or that I wouldn’t want to hang out here. I’m not sure where you get that Idea. I mean, I live here. If I didn’t want to, I’d move.

    But if you’d do me a favor. Stay in Austin.

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  58. 58. Bob Grumman 11:18 am 10/6/2012

    What I want to know is what happened to 4004 B.C. as the date of the creation of the world? That made sense–assuming an inerrant Bible.

    I’m also curious as to why it took God six days to create our world. Why not one micro-second? And why didn’t he leave us some before-and-after pictures? Talk about hiding behind locked lab doors!

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  59. 59. SteveinOG 11:54 am 10/6/2012

    It’s not really accurate to call Broun “stupid.” He’s willfully ignorant and extremely dishonest, but not stupid.

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  60. 60. Bruckner 12:14 pm 10/6/2012

    Looks like julianpenrod is lacking a even a basic understanding of the scientific method. I better not say that too loud or the “aliens carrying electricity” in my walls may tell the elves in my car to stop the little ponies hidden inside the engine by the gnomes that made it.

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  61. 61. jkrikor 3:14 pm 10/6/2012

    Actually, the headline was inadvertently cut off as the article went to publish. The full title is, “House science member says Earth is 9,000 years old”; “Top educators cite quote as strongest evidence yet for the need to improve STEM education and science literacy in the U.S.”

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  62. 62. LarryW 3:30 pm 10/6/2012

    After reading about Paul Broun and others like Penrod, I always thank God that I’m an atheist.

    A. Einstein: A difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.

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  63. 63. Gatnos 5:25 pm 10/6/2012

    Time is not linear, it is exponential. Ask any old person, they’ll tell you.

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  64. 64. Obbop 6:00 pm 10/6/2012

    Living atop the Ozark Plateau in southern Missouri I feel as if I dwell upon the buckle of the Bible Belt.

    The well-indoctrinated human herd hereabouts has had various types of Protestant-type “religion” shoved into their minds starting during their young, formative most impressionable years.

    Logic and rational thinking are rare commodities.

    Blind belief and obedience to implanted doctrine is the norm.

    Basically, the majority of folks hereabouts scare me and I fear that this human herd may grow and perhaps become the majority some day.


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  65. 65. julianpenrod 7:20 pm 10/6/2012

    Again, devotees of “science” responding to my statements by accusing me of not knowing how the “scientific” method works, or mocking me. Both demonstrating either a patent intellectual lack which makes them unworthy to make pronouncements about the “reliability” of “science” or an eminent ethical lapse which keeps them from legitimate discussing the matter at hand.
    Again, a major point I made is that “sciebce” never provides absoilute, legitimate, unquestionable proof, right in “rank and file” hands, literally, of the claims they make. They declare only that they “proved” it in their “experiments”, conducted behind “laboratory” doors.
    A critical tactic of maintaining any lie is to do everything you can keep the “rank and file” from getting close enough to see the fdraud in what you are selling. A closed, self serving xociety like “scientists” would say whatever they wanted, back each other up anbd trundle self approvingly things lie the “scientific” method to keep the gullbiel from realizing they’ve been sold a bill of goods without actually having seen the goods.
    If “science” had a policy of providing direct, incontrovertible proof of their claims literally right in “rank and file” hands, those responding would have that to reply with and wouldn’t need to engage in dodges like going on about the “scientific” method.
    rbivins, for example, excoriates me, invoking carbon dating. Again presuming that what “experiments” “scientists” claim they engage in, and what they “derive” from them, can be absolutely believed. In the absence of their providing actual, tangible, incontrovertible proof literally in “rank and file” hands. Again, a “science” devotee ordering everyone to believe that “scientists” say. I know of no “high school students” reproducing that on any large scale. One or two who are tagged to enter the scam because they’re “the kind of crooks the New World Order can work with”, might produce an entry in a “science” fair where, again, they claim to have done this and require others to believe it, but it is not a standard part of any curriculum. No verified ancient material is analyzed by “high school students” for radiocarbon content. And, incidentally, radiocarbon content supposedly decreases exponentially, so rbivins’ reference to “times tables” demonstrates their unfamiliarity with it or their craven obsession with mockery.
    And rbivins is claiming an in depth familiarity with all the operations and interactions on the planet to “assure” with pretend absolute certainty that “there is no way” “scientists” form all over the world would engage in this kind of conspiracy. One of the first thing members of a conspiracy or shills for that conspiracy do is insist that that conspiracy is impossible.
    Incidentally, rbivins “argues” that two people cannot have grown to the present earth population in 9000 years. Leave aside that a population of two doubling every twenty years, and each pairing not producing offspring after a certain age, after 9000 years would produce at least 2^200 offspring in total, or about 10^60 individuals. But consider that rbivins is casually, and “unscientifically” recklessly, assuming I posit that the world started with only two humans! Nowhere did I necessarily endorse the “creationst” view. What other careless casual assumptions assault rbivins’ “reasoning”?
    And, despite my complaints that “scientists” do not ever place actual, eminently varifiable proof of their claims right in “rank and file” hands literally, meamorphmuses insists on claiming that “it’s not clear” what “Conditions of satisfaction” I would accept for proof. After all this time and explanation metamorphmuses still doesn’t understand that being told to believe something was proved and ordered to believe does not constitute proof? metamorphmuses invokes the term “logical fallacies” guaranteed to con the gullible, but completely undermined by metamorphmuses failure to list any such “fallacies”. The idea of guilt by association is valid. If someone covers up the lies of another, they are effectively a liar, too! If someone shills for another while refusing to consider that the other is lying, then that shill is lying by pretending to be a reliable source. And, anyone who holds to a particular untrue point of view cannot be trusted to make legitimate statements in anything else, since they will be using the same “reasoning” and “ethic” in both.
    Uncle Bohb tries to “rpove” the reality of “fossils” by claiming as a kid they used to go “fossil” hunting. Note, this does not provide any verifiable evidence that they found “fossils”. It’s only an unsubstantiated claim of going “fossil” hunting. Uncle Bohb then recommends I find some “fossils” and prove they are resin molds. This is using a conditional to “prove” a premise. It’s assuming I will find “fossils” and uses that unattained incident to “prove” “fossils” are real!

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  66. 66. smrpix 8:30 pm 10/6/2012

    to sum up julianpenrod, you neither want to be told what is true nor do the work to disporve it. You just want to argue.

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  67. 67. metamorphmuses 8:47 pm 10/6/2012

    @julianpenrod, #65

    “The idea of guilt by association is valid. If someone covers up the lies of another, they are effectively a liar, too!”

    The rules of logical discourse apply to everyone, no matter their point of view. I haven’t bothered to argue against you; I merely point out the fact that your arguments are not just weak, they don’t even count as real arguments.

    You say “being told to believe something was proved and ordered to believe does not constitute proof”. By the same token, just denying something as proof does not count as proof of its falsehood.

    My advice to you julianpenrod is not even that you should reconsider your beliefs. Rather, you should just learn how to conduct a rational dialog with your opponents. If you can’t adhere to basic rules of logic that even those who agree with you (theologians, Christian philosophers) have always adhered to, and continue to rely on vitriol and ad hominem generalizations, then your comments will continue to be met with derision. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy that you propagate.

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  68. 68. VIP 9:05 pm 10/6/2012

    He certainly looks like he was there 9,000 years ago, it obviously must be true.

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  69. 69. blindboy 9:40 pm 10/6/2012

    Julian, it must have escaped your attention that in taking part in this discourse via the Internet you are in fact verifying the scientific discoveries that have made it possible. Given this, the historical and present certainties of nuclear power and your skepticism about radio-isotope dating could you please identify precisely those parts of our current understanding of nuclear physics that you consider unproven? If nuclear weapons explode, nuclear power plants produce electricity but radio-isotope dating is wrong, then there has to be some error in our current understanding. The world of physics anxiously awaits your assistance on this point.

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  70. 70. imrational 10:11 pm 10/6/2012

    He says the Earth is about 9,000 years old? Is he daft?

    It was proven in the 17th century that the Earth was created on Sunday, October 23, 4004 BC by James Ussher.

    He’s off the mark by nearly 3,000 years!

    Paul Braun should do a little scientific research before publicly making such erroneous proclamations.


    By the way – my favorite diorama at the Creation Museum has a cave man (Homo sapiens I presume)standing in a tropical setting, along with a dinosaur and a PENGUIN!

    - It’s all perfectly logical!

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  71. 71. imrational 10:23 pm 10/6/2012

    My mistake-

    After checking out the site I see that the human penguin setting does not include a dinosaur – it appears to take place during the Pliocene Epoch.
    I suppose that dinosaurs occurred a few hundred years prior.

    How embarrassing.

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  72. 72. carlos e 10:42 pm 10/6/2012

    This julianpenrod person is beyond help. He is utterly contemptuous toward science–not a rare thing among christian fundamentalists–and apparently is here only to pick a fight.

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  73. 73. Deist 10:43 pm 10/6/2012

    This shows that the American founder and Deist Thomas Paine was right when in his powerful thought provoking book on God and religion, The Age of Reason, The Complete Edition, he called for a revolution in religion based on our God-given reason and Deism. If this takes place people would never look at the Bible or Quran as the word of God. Instead, they would realize both these man-made books violate our God-given reason and therefore could not be from God. They would value their reason and embrace science over man-made dogmas and superstitions. What a much better world that will be!

    Progress! Bob Johnson

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  74. 74. Mr.Tie 11:02 pm 10/6/2012


    How do you expect to make a point with only these “words” that you got from “english” when they were created behind locked doors by so called “writers” sure you use them but how do you know what they really mean? Sure you can look them up in a “book” but all that’s in there is more “words” made up by “writers”. You just fall in line with the rank and file “readers” who simply assume they know what these “words” mean without having the knowledge of creating their own “language”.

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  75. 75. bigriver 11:19 pm 10/6/2012

    “Video has been removed by the user”
    Why has that happened?

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  76. 76. Christine Gorman 11:47 pm 10/6/2012

    Looks like Liberty Baptist church has removed the video from Youtube. I’ll see if I can find another copy to embed.

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  77. 77. john.p.cummings 12:55 am 10/7/2012

    julianpenrod, most scientists would agree with your view that science cannot ever prove anything, but rather take a more karl popperish view that science disproves theories. evidence can be built in support of a theory, but that is not a proof.

    however, there is plenty of evidence to support the idea that the earth is more than 9000 years old.

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  78. 78. Irieman 3:05 am 10/7/2012

    (sigh ) How asinine is it for a physician to claim to refute the billion year+ age of our planet . . .
    Broun is either profoundly ignorant or he is being openly deceptive
    I get as outraged by the ignorant who say things like
    “not once, ever, has any real absolute, incontrovertible “proof” been placed in the literal hands of the “rank and file” that the earth is older than 9000 years.”
    These people have obviously never taken a class in geology . . .
    I actually have ( along with a lab credit )
    Once people get a grasp on the atomic chart and realize how long it takes for elements to decay and study the irrefutable evidence of the geologic landscape of our earth, will one realize that the Scientific assertion that our planet is billions of years old is much more than some “scientific conspiracy”.
    Plate tectonics and the accurate measuring of the rate that these plates converge will demonstrate how South America and Africa were once part of the same surface landmass . . .
    but of course, this is further corroborated by the further analyzing comparative fossil records, etc etc.

    Since Broun is obviously influenced by a biblical interpretation of the age of the earth and the universe, it qualifies to refute what the interpretative biblical asserted . . .
    The bible refers to the age of the universe and not just the earth. And if the bible somehow explains the universe to be a mere 9,000 years old……..
    Well, one can reply that “Light years are both a distance and a time measurement as the speed of light at its very fastest travels 300,000 Kilometers per second. If a star away from our earth is calculated to be 9,001 light years, which disproves Brown’s interpretations right there in and of itself.

    To be as precise as we possibly can be,
    How do we know the distances of stars is a mathematical model from both red shift and parallax shift ?
    Our most recent calculations (along with our most powerful telescopes) suggest the our universe (so far as we can see) is somewhere in the vicinity of 13-15 billion light years away. This information suggests that at the very least (the very youngest approximation) our universe is 13-15 billion years old.
    Remember that is at the very least, we don’t know for certain how big those stars are that we are seeing, how young or old they are, or if there are possible stars beyond them.

    In closing, Broun needs to be dismissed . . .
    He shows himself to be wildly inadequate for the position.

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  79. 79. metamorphmuses 5:54 am 10/7/2012

    Mr.Tie @74 — that is just perfect… true LOLs evoked

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  80. 80. Quantum Ghost 10:18 am 10/7/2012

    I don’t believe is 9000 years old, I believe it was indeed created by god. I mean the equations giving us, intelligent life forms, a chance to exist are so slim, it puts the thing of it happening all by chance way out of possibility, for me at least. A 9000 year old planet would leave no room for an atmosphere to form, not enough time for bones to fossilize and certainly no time for any planets to stabilize in orbits form and condense, seeing as though our solar system was formed at the same, unless of course earth just floated by unaffected by any of the other plants’ gravitational waves and fields.

    I’m sure my comment will be criticized but that what I
    like, getting into discussions. So please by all means criticize.

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  81. 81. klarg 11:30 am 10/7/2012

    God made man (but he used the ape for the plan). W/r to Devo.

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  82. 82. RSchmidt 12:01 pm 10/7/2012

    @Quantum Ghost, you think the chances of the universe being the way they are are slim so you abandon the natural cause, which is slim but not impossible and instead you have chosen to go with a hypothesis for which there is no evidence and, in fact, all evidence indicates is impossible. Wow, that’s some logic. Here is some simple logic for you; let’s say there are an infinite number of universe out there and only one of them has the ability to contain intelligent beings, this one. Doesn’t it follow that we are the only ones around thinking about the low probability of our existence? There is no one in the other universes thinking, “I guess it makes perfect sense that I don’t exist because there is such a low probability for my existence in any universe”. When you deal with near infinite parameters it is amazing how many times low probability events happen. In terms of Earth’s history if an event happens every million years or so it is considered regular but in terms of the life of a person it is such a low probability it is not even worth considering. Your problem, one among many actually, is that you are thinking in terms of human scale about the universe. There is a rule of thumb in physics, if something is possible it is mandatory. We are possible, so here we are.

    The strange thing is that you seem willing to accept science as long as it doesn’t interfere with any of your prejudices. Of course if you do believe in a god powerful enough to create the universe I don’t know why you would think he would need more than a few days to do it – or a few microseconds – or any time at all. Is he just kinda all powerful? Is he sorta all knowing? The funny thing about you middle of the road guys is that have chosen to be wrong in both spheres, science and religion. That’s covering your bases. I guess that makes you kinda omni-ignorant.

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  83. 83. Cramer 12:40 pm 10/7/2012

    Quantum Ghost wrote, “I mean the equations giving us, intelligent life forms, a chance to exist are so slim, it puts the thing of it happening all by chance way out of possibility…”

    It is not yet possible to put any type of probability for the existence of life. There are over 200 billion stars in our Milky Way galaxy and 80 billion galaxies in our observable universe. There could be millions of planets in our galaxy alone that contain life. Do we know? Of course not — we have have no idea of the abundance of life in our universe. How can anyone say that the chance is slim?

    And even if we are the only life in the universe, does that prove we were created by a god?

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  84. 84. PsychMouse 1:32 pm 10/7/2012

    Paul Brown has his degree in Chemistry and then obtained an MD from the Medical College of Georgia – his medical practice, by his own admission, was making “house calls”. OK. Does give one pause to think, doesn’t it?
    I would be curious, as a scientist at a leading research institution in the US, what “data” Mr. Brown is referring to in support of his idea that the earth is approximately 9,000 years old. So he gives us few more thousand years than James Ussher who “calculated” the age of the earth as preceding nightfall on Sunday, October 23, 4004 BC, which calculates to 3929 BC.
    Geology easily refutes this premise with radiometric dating, of which the time spans covered by these dating methods can be as far back as 62,000 years for radiocarbon dating techniques, to about 80,000 years with uranium-thorium dating, and samarium-neodymium dating that can span 2.5 billion years. That’s just three examples among many.
    I think it’s curious that Brown was a chemistry major — he must have forgotten that Ernest Rutherford (chemist, very famous chemist, as he won the Noble Prize in Chemistry in 1908) pioneered the use of radioactive decay for dating techniques and attempted to calculate the age of the earth. Of course he did work with Frederick Soddy at McGill University on this question. While Rutherford’s techniques were not perfect, Soddy was able to take this data and later with William Ramsay at University College in London, perfected the radiocarbon dating techniques… all which wouldn’t have been necessary if the early was only 4000-9000 years old.
    The only think I can think is that Brown must have been absent at the university the “day” they taught chemistry.

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  85. 85. Alexd 1:47 pm 10/7/2012

    Actually, julianpenrod is wrong. The truth about the creation of the world is the one following. It is written all over the web and I’m sure julianpenrod can’t prove it’s not the only true truth.

    “In the beginning there was darkness everywhere, and Chaos ruled. PanguWithin the darkness there formed an egg, and inside the egg the giant Pangu came into being. For aeons, safely inside the egg, Pangu slept and grew. When he had grown to gigantic size he stretched his huge limbs and in so doing broke the egg. The lighter parts of the egg floated upwards to form the heavens and the denser parts sank downwards, to become the earth. And so was formed earth and sky, Yin and Yang.

    Pangu saw what had happened and he was pleased. But he feared that heaven and earth might meld together again, so he placed himself between them, his head holding up the sky and his feet firmly upon the earth. Pangu continued to grow at a rate of ten feet a day for 18,000 years, so increasing the distance between heaven and earth, until they seemed fixed and secure, 30,000 miles apart. Now exhausted, Pangu went back to sleep and never woke up.

    Pangu died, and his body went to make the world and all its elements. The wind and clouds were formed from his breath, his voice was thunder and lightning, his eyes became the sun and moon, his arms and his legs became the four directions of the compass and his trunk became the mountains. His flesh turned into the soil and the trees that grow on it, his blood into the rivers that flow and his veins into paths men travel. His body hair became the grass and herbs, and his skin the same, while precious stones and minerals were formed from his bones and teeth. His sweat became the dew and the hair of his head became the stars that trail throughout heaven. As for the parasites on his body, these became the divers races of humankind.

    Although Pangu is dead, some say he is still responsible for the weather, which fluctuates according to his moods.”

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  86. 86. VIP 2:11 pm 10/7/2012

    It’s obvious that any neanderthal can become a congressman, but how did he become a doctor?

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  87. 87. MBarksdale 2:39 pm 10/7/2012

    @any of julianpenrod’s comments:

    I am young, but I have a pretty sound understand of things. If you’ve ever stopped and just looked up at the sky or at the grass, you realize that if you zoom out of the close scope you can never truly grasp everything. Just like the point about how can we trust language, nothing can be trusted. Hell, how can you trust yourself? Words have so many meanings, our receptors interpret these meanings. What if one of them is dysfunctional? How could you prove this? Go to a doctor- but you don’t know that there is something wrong. And maybe you are normal and everything else is wrong. But then what does “normal” even mean? The “word” consists of straight lines and curves in a certain order.
    My point being that if you are going to doubt science, great. But don’t be prejudice- doubt everything. Because you can never truly grasp everything.
    Also it is pathetic paranoia to try to cling desperately to your inconclusive argument. Not only is it distracting to read multiple errors, but also the constant quotations make it unbearable.
    By your argument, we can’t conclude anything. So if I take my mouse and throw it, that must be a lie. Some fairy must have moved it.

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  88. 88. MrDrT 3:47 pm 10/7/2012

    While I suspect that the congresssman’s science is incorrect I’d like to see the evidence that he mentions. I see a lot of ridicule directed at him here but I don’t see anyone expressing interest in seeing his data. Seems I recall other instances in history where a scientist of the day was attacked and ridiculed so I choose not to participate in that prevailing dialogue here. How about we have scientific discussion and avoid the ridicule?

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  89. 89. geojellyroll 3:53 pm 10/7/2012

    Obama claims that a dead-guy-on-a-stick is his saviour. Obama went to church today to pray to a mythical being. The two blocks that are most ignorant about reality, Blacks and Hispanics are Democratic supporters. They think god (their hero) disaproves of gays.

    Creationists are just wrong but it’s amusing how it’s used as some political statement. The pot calling the kettle black.

    Bottom line..ones view on creationism has zip impact on 99.9% of science. There are creationist aeronautic engineers, surgeons, math teachers, etc.

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  90. 90. MrDrT 3:56 pm 10/7/2012

    MBarksdale opens the discussion about what is at the heart of the matter: the foundational basis for a person’s faith. Unless someone here is a troll, there is a preponderance of faith here based on the validity of human reason and on the scientific method. I personally tend to mostly agree with those faith systems while recognizing there are things that exist which science nor reason has yet discovered or explained. Some people, including me, believe that there are also spiritual forces that operate, at least for now, outside scientific explanation. Combine the effects of translation and cultural influences on scriptural matters and you have perfect storm for argument that predates recorded history. Close-mindedness has also predated history and, frankly, those who profess to be science-driven are doing a fine job of perpetuating that tradition on this blog.

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  91. 91. Poluxme 4:20 pm 10/7/2012

    Reply to julianpenrod and the likes.
    Just because the moon appears to be bigger in size than the sun does’nt mean that it is.Mathematics is at the root of the universe, and if you cannot grasp that, please refrain to comment on mysteries you do not understand but blindly believe in, versus history of the evolution of the universe and the people trying to simplify the big picture for the common folks with numbers and hands on experiences. The mystery to me is how simple minded people like you still function. You live in a different reality than hopefully most of us. You are stuck in a dimension that is between “hell” and “heaven” where everything is a blur. By the way, hell is here on earth and heaven is where all human spirits fly to when departing our bodies forever. Wake up and look around. The only mystery to me is to realize that in 2012 there are still people with extremely limited brain power as a mudfish flopping around in a puddle of mud. Good luck and please do not raise children…

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  92. 92. MBarksdale 5:39 pm 10/7/2012

    What do we actually know? If anyone has read 1984, 2+2 can equal 5. It is all the value we put into things. So I agree with the moon-sun example, how can we actually prove it? Put them next to each other, correct? Now that they are next to each other we use an ability which is hard to explain- spacial reasoning. And what is spacial reasoning? A concept. Can we actually prove concepts? Fundamentally, no.
    Now I am not so naive to lead a life based upon such; it is far too unstable and non satisfying. Both things that humans want/need. So we can only lead lives if we go off of our slow understanding.
    Anyone who has experience with the human body knows that the reason we search for water in other atmospheres is that we can’t comprehend a life source with the stability that the polarized H20 gives. (Without water we would not have STABILITY because the environment is too extreme for us). As my teacher once put it “its like living with no skin”.

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  93. 93. geojellyroll 5:44 pm 10/7/2012


    “Mathematics is at the root of the universe, and if you cannot grasp that, please refrain to comment..”


    Mathematics is a human creation to interpret evidence. It is a language of description. The reality of the Universe (the properties of matter and energy) existed billions of years before humans (and mathematics. The Universe does not require any interpretive tool of humans to be its ‘root’.

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  94. 94. Dredd 6:27 pm 10/7/2012

    Perhaps this is an indication of why so many people die of “iatrogenic” causes in hospitals and outpatient care.

    Medical incompetence based on myth?

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  95. 95. julianpenrod 7:28 pm 10/7/2012

    When shills for a lie reach the limits of their doggerel, many tend to become desperate and begin flailing everywhere.
    smrpix, for example, accuses me of not wanting “to be told what is true nor do the work to disprove [sic] it”. Among other things, there is nowhere in anything I wrote that smrpix can point to that states this. I said that “science” makes claims but does not prove it absolutely and unquestionably with incontrovertible proof literally in “rank and file” hands. As such, this does not denounce being told what is true and it does not assert an unwillingness to prove the untrue untrue. In fact, pointing out that utter unquestionable proof is not placed directly, literally in “rank and file” hands is evidence if not proof that the claims are not true.
    Among other things, metamorphmuses pretends to address the issue from the direction of logic saying my arguments “aren’t just weak, they don’t even count as real arguments”. In fact, I didn’t really argue much, I pointed out the irrefutable fact that “scienbce” has never placed any incontrovertible proof of their claims literally in “rank and file” hands. A fact is considered strong, not weak, in logic. Too, metamorphmuses chides me that “just denying something as proof does not count as proof of its falsehood”. metamorphmuses fails to mention exactly what in my statements constitutes “denying something as proof”, which can invalidate the point, buyt, also, at no point did I just deny that something is proof. With respect, for example, to carbon dating, I pointed out, among other things, that “science” itself says it has not been applicable to determing the supposed age of the earth. I said that it is carried out behind “laboratory” doors, which is the truth, that “science” does not place irrefutable evidence literally into “rank and file” hands which is also true. And the fact of the matter is, “science” has not placed unquestionable proof literally into “rank and file” hands that carbon dating, or any radioactive dating does work.
    And blindboy seems to have failed to read one of my comments, or failed to understand it, since they again tread the path of saying if you use electricity or the computer or anything like that, you are automatically proving “science” right. Again, I pointed out that not one person promoting “science” here has proved that, for example, electricity isn’t just tiny aliens moving energy down a wire or that computers don’t work by tiny aliens placing images on the screen.
    carlos e accuses me of just being “here to pick a fight”. Yet, carlos e does absolutely nothing to demonstrate anything I said wrong.
    This may cause this to be removed, but, Mr. Tie produces an abysmally ludicrous counter, saying words were created behind locked doors by writers. In fact, the language was created in the open by people talking with each other and traveling outward. In fact, if it was created behind locked doors then dispensed, how did it so effectively displace the native tongue. And where did that native tongue come from? Is Mr. Tie suggesting a constant program of new languages being constructed wholly out of broadcloth then being dispersed? If such had happened, it would be a part of the cultural content.
    And it’s not particularly surprising that the ilk of metamorphmuses would find Mr. Tie’s loutish offering enjoyable.

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  96. 96. MrDrT 10:30 pm 10/7/2012

    Well at least he is in good company.

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  97. 97. Squish 11:00 pm 10/7/2012

    Sorry julianpenrod, but your intimation that scientists are conspiring against your true world view, to me at least, reeks of arrogance.

    When scientists – independently and from myriad sources of evidence, with only the assumptions that the universe is built upon consistent units and that logic and mathematics can explain them – arrive at the age of the universe, they absolutely do not have you in mind. Just as the age of today’s scientific consensus is far too old for your fundamentalist reading of the bible, it is far too young (only in the billions!) for those who base their dogma upon a fundamentalist reading of the Hindu Vedas. Yet both are irrelevant to scientists; evidence-based conclusions from calibrated observations of our natural world suffice.

    In the Bible G*d is called a husband in Isaiah 54. God is also called a warrior spirit and a fortress and the ineffable. In Isaiah 46 G*d is the mother of Israel. Clearly these are not real descriptions but metaphors. There is no ‘like’ so they are not similes and the Bible is not clear when metaphors are being used or when factual information is being given, like the dimensions of the Temple. Therein lies the rub at taking anything in the bible literally: when should be interpret metaphor, style, hyperbole, and when fact is beyond clear in the Bible. Like, for instance, the age of the universe (science tackles this better; regardless, G*d delights in us using our gift of intelligence so continue reading).

    As early as the 7th verse of the first chapter of the Torah, it is said that G*d separated the waters above the vault from below it. This belief in a firmament, originating in Sumer and Babylon, provided support for Great Flood myths. Whether it was Gilgamesh or Noah or something Egyptian, people believed that great floodgates in the sky could be opened to drown us all. We can assume the evidence for this belief came from the fact that the sky and the sea are both blue, and rain comes from above.

    As neat an idea as a vault of water overhead is, it is non-existent. You do not believe that the space shuttles and satellite-delivering rockets have to break through this dome and swim through liquid space when they reach orbit. Despite the Scripture. So believing the Early Earth chronology, which is not nearly as direct, is also arbitrary; furthermore, thinking that scientifically literate people the world over are all colluding to disenfranchise your dogma-based paradigms – and not millions of others’ – is as narcissistic as someone with a Jesus-complex.

    Blessed are the humble

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  98. 98. dmark 11:13 pm 10/7/2012

    How can somebody this stupid earn a decent living?

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  99. 99. dmark 11:22 pm 10/7/2012

    geojellyroll: I know your trying to insult democrats, but your comment made no real sense. Except maybe the last line.

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  100. 100. sixtwoandeven 12:12 am 10/8/2012

    Squish, and anyone else trying to talk sense to julianpenrod,

    Please, don’t waste your time trying to educate this fool. He’s either a troll yanking your chains or he’s too stupid to reason with. “…neither cast ye your pearls before swine!”

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  101. 101. Ungolythe 12:21 am 10/8/2012


    geojellyroll is a one trick pony show whose main purpose seems to be to lump all Christians as believers of a dead guy on a stick. Vitriol, intolerance and not so subtle racism are his trademarks. It is best to ignore him and julienpendrod.

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  102. 102. doctordawg 12:38 am 10/8/2012

    I appreciate the “full disclaimer” of the author attending Presbyterian church, but how can someone so steeped in facts regularly attend an institution so totally devoid of them, and in fact, one that wallows in fiction and superstition?

    I am as big a fan of fiction as anyone in movies, books and plays, but the moment any one of those pretends to be real, but is found to be fake – it’s toast. It is rightfully criticized as a fraud and the author usually disappears in disgrace. Not so with religion.

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  103. 103. Ungolythe 12:44 am 10/8/2012

    It is indeed sad that not only was Mr. Broun elected to congress but was appointed to a science committee. There is no arguing with fundamentalists like him. All they have to do, in their mind at least, is to say “It’s true because the Bible says so!” They are incapable of understand the true allegorical meanings and any proof brought to bear that contradicts their very narrow interpretation, or most likely what they were told the true interpretation should be, is refuted by saying “It’s a lie from satan!” In reality they are the ones who are very insecure about their beliefs as anything that might appear to contradict their worldview must be denied else their faith be shaken to the core.

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  104. 104. Ungolythe 12:49 am 10/8/2012


    Not all denominations and church’s are alike. Perhaps this quote from the late Carl Sagan, a noted atheist whom I respected a great deal, had to say about religion “Religion deals with history, poetry, with literature, with ethics, with morals including the morality of treating compassionately the less fortunate among us. Those are things that I endorse wholeheartedly.”

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  105. 105. ysksky 1:10 am 10/8/2012

    It is sad that Scientific American has taken the position that science and belief in god are totally compatible. This, in itself, is evidence that the scientific establishment in the US has given in to the demands of the loony right. I am surprised that very few have commented on the incongruity of a Scientific American editor proudly proclaiming her belief in god. Her belief in god is a personal, unscientific belief and should not be a part of her editorial comments.

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  106. 106. geojellyroll 1:20 am 10/8/2012

    ysksky…true. Thus the amusing condemnation of Creationism. It’s like saying that belief in Leprechauns is ok but the belief in fairies is not.

    They are both irrational despite how they are dressed up. Once one opens the door to the existence of a mythical being that defies the properties of matter and energy, then all absurdities are no longer absurd. A god that can nudge an atom could equally create the world in six days 9,000 years ago.

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  107. 107. Ungolythe 1:25 am 10/8/2012

    Why is that sad ysksky? You are aware that there are currently and have been many scientists of repute and also believers in God. There were even a few obscure scientists, like a fellow name Planck and another “minor” contributor to science who went by the name of Einstein who were both scientists of faith. By saying that “It is sad that Scientific American has taken the position that science and belief in god are totally compatible” you are showing that you are just as intolerant as Mr. Broun.

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  108. 108. Owl905 1:42 am 10/8/2012

    It’s a year-o … he actually said it’s about 90,000 years old. Next.

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  109. 109. Kaestel 2:09 am 10/8/2012

    Arguing with a Christian is like playing chess with a pigeon.

    You could be the greatest player in the world, but the pigeon will still knock over all the pieces, shit on the board and strut around triumphantly.

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  110. 110. Fundayz 3:42 am 10/8/2012


    Great analogy, I’ll definitely have to use that sometime.

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  111. 111. David J. Hansma 6:49 am 10/8/2012

    The problem with having Paul Broun on the Committee on Science, Space and Technology is not that he is stupid, but that he is apparently ignorant about scientific matters (ignorance is not stupidity). This puts him into a category that contains 80 or 90% of the general population, and it is from this pool that senators are drawn. What makes Mr. Broun special is that he made a speech that illustrated his ignorance. This could be called a dumb act, but I think that if you could force any particular senator to make a speech on one of the hundreds of branches of “Science, Space and Technology”, you would hear something that sounded equally ignorant.

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  112. 112. gmwalk3 10:10 am 10/8/2012

    Just google “Julian Penrose”. Chem trails…

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  113. 113. Christine Gorman 12:13 pm 10/8/2012

    To doctordawg, geojellyroll, etc. I debated making the disclosure because the facts of the story stand and Broun’s anti-scientific statements stand on their own merits. But I think it is also important for people of faith who believe the Bible is important but not literally true with respect to history or science to say so when it becomes part of the conversation.

    It goes without saying that this disclosure was a voluntary act on my part and not an official requirement or policy of SA.

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  114. 114. vulpes08003 12:30 pm 10/8/2012

    @julianpenrod: Your trolling skills need some work. Even a creationist would not claim that electricity might be little aliens.

    However, if you are not actually trolling you need to get some help with your mental health …

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  115. 115. Cramer 1:40 pm 10/8/2012

    It’s amazing how many people are certain about the faith of famous people. Geojellyroll continuely claims that President Obama believes in God. Ungolythe thinks Einstein believed in God. Maybe they do/did believe in God, but could you imagine either one of them claiming to be an atheist in our American society? Obama would not be president and Einstein would not have had his rock star status as a genius (I’m only referring to his fame of being a household name, not his science).

    Einstein’s “God Letter” is currently up for auction on Ebay. Maybe some people should read it:

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  116. 116. sergio46 2:13 pm 10/8/2012

    People are made stupid by religion; not surprising the decline of USA ! and voting for a mormon would send the country own in the underdeveloped countries list!

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  117. 117. longri 2:27 pm 10/8/2012

    RE: julianpenrod

    I burned my hand with boiling hot water on my stove. My scientific hypothesis is that anybody on any stove will burn their hand when they submerge their hand in boiling water. You have the chance to participate as a scientist. Go stick your hand in boiling hot water and tell me if my hypothesis is correct or if it needs to be corrected. Take your time – I’ll wait.

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  118. 118. Bill_Crofut 2:49 pm 10/8/2012

    As a Traditional Roman Catholic, militant young-Earth Biblical creationist and geocentrist, my rejection of the currently-accepted age of the Earth is based originally on Scripture: “In the beginning (footnote: AM. 1; Ante C. 4004) God created heaven, and earth.” (Genesis 1:1. THE HOLY BIBLE, DOUAY RHEIMS VERSION. 1899. Reprinted: 1971. Rockford, IL: TAN BOOKS AND PUBLISHERS, INC.). Though Scripture would be all that is required for me to maintain my rejection, it’s not my only basis.

    C. Patterson, G. Tilton and M. Inghram authored the seminal paper which catapulted us from “…the generally accepted estimate of 3.3 x 10^9 yr…” to “…about 4.5 x 10^9 yr…” (1955. Age of the Earth. SCIENCE, 21 January, p. 69). The paper is replete with assumptions and the following warning which would seem to have gone unheeded: “It should be recognized that an approximate age value is sufficient and should be viewed with considerable skepticism until the basic assumptions that are involved in the method of calculations are verified” (p. 75). The basis for my suggestion that the warning has gone unheeded is two-fold.

    Geophysicist A. Hayatsu provided what has all the earmarks of questionable practice in age dating: “In conventional interpretation of K-Ar [potassium-argon] age data, it is common to discard ages which are substantially too high or too low compared with the rest of the group or with other available data such as the geological time scale. The discrepancies between the rejected and the accepted are arbitrarily attributed to excess or loss of argon” (1979. K-Ar Isochron Age of the North Mountain Basalt, Nova Scotia. CANADIAN JOURNAL OF EARTH SCIENCES, April, p. 974).

    Prof. Gunther Faure reinforced my position in his textbook: “I have attempted to present the principles of isotope geology by emphasizing the derivation of mathematical equations that are used in the interpretation of isotopic data. In many instances, the geological significance of the conclusions derived from isotopic studies depends on the assumptions that were made in the calculations. I believe that students will better appreciate the limitations of the results of such calculations when they can follow the derivation of the relevant equations step by step and observe how various assumptions enter into the process. Isotope geology has no place for handy formulas into which one substitutes data to obtain the magic answer.”
    (1986. Principles of Isotope Geology, Second Edition. New York: John Wiley & Sons, p. viii).

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  119. 119. Agnostic1 2:54 pm 10/8/2012

    Many have responded to julianpenrod.
    His “analysis” may be completely wrong-headed, however, his tone does make an underlying point that should not be ignored.
    There are many people involved in science and research who are better termed “technicians,” or “parascientists”
    Many of these take scientific hypotheses that currently have most credence, and believe them to be “Facts.”
    Unfortunately, this includes many science teachers who are actually not scientists themselves.
    There is another very serious problem, as well.
    Media reports of scientific discoveries generally present scientific observations as indisputable facts. This creates the kind of headline that attracts attention and sells papers. It also fosters an impression that Science is infallible, leading to the type of criticism and skepticism that is becoming increasingly prevalent among the current populace, The preponderance of acceptance will unfortunately be termed a “fact,” in the sense that it is the best explanation that can be generally agreed on at this time.
    This is at odds with the more common use of the word “fact” which is understood to be something indisputable.
    This creates a skepticism in the receiver, as these purported facts observably change, often over a period one’s lifetime.
    These reporters (or perhaps their editors) are not aware (or do not care) that science is an evolving understanding of the nature of what we call reality.
    A true scientist realizes that a hypothesis is offered as an explanation of a phenomenon. It is subject to review by all, and often will be disputed and defended vigorously, which may lead to greater understanding of the issue. I suggest that the strongest theory may be the one that stands best on Occam’s Razor. My favorite definition of this is “when you have two competing theories that make exactly the same predictions, the simpler one is the better.” []. I would add, of course, that the predictions must be observable and reasonably consistent with careful observation.
    Each individual may consider one of the explanations currently being offered among the scientific community to be the most likely.
    These “facts” may still be challenged by other explanations, and again weighed against the prevailing wisdom. Moreover, those who take dogmatic positions regarding these “facts” do not have the open mind or perhaps the creativity to be a true scientist, at least within the realm of that particular hypothesis.
    The rejection of dogmatism involves a degree of emotional security that allows one’s accepted viewpoint to be questioned, reconsidered, and revised.
    When a theory “works,” meaning it can be duplicated reliably, and is a very good predictor of the behaviors it attempts to describe, particularly those it posits beyond the current scope of technological research, which later are verified, it is widely accepted as the most adequate explanation of the phenomenon in question.
    This results, as it should, to unending refinement and perhaps even abandonment of the accepted explanation (e.g., the Ptolemaic Copernican, and Keplerian models; the atom as an indivisible component of matter). And so on. This is consistent with the history and philosophy of Science.
    I would like to submit my personal belief (to quote Castaneda), that reality [at least to the human] consists of the known, the unknown and the unknowable.
    Consider my own thought, which I think of as a modern American koan:
    I am all that is
    that ever was
    that ever might have been
    that ever may be
    I am all that is not
    that never could have been
    that never may be
    hold me

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  120. 120. ErnestPayne 2:55 pm 10/8/2012

    Demonstrates clearly the problem with the US government system of seniority by years in congress. You get senility.

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  121. 121. davefrancis 3:56 pm 10/8/2012

    Creationists variously claim that the Earth is all sorts of different ages. They all claim that their number of years is the absolute word of God. Apparently God was lying to most of them or, ….. Reductio ad absurdum.

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  122. 122. mayandy 8:50 pm 10/8/2012

    Poor man. That religion should make a person so stupid is lamentable

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  123. 123. G. Karst 1:39 am 10/9/2012

    I hate discussing science with people of religious faith.
    I hate discussing religion with people of scientific faith.
    I hate the fact that neither knows what 95% of our universe is made of. GK

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  124. 124. jgrosay 11:37 am 10/9/2012

    As I stated before, the time figures in the Bible are relative: if you take into account the Bible sentence about God’s relationship’s with time: “A thousand years are like one day in front of your eyes”, and you make some calculations with this as a fact, and some minor corrections adding the different sizes of years along mankind’s time counting, you’ll find that the Bible account of days from creation of the Earth doesn’t differ substantially from the geologist’s accounts. Regarding time and God, one must never forget that time is also a creature, is not something existing before or independently from God’s existence, and thus is subject of any command or change God may want to make on it, including the presence of time for God. For the One that created time, there’s no time flow at all: all times are present for Him. Salut +

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  125. 125. Bill_Crofut 12:19 pm 10/9/2012

    davefrancis (comment 121),

    As a student of Scripture for over 10 years, one who has read the Bible completely perhaps 10 times, the age of the Earth is unclear to me from the text. Anyone who claims the number of years for the existence of the Earth is contained in Scripture will have to show me. However, anyone who reads my comment (118) carefully will quickly realize only 25% of the text is devoted (however cursorily) to Scripture. The remainder (75%) is taken from the professional literature.

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  126. 126. Bird/tree/dinosaur/etc. geek 2:09 pm 10/9/2012

    @ outsidethebox (comment 50): yeah, but the scary part is that this guy has a chemistry degree, despite being barely sentient.

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  127. 127. Bird/tree/dinosaur/etc. geek 2:29 pm 10/9/2012

    @ G. Karst (comment 123): Oh, no! You’ve slithered your way onto another thread!

    @ Bill_Crofut (comments 118 and 125): Hello again, my intractable arch-nemesis. I won’t bother listing the mass of evidence that we have that proves that creationism and geocentrism are piles of horse poop, as you’ll just say that you don’t believe it and that you only believe a particular moldering religious text.

    For everyone else: My favorite way to make trolls froth at the mouth is to note that much of the Old Testament is political propaganda written by a courtesan at the court of Solomon. They can’t stand the idea that their book is trashier than a vampire romance.

    Finally: I’m surprised that the congressman is able to speak in complete sentences, and I am horrified that he’s on the House Science Committee. Our country’s going to be toast by 2031 (when we run out of oil).

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  128. 128. Bird/tree/dinosaur/etc. geek 2:35 pm 10/9/2012

    It should also be noted that julianwhatsit thinks that vaccines cause autism, and that G. Karst thinks that 140 ppm of atmospheric CO2 would be unsustainable for life.

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  129. 129. M Tucker 3:22 pm 10/9/2012

    Broun has only been in the House since 2007. That is not really a lot of seniority but certainly more than the crop who came in 2010. Can you guess what party he is? Come on, I’m sure you all know. That is the problem, not the practice of offering committee assignments based on seniority. And what party controls the House? I wonder how all these super genius Republicans get elected to congress? Would it be the voters in their district? What we see reflected in the outrageous and despicable behavior and opinions of these congress people is the profound endemic stupidity of the American electorate. You know what Ron White says, “You can’t fix stupid!”

    I do find it very encouraging though that the Deep South has shown so much willingness to forgive. They have now become a stronghold for Republicans. A stronghold for the craziest of ultra-reactionary Republican thought. So any day now I expect them to erect a statue honoring Presidents Lincoln and Grant. To honor the founder of the Republican Party and to honor the man who’s plan to invade Georgia brought victory to the Union thus ensuring the parties endurance into the future of America.

    No, you sure can’t fix stupid.

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  130. 130. TER-OR 4:23 pm 10/9/2012

    Willful ignorance is unforgivable. Putting someone like Rep. Broun on a panel judging and funding science is also unforgivable. He is proud that he has no interest in the subject. But remember, the Republicans have done this in the past, including putting a Rep on the Foreign Affairs committee who bragged that he had never been out of the country. There seems to be some sadistic humor at play.

    If you want to know how we’ve figured out the Earth is about 4 Billion years old, or the Universe is about 14 Billion years old you need to go find out. Do some research on your own, don’t just lash out. Challenge the assertions once you’re up to speed – until then you’re really just throwing poo.

    And until someone can come up with a better explaination about the fossils I can scoop up in a streambed (like crinoids and brachiopods) than what we have now, I have to go with the current fossil theory.

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  131. 131. Quantumburrito 7:07 pm 10/9/2012

    I have to congratulate the author of this blog. Not only has her post been spammed by creationists but also by a self-proclaimed geocentrist. These are extremely rare nowadays, so I recommend that this post be carefully preserved for posterity’s sake. Having a comment by a flat-earther would have been the ultimate triumph but nobody gets *that* lucky.

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  132. 132. brublr 9:06 pm 10/9/2012

    Those emotionally invested in creationism, birtherism, global warming denial, trickle-down theory, vaccination denial, or Occam’s Razor denial have their own facts and are beyond considered discourse. However, as the article noted below points out:
    ‘American voters who describe themselves as having no religion vote overwhelmingly for Democrats. Pew found Americans with no religion support abortion rights and gay marriage at a much higher-rate than the U.S. public at large. These “nones” are an increasing segment of voters who are registered as Democrats or lean toward the party, growing from 17 percent to 24 percent over the last five years. The religiously unaffiliated are becoming as important a constituency to Democrats as evangelicals are to Republicans”.
    A transcendent, earth-repudiation warrior God will naturally attract those of similar inclination. A nice agrarian God would be a welcome target for worship but hasn’t been in vogue since the stone age.

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  133. 133. Ungolythe 10:51 pm 10/9/2012

    @Cramer – comment 83: You are indeed correct in that Einstein was a very secular person who viewed God in a Spinozan sense. I am very much the same way. I have read the full text of the letter and they do not contradict his professed beliefs and statements about his faith decades earlier. I can say that I agree with almost every word, albeit the translation most likely loses some clarity. I disagree with any religious viewpoint that would claim some special divine providence from God. My beliefs in the life and teachings of Jesus are in no way assailed by the fact that I don’t believe: That he was born of a virgin birth or that he was really raised from the dead. I feel that way too much has been dwelt upon regarding his death. It was his life and teachings that are important, not the way he died.

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  134. 134. Ungolythe 11:09 pm 10/9/2012

    Agnostic1, Well said. There are some true skeptics who regularly post on this site, jtdwyer to name one, who can and do make cogent arguments against what they are skeptical about. I do not always agree with him but he gives us some thought provoking posts. Alas, then we have julienpenrod who just wails about like a conspiracy theorist with absolutely no evidence to back up any of his claims.

    Far too often popular press reports of studies that “suggest” or “provide evidence” for something are sensationalized in to something that is very definite. This often leads to a backlash when further study disproves the earlier analysis.

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  135. 135. plcsys 11:22 pm 10/9/2012

    Maybe what we have here is a failure to communicate.
    Let’s look at what is being written, and perhaps understanding from that what the author is saying by trying to decipher the definition of the words or phrases that are being used in quotation.
    For example, several time that phrase “rank and file” are used along with the expression [being put into the hands of ‘rank and file’] but what is actually being said, and what does that mean to the those among us who accept, and understand the words “scientific method” to mean a series of theories that are refined over time to make the “theory” more closely reflect the actual events and things that we observe in the actual physical universe. I think that julianpenrod means by the “rank and file” is the set of all people in the general population but not including those people called “scientists.”
    Another word that appears in her postings quite often is the phrase behind the locked doors of “laboratories.” Why the word laboratories is enclosed in quotes is unclear to me. Perhaps she means those establishments that conduct research in secret, such as those involved in weapons research, proprietary drug research for pharmaceutical companies or those that conduct leading edge technology research such as electronics companies. If so, to the best of my knowledge (and please correct me if I am wrong here) these types of laboratories do very little to no work on the origin of the earth, the universe, the origin of species, the validating of the age of organic materials (radio carbon dating) or any other research on things that substantiate or refute any of the basic physical models of the cosmos, quantum phenomenon or the way that gravity works.
    On the other hand laboratories that do this type of work are usually virtually open laboratories (some of which may actually be out of doors) that exist in universities or other establishments that are dedicated to discovering the facts that may lead mankind to a better understanding of how the universe works. Whether or not God or any other supernatural being had anything to do with the creation of the world may or may not be uncovered by this research is yet to be determined as far as I can tell.
    The important thing to note about these laboratories is that the researchers are aching to publish their findings after doing painstaking efforts to make sure of the data of their work is correct, so that other scientists can review this work, criticize it, refute it, or, by doing their own research, validate it as being a step towards a better understanding of what is going on.
    So, almost all research involving the age of the earth, the age of fossils, the age of the universe, how radio carbon dating works and so on are all done in public. Anyone, given the right resources, and enough education can duplicate and validate for themselves the truth or falsehood of those theories.
    What does julianpenrod mean when she says [“science” makes claims but does not prove it]? Well first of all science does not make claims, statements, or any take any position at all. People do. Secondly, the people who call themselves scientists work by a set of rules that require that all of their statements and claims are reviewed by other non related scientists who use the same scientific methods of duplicating experiments, or making observations that must have data that agrees with the scientist making the claims. Please note again that this method also includes rules that adopt information that refines the statements to more closely reflect what is going on in the universe. In this way a hypothesis eventually becomes a theory. In scientific terms a theory does not have the same meaning as used by the general population that in some cases use it to mean that this is an opinion, but does not necessarily reflect the facts. In science a theory is a construct of data and relationships that most closely models the “facts” that compose the reality of the physical universe or a specific case of events of things that exist in the universe. I put the word facts in quotation because the facts may be a very close approximation, so close that it is almost impossible to distinguish between that and reality. For example the value of the constant referred to as pi by mathematicians is approximately 3.1415926535 8979323846 2643383279 5028841971 6939937511. I rounded the last decimal place up because the next digit was a 5 and the numbers go on without end, but I can safely say without fear of many disputing the fact that that pi is 3.14159 because that many decimal places is good enough and close enough for almost any but the most exacting of tasks. Science is like that is some ways. The facts are so close to reality that further exploration of those facts may be of interest only to the most inquisitive person, or scientist, but the difference between that and a very very very exacting definition is so small as to not cause any significant distortion of the model or theory.
    Now here is the test looks at that kind of comparison
    Let’s take that age of the earth for example. How many ways are there for estimating the age of the earth other than just reading about it in a book. Well we can do an experiment on how long it would take water flowing over a rock to erode it. For example, how long would it take a river to carve a path though a mountain range? This would be a very course tool and the age would only be approximate, but if you care to do the research you can find out for yourself. Another way is to look at continental drift and see how long it would take North and South America to drift from Africa and Europe to get to their present location. Yet another way is to look at how long it would take a molten ball of rock the and minerals size of the earth to radiate enough heat to no longer be molten and to be cool enough for water to condense, and to be cool enough to live upon. These are all things that can be done by anyone who cares to learn enough math and physics to perform the calculations.
    All of these things, by the way, lead to answers that exceed 9,000 years by a large margin. Now if there is anyone out there that would like to do the math to show that the earth is more or less 9,000 years, I would be pleased to read about that.
    One last point, there is little to be gained by calling each other names, or to make disparaging remarks about a person’s intellect. It reflects badly on the poster and the forum alike. At least that is my opinion.

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  136. 136. doctordawg 3:02 am 10/10/2012

    Using Carl Sagan to justify religion? Read Demon-Haunted World. I have never read a more damning screed on religion, and how it holds back the entirety of human potential.

    To the author: I am grateful for the disclosure, and don’t harbor ill will. I am truly confused by this disconnect, though. I realize encyclopedic volumes of debate have been published on this subject, and that there is no simple answer.

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  137. 137. Bird/tree/dinosaur/etc. geek 7:35 am 10/10/2012

    @ Quantumburrito: I could pretend to be a flat-earther. Maybe that would count?
    I agree, by the way, that this article should be printed out (with the comments thread) or saved to someone’s hard drive as a monument to…something. It doesn’t matter what.

    @ plcsys: There is so much fossil, geochemical, stratigraphical, and paleomagnetic evidence that the Earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old (give or take a few hundred million) that it isn’t even funny. Asking for some proof of this fact (as if you actually didn’t know of any) simply makes you look stupid. Please do not make yourself look stupid. [insert joke referencing direcctv ads here]

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  138. 138. christinaak 9:07 am 10/10/2012

    Julianpenrod, Do you accept a finite speed for light and do you think it can be measured? (1)The speed of light has been measured to be approx. 300 thousand kilometers per second. (2) Our galaxy has been measured to be approx. 100 thousand light years across. (3) There are more than 100 billion stars in our galaxy. If the earth is only 9,000 yrs old, I am assuming that you are implying that the universe is also only 9,000 yrs old. If this were true our telescopes should only be able to view celestial bodies no more than 9,000 light years away. That means we would not be capable of viewing most of our galaxy and absolutely nothing outside of it. However, Astronomers are capable of viewing much of our own galaxy as well as galaxies at tremendous distances (billions of light years away). If you are to maintain that the universe is 9,000 yrs old then you must adjust the speed of light in your “model” to account for the capability of Astronomers to view the aforementioned celestial bodies. Of course, that would mean that the galaxies, and stars in our own galaxy would have to be unbelievably close. In other words, not only would the earth be vaporized, but our galaxy would be crushed by the combined mass of the billions of galaxies in our universe confined in an area approx. 110 trillion miles across in size.

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  139. 139. Bird/tree/dinosaur/etc. geek 9:23 am 10/10/2012

    @ Quantumburrito: There are six main groups of cranks that will troll these articles. The “ordinary” creationists, which accept physics, the goecentrists, which do not, the flat-earthers, whoich are barely capable of sentient thought, the anti-vaxxers, who are in thrall to Jenny McCarthy, the BANDits, who serve Alan Fedducia, and the AGW denialists, who serve a number of figures including Grover G. Norquist, He Who Must Not Be Shaved.

    There are only two likely ways of getting a “triple crown” of trolls: getting a BANDit, a random creationist, and Bill_Crofut, or by getting a creationist, Bill_Crofut (or another geocentrist, if there are still any others), and a flat-earther. Keep your fingers crossed for a flat-earther!

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  140. 140. Bill_Crofut 11:20 am 10/10/2012

    Bird/tree/dinosaur/etc. geek (comment 127),

    Hello as well, my friend (St. Matthew 5:44). You’ll never know if my reaction to “the mass of evidence” will elicit disbelief as my reaction until you first provide a least a tid-bit of the so-called evidence. You’re probably correct, but why not give me the benefit of the doubt?

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  141. 141. Bird/tree/dinosaur/etc. geek 11:43 am 10/10/2012

    Bill, go and do the research yourself. I have better things to do than doing your “homework” for you.

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  142. 142. Jacques More 2:39 pm 10/10/2012

    C14 in diamonds indicates the earth is “young”.
    There would be none if the earth was anywhere near the age of evolution related theory.

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  143. 143. dgh725 3:00 pm 10/10/2012

    Strong evidence of the effectiveness of brainwashing.

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  144. 144. Bird/tree/dinosaur/etc. geek 3:06 pm 10/10/2012

    Jacques More (comment 142): Horrible example. No refs, either, I see, so I don’t even need to write a refutation, because it’s pretty obvious that you just made that one up.

    That said:
    1. Diamonds are formed from graphite under intense heat and pressure deep in the Earth’s crust. After a long enough time at or near the surface, they sloly transform back to graphite. In this way, they never get the time to lose a significant amount of C14 to decay.
    2. Even if that were not the case, there would always be trace amounts of C14 in the diamonds (look up the term “half-life”.
    3. You forgot fossils, unless you believe that your made-up superior being put them in the ground as a prank.

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  145. 145. Boomerang 4:54 pm 10/10/2012

    It is bewildering to me that there can be any debate on this subject. Our modern existence rests on a foundation of respect for, and engagement in, scientific methods and critical thinking about the world around us. I don’t think it requires a lot of discussion, the evidence of our success as a species is all around us every day and it doesn’t involve any voodoo (unless you’re an RF engineer) or literal interpretations of ancient texts. There really isn’t any point in arguing about it unless one enjoys the sport.

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  146. 146. 13inches 4:59 pm 10/10/2012

    julianpenrod: I cannot believe you bible thumpers even read Scientific American magazine. Why ? Get your nose OUT of your bible and go read some geology books and some astro-physics books. Idiots like you vote for idiots like Representative Broun. This is the dark side of democracy. We all must suffer because idiots vote for idiots.

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  147. 147. American Muse 8:45 pm 10/10/2012

    The Devil is eating the brains of Americans – including Broun’s!

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  148. 148. Bird/tree/dinosaur/etc. geek 8:57 pm 10/10/2012

    @ American Muse: No, it’s the Dark and Mighty Chtuhlu! As prophesied in H. P. Lovecraft’s Necronmicon! It’s religious (or at least considered such by some), so it’s real and you scientists can’t deny that!!!
    [the above was a parody of fundamentalists]

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  149. 149. Dr. Pete 11:44 pm 10/10/2012

    The results of carbon-14 dating are confirmed by dendrochronology.

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  150. 150. jstahle 6:42 am 10/11/2012

    julianpenrod writes: “does not try to confirm that carbon dating is valid, which presumably would be possible if there was anything that independently, irrefutably confirmed it.”

    If you had any knowledge of what you are talking about, you would know that e.g. dendrochronology confirms carbon dating.

    A tree produces one year-ring every year (thus the name) and when we carbon date tree and count the rings they give the same age.

    Our genius continues: “Who outside “laboratory” doors has ever handled absolute proof that “fossils” aren’t just molded resin casts?”

    Millions of people have found fossils in situ inside rocks. If you know where to search, they are easy to find. Ah, but I forgot, mountains are also molded resin casts.

    The gods bless America – you’ll poor souls need it with geniuses like julianpenrod roaming freely.

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  151. 151. jstahle 6:50 am 10/11/2012

    Alexd you are wrong!

    Pangu is a false deity, the only true deity is Ta’Aroa who formed the egg !!!


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  152. 152. 11:19 am 10/11/2012

    Re:: vmfenimore’s comment,

    It’s aluminum foil hat not tin foil hat. Get your science straight.

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  153. 153. jonnyd7606 1:45 pm 10/11/2012


    You “like” “sneer quotes”, “don’t” you” “?”

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  154. 154. porterpottery 2:26 pm 10/11/2012

    The congressman certainly has his right to ignorance, but not to impose it upon me or my family–how does one go about having him removed from the committee?

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  155. 155. plcsys 3:04 pm 10/11/2012

    Bird/tree/dinosaur/etc. geek said in post 137
    “@ plcsys: There is so much fossil, geochemical, stratigraphical, and paleomagnetic evidence that the Earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old (give or take a few hundred million) that it isn’t even funny. Asking for some proof of this fact (as if you actually didn’t know of any) simply makes you look stupid. Please do not make yourself look stupid. [insert joke referencing direcctv ads here]”


    Clearly Bird/tree/dinosaur/etc. geek you did not read my closing comments where I said

    “All of these things, by the way, lead to answers that exceed 9,000 years by a large margin. Now if there is anyone out there that would like to do the math to show that the earth is more or less 9,000 years, I would be pleased to read about that.”

    See I am saying the earth is way more than 9000 years old as illustrated by numerous ways. I also asked if anyone had the math to show that the earth was only 9000 years old, and if they did I would be interested is seeing it.

    You are an example of people that call others names and question their intellect… are you embarrassed? You should be.

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  156. 156. Bill_Crofut 3:54 pm 10/11/2012

    Bird/tree/dinosaur/etc. geek (comment 142),

    Ok. Here’s the result of some of my research:


    “Darwin considered that the doctrine of the origin of living forms by descent with modification, even if well founded, would be unsatisfactory unless the causes at work, were correctly identified, so his theory of modification by natural selection was for him, of absolutely major importance. Since he had at the time the Origin was published no body of experimental evidence to support his theory, he fell back on speculative arguments.”

    [Prof. W. R. Thompson. 1956. Introduction. In: Charles Darwin. Origin of Species. Everyman Library No. 811. London: J. M. Dent and Sons. Reprinted with permission. Evolution Protest Movement. 1967. NEW CHALLENGING ‘INTRODUCTION' TO THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES. Selsey, Sussex: Selsey Press Ltd., p. 8]


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  157. 157. bucketofsquid 6:22 pm 10/11/2012

    Having studied both old and new testaments of the Bible for several decades I must say with absolute certainty and no possibility error that no version of the Bible out of the dozens I have studied give an age for the Earth. If you really stretch things you can come up with Israelis being roughly 9,000 years old but the oldest versions of the old testament specifically state that the old testament is the history of the Hebrew people exclusively. Adam and Eve had Cain and Able and then Able was killed and Cain banished before any other births are mentioned. Cain takes a wife from among the people of Nod. before any additional births to the Adam family. The oldest Bibles include Lilith who told Adam to go get stuffed.

    Clearly as time continues the Bible gets rewritten to suit the desires the ones rewriting it. The Bible has transmogrified from the history of 1 family (Noah’s flood was originally 1 valley and not the world. That change came centuries later.) to magically be the history of the entire universe. Nazi style propaganda at its worst.

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  158. 158. Bird/tree/dinosaur/etc. geek 10:58 pm 10/11/2012

    @ plcsys: The point is that even entertaining the young-earth idea, *especially* with knowledge of the evidence against it, is so ridiculous that I cannot believe that a rational person would do so. I think that you are trying to be a moderate; but in this case, that’s like being the center of the continuum that has a Blue Dog on one end and Todd “legitimate rape” Akin on the other. It’s not actually the moderate view.

    @ Bill: “”“Darwin considered that the doctrine of the origin of living forms by descent with modification, even if well founded, would be unsatisfactory unless the causes at work, were correctly identified, so his theory of modification by natural selection was for him, of absolutely major importance. Since he had at the time the Origin was published no body of experimental evidence to support his theory, he fell back on speculative arguments.””"

    Complete lie. Darwin went on the Beagle a commited creationist and came back a skeptic. Do some research involving unadulterated work by noncreationists, and I’ll listen for 10 minutes or so. As for the NASA link, I don’t see how that provides any evidence for geocentrism at all. You just gave me a picture of a mountain and a rather nice side-on view of our galaxy, looking “inwards” towards the central region. As I have told you before, you urgently need professional psychiatric help for what appears to be a mild form of autism called Asperger’s Syndrome.

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  159. 159. Steve926 8:59 am 10/12/2012

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  160. 160. Bird/tree/dinosaur/etc. geek 9:59 am 10/12/2012

    @ Steve (previous post): Nice! Do you need to be able to vote to sign that thing? Because my kid brother would probably want to.

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  161. 161. Bill_Crofut 10:34 am 10/12/2012

    Bird/tree/dinosaur/etc. geek (comment 159),

    Re: “Complete lie.”

    Of course; that’s why the publishers allowed Prof. Thompson to write the Introduction to that edition of “…Origin of Species…”

    Re: “Do some research”


    “Our theory of evolution has become, as [philosopher of science, Karl R.] Popper described, one which cannot be refuted by any possible observations. Every conceivable observation can be fitted into it. It is thus ‘outside of empirical science’ but not necessarily false. No one can think of ways in which to test it. Ideas either without basis or based on a few laboratory experiments carried out in extremely simplified systems have attained currency far beyond their validity. They have become part of an evolutionary dogma accepted by most of us as part of our training. The cure seems to us not to be a discarding of the modern synthesis of evolutionary theory, but more skepticism about many of its tenets.”

    [L. C. Birch and Paul Ehrlich. 1967. Evolutionary History and Population Biology. NATURE, vol. 214, p. 352]

    Re: “As for the NASA link…”

    Perhaps you should work on your observational skills.

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  162. 162. Bird/tree/dinosaur/etc. geek 11:42 am 10/12/2012

    @ Bill: Erlich and birch were pointing out punk eek, not criticising evolution in general. Please stop quote mining, because it really makes everyone trust you less.

    “”"Perhaps you should work on your observational skills.”"”

    Maybe you should work on yours. You gave us a nice time-lapse movie of Earth rotating such that the camera angle got a nice cross-section of the galaxy. An impressive set of pictures, but nothing earthshaking. If you mean the note in the link that the galaxy “seems to rotate around the volcano’s peak”, the operative word is “seems”, and, if you actually watch the video, the apparent center point of the galaxy’s “rotation” actually moves with respect to the volcano. Please find something that doesn’t refute your fringe hypothesis if you want me to listen to you.

    Finally, I admire your skill at quote mining in the same way that I admire Mitt Romney’s skill at lying about everything that he talks about. If I had his skill, or yours, no fact would be safe.

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  163. 163. Bird/tree/dinosaur/etc. geek 1:52 pm 10/12/2012

    The House “Science” Committee: a bunch of random politicians, Todd “legitimate rape” Akin the Magic Vagina Guy, and Paul Broun the insane creationist. No wonder we’re falling behind most if not all of Asia and Europe in science education.

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  164. 164. M Tucker 2:06 pm 10/12/2012

    Steve @159
    Here is a list of the Republicans on the House science committee and please note that “legitimate rape” Todd Akins is one. None of the others are open deniers of evolution but the Chairman, Ralph Hall, and Rohrabacher are open global warming denier. I doubt you will get anywhere with that petition. Republicans don’t care what public opinion is and I have never heard of a committee member being removed for being too stupid.

    With a new congress about to come in Democrats do have a chance to vote against committee appointments. It would be unusual for an appointment to be denied.

    Good luck with the petition!

    Republicans on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology:

    Ralph M. Hall, Texas
    F. James Sensenbrenner, Wisconsin
    Lamar S. Smith, Texas
    Dana Rohrabacher, California
    Roscoe G. Bartlett, Maryland
    Frank D. Lucas, Oklahoma
    Judy Biggert, Illinois
    W. Todd Akin, Missouri
    Randy Neugebauer, Texas
    Michael T. McCaul, Texas
    Paul Broun, Georgia
    Sandy Adams, Florida
    Benjamin Quayle, Arizona
    Charles J. “Chuck” Fleischmann, Tennessee
    Scott Rigell, Virginia
    Steven Palazzo, Mississippi
    Mo Brooks, Alabama
    Andy Harris, M.D., Maryland
    Randy Hultgren, Illinois
    Chip Cravaack, Minnesota
    Larry Bucshon, Indiana
    Dan Benishek, Michigan

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  165. 165. Bird/tree/dinosaur/etc. geek 4:27 pm 10/12/2012

    Editing my previous post:
    The House “Science” Committee: a bunch of random politicians, two AGW denialists, Son-of-a-Quayle, Todd “legitimate rape” Akin the Magic Vagina Guy, and Paul Broun the insane creationist. No wonder we’re falling behind most if not all of Asia and Europe in science education.

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  166. 166. plcsys 11:32 am 10/13/2012

    “The House “Science” Committee: a bunch of random politicians, two AGW denialists, Son-of-a-Quayle, Todd “legitimate rape” Akin the Magic Vagina Guy, and Paul Broun the insane creationist. No wonder we’re falling behind most if not all of Asia and Europe in science education.”

    I am not an US Citizen, nor do I live in the US but I am appalled that there isn’t some criteria, for example intelligence, that would dictate who is on this panel? Can you imagine this same group deciding who gets the Nobel Prize for anything?

    It makes a mockery of the word science to include those who have no idea about what science even is.

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  167. 167. Bird/tree/dinosaur/etc. geek 12:25 pm 10/13/2012

    @ plcsys:
    “”"I am not an US Citizen, nor do I live in the US but I am appalled that there isn’t some criteria, for example intelligence, that would dictate who is on this panel? Can you imagine this same group deciding who gets the Nobel Prize for anything? “”"

    Technically we can vote the bums out, but nobody ever seems to do that. There are no formal qualifications, there’s no IQ test, there’s no crank screen. The committee is appointed by other House members, I believe.

    Sheesh. And Paul Ryan complains about unelected Supreme Court judges.

    “It makes a mockery of the word science to include those who have no idea about what science even is.”

    Yep. That’s how much the USA really sucks. Ten more years of this, and all of the sane people will move to Denmark.

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  168. 168. Bird/tree/dinosaur/etc. geek 8:37 pm 10/14/2012

    @ julianpenrod: Tiny aliens?!?!? Please check your meds.
    I’ve said this elsewhere, but:
    If you need a tinfoil hat, I can supply you with a “Paranoia Deluxe” model with a reinforced frame and a pair of soda-drinking attachments for the low, low price of $99.99, plus shipping and handling. The Paranoia Deluxe[tm] is guaranteed to stop 97% of mind-reading and mind-influencing rays, from both governments and aliens. With the ParanoiaGoggles[tm] accessory ($49.99, but discounted to $37.75 when purchased with the Paranoia Deluxe[tm]), you are guaranteed to be protected from 100% of mental scanning rays, although you may not be able to see (since tinfoil goggles are opaque).

    Small print: The Paranoia Deluxe[tm] deluxe tinfoil hat and the ParanoiaGoggles[tm] accessory are both non-registered unofficial trademarks of ParanoiaCorp, NLTD*. Any use of these names or similar products will result in me getting seriously mad.

    *NonLicensed [whatever the TD stands for]. Essentially, me.

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  169. 169. Bill_Crofut 4:01 pm 10/15/2012

    Bird/tree/dinosaur/etc. geek (comment 163),

    Either the information available to you is incorrect or, the information available to me is incorrect.

    Re: “Erlich and birch were pointing out punk eek…”

    Please take note of the date of publication of the Erlich/Birch quote: 1967.

    Now, please notice the date of publication of the Eldredge/Gould proposal:

    Niles Eldredge, Ph.D. and Stephen Jay Gould, Ph.D. 1972. Punctuated Equilibria: An Alternative to Phyletic Gradualism. In: T. J. M. Schoph, Editor. Models in Paleobiology. San Francisco: Freeman Cooper & Company.

    Allow me to repeat my suggestion that you work on your observational skills. That video does not show a rotating Earth.

    Please define the phrase “quote mining” for me.

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  170. 170. Bird/tree/dinosaur/etc. geek 4:08 pm 10/15/2012

    “”"Either the information available to you is incorrect or, the information available to me is incorrect.”"”

    No, you’re just deliberately misinterpreting it.

    “”"Re: “Erlich and birch were pointing out punk eek…”
    Please take note of the date of publication of the Erlich/Birch quote: 1967.
    Now, please notice the date of publication of the Eldredge/Gould proposal:
    Niles Eldredge, Ph.D. and Stephen Jay Gould, Ph.D. 1972. Punctuated Equilibria: An Alternative to Phyletic Gradualism. In: T. J. M. Schoph, Editor. Models in Paleobiology. San Francisco: Freeman Cooper & Company.”"”

    Punk eek wasn’t a term before 1972, but that didn’t stop people from noticing it.

    “”"Allow me to repeat my suggestion that you work on your observational skills. That video does not show a rotating Earth.”"”

    Please work on yours. You are completely incorrect on every level.

    “”"Please define the phrase “quote mining” for me.”"”

    Wikipedia is your friend.

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  171. 171. tharet89 10:08 am 10/16/2012


    If I asked to see your boobs, would your answer to that question be the same as your answer to this one?

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  172. 172. Bill_Crofut 10:12 am 10/16/2012

    Bird/tree/dinosaur/etc. geek,

    Once again, you’ve convinced me.

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  173. 173. Bird/tree/dinosaur/etc. geek 1:47 pm 10/16/2012

    @ Bill: Good, now please go away and take your baseless fringe views with you.

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  174. 174. denzelfisher 12:01 am 10/18/2012

    Methinks julianpenrod is having way too much fun with this dialogue.

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  175. 175. Bird/tree/dinosaur/etc. geek 6:05 pm 10/19/2012

    @ julianpenrod: Still want to stick to inferior tinfoil hats? ParanoiaCorp(NotLTD) provides the best!

    Link to this
  176. 176. David Marjanović 10:27 pm 10/29/2012

    Bill_Crofut, why do you act as if no science had been done since 1955, 1956, 1979 or 1986 (depending on the topic)? Why do you act as if all the scientists had retired, and the publishers just reprinted their textbooks again and again? How on the planet is it even possible to get such an obviously stupid idea?

    And… geocentrism… seriously… how do you think gravity works, and how do you think it was possible to shoot probes at distant planets by means of having the Earth’s and/or Jupiter’s gravity accelerate them – to the point that their arrival times were correctly calculated in advance to the second? Did you even know how such things are done?

    As I stated before, the time figures in the Bible are relative: if you take into account the Bible sentence about God’s relationship’s with time: “A thousand years are like one day in front of your eyes”, and you make some calculations with this as a fact, and some minor corrections adding the different sizes of years along mankind’s time counting, you’ll find that the Bible account of days from creation of the Earth doesn’t differ substantially from the geologist’s accounts.

    It does. It has all birds and all fish appearing at the same time and before all land animals. That alone is plain wrong twice over.

    C14 in diamonds indicates the earth is “young”.
    There would be none if the earth was anywhere near the age of evolution related theory.

    The closer you get to radioactive rock, the more C14 you find in diamonds and coal. When you’re far enough away, you don’t find any. That’s expected from the fact that neutrons (emitted by decaying uranium for instance) can turn C13 into C14.

    Bird/tree/dinosaur/etc. geek, your proposals on this topic are all wrong. And BTW, there’s no evidence that Solomon ever existed; the archeologists have been trying to find some for well over 100 years, and they’ve come up empty-handed at best.


    Oh dear. Not only is that word stupid in itself, but when you posted that quote on Tetrapod Zoology, you were soundly refuted – why do you pretend this never happened?!?

    I guess you don’t have the courage to learn.

    As I have told you before, you urgently need professional psychiatric help for what appears to be a mild form of autism called Asperger’s Syndrome.

    …erm. Dude. Like many scientists and other nerds, I seem to have it (haven’t been diagnosed, but then the psychologists hardly know it where I come from), and there is no help.

    Our theory of evolution has become, as [philosopher of science, Karl R.] Popper described, one which cannot be refuted by any possible observations.

    Have you really never heard of the proverbial Precambrian rabbits?!?


    No wonder we’re falling behind most if not all of Asia and Europe in science education.

    Oh, don’t worry, Turkey still has a bit more creationists per population than the US.

    Allow me to repeat my suggestion that you work on your observational skills. That video does not show a rotating Earth.


    How would you tell if it shows a rotating galaxy or a rotating Earth?

    Link to this
  177. 177. Bird/tree/dinosaur/etc. geek 10:17 am 11/1/2012

    @ David Marjanović:
    ****. I forgot about the radioactive rocks factor.

    Link to this
  178. 178. BuckSkinMan 5:51 am 11/6/2012

    All this “pro and con” argument about Earth’s actual age and the validity / non-validity of scientific methods and conclusions is due entirely to one political party’s attempt to recruit and please a segment of voters they believe will get their candidates elected. It’s all a sales scam – which always begins with compliments to the “marks” that party intends to seduce to their side.

    Science has always about investigating phenomena and developing theories based on the information gained through that investigation (research). It’s always been the case that new information from continuing study can overturn previously posited theory. The theocratic opposition always takes “the word” of some strangers as “Permanent Truth” regardless of the intelligence, education or qualification of the mystical “authority.” In order to avoid destruction by new information, all ideologies will attack the science and scientists who put forth theories AS IF the claim is the SAME faulty premise (i.e. that a theory is permanent and immutable “Truth”).

    Arguing with ideologues about Earth’s age (actually, its estimated age) is fruitless and wasteful of our time. Probably the most successful tactic is to find out what motive any adult has for arguing against science – and then expose that motive for all to see. Science was held separate and superior to politics for a long time. But the Republicans, for purely selfish reasons, succeeded in politicizing Science. This is a game THEY CAN WIN because they’re not bound by rules of logic, reason or even sanity. Just remember, when it comes to ideology, it’s all about personal or group motives. When you can expose the dishonesty of personal motives or group motives (for personal /group protection or personal / group gain), you can successfully defend Science and knowledge. And remember too: the Doctrine of Honesty demands something of us as well.

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  179. 179. M Tucker 4:46 pm 11/6/2012

    I would suggest the “segment of voters” Republicans have successfully attracted and continue to rely upon for at least the past 16 or more years are “not bound by rules of logic, reason or even sanity.” They are not interested in truth. They prefer to construct their own reality and cling to it without regard to evidence and facts. It is not that all Republicans are ignorant deniers of reason. The most intelligent among them have courted this segment of the voting population. These Republicans have learned how to manipulate their loyal voters in order to maintain them in office. It can get a bit challenging for we have seen the local town hall meetings where some of these Republican representatives have had a hard time of it trying to explain their voting record to their supporters. But, so far, in the main it has been an overwhelming success for Republicans and more Americans seem attracted to the party every two years.

    I would recommend caution though. Even the best, seasoned professional can be overcome by the inherent wild illogical, unreasonable and even insane nature of the beasts they are trying to control. Those Republican leaders who think they have their supporters under control should remember the lesson that Roy (of Siegfried & fame) learned: a wild animal can cause life threatening injury even if the wild animal is trying to be protective.

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