Monthly Archives: July 2014

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Great News: Dinosaur Descendents Stupider than Toddlers

This week we have a guest report by esteemed movement supporter Marten Dollinger. Check out his other work here, and here.

Studies Show Dinosaur Descendents Stupider than Toddlers (Mostly)

Caledonian Crows are all the talk of avian studies, lately; they’ve been observed to use tools and make inferences. However, a team of psychologists recently discovered an important flaw in crows’, and consequently dinosaurs’, thought process: they cannot come up with a novel behavior after watching some simple cause and effect reactions. This particular leg-up on the birds is fantastic news for the movement, since 70 percent of even the smallest and squishiest of humans can do that. Also, when the dinosaur apocalypse comes, that figure will likely rise to 100 percent due to natural selection.

What the heck does that even mean, you ask? Well, the experiment was pretty simple. The scientist set up a chain reaction in which dominos knock over a rock, which falls on a see-saw, which gives the subject a treat. The crows are pretty bright, they could easily figure out to start knocking over dominos. The next part was to give the birds and humans a version of the chain reaction that doesn’t have the dominos after observing the chain-reaction one several times. Toddlers worked out they could just drop the rock straight in and not have any need for all those dominos. The birds were lost without the domino effect, one just picked up the rock, put it down, and then flew away and cried tiny bird tears, longing for the simple observed dominos that made it feel so smart.

idiot crow

Now, to turn this meaningful study into some actionable advice: incorporate Rube Goldberg contraptions into the raptor-proofing methods you already apply to your own home. We have covered the basics of raptor-proofing before, but these can be greatly improved upon by adding a layer of complexity that dastardly theropods may think they can navigate. They’ll watch the springs and wires and counterweights interact that allow you safe passage into your fortified structure, and think they can get the drop on you like they did poor Muldoon. Meanwhile, you’ll remove an integral piece of the system, and they’ll get dropped into one of your many spike pits instead. Clever girl, indeed.

Update: do NOT incorporate a moat into your defenses. It might take them a while, but it’s only a matter of time before the raptors figure out how to roll boulders into it, flood your entire bunker, and devour you like so many Goldfish brand cheddar crackers.

A Brief History of Wrong: Young Earth Creationism

Yeah okay I know this post is late, I’ve been working on my Master’s thesis. Cut me some slack. Anyway.

 

Today, in a follow up to our last article, we’ll be tackling the history of Young Earth Creationism. As you’ve seen from our constant analysis of dinosaurs, it is often useful to understand the history of the adversaries of humankind. And these folks are DEFINITELY adversaries of humanity. So let us examine Young Earth Creationism and how this movement has been completely wrong through history.

 

The Bible is not a Crossword Puzzle of Natural History

 

Young Earth Creationists generally believe in an estimate of the Earth’s age based on the chronology works of a nice Irish Archbishop named Ussher. In the 1600’s, Ussher guesstimated that the Earth was created on October 23, 4004 BC based on the Bible and what was known about ancient history at the time. His calculation was based on a nice even thousand years between the Temple of Solomon and the birth of Jesus Christ, that led to a nice even three thousand between Creation and the Temple. He basically used the Bible as a crossword puzzle to determine the age of the Earth. The numbers were sort of elegant, so they sort of made sense.

 

The problem wasn’t that Ussher was a bad scholar or something, he was just using the wrong source material. Instead of studying the Earth to learn about the Earth, he studied historical accounts and the Bible. You need to study the source material in order to learn about something. You wouldn’t use a TV Guide from 1995 to learn the age of the Earth, either. You read the 1995 TV guide for what was on TV in 1995. And you read the Bible for poetry, violence, and astoundingly bad advice.

 

You Don’t Even Have to Dig Yourself, You Lazy Idiots

 

The YEC movement is not new. While the Earth’s age was anyone’s guess for a long time, the modern debate (and thus the modern YEC movement) got going in the 19th century, when a new scientific field, Geology (at the time called ‘Undergroundology’… yeah, I know) began seriously contradicting literal “interpretations” of the Biblical book of Genesis. Geology’s findings suggested that the Earth was incredibly ancient, magnitudes older than the accepted estimates of the time. Some people disagreed, and thus the YEC movement was born.

 

Young Earth Creationists did not understand that they weren’t just wrong, like you might be wrong about predicting a World Cup, but that they were painfully mistaken based on even the most casual observation of a large hole in the ground. Looking at a deep hole in the ground, one can find evidence of the past, and it is generally arranged in chronological order. And stuff from the time of Solomon is nowhere near the middle. It is very near the top. There are layers and layers of dirt and rock and evidence beneath that time’s artifacts. Thus, the Ussher estimate is wrong. Very simple.

 

But gosh, what if you don’t want to dig the hole? Well thankfully, erosion will dig it for you! Just go to a gorge or a canyon! And then look at the dirt. With your eyes.

 

The “looking at dirt with eyes” method convinced most people of the age of the Earth (at least as far as ‘really old’ verses ‘grandpa might remember’) within about two generations. Oh, but there were still hold outs. And the dead-cat-bounce of these hold out factions are what we are witnessing today.

 

A Basic Understanding of Any Major Field of Science Shows Young Earth is Impossible

 

The modern YEC movement is still directly tied to Ussher’s work, except they are no longer Irish Catholic for the most part (6000 years isn’t enough time to store up that much lingering guilt, right guys?). They have added new beliefs, mostly to try and argue against the overwhelming scientific and immediately observable evidence against their claims.

 

For example, for a long time, the YEC was trying to suggest that fossils were placed in the Earth by Satan, as a hilarious trick to fool humanity. And that’s why they suggest the process of evolution. Satan is really clever, I wouldn’t put that past him. But now, the YEC suggests things like “fossilization is actually really fast” and “micro-evolution exists, but not macro-evolution”. That’s probably because the modern human mind, when presented with the solutions to the natural world’s questions by science, grasps the logic of basic science very quickly. And that basic understanding is all a person needs to disprove Creationism.

 

Similar to the “look at ground with eyes” method, basic understanding of the science anywhere is just as good at coming to the conclusion that YEC is wrong. For example, plate tectonics are easy to understand, easy to measure, and if you live in California, you can go and see it in action on a long weekend. Comparison of what’s found on the land of either side of the Earth shows that the continents were once linked, and if you combine that knowledge with the speed at which continents move, bingo. You know YEC must be wrong.

 

I was taught that lesson in 2nd grade with play-dough and a jigsaw puzzle. By a nun. Simple stuff.

 

So when you see an Australian Evangelical arguing with Bill Nye on TV, remember that you are watching a guy who denies the basic observable reality in which he lives for an outdated slipshod history written by a bored monk in the 1600’s. And that his arguments can be disproven by children and nuns and anyone with the most basic understanding of modern logic.

 

How about you? How were you taught about the natural history of the Earth? Have you ever dabbled in Creationism? Send me letters or subscribe.