Creation Museum # 3? September 21, 2007

Creation Museum # 3?

We know about the Creation Museum in Kentucky.

There’s also one in Canada.

And once Bill Mielke gets some money, there will be one in Wisconsin Dells:

While he has yet to find a space, Mielke said he hopes to rent or purchase one within the next year. Mielke said he liked the idea of Wisconsin Dells because 3 million people visit it each year.

“Dinosaurs are very attractive to young and old people alike, and we’d like to tell them a different story about them,” he said. “People will say, ‘Where is this stuff coming from? I’ve never heard this stuff before.’ And even if they don’t believe it, they’ll find it interesting.”

Psst: They’ve never heard this stuff because you’re making it all up.

There is one voice of reason in the article: John Hawks, a professor of biological anthropology at UW-Madison:

“Intelligent design creationism has no scientific credibility whatsoever”… “It is not science”… “There is no aspect of our biology that is inconsistent with an evolutionary explanation,” he said. “Wisconsin is a world leader in evolutionary genetics, and our students are at the very forefront of today’s breakthroughs in evolutionary science.”

“I think it’s unfortunate that people are willing to spend their money to support the intelligent design falsehoods, which threaten to keep Wisconsin’s kids from leading the way to tomorrow’s advances,” Hawks said. “Outside ‘The Flintstones,’ dinosaurs and humans never lived together, and kids who are taught such outrageous lies will be three steps behind in their future education.

“Certainly, between the upside-down White House and ‘Ripley’s Believe It Or Not,’ the Dells has a great reputation for fantasy entertainment,” Hawks added. “But intelligent design creationism goes well beyond fantasy into the realm of delusion.”

Well said, sir.

If you’re knowledgeable about evolution and Biology, you’ll have a great time picking out the flaws in Mielke’s reasoning. He makes enough statements to keep you busy for a while.

Oh, and the article ends with this little nugget:

To help fund Dells-Delton Free Dinosaur Museum, or to voice public interest, contact Mielke at (608) 432-3226 or at PO Box 152, Wisconsin Dells.

Yep. Voice your interest.

(Thanks to Mriana for the link!)

[tags]atheist, atheism, fundamentalist, Christian[/tags]

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  • Mriana

    I agree with John Hawks. I had a hardline theist today tell me, after reading my paper in a in-class workshop, that Evolution has not been proven by reason or science and demanded to know why Humanists rul out the possibility of I.D. Even asked the stupid question “Why is freedom, universal education, etc good?” 🙄 Now that is true ignorance! I didn’t dignify any of his attacks on Humanism [and me] with an answer. He wasn’t wanting an answer, he was just wanting to attack.

    I’m wondering if this is why these anti-intellectual Creationists are doing this? Because they don’t want to know the truth? I hate to burst their bubbles, but the Egyptian Book of the Dead is far far older than 6,000 years old and carbon dating, in this case, is only off by a few months at most. So, how do they explain that “sacred” text in their time scale?

  • James

    And here I thought the upside down White House was bad.

    It’s called “Top Secret,” and yeah, it’s a pretty bad funhouse. Ugh. Reminds me why I stay away from the Haunted House at the State Fair every year.

  • lc

    Sorry, I’ve never commented before, but this was too good to pass up.
    “On the sandal print, it showed the sandal stepped on the trilobite…” What the hell does that even mean? Then he uses the complex eye argument. Anybody who paid attention in high school science should ridicule this guy mercilessly.

  • Mriana

    You mean unmercilessly, don’t you?

  • Richard Wade

    Mercilessly means without mercy. Unmercilessly means not without mercy, or mercifully. Unmercifully, if it’s a word, means mercilessly. Whatever, the guy deserves to be turned inside out. (figuratively)

  • Mriana

    Use your dictionary! Unmercifully is a word and it means NOT merciful. Unmercifully is an adverb. Oh wait, nevermind. I said unmercilessly didn’t I. Pay no attention to me.

  • There are more of those creationist museums. Lots more.


  • Mark A. Siefert

    As a life-long Wisconsinite, I’m not surprised. The Dells are a noted tourist trap located in the less-than-sophisticated rural portion of the state. (The only reason Wisconsin is a “Blue” state are the relatively “liberal” cities of Milwaukee and Madison that swing the votes to the Democrat’s favor. In the suburbs and the sticks, people tend to be hard-core right wingers and ultra-religious to boot.) While there is some very beautiful scenery in that region ( bluffs and rock formations), it is also the home of Water slide parks (the primary one called, ironically, “Noah’s Ark”), cheesy wax museums, gift shops, and other tacky locales.

    Just the place for a Bible-beater’s propaganda mill.

  • Mriana

    I have a great aunt (my grandmother’s baby sis) and uncle who had a dairy farm in Janesville WI until they were unable to do farming. Then they moved to Alton IL. Bethalto to be exact. I always wondered how they survived in a Blue state when they are ultra-religious. Their son married an obnoxiously religious woman who is not too much older than I am. 🙄 The only the two of us have in common is that we can sign.

    It seems these Creationists will build a theme park anywhere they can get away with it.

  • Indarctos

    “So these places are creeping up because people are finding more evidence.”
    Don’t you mean making up more evidence?

  • Lucas

    Oh crap, what is my father-in-law up to?

  • It’s been my experience that whenever ID or Creationism is mentioned, you raise the hackles of all atheistic evolutionists and bingo the term “friendly atheist” becomes an oxymoron. That’s when the name calling, histrionics, accusations and unsubstantiated statements blossom.
    What is it with your kind? If you really believe that evolution is fact , proven, and the foundation of all science then why don’t you have the confidence that any counter evidence presented will not stand up to the infallible factual evidence that fuels your belief in that myth? If evolution was so bullet proof what is there to fear that Creationism or ID will weaken its belief?
    John Hawks typifies evolutionist reaction to any threat with such sage comments like,”It is not science”, ID has no scientific credibility, no aspect of biology is inconsistent with evolution. That’s heavy,heady stuff and I guess if a biology professor says so it must be!. And his students “are at the very forefront of today’s breakthroughs in evolutionary science”. Yeah, right, evolutionary science has been on the verge of breakthoughs every year since Darwin wrote his sci-fi bible.
    If the John Hawks of the world were true scientists, those in earnest search for the truth, they would welcome opposing evidence. How can one arrive at the truth by censoring evidence and considering only that which supports personal preference to justify one’s atheism? What an injustice this is to our students when the purpose of education is to provide them with a learning experience. And this means providing them with a fair and balanced regard for both sides of the equation. Then let the weight of the evidence be the determinant of the outcome , not the professor’s prejudice.
    I am a biologist, too and an ex evolutionist. If you can stand to remove the blinders, you might find the search for truth to be more intriguing.
    It’s amazing that there is so much concern about the guy down the street wanting to start a museum. I guess there needs to be concern that your sacred myth of evolution is crumbling, that science teachers fear teaching it and more and more true scientists are abandoning the theory as the deceit that it truly is!. As one scientist stated,” I believe that one day the Darwinian myth will be ranked the greatest deceit in the history of science”. And you too can claim your role!!

  • Richard Wade

    To Ron Cote,
    Yes people can forget their manners around this topic, but perhaps not for the reasons you have suggested. I’ll try to keep my comment polite.

    In the interest of an earnest search for the truth, could you state your point of view on this subject, and cite the supporting evidence that you mentioned? And could you include the evidence that you say has been censored, and please describe how was it censored and by whom? I’m very much opposed to any kind of censorship of evidence, and whoever has been doing such a thing should be exposed. I have heard others allude to such evidence, but I’ve never heard it described and cited.

    Also since you sarcastically stated that John Hawks being a professor of biology means he must be right, but then later you mentioned that you too are a biologist, would you mind describing your qualifications as a biologist, such as your degrees, in what, earned where, when and in what kind of work or research you are engaged? After all, since you dismiss one biologist’s veracity simply because you disagree with his opinion, but then offer your own membership in the same profession to add credibility to your opinion, the least you can do is to tell us your credentials.

    Please describe your evidence in lay terms; some of us are not biologists.

    Finally, could you please give the name of the scientist whom you quoted at the end of your comment, and cite when and where he or she made the statement.

    To save time and futility, there are a few things that anyone engaged in an earnest search for the truth should keep in mind:

    “Dissing” the opposing opinion is not adequate support for your own opinion. It seems to me that about 99% of what creationists and ID supporters say is how weak the other theory is. Let’s hear your theory’s strong and compelling evidence, rather than the tired old “gaps” list.

    Claims are not evidence. Claims need evidence. Citing scripture is not presenting evidence. Scripture makes claims for which we are all awaiting evidence.

    If you want to really convince someone, offer empirical evidence. I don’t really know any other kind, but I’ve heard a lot of long-winded epistemological nonsense from people who don’t end up having any empirical evidence to offer.

    I hope that this was friendly enough. No name calling, no histrionics, no accusations, just a sincere request for you to support your views with the evidence that you say exists. I sincerely look forward to your contribution to an earnest search for the truth.

  • To Richard Wade,
    Your civility is unexpected but refreshing. I am not accustomed to polite treatment.
    Well. I’m glad you didn’t ask too much of me apart from credentials, philosophy, work experience and complete rationale for my conversion. I am not capable of meeting all of your demands, but will attempt to meet a few.
    Credentials: degree in Biology, Univ of New Hampshire. Work, engineering school, USAF, qualified as engineering officer, Strategic Air Command, 10 years, rank of captain, responsible for engineering and maintenance of B47, B52 and KC97 SAC aircraft. Business: United Technologies Corp. Started in experimental aircraft R&D, then to member of NASA management team to produce Portable Life Support System , called “Backpack” worn by astronauts on Apollo 13 moon mission and on all subsequent EVA (extra vehicular) missions. At conclusion of contract , formed Bio-medical systems department to apply knowledge gained from PLSS to medical applications. Produced prototype artificial heart devices and automatic peritoneal dialysis machine for patients in kidney failure.
    I have also served as guest lecturer on “ alternative theories” in my local regional high school, have been a guest on Christian and secular radio talk show programs, have had articles published, articles written about me in area newspapers and have given numerous seminars.
    The name of the scientist quoted is Soren Lovtrup, don’t know when.
    To cite supporting evidence would take volumes. There is a plethora of sound scientific evidence for creationism if you will take the time to investigate. I will cite just a few of what, in my humble opinion, I feel are important considerations.
    1) The most compelling void is the so called fossil record. After retrieving millions of fossils, it is logical to expect that a multitude of transitional species would convincingly show in detail how something changed into something else.
    2) There has never been any evidence that life can come from non-life.
    3) My own theory is that “natural selection” would be the major deterrent to evolution. Consider the evolution of reptile to bird. Forelimbs in transition from legs to wings would not function as either. Such a specimen would perish as its weaknesses and inability to navigate to get food would qualify it as unfit in a world that only allows “survival of the fittest”. This applies to all species in transition where the physical stresses imposed would at some phase cause it to become unfit.
    4) Demographic analysis vividly and mathematicaly demonstrates that a current world population of only 6.3 billion is impossible if humans evolved when evolutionists so state.
    5) The foundation for evolution lies with the ‘Big Bang”. This is an impossible scenario. Where did the original matter come from? It violates natural laws (conservation of angular momentum), moon rocks retrieved from Apollo mission show different mineral compositions so that the moon and earth do not have the same ancestral source.The earth was so hot that it was molten and toxic for millions of years but life evolved anyway? There was no eye witness to this event, but there was an eye witness to Creation, Jesus Christ. He told Moses and had him write it in the first book of the Bible, Genesis. But why believe Jesus, anyway when Charles Darwin, Dawkins, Gould and Eugenie Scott say otherwise?
    6) The second law of thermodynamics
    7) The Cambrian explosion
    8) The myriad of hoaxes, lies, frauds and falsifications that permeate the shameful history of evolution. ( Piltdown man, Nebraska man, Haeckels drawings, archeoraptor, vestiges etc, etc.)
    As to John Hawks, I use him as an example of blatant, unsupported broad statements that are so frequently employed by those with credentials.
    As to censorship, the most blatant example is the teaching of evolution in public schools at the exclusion of any other opposing evidence. There is also personal censorship, the “don’t confuse me with the facts…” syndrome. Science doesn’t come to us labeled as Creation science or evolutionary science. Science is science. It belongs in the science classroom. If it supports evolution, so be it, if creation, fine. Let the weight of the evidence be the determinant of belief, decision and conclusion, not the bias, mind set or prejudice of the few.
    Intelligent design and its concept of irreducible complexity is scientifically sound, and there is so much science to support a biblical flood that answers many questions about fossilization etc, etc. There is much that has been published but not in secular press because of censorship.
    Yup, yours was friendly enough, thanks.

  • Richard Wade

    To Ron Cote,
    Thank you for your answer. I am disappointed that it was exactly what I asked that you not do. The entire thing was a restating of the “dissing” of the opposing opinion that I’ve heard many times before, with not a single example of empirical evidence in positive support of your own. Simply claiming that the opposition’s supporting evidence is fraudulent is not sufficient to claim that your opinion is therefore supported by implication. Simply stating that the opposition’s supporting evidence is incomplete is not sufficient to claim that your opinion is therefore supported by implication. Simply stating that you are personally not convinced that say, transitional animals between reptiles and birds could have survived is not evidence in support of your own opinion. Simply stating that the opposition does not have all the answers does not therefore imply that you have any of the answers. It is all, alas, just more dissing of the opposing opinion.

    Please, where is the solid, physical, measurable, empirical evidence in positive support of your claims? All your statements are statements against the other opinion. If it is incorrect, there are still an infinite number of other claims that could be correct. Why should your claim, based on your religion be given equal weight to the claims of evolution which at the very least attempts to support itself with empirical evidence, and why should your religion’s claim be given consideration in classes but not the claims of other religions? There are many, many creation stories. They are all very different. Why is your favorite the one that should be given equal weight and equal time but none of the others? From my point of view, your favorite religious creation story and all the other religious creation stories have an equal amount of empirical evidence to support them: Zero.

    You say that science is science and should not be labeled as Creation science or evolutionary science. Science is science when it is supported by empirical evidence, when it makes hypotheses based on observation, and then further observation either supports, refutes or revises those hypotheses. Science is science when its observations and experiments can be repeated by others for verification or falsification. When creationism can do all that, rather than just making claims, dissing the opposition and whining that it’s not being given a fair shake, then it will be science.

    When you were making all those wonderful things for NASA and later the medical devices, things that people’s lives would depend upon, I’m sure you tested and re-tested them over and over, trying to think of every possible problem that might interfere with their proper functioning. You verified empirically that it would work, you didn’t just think it out in your head that it would work. If someone came in and said “Oh don’t worry about it, I’ve found an old book that says it’ll all work fine,” I don’t think you would have been willing to rely on that person’s reassurance.

    Mr. Cote, I have no illusions that either you or I will convince the other to change our opinion, but I hope I have helped you to see what it is that I would need to change my opinion. I am open, very open to being wrong. Show me the kind of evidence that I have asked for and I will change my opinion. Support your own opinion rather than just sow doubt and confusion about the opposing opinion. I’m grateful for your response but unless you can do that, there’s not much point in further discussion.

  • Ron Cote

    Ah Richard, I feel that I was bamboozled by you and I fell for it. I believed that you were honestly searching for truth, so I replied even accommodating you with credentials.
    You properly describe science but seem to have a very distorted understanding of what constitutes empirical evidence. Much of it is observation. One quick example is that I found hundreds of fossiized marine clams and corals on a high hill in south central Idaho. I further observed that the clam shells were closed. (When clams die their muscles relax and their shells open). By observation one could logically conclude that, since southern Idaho is hundreds of miles from the ocean, that they were subject to immersion from an extensive catastrophic flood, would you agree? That is a conclusion reached by observation.
    You sweep obsevational data under the rug by terming it “dissing”. You seem to demand that it must be absolute irrefutable proof. Proof of Creation, like the”big bang” is not possible because they both are unique one time events that are not repeatable. As with Creation, evolution requires faith, perhaps in greater measure.
    What I presented are observations and if you were familiar with the scientific process, would realize it as valid methodology applied in science to weigh all available evidence and draw conclusion on the sum total of its weight and legitimacy. But you want absolute proof in a blog that could not possibly cover the expansive amount of evidence available. This requires opening your mind and if you were intellectually honest in wanting truth, you need to do what I had to do, research.
    Like other atheists and evolutionists you dismiss all opposing data under the umbrella of “dissing”.You claim it invalid, which I suppose exonerates you from its consideration. Wholesale denial is a finely tuned tool in atheistic thought, but it changes nothing.
    But put the shoe on the other foot and get on the defensive. Your apparent atheism and belief in evolution must be based on hard empirical evidence so tell me what solid foundation you have for these beliefs- no dissing.
    All seven items that I used are examples of observations. You downplay claims as being invalid but they are legitimate if supported by observable fact. Oh, never mind. Your insincerity it too transparent. I’m sorry to have wasted my time. I wish you well.

  • Richard Wade

    I’m sorry that you feel that I have bamboozled you. That certainly is not from my trying. I have no intention to deceive or bait or be disingenuous to you or anyone else. All that I have said and requested have been sincere. You first got my attention by your blanket condemnation of all atheists as being hostile and closed-minded. I responded to you hoping for a respectful dialogue in part to assure you that we are not all like that, and in part from curiosity about what you might have to offer. As I said before, I don’t really think that we will agree but I hope we can still disagree without hostile dismissal. Even though we won’t be convinced, at least we will understand what it is that we need to be convinced. It is disappointing if you wish to characterize my not being convinced as “insincerity.”

    If thinking of me as an atheist brings up a lot of tension or animosity, (and honestly with no disrespect or condescension to you I really understand that it can) think of me as a skeptic. By that I mean the original root meaning of the word, “to look.” As a skeptic I don’t refuse to believe, I insist on seeing for myself. I am more convinced by being shown things rather than by being told things. I actually practice a great deal of skepticism about science as well as everything else.

    I’m not sure why you say my idea of what constitutes empirical evidence is “very distorted.” What I mean is evidence that comes, as you say, from observation and experimentation. It can be perceived by the five senses. I emphasized this because people in past discussions have tried to offer scripture as evidence, or their own thoughts or feelings as evidence. Such things are merely claims that may or may not have evidence to support them. Contrary to what you said, I do not dismiss evidence that is not “absolute, irrefutable proof.” Actually there is very little of that in any science. There are only bodies of evidence that taken as a whole are convincing or not so convincing for a given theory.

    That is an important distinction between science and religion. Science, when applied properly, does not say, “This is the truth.” It says “This is the best explanation we have so far, given what we have observed.” When new, more accurate, more complete observations are available, science is willing to alter or even completely replace the explanation. This conditionality to explanations does not sit well with many people, people who want things to be cut and dry, decided and settled once and for all. Religion offers explanations that are not conditional, not revisable, not subject to correction. They are cut and dry, decided and settled. So religion’s explanations appeal to many people. I’m not making a value judgment here, just contrasting two frameworks of thought.

    I have had discussions with people with your point of view before, and they have followed a familiar pattern so I wanted to make the conversation more productive by letting you know ahead of time what responses have not worked for me. As I said before, and I’m sorry if I was not clear, arguments, whether supported by empirical evidence or not that merely attempt to discredit evolutionary theory are not sufficient to place Creation theory credibly in its place. If as an athlete you only claim that your competitor is weak or even if you manage to show evidence that he is weak, that is still not evidence that you are strong. This is what I mean by “dissing,” only showing his weakness but not showing your own strength. In your second comment, your items one through five are all attempts to refute the competing theory but they are not supportive of your own theory. Numbers 6 and 7 are merely the names of a principle of physics and a phenomenon noted in the fossil record. You gave no explanation for why they are either evidence in refutation of the competing theory or supportive of your theory.

    Today you have for the first time offered evidence in support of your theory, the account of your finding the clam shells. This is interesting and something that we could argue about in our interpretations of what you found. I also have found a similar deposit of fossilized seashells, scallops precisely, on a mountainside in California overlooking the Pacific. Most are about 6 inches in diameter, and they number by the millions in a layer of sandy limestone a thousand feet above the ocean, which can be seen from the site. Many people for centuries have postulated that seashell fossils found on mountains are evidence for the Biblical flood. With your indulgence, I will briefly describe why I have difficulty accepting that explanation.

    Firstly, shellfish don’t float. They live on the ocean bottom in relatively shallow water. A few species of clams and scallops can scuttle briefly across the bottom to escape predators such as sea stars by flapping their shells rapidly, but they certainly can’t swim and they are much heavier than water. They stay on the bottom. If a great flood were to happen by incessant rain the water would simply get deeper over them. They would not be deposited high on mountainsides. Parenthetically, if the ocean levels became high enough to inundate continental mountains, the pressure of the new depth would kill all the shellfish in just a few hours.

    Secondly, in geology and other earth sciences, context is extremely important. You don’t just find a fossil shell on the mountainside. It comes from a deposit. The deposit I found is a thousand feet above the ocean, and it is in a layer of sandy limestone over a hundred feet thick that runs all the way through the mountain. I can walk all around the mountain at that level to the other side and find the same kind of shells in the same kind of rock. A mineshaft has found the same shells at the same level deep in the center of the mountain. The problem is that there is more than thousand feet of rock on top of that layer of seashell-bearing rock. On top of it are layers of shale with fossils of fresh water plants, on top of that are layers of sandstone with markings of dune formations and a few land insect and small animal fossils, on top of that are layers of limestone again, with more marine fossils, and on and on in many combinations. These consist of billions of tons of rock on top of the layer with the scallops. If the scallops were deposited there by a great catastrophic flood just a few thousand years ago, how did all that rock get put on top of it, representing many different environments including more ocean floor? All this is the context of the fossil scallops. I expect that the shells and corals that you found in Idaho are not just lying on the surface, scattered like last year’s pinecones. There is most likely some kind of context, a layer, a deposit that goes deep into the hill and is most likely overburdened with different kinds of rock above it. Even if your shells are in the highest rock strata on that hill, neighboring hills will quite likely have similar shells in similar rock but with layers of different rock strata still surviving above it. Context spreads out from any fossil site, adding to a bigger more complex picture than just some non-floating seashells inexplicably carried hundreds of miles inland and dropped thousands of feet above sea level by a flood.

    Ron, you are right to say that the forum of this blog is not sufficient for lengthy, detailed descriptions of your and my bodies of evidence, and trading references would probably not be productive. I have read Creationist literature and visited websites such as “Answers in Genesis” and have found the material to be shamelessly biased. (I suppose as biased as you would accuse evolutionary sources to be.) As I have complained about to you, it emphasizes tearing down the competition but offers very little empirical evidence to directly support itself. I have also found their logic to be circular, assuming the truth of their conclusion solely by the assertion of the truth of their source, the Bible. I will continue to be open to any convincing evidence from any source, but it has to be empirical and it has to be logical. So you have your sources and I have mine, and we’ll probably never agree. I will offer you just one useful reference, Even though you don’t agree with the theory of evolution, you can use it to check to see if your understanding of the theory is correct. You don’t have to agree with it to understand it correctly. Please, please I am not being condescending here.

    I am sad that you decided that since I don’t yet agree with you that I am being insincere and intellectually dishonest. You have accused me and others who see things differently from you of “blanket dismissal” and “wholesale denial.” I won’t throw that back in your face in regard to your theory of life’s origins, but I will challenge you to look at your blanket dismissal of me and people who share my need to see things and not merely be told things. I think that at least I have not lived up to your original stereotyping of “atheists” as rude and hostile, and I assert that my not agreeing with you comes from simply not being convinced by what I see as faulty arguments and poor evidence I have read and heard so far, rather than from insincerity or dishonesty. I have carefully told you what I need to be convinced of any claim about anything, not just your claim about life on Earth, and I have explained my views with courtesy and patience. I have not accused you of being closed-minded, insincere or dishonest, and other than your contemptuous brush-off at the end, I think you have been a gentleman. I am grateful for all the time you have taken in your answers, and doubly so if you have read mine all the way to this sentence.

    Thank you for wishing me well. I also wish you well, and I really mean it.

  • Ron Cote

    First, thanks to “Friendly Atheist” for the forum.
    Richard, you smooth talker. Just when I was about to abandon you and the subject, you inspire me to continue.Here are some quick clips on items in your thoughtful letter. Numbers refer to the paragraph.
    2-As a skeptic you should have hope that there is room for change. When all else fails, try the Bible.
    3- I don’t agree that observation can always be perceived by the five senses. If you can’t believe Scripture, why believe biased humans? Why do you accept the words and thoughts of humans over God’s? I would also caution about scripture as claims needing evidence. Certainly this could be said about atheism and evolution. Don’t “throw the baby out…” and don’t generalize. What scripture?
    4- I don’t agree that science and religion are distinct. Science has to support religion, they come from the same source. If God created, He set the rules for science and natural laws. Nature can’t make laws, nature follows and obeys laws established by the Creator. If you believed, as I do, that the Bible is the Word of God, what human is naive enough to think that they can refute (diss) it. And if anyone is smart enough, what portions are true and not true? The first five words of the first book are, “In the beginning God created…” Evolutionists say not true. What pompous human is qualified to correct the word of God?
    5- Showing weaknesses in a theory is a perfectly legitimate scientific method for determining truth. To disprove previously accepted theory is valid and a principle reason for scientific investigation. i.e. to find truth. Finding truth can also include exposing falsehood. Finding a theory to be false does not make another theory true but it still does make the other one false! ( Example: Stephen Jay Gould, prominent evolutionist, finding no substance for transitonal species in the fossil record, arrived at a new theory, “punctuated equilibrium”, abandoning one bad theory to arrive at another). Consider “‘natural selection” aka “survival of the fittest”. It is regarded as the magical process for transitional change. My personal view is that it is THE reason why evolution is impossible. An example is the change of reptile to bird. At some time in its transition, its forelegs could neither function as legs or wings. This would render it unfit for survival and natural selection would cause its demise. This would occur with all things in transition where the physiological changes would, at some point, render it unfit and destined for destruction.
    6-7-8 Finding millions of scallop shells in a layer should give you pause to consider what kind of catastrophic calamity could cause this. Seems to me that a flood is one plausible possibility. Mt. St. Helens gave us but a glimpse of the power of moving water carrying tons of sediment. Millions of scallop fossils in an area did not result from drowning from deeper water but from burial by sediments carried by the water. They are found on mountain tops because of the resulting dramatic tectonic upheavals. Fossils are in sedimentary layers by the thousands and millions because of instantaneous burial by sedimentation, not drowning in water. Why are the vast majority of fossils found in sedimentary rock? The answer is that they were buried in sediment, which later solidified. This is an example of observation leading to reasonable conclusion.
    9- see 5 above
    10- no, you have not been rude or hostile and that is refreshing, as I have been castigated frequently. Please don’t expect the answers to come like a “big bang”. They wont and I went full circle through the painful process of research with a large measure of prayer and faith. I’m 75 years old with a terminal illness. How peaceful it is to KNOW where I am going and to be a skeptic no longer!!
    As long as we agree that the solution won’t happen in blogs, or debating how clams got fossilized, let me change focus. We might agree that the issue is truth. Truth is out there, the challenge is to find it. Here are some facets:
    1) God created or He didn’t
    2) God exists or He doesn’t
    3) there is life after death or not
    4) there is heaven and hell or not
    5) If there is life after death and heaven and hell, there is a way to get there
    6) Jesus is God or not
    These are heady concerns of enormous importance since it revolves around eternity and how we spend it. If there is no eternal life, so be it. If there is, then there is heaven and hell and I want the former. Not only are these concerns of utmost significance, the clock is ticking and we only have a short lifetime in which to choose what we are to believe. Once the ticking stops, fate is sealed.
    The absolutely vital ingredient necessary to resolve these issues is faith. Faith is part of life. We often believe with little or no justification. To take this a step further, I need to have you tolerate a few quotes from Scripture.
    “By grace are you saved through faith, it is a gift of God, not of works should any man boast”. Simply stated it says that God has paid the price of admission to heaven and it is a free gift IF we have faith.. It is nothing deserved and you can’t work your way there. Faith is the absulutely essential ingredient.
    ” I am the way, the TRUTH and the life, no man comes to the father but by me”. You need to choose to believe that Christ is God or not. “And ye shall know the TRUTH and the TRUTH shall set you free”, “Seek and ye shall find”.
    If you determine all this to be so much hooey, then you gamble that your your eternity will be spent in an unpleasant environment where there is serious global warming.The stakes are enormously high and the outcome, paramount. The tough part is that it is we, ourselves, who have the free will to make the choices that make the difference. We have the awesome responsibility to determine our eventual, unavoidable fate once this vapor, called life, comes to a close.
    I regret questioning your sincerity and also empathize with you if you are laboring and sincerely seeking. Been there, done that, and it’s an arduous journey, but the most important one of a lifetime! It takes guts, prayer, perseverance, a huge measure of humility and FAITH!! You and other skeptics and atheists are in my prayers.

  • Richard Wade

    Ron, you are a gracious and generous man. I will keep all that you said in mind. I still disagree with your interpretations of things like fossils and sedimentary rock, because the explanations I am attracted to explain the details that I notice and are not dramatic. With these explanations I can see sedimentary rock and fossils forming every day.

    But none of that is important enough to cause a rift between people. I far more respect your stance when you say you believe because you believe, rather than trying to support your beliefs through science. I admire the courage of your convictions. You have accepted the Bible as the word of God, and it sounds as though that was after a thoughtful process. I am very glad that it sustains, guides and comforts you. I have the courage of my convictions as well and I am in a continuously thoughtful process. You pose the question if I should accept the word of man or the word of God. From my experience so far, it is only the word of man that has told me that the Bible is the word of God. So if as you say the word of man is suspect, how can I accept through the word of man that the Bible is the word of God? I need evidence, not just words. Jesus gave doubting Thomas what he needed; he needed to see, not just hear. If as you suggest, God gives each of us what we need, then I’m open and eager for it. In the meantime I’ll follow the evidence that I do see. If living a life of honesty, compassion, tolerance and fairness is not good enough for Him, well I did what I could.

    I hope you manage to hang around for a long time further without much discomfort. I appreciate your prayers.

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