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Friday, January 30, 2015

Mailvox: thought of the day

A Nameless Reader has an observation:
Random thought: The fact that people who are skeptical of one "consensus" tend to be skeptical of other consensuses suggests there's a correlation in mental capacity - since one has to have a very high level of intellectual self-confidence and an ability to do independent research and thinking in order to sustain an argument against, e.g., evolution, global warming, Austrian investing, or vaccination, when there is enormous "consensus" pressure to adopt the other opinion, it would make sense that such iconoclastic beliefs would bundle.
I don't think there is any question about this. I have zero regard for consensus on the grounds of MPAI. In fact, if someone who I otherwise consider to be intelligent falls for an observably incorrect consensus position, I tend to keep a skeptical eye on his future assertions and conclusions.

Everyone makes mistakes, but falling for the appeal to authority, or worse, the appeal to popularity, simply is not indicative of an functioning and intelligent mind. Consensus is another word for "lowest common denominator".

But keep in mind I'm not talking about skepticism and iconoclasm for their own sake, I'm talking about maintaining an open mind when there are obvious holes, if not outright flaws, in the consensus position.

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94 Comments:

Anonymous Aeoli Pera January 30, 2015 2:42 PM  

Personality trait psychoticism as described by Charlton:

http://iqpersonalitygenius.blogspot.com/2015/01/psychoticism-versus-psychosis.html
http://iqpersonalitygenius.blogspot.com/2015/01/genius-and-eysencks-concept-of.html

Bruce Charlton, Hans Eysenck, Michael Trust and Paul Cooijmans are good reading material on this subject. See also http://datapacrat.com/Opinion/Reciprocality/

Anonymous Aeoli Pera January 30, 2015 2:46 PM  

I'm a good example of a person with high psychoticism and mediocre IQ.

I've been trying to reconcile Jung, Eysenck, and Tex's new anthropology, but it's slow going because, again, my IQ is too low.

Blogger rycamor January 30, 2015 2:47 PM  

What's really funny is that those who argue the consensus side clearly don't understand this, so they engage in complete projection: they assume you are buying in to some other "consensus" that has you so bamboozled you can't even think straight.

Anonymous Jill January 30, 2015 3:01 PM  

But don't you "fucking love science"? Everybody cool does. Science coolists pave the way for a brighter future. With memes.

Blogger JCclimber January 30, 2015 3:01 PM  

This is what disgusts me so much about the Blue Pill regarding women's behavior - when I observed it as early as 1st grade, yet even though I was skeptical up through my college years, I still wouldn't let myself see the full truth.

I am thankful that the skepticism kept me from becoming a gamma, though. Life is simpler when one refuses to accept falsehood, because you no longer have to jump through as many mental hoops to rationalize away the evidence.

To rycamor's point, it is priceless the look on people's faces when you state the reason for your non-consensus viewpoint is that you reasoned it out for yourself, based on evidence available to everyone. "It just requires a little logic and thinking and it becomes pretty clear that their argument is full of crap". The immediate appeal to authority is amusing.

Anonymous realmatt January 30, 2015 3:06 PM  

Most people also just want to fit in with whatever group they imagine they're a part of. That's why even someone like Vox can end up with sycophantic yes men who may seem knowledgeable to those who have never visitrd this blog, but are incapable of analyzing anything mentioned here. Or unwilling.

I'm speaking theoretically of course. Vox is an extremely unlikely candidate, being a contrarian on most issues. But it's possible, and that's why you should always check the numbers and the analyses put forth by the people making them. Most are too lazy to even read the source material they're quoting and criticizing

Blogger Josh January 30, 2015 3:07 PM  

The ironic thing about the alt right or manosphere folks is that they are generally skeptical and anti consensus until you get to atheism.

Blogger Owen January 30, 2015 3:10 PM  

Josh,
So, they're rational?

Anonymous j January 30, 2015 3:11 PM  

If evolution isn't real, why do dolphins have finger-bones in their flippers and tiny, vestigial leg bones? Why is a giraffe's laryngeal nerve so absurdly circuitous?

Anthropogenic global warming and ever-increasing numbers of obligatory vaccines foisted on kids are both dubious because the powers asserting them have such obvious ulterior motives. What is the ulterior motive behind the Theory of Evolution? Is it just a conspiracy to disprove Genesis, in your eyes?

Blogger Josh January 30, 2015 3:16 PM  

So, they're rational?

Atheists tend to be irrational.

Blogger Josh January 30, 2015 3:17 PM  

What is the ulterior motive behind the Theory of Evolution? Is it just a conspiracy to disprove Genesis, in your eyes?

Humanism.

How do you not know this stuff?

Anonymous Roundtine January 30, 2015 3:18 PM  

The reason these ideas cluster is that the consensus is political and politics is leftist today. Have you ever come across a leftist who says they're liberal on everything except issue X, and issue X happens to be their field of expertise or one that interests them?

Blogger Vox January 30, 2015 3:21 PM  

What is the ulterior motive behind the Theory of Evolution? Is it just a conspiracy to disprove Genesis, in your eyes?

Yes, which is the same reason scientists clung to the Steady State universe theory as long as they could. Remember, "Big Bang" is a derisory term.

Blogger Bob Wallace January 30, 2015 3:23 PM  

"If evolution isn't real..."

The only thing that matters in when science advances to the point it can turn one species into another. If it's real science it turns into technology. If it doesn't, then perhaps those theories are just irrelevant fantasies such as those of Richard Dawkins and Stephen Jay Gould.

Blogger darkdoc January 30, 2015 3:25 PM  

Consensus provides cover, sorta like "scientific" rabbitism. It is a warm and cozy place to live.

Blogger Josh January 30, 2015 3:25 PM  

The reason these ideas cluster is that the consensus is political and politics is leftist today.

Conservatives are just as guilty as liberals. They hate us for our freedoms, we have to fight them over there so we won't have to fight them over here, etc.

Anonymous Noah B. January 30, 2015 3:26 PM  

Ok, but why is the idea of evolution necessarily incompatible with Genesis? And if it isn't necessarily incompatible, then couldn't evolution/abiogenesis have been the mechanism behind creation?

Blogger Joshua Dyal January 30, 2015 3:27 PM  

The root of the problem tends to be twofold, in my opinion. 1) lack of curiosity; most people accept consensus because they're not really interested in finding out why this supposed consensus exists and on what intellectual foundation it rests, and 2) once upon a time, one could truly be a scientific renaissance man, but as each field has grown its available body of knowledge, even the curious only have time, talent, inclination or opportunity to learn about so much; for the rest, they are forced to rely on the expertise of somebody else.

Blogger Josh January 30, 2015 3:28 PM  

Ok, but why is the idea of evolution necessarily incompatible with Genesis?

No, but it is incompatible with science and math.

Blogger John Regan January 30, 2015 3:31 PM  

You might find this exchange over evolution amusing:

comment1

comment2

comment3

Blogger Feather Blade January 30, 2015 3:32 PM  

And if it isn't necessarily incompatible, then couldn't evolution/abiogenesis have been the mechanism behind creation?

Abiogenesis used to be called "spontaneous generation" until too many people started laughing at the idea that living organisms could spontaneously arise from unliving matter. So it was re-branded as abiogenesis, which, being Greek, both sounds cool and is incomprehensible to the average plebian.

As for "Why is it incompatible with Genesis?", other than the whole "It contradicts the explicit words written in the text" thing, that requires theological discussion that you may or may not have any genuine interest in.

Blogger Krul January 30, 2015 3:33 PM  

Noah B. - Ok, but why is the idea of evolution necessarily incompatible with Genesis?

Well, if Adam was sculpted from dust and water, and Eve made from his rib, then they weren't the result of any process of gradual evolution by slight modification over generations.

It's a bit of a strain to interpret that as a description of evolution. I suppose you could speculate that all the other creatures came about through evolution, though, but only if you reinterpret the six days of creation to be much longer time periods. Stickwick referred to such an interpretation based on cosmology and physics, I believe.

Anonymous Drew_Deuce's January 30, 2015 3:36 PM  

"Ok, but why is the idea of evolution necessarily incompatible with Genesis? And if it isn't necessarily incompatible, then couldn't evolution/abiogenesis have been the mechanism behind creation?"

Because the bible says that death is the result of sin. Evolution requires death to cull the weak and advance suitable genes. The bible says the first man sinned and brought death, but the faith in the second Man brings the gift of life.

Without a real Adam, and death because of sin, there's no need for Christ. Wholly incompatible.

Anonymous Noah B. January 30, 2015 3:43 PM  

"Well, if Adam was sculpted from dust and water, and Eve made from his rib, then they weren't the result of any process of gradual evolution by slight modification over generations."

But is there to say that this sculpture didn't require a great deal of time? Genesis doesn't present a whole lot of detail about the mechanics underlying creation, so it's obviously a simpler explanation for simpler people, much like you might explain something complicated to a child. If a more complicated and accurate description exists, that doesn't make Genesis wrong. Just incomplete.

But we are told elsewhere that God is beyond the comprehension of man, so an incomplete explanation for creation should not be surprising.

"Stickwick referred to such an interpretation based on cosmology and physics, I believe."

She did, and it wasn't the first time I'd heard that. So it seems to make sense to apply the same reasoning to evolution.

OpenID cailcorishev January 30, 2015 3:45 PM  

Remember, "Big Bang" is a derisory term.

It's hard to believe now that secularists originally hated the Big Bang theory because it was offered up by the Catholic priest who developed it as the method by which God might have created the universe.

Blogger Krul January 30, 2015 3:53 PM  

Noah B. - But is there to say that this sculpture didn't require a great deal of time?

No, but time isn't the only discrepancy. The Bible says that Adam lived alone for a time, but then God made Eve from his rib. How could this be consistent with an evolutionary process?

Anonymous Noah B. January 30, 2015 3:54 PM  

"It's hard to believe now that secularists originally hated the Big Bang theory because it was offered up by the Catholic priest who developed it as the method by which God might have created the universe."

It is. I didn't know this until Stickwick happened to mention it.

Blogger JCclimber January 30, 2015 3:57 PM  

For the literal minded, this is a paraphrase....

And God looked out upon creation, and viewed 1,500 generations of rabbits ripped to shreds by foxes, and FINALLY they learned to hide underground. And He smiled at all the landscaped smeared with rabbits and said "It is good".
And the baby foxes slowly starved in their dens, and lo their pitiful cries reached up to God in heaven, and He smiled and said "It is good for them to starve to death, little bastards".
And then the fox learned to dig into the rabbit holes, and tore into the rabbit dens and brought the baby rabbits back to their little starving foxes (the few who hadn't starved yet), where they were ripped up and shared among the cute little young foxes who now would not starve to death. And God smiled a cruel smile at all the screams of the dying rabbits and said "It is good".

Yeah, I find your God who you claim could use evolution to create life to be incompatible with the God contained in my Bible. Unless you refer to the god of the lie of Origin of Life by Natural Selection, that god is quite happy with the idea of tooth and claw.

Oh, and is the origin of life using evolution compatible with the statement in Genesis that all animals ate vegetarian before sin entered the world?

Anonymous Noah B. January 30, 2015 4:05 PM  

" The Bible says that Adam lived alone for a time, but then God made Eve from his rib. How could this be consistent with an evolutionary process?"

If we're allowing for the possibility of direct intervention by God, then the simple answer would be that God did it. I have no idea how that might have been accomplished, but I also have no idea how it would be possible for a human being not to face the possibility of death.

Anonymous Maximo Macaroni January 30, 2015 4:05 PM  

Taking as true what 51 percent of people take as true is not always a sign of falsity. But always taking as true what 51 percent believe true is a reliable sign that your thinking is unreliable.

Anonymous kh123 January 30, 2015 4:10 PM  

"If evolution isn't real, why do dolphins have finger-bones in their flippers and tiny, vestigial leg bones? Why is a giraffe's laryngeal nerve so absurdly circuitous?"

Might as well ask why rainbows or the Aurora Borealis are so beautiful if not because God wanted to delight viewers with a light show for both day and night.

...Wait, that's right; that'd be reading a narrative too far into the evidence.

Anonymous Salt January 30, 2015 4:12 PM  

the statement in Genesis that all animals ate vegetarian before sin entered the world?

Then was discovered, bacon.

Blogger Azimus January 30, 2015 4:27 PM  

Anonymous Noah B. January 30, 2015 3:26 PM Ok, but why is the idea of evolution necessarily incompatible with Genesis? And if it isn't necessarily incompatible, then couldn't evolution/abiogenesis have been the mechanism behind creation?

And more importantly, what does the Roman Catholic Church think about this?

Blogger Azimus January 30, 2015 4:32 PM  

j January 30, 2015 3:11 PM If evolution isn't real, why do dolphins have finger-bones in their flippers and tiny, vestigial leg bones? Why is a giraffe's laryngeal nerve so absurdly circuitous?

In the above statement, the answer is framing the question. The question should frame the answer if you want to do true science. Try asking it this way: "What do the tiny bones in the flippers of dolphins do?" That is all that is observable and all that science can answer.

Blogger David January 30, 2015 4:32 PM  

Good thing the theory of evolution exists; half of the comments sections have de-evolved to its criticism (or ridicule) of late.

Anti-consensus for anti-consensus' sake is the same as trying to "be different" for the sake of being different; it's the essence of conformity.

It never ceases to amaze me how, once bloggers achieve a certain level of notice, they become surrounded by yes-men and other followers who seem to really need a leader.

Most human beings are worker bees...not much different from insects in a hive.

Anonymous rho January 30, 2015 4:34 PM  

Well, if Adam was sculpted from dust and water, and Eve made from his rib, then they weren't the result of any process of gradual evolution by slight modification over generations.

Reading the Bible that literally raises the question of why God needed to construct Man out of dirt? Why not simply speak and make it so? Quite a lot occurs in just a few passages in Genesis. It's not daft to believe that some information got compressed.

Agreeing with consensus for the sake of consensus is certainly an unforced error. Utilizing consensus as a club to beat up dissenting opinions is equally dumb. It's just as dumb to hold contrary opinions simply because there is a consensus.

Blogger David January 30, 2015 4:34 PM  

Every attack on evolution becomes an attack on the very notion of a scientific (secular) explanation for speciation.

Ptolemy would be proud.

Anonymous Blastman January 30, 2015 4:39 PM  

If evolution isn't real, why do dolphins have finger-bones in their flippers …

So Flipper can give you the finger as he swims by.

Anonymous Stickwick January 30, 2015 4:41 PM  

Noah B.: Ok, but why is the idea of evolution necessarily incompatible with Genesis? And if it isn't necessarily incompatible, then couldn't evolution/abiogenesis have been the mechanism behind creation?

It's not so much that evolution is incompatible with Genesis, it's that, in the minds of its ideological proponents, evolution renders a Creator superfluous. Most of these people are not so stupid as to claim that they've disproved God, or that it's even possible to disprove God, but if they can render God moot, they know that's just as devastating.

Predictably, once one's motive becomes anything other than the truth, things go awry. As that great philosopher, Arnold Rimmer, once said, you always become the thing you hate the most. The ideological proponents of evolution hate religion -- they want to be "free thinkers" -- but they've become so dogmatic about evolution that, for them, it has become as intellectually confining as any religion could possibly be.

Blogger Josh January 30, 2015 4:43 PM  

Every attack on evolution becomes an attack on the very notion of a scientific (secular) explanation for speciation.

That's just stupid.

Is every attack on climate change an attack on the very notion of a scientific explanation for changes in weather patterns?

Blogger Krul January 30, 2015 4:46 PM  

rho - Reading the Bible that literally...

The point doesn't depend on taking Genesis literally. Even if we assume that the account of the creation of Adam and Eve is a metaphor for something, only a tortured interpretation could make it a metaphor for evolution by natural selection.

We could also assume that the information in Genesis, being extremely old even by Biblical standards, got "compressed" as you put it and important details were left out. We could fill in the gaps with whatever is convenient, but that would just be speculation and the fact remains that humans evolving from animal ancestors is inconsistent with Genesis *as written*.

Blogger dw January 30, 2015 4:52 PM  

"Most human beings are worker bees...not much different from insects in a hive."

Yes leftard we know you see man as nothing more than a factory worker to be used and thrown aside. Try to be a bit more subtle next time.

Blogger Rabbi B January 30, 2015 4:54 PM  

"It's not so much that evolution is incompatible with Genesis, it's that, in the minds of its ideological proponents, evolution renders a Creator superfluous . . . . . Predictably, once one's motive becomes anything other than the truth, things go awry."

In the beginning, it was G-d Who created. The Hebrew word translated ‘in the beginning’ is ‘bereshit’ and proclaims that nothing existed prior to G-d’s act of creation, and that the heavens and the earth were created only through G-d’s Word.

The Scripture teaches that the world was brought into existence ex nihilo. The belief that the world is eternal, is not only a metaphysical falsehood and a misrepresentation of the origin of the universe, it is a belief which undermines all of morality, while denying freedom in both G-d and man.

If matter existed before creation, then the Creator of the universe would have been able to fashion from the material given Him not a world that was absolutely good, but only the best possible world within the limitations of that material. G-d would then not be master over the material of the world, and man would not be master over his body. Freedom would disappear, and the entire world would be subject to blind fate.

Everything was created by a Creator Who still rules freely over matter and form of everything; over the forces that act upon matter; over the laws by which these forces operate; and over the resulting forms. G-d created matter and caused these forces to act upon it, and His set the laws by which forms are fashioned. The world that has been created is not the best possible one that can be fashioned with the given material; rather it is the only good world and is a world which reflects the wise plan of the Creator.

The Scripture gives expression to the complete objectivity of the creation vis-a-vis its Creator, of the world vis-a-vis G-d. Scripture thus discredits those who err and try to argue that G-d is immersed in the world – as though He were the world’s mind and soul, thus lowering G-d to the level of a force of nature, which has no existence beyond the world.

This is untrue, since after G-d created the world and all its parts, He looked at them again. It follows, then, that the work is external to its Creator, and that G-d is outside the world. G-d ‘barah’, created, His world giving it external existence and His thoughts physical objectivity. The world is related to G-d, not as the body is related to the soul, not as the organism is related to the life-force, but as a work is related to its maker.

In other words, G-d transcends His world absolutely and His work remains forever dependent upon Him, whereas He is independent of His work. The Scripture testifies that G-d looks upon His work and finds it good, and only because He looks upon it and only for as long as He looks upon it does it continue to exist.

Anonymous Peter Garstig January 30, 2015 4:55 PM  

If evolution isn't real, why do dolphins have finger-bones in their flippers …

You clearly are not a creator, nor programmer, nor very intelligent, or you would understand that this is actually an indicator that dolphins were created and did not evolve according to TENS.

Next thing you'll ask is why men have nipples.

Blogger Salt January 30, 2015 4:57 PM  

it's that, in the minds of its ideological proponents, evolution renders a Creator superfluous

True, till at least Judgment Day. That aspect they ignore.

Anonymous Stickwick January 30, 2015 4:59 PM  

"I mistrust consensus. Because in general, most stupid people really like to agree with a majority." - Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari

Blogger Rabbi B January 30, 2015 4:59 PM  

" . . .evolution renders a Creator superfluous"

Just flip that around ... :)

Blogger Krul January 30, 2015 5:05 PM  

Stickwick - As that great philosopher, Arnold Rimmer, once said, you always become the thing you hate the most.

Smoke me a kipper

OpenID cailcorishev January 30, 2015 5:12 PM  

I wonder how many people who are pro-vax landed on that side mainly because they heard the leading poster girl for the other side is famous for being a hot ditz.

(I don't mean the pro-vax commenters here, of course, who I'm sure are above that sort of reaction.)

Anonymous rho January 30, 2015 5:12 PM  

We could fill in the gaps with whatever is convenient, but that would just be speculation and the fact remains that humans evolving from animal ancestors is inconsistent with Genesis *as written*.

I read it as Man is a special creation of God. I don't have any problem with Man evolving from fungus spores on the back of a tortoise, it is the soul of Man that makes him special in Creation: "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."

Sifting through the first page of Genesis for indisputable, detailed evidence seems foolish to me.

Anonymous Haywire January 30, 2015 5:14 PM  

>"If evolution isn't real, why do dolphins have finger-bones in their flippers …

You clearly are not a creator, nor programmer, nor very intelligent, or you would understand that this is actually an indicator that dolphins were created and did not evolve according to TENS."

Maybe I'm not very intelligent either. Could you please explain what you mean?

Blogger slarrow January 30, 2015 5:14 PM  

Stickwick is spot on. Empirical science as such does not affirm there is no God (how would you acquire empirical evidence of something non-existent anywhere), but the rules of the road can be stated more like "God is not necessary to explain the workings of the natural world."

And the truth is that a Christian doing science can agree to that latter point, with certain restrictions. Once we understand the patterns of nature properly and can measure them reasonably reliably, it is not indeed necessary to invoke God to understand how long it will take a certain mass to fall a particular distance. Indeed, we don't have to refer to God to understand that physics works. But we certainly have to talk seriously about God if we're going to understand why physics works.

Stickwick is right that a lot of folks get a lot of mileage out of conflating those two related but distinct concepts. As a result, they end up sneaking their metaphysics into their physics. They believe in and enforce consensus so much because they don't want to be challenged on this very basic category error. They point to peer review as proof of their rigor, but it doesn't help a great deal if the guy checking your math suffers from the same philosophical error you make.

Plus, we can't discount envy as a particular flaw of the mediocre mind: the tallest blades get cut and all that.

Anonymous Stickwick January 30, 2015 5:25 PM  

Rabbi B: In other words, G-d transcends His world absolutely and His work remains forever dependent upon Him, whereas He is independent of His work. The Scripture testifies that G-d looks upon His work and finds it good, and only because He looks upon it and only for as long as He looks upon it does it continue to exist.

Established modern physics is totally consistent with this. A universe created ex nihilo requires a transcendent cause, and for that reason, several physicists have been hard at work trying to formulate a theoretical framework for a universe that appears to have a beginning, but is essentially eternal. They have all failed. The next best option is the multiverse, and I have heard straight from the lips of a well-known Nobel laureate that the multiverse is at least partially motivated by the desire to offer a philosophical alternative to God as the transcendent cause.

Note that the Bible promoted the notion of a universe with a beginning long before anyone ever dreamed of it, thousands of years before it was even remotely acceptable in the worlds of philosophy and science. It shone forth through millennia of consensus on the eternal nature of the universe, on the mediocrity of the world and of life, and now we are at the point where it's virtually impossible to deny the claims of the Bible on scientific grounds. Consider the words of NASA scientist, Robert Jastrow, who was a self-described agnostic: "Astronomers now find they have painted themselves into a corner because they have proven, by their own methods, that the world began abruptly in an act of creation to which you can trace the seeds of every star, every planet, every living thing in this cosmos and on the earth. And they have found that all this happened as a product of forces they cannot hope to discover. That there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientifically proven fact."

Blogger Giraffe January 30, 2015 5:28 PM  

“For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”

- Robert Jastrow (1925 – 2008)

Anonymous John Regan January 30, 2015 5:29 PM  


comment3

Anonymous onejohn512 January 30, 2015 5:36 PM  

Rabbi B. thank you for your thoughts and perspective. It's most enjoyable to hear exposition on Genesis and for that matter the rest of the Tenakh from those familiar with the original languages. Particularly on such important foundational ideas.

Anonymous Stickwick January 30, 2015 5:43 PM  

Rabbi B: Just flip that around ... :)

The evolutionary model that the ideologues promote, yes. It's really unfortunate that these scientists are so intellectual blinkered, because, as Gerald Schroeder and so many others have pointed out, there is an astonishing amount of logic to behold the deeper one looks into the inner workings of life. That's the whole point of science, right? We scientists hold it as an article of faith that there is an intrinsic order, and right there in front of our eyes is the most extraordinary evidence that Someone has Ordered It All. If you want to see this in action, just read Sean B. Carroll's Endless Forms Most Beautiful. Carroll is a Darwinist, and yet he uses the word "logic" over and over in his book to describe life at the genetic level; he is so intellectually constrained by his Darwinist worldview that he completely misses the obvious conclusion of his own work.

Krul: Smoke me a kipper...

...I'll be back for breakfast!

Blogger SirHamster January 30, 2015 5:57 PM  

Then was discovered, bacon.

... and it was good. :P

Because the bible says that death is the result of sin. Evolution requires death to cull the weak and advance suitable genes. The bible says the first man sinned and brought death, but the faith in the second Man brings the gift of life.

To be fair, there could be a sort of Evolution where all the evolutionary changes are divinely made incrementally through several generations without death, until Adam fails his one job and condemns the world to a dying death.

It doesn't look anything like TENS though, and requires the miracles of a pseudo-rat giving birth to a pseudo-cat to a pseudo-monkey and so on, within one "day". God didn't exactly leave us implementation notes, except that man is from dust.

Blogger Rabbi B January 30, 2015 6:01 PM  

" . . . a philosophical alternative to God as the transcendent cause . . . the most extraordinary evidence that Someone has Ordered It All."

Is this desire merely to save a lot of scientific face or is there a deep-seeded fear niggling at the soul, a fear that if G-d is indeed the transcendent Cause that this may lead to uncomfortable questions about His Providence and man's personal responsibility to that Someone in some way?

Anonymous Stickwick January 30, 2015 6:04 PM  

Both Gerald Schroeder and Hugh Ross point out that the death mentioned in Genesis is spiritual death, not physical death. Physical death was already part of the plan, because of the fall of Satan, but not spiritual death. God told Adam that in the day that he eats from the tree he will surely die, and yet he did not immediately fall over dead, but lived for many years after. So, obviously it cannot refer to physical death, and why would it? We are made in the image of our Creator, which means we are spiritual beings. The worst sort of punishment that could be inflicted on a human is to be cut off from the Creator, and so in that day Adam and Eve suffered a spiritual death.

Blogger SirHamster January 30, 2015 6:05 PM  

Though that "Divine Evolution" theory is really stretching it - Adam names the animals some time after his creation, and chances are good he didn't have to deal with hundreds/millions of "half-monkey-half-cat" intermediate species.

"Screw it. You're a Cat; you're a Monkey; and the rest of you are CatMonkey1-9999. Next!"

Anonymous Stickwick January 30, 2015 6:13 PM  

Rabbi B: Is this desire merely to save a lot of scientific face or is there a deep-seeded fear niggling at the soul, a fear that if G-d is indeed the transcendent Cause that this may lead to uncomfortable questions about His Providence and man's personal responsibility to that Someone in some way?

Robert Jastrow explains: "There is a strange ring of feeling and emotion in these reactions [of scientists to evidence that the universe had a sudden beginning]. They come from the heart whereas you would expect the judgments to come from the brain. Why? I think part of the answer is that scientists cannot bear the thought of a natural phenomenon which cannot be explained, even with unlimited time and money. There is a kind of religion in science; it is the religion of a person who believes there is order and harmony in the Universe. Every event can be explained in a rational way as the product of some previous event; every effect must have its cause, there is no First Cause. … This religious faith of the scientist is violated by the discovery that the world had a beginning under conditions in which the known laws of physics are not valid, and as a product of forces or circumstances we cannot discover. When that happens, the scientist has lost control. If he really examined the implications, he would be traumatized."

Personally, I think it's a combination of what you describe and what Jastrow describes, and the proportions of the mix vary from scientist to scientist. There are, of course, scientists who just flat-out hate God for the same emotional reasons a lot of non-scientist atheists hate God. But, I think what Jastrow's describes is more often the case. It's a funny thing. I'm a devoted Christian who came to faith through science, and yet I occasionally find myself desiring tidy natural explanations for things, for the reasons Jastrow described.

Blogger SirHamster January 30, 2015 6:14 PM  

@Stickwick:
So, obviously it cannot refer to physical death, and why would it?

Adam did die. If death is "part of the plan", then why is eternal life the reward and fix? Is there death in heaven? Why does Death lose its sting?

I've heard that a better translation is "dying you will die". Seeing a parent age and lose their strength and capability, that phrase describes death quite aptly.

Blogger njartist January 30, 2015 6:20 PM  

@ Noah B. January 30, 2015 4:05 PM
... I also have no idea how it would be possible for a human being not to face the possibility of death.
Stickwick gave a link to a scientist who demonstrated that since time being tied to matter, velocity, and relativity ( I do not have the link; so that may be an incomplete statement); so that expanses of millions of years could be fitted into each day; yet within each day time became slower and slower until man was created and time was "normalized."

Now, if that is true, then there were millions of years of animal life: these creatures of necessity had to die or the world would have been populated with billions (untold trillions?) of living organisms that never died until "death" entered the world through Adam's sin.

There is also this.

"It is now scientifically irrefutable fact that the "human species" has been found to contain a substantial quantity of DNA (at least 20%) from other hominid populations not classified as Homo sapien; such as Neanderthal, Denisovan, African archaic, Homo erectus, and now possibly even "Hobbit" (Homo floresiensis).
....
Recent sequencing of ancient genomes suggests that interbreeding went on between the members of several ancient human-like groups more than 30,000 years ago, including an as-yet unknown human ancestor. "there were many hominid populations,” says Mark Thomas, evolutionary geneticist at University College London."

There is the "dust."
This prompts me ask: if as St Paul declares that there is a difference between animal flesh and human flesh ( I think he mentions souls as well ); then, perhaps, human death is not animal death yet includes the animal death of the flesh; death for Adam included spiritual death; and Adam lost his face to face communion with God: the animals never had such communion.
This brings me to wonder if the "dust" - the other hominids - from which man was formed was animal, not human.

Blogger Rabbi B January 30, 2015 6:24 PM  

The Creation account is not a scientific treatise whose purpose is to prove the existence of G-d. The Creation account is foundational to our awareness of a Creator and His relationship to the world and to man. The Creation account beckons us to attribute our existence to G-d the Creator of the universe. If all we had was the first verse of the Torah, it would have sufficed to teach us the proper view of the world as G-d's world and ourselves as His creations and His sacred possessions. This one verse would have also been sufficient to teach us our duty: to do His will in this world with all our heart, with all our mind, and with all our strength.

One Sage expressed it this way:

"The Torah begins by presenting us with all the individual phenomena of creation in all their diversity to teach us to perceive the formative, law-giving Word of G-d not only in the world as a whole, but in each and every species and group of species. Therefore, since every one of G-d's creations everywhere in his kingdom - each with its own particular sphere and state of existence - does G-d's will and obeys His Word, therefore we too are to obey the laws ordained for us by G-d, and in this obedience to G-d we will find the purpose and bliss of our lives . . ." (R' S.R. Hirsch).

Alas, there is nothing new under the sun. Evolution: the worship of the creation in lieu of the Creator.

"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew G-d, they did not glorify Him as G-d, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened."

"Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible G-d into an image made like corruptible man -- and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore G-d also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of G-d for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever" (Cf. Romans 1)

Anonymous Stickwick January 30, 2015 6:26 PM  

SirHamster: Adam did die.

Yes, he eventually died, after a thousand years, not in the day that he ate the fruit. Schroeder points out that the Hebrew in this passage indicates that the death God refers to is immediate. So, what gives? The best explanation is that the death is spiritual.

If death is "part of the plan", then why is eternal life the reward and fix? Is there death in heaven? Why does Death lose its sting?

As Hugh Ross points out, with Satan's fall God knew that the world would be corrupted, so he built physical decay into the plan so that the evil of the world would not last forever. Can you imagine being subjected to this crappy world for eternity? It would be hell. Thank God there is physical death; it's a mercy. The fix is that Christ atoned for our sins, and we have been offered life with our Creator. That sort of life does not end, because why would you ever want that to end?

Anonymous kh123 January 30, 2015 6:27 PM  

"Screw it. You're a Cat; you're a Monkey; and the rest of you are CatMonkey1-9999. Next!"

And the Internet created chat rooms; he also made Wikipedia. And the Admin saw it, and lo, it was balanced, and exceedingly impartial.

Anonymous kh123 January 30, 2015 6:29 PM  

...And behold, I saw a man bear pig fall like lighting from heaven, increasing earth's temperature by several degrees.

Anonymous MrGreenMan January 30, 2015 6:31 PM  

I always wonder why the average atheist evangelist does not consider his aim. Of course, the Christian knows why the atheist evangelized, but he himself had not thought this through.

The Muslim hates the atheist, has a long list of people it is licit for him to kill per his law, and, if you want to be the nail that sticks out, it is at least compatible with his law to kill you for denying his god and prophet.

What does the Christian know? The Christian knows he lives a life of sinful misery without an external savior, something bigger than him. After the indwelling of the Spirit, he knows the joyous servitude of Jesus Christ contra his former slavery to sin.

Kick out that crutch, as more than one atheist termed his crusade, and what have you got at the end of the day? You would have someone with a problem he knows he has in his innermost self, but no way to solve it, and your gaping smug expression as you belittle his beliefs and ridicule his problem. Now, the natural man is violent and direct; he loved his Lord so kept the commandments; why does the atheist evangelist think such a man would be happy to be put in such a spot, and why would he not turn on the messenger?

Given how gently they are treated, the great atheist cause of the day should be to convert Muslims to Christianity. It would go better for them.

Blogger Northern Hamlet January 30, 2015 6:42 PM  

VD,

This fits into your machivellianism: high skepticism of consensus, high desire for individuated agency.

In other words, could the clustering also be indicative of a more strategic mind and the right hand side of the Mach IV bell curve?

Blogger SirHamster January 30, 2015 6:45 PM  

Schroeder points out that the Hebrew in this passage indicates that the death God refers to is immediate. So, what gives? The best explanation is that the death is spiritual.

That there is spiritual death does not rule out physical death as part of the judgement. It can be both.

As Hugh Ross points out, with Satan's fall God knew that the world would be corrupted, so he built physical decay into the plan so that the evil of the world would not last forever.

"Adam, you're going to die. In a thousand years, your physical body will fall to pieces and you will draw your last breath."
"Uh, God, what for?"
"What you're going to do in a little bit. In the meantime, tend my garden and don't eat the fruit of that tree over there."

Perhaps this is the original plan; it's just not obvious to me that physical death is not part of God's judgement, according to the Genesis account.

That sort of life does not end, because why would you ever want that to end?

That the ending is happy doesn't explain why it would be part of God's good creation before Sin and the Fall, why the world is described as "subjected to frustration", or why the restored Ending involves it going away. If animals eat each other and die before and after the Fall - what's the big deal? This is just business as normal.

Anonymous Stickwick January 30, 2015 6:52 PM  

njartist: Stickwick gave a link to a scientist who demonstrated that since time being tied to matter, velocity, and relativity...

I think that scientist you're referring to is me. Note that this relativistic resolution to the six day "problem" is Schroeder's explanation, not mine. With his permission, I created a presentation to help people understand it better.

SirHamster: That the ending is happy doesn't explain why it would be part of God's good creation before Sin and the Fall...

As Hugh Ross points out, the original Fall was Satan's, not Adam's. The world came after the Fall, and it's the best possible world that could've been created under the circumstances. It's a testament to God's power that it is so.

[N.B.: when it comes to profound theological issues, particularly those concerning salvation, and not just scientific technicalities, note that I always reference a male teacher. These are not my own ideas. This is in keeping with 1 Timothy 2:12. Please do check my sources before you accept what I'm saying.]

Blogger Rabbi B January 30, 2015 6:57 PM  

"That the ending is happy doesn't explain why it would be part of God's good creation before Sin and the Fall . . ."

Interesting to observe as well, that subsequent to man's disobedience and and the resulting judgment i.e. death - G-d mercifully guards the way to the Tree of Life to insure that man will not extend his hand, take of the tree, eat, and live forever in a fallen state where the flesh constantly wars against the spirit within his members. Hell indeed.

What a glorious day when we are no longer subject to the entropy that is sin and death.

He will swallow up death forever, And the L-rd G-D will wipe away tears from all faces; the rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; for the L-RD has spoken. And it will be said in that day: "Behold, this is our G-d; we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the L-RD; we have waited for Him; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation." (cf. Isa. 25)



Anonymous Stickwick January 30, 2015 7:10 PM  

Rabbi B: What a glorious day when we are no longer subject to the entropy that is sin and death.

Amen. (Isaiah is one of my favorite books in the Bible.)

Blogger Feather Blade January 30, 2015 7:15 PM  

To be fair, there could be a sort of Evolution where all the evolutionary changes are divinely made incrementally through several generations without death,

I believe this speculation is rendered null by the repeated phrase "And He created [plant and animals], each after its own kind...'"

Blogger Rabbi B January 30, 2015 7:40 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Rabbi B January 30, 2015 7:42 PM  

""And He created [plant and animals], each after its own kind...'""

Precisely. The Divine law which governs the entire organic world renders two different species, in the sense of the Hebrew, "closed", one to the other; they do not combine or unite. Each species preserves its own reproductive energies for its own species, and only human interference would force it into unnatural and unlawful unions. However, if left to itself, each seedling will belong to its own species as exclusively as did its earliest ancestor, concerning which and concerning all of whose descendants the Creator first proclaimed His law: after its own kind.

Clearly, the Torah considers it critical that we are witness to the Divine lawgiver in the organic life of nature, as the Torah directs us towards Him at every step we take in this world. The Torah not only prohibits an actual interference in the law of l'minehu ("after its own species") but adds related prohibitions as well to remind us that we are obligated to preserve an order that will constantly remind us of this law as a testimony to His Creative power.

Blogger bob k. mando January 30, 2015 7:58 PM  

speaking of consensus think, ArsTech has posted a real knee slapper:
http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/01/are-climate-models-biased/
"When models and reality disagree, it can tell us about two things: the models and reality. So far, analysis has seemed to come down on the side of reality."


garsh, ya think? do ya really think that reality might be 'wrong' and the model is right?

this, ladies and gents, is the height of climate 'science'.


then you've got this wonderful juxtaposition; the article has this for a sub-title:
"Not really, but they may exaggerate the impact of volcanic eruptions."

but later the article references a study claiming that the warming 'pause' of the 2000s has been because previous assumptions about the effect of SMALL eruptions were too severely discounted.

http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/02/volcanoes-had-small-role-in-slower-surface-warming/


all of which points back to what AGW skeptics have been saying since the 1980s ( when available processing power and model complexity was orders of magnitude smaller than now ):
the AGW computer models use ASSUMPTIONS that have orders of magnitude larger effect on the outcome of the projection than whatever the purported CO2 'forcing' is supposed to produce.



John Regan January 30, 2015 5:29 PM
About 4.5 billion years:



i don't understand what point you think you're making. a "half life" means that every 4.5B years, half of the given substance will radioactively degenerate.

if we presume a starting amount of 100g of U-238 and measure it today and find 50g, that means that the age of the sample is ~4.5B years old.

otoh, a sample size of 25g would indicate an age of 9B.

and a sample size of 12.5g would be 13.5B.

thus and so forth until you get down to the individual atomic level. functionally, it is very like an application of Zeno's Dichotomy Paradox.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeno%27s_paradoxes#Dichotomy_paradox

Blogger The Overgrown Hobbit January 30, 2015 8:06 PM  

Hear, hear. Contrarianism for contrarianism's sake is every bit as foolish as conformity.

On the other hand, there's something about the po-faced environmentalist crowd's manner that makes this died-in-the-wood conservationist yearn to set a tire fire in her front meadow and spray it with DDT after 3 minutes of listening to one...

Blogger bob k. mando January 30, 2015 8:09 PM  

Rabbi B January 30, 2015 7:42 PM
Each species preserves its own reproductive energies for its own species, and only human interference would force it into unnatural and unlawful unions.



and your explanation for Peppermint is ... ?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peppermint
is a hybrid mint, a cross between watermint and spearmint.[2] ... It is found wild occasionally with its parent species.[3][4]


or are you simply drawing a much larger definition of 'species'?

Blogger IM2L844 January 30, 2015 11:31 PM  

Not that anyone here deserves one, but the topics and some of the commenters of the last few days has me wondering whatever happened with the Beezle Awards. Seems like it's been years since Vox has given one out. Maybe they should be expanded to include more than just the local anklebiters. The Beezle Awards could be a ceremonious annual event with nominations, popcorn, drinks with those little umbrellas Vox loves so much and everything.

Anonymous Viidad January 30, 2015 11:35 PM  

Stickwick: "[N.B.: when it comes to profound theological issues, particularly those concerning salvation, and not just scientific technicalities, note that I always reference a male teacher. These are not my own ideas. This is in keeping with 1 Timothy 2:12. Please do check my sources before you accept what I'm saying.]"

You are awesome. Just have to say it.

Blogger rycamor January 31, 2015 12:46 AM  

Josh January 30, 2015 4:43 PM

Every attack on evolution becomes an attack on the very notion of a scientific (secular) explanation for speciation.

That's just stupid.

Is every attack on climate change an attack on the very notion of a scientific explanation for changes in weather patterns?


Notice how our fine friend David just proves my point over and over?

Anonymous rho January 31, 2015 2:34 AM  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peppermint
is a hybrid mint, a cross between watermint and spearmint.[2] ... It is found wild occasionally with its parent species.[3][4]


or are you simply drawing a much larger definition of 'species'?


Biological groupings are pretty nebulous, but the ability to reproduce is part of the definition of very close relatives.

Anonymous kh123 January 31, 2015 4:08 AM  

...Excuse the last few comments. Was Friday when they happened. The 6th Day, when buffalo began to roam, and left traces.

Blogger Mindstorm January 31, 2015 4:51 AM  

Excuse me, wasn't it an atheist Fred Hoyle that was both against the Big Bang (going as far as coining the term himself) and abiogenesis?

OpenID simplytimothy January 31, 2015 10:28 AM  

In the spirit of 'damn the consensus, publish the book', I submit this link from vdare.com: http://www.vdare.com/articles/the-fulford-file-from-animal-farm-to-american-sniper-cultural-marxist-capitalists-leave-billions-on-the-table-but-theres-hope-for-american-culture-yet?stf=em%20the%20people on the chance it might be a niche Castalia House has not considered.

From the link:

And the small fortunes forgone by publishers who’ve refused to publish a Brimelow sequel to Alien Nation, or Jared Taylor’s book White Identity, are nothing to the huge fortunes that could be made in Hollywood by anyone willing to make movies that don’t hate America.


cheers.

Anonymous Stickwick January 31, 2015 11:02 AM  

Thanks, Viidad.

Mindstorm: Excuse me, wasn't it an atheist Fred Hoyle that was both against the Big Bang (going as far as coining the term himself) and abiogenesis?

Vox already mentioned this above, though he didn't specify which scientist by name.

Personally, I respect Hoyle, because he was a brilliant astrophysicist and wasn't entirely enslaved by his personal philosophy. A Darwinist, he famously criticized TENS for the legitimate reason that the math simply doesn't work. There was also the matter of the carbon resonance energy in nucleosynthesis, which he predicted. What this means in plain language is that there is an extremely narrow window of energy that will allow the fusion of lighter elements into carbon inside of stars, and, since carbon is the basic constituent of life, the odds of life developing randomly was now that much more improbable. He apparently was rather disturbed by this, and said that there appeared to be a "guiding hand" in the development of the universe. The reason he criticized the big bang was that he was a steady state proponent, meaning he believed the universe was not created, but was eternal. A lot of astrophysicists at the time held this position, but almost all of them were eventually persuaded by the overwhelming evidence to switch to the big bang model. There were a few hold-outs, like Hoyle and his collaborator, another atheist astrophysicist named Geoffrey Burbidge. Hoyle seemed to reject the big bang more for the reason Jastrow mentioned above -- he didn't like invoking any cause outside of nature. Burbidge, on the other hand, seemed more hostile to religion. He famously derided other scientists by accusing them of rushing off to join "the first Church of Christ of the Big Bang." He hated the big bang for the obvious reason that he understood the implication -- it was too close to Genesis for comfort.

Blogger bob k. mando January 31, 2015 11:32 AM  

rho January 31, 2015 2:34 AM
Biological groupings are pretty nebulous, but the ability to reproduce is part of the definition of very close relatives.




Rabbi B asserted that species would NOT hybridize *without human interference*.

there are several rebuttals to my question, yours is one of the weaker.

but then, i hardly asked the most robust version of the question that can be asked.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_speciation#Animals

hybridization occurs in the wild all the time, sometimes even occuring between creatures with differing chromosome counts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_swarm


frankly, given the fallen nature of the world, i'm not even sure why the assumption should be made that hybridization would require human interference.

unless you're going to say that the consumption of the fruit of knowledge is the "human interference" that you're talking about.

Anonymous John Regan January 31, 2015 1:47 PM  

@Mando: point is that earth age = half life of substance used to determine it is highly suggestive that the one is influencing the other.

Doesn't prove it absolutely, of course. But no one else gets held to that standard. Why should I?

Thanks for the comment. I learned something.

Blogger Rabbi B January 31, 2015 7:32 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Rabbi B January 31, 2015 7:33 PM  

bob k. mando: " . . . or are you simply drawing a much larger definition of 'species'?"

Yes . . .

My main point is that the Torah is not a physiological manual or textbook. However, it does describe the world as the materialization of Divine thought.

"Min," which is the primary root of "l'minehu" (according to its kind), is related to "allot" or "apportion". Therefore "min" describes the complex of identifying traits that distinguish one group from another. In other words, a distinct group, if left to itself, will not unite with another group. Therefore, "l'minehu" is not the individual form which distinguishes an individual of a species from another of the same species; we have other terms in Hebrew for that.

The idea I was trying to convey is that "l'minehu" presents the traits that are characteristic of a species that are common to all its members - in other words, the traits that form the bond that unites all members of a species. It is therefore an outline in broad strokes, expressing a particular kind of thing.

For example, every summer my neighbor plants a "potato-tomato" plant. The plant grows a potato under the ground and tomatoes above ground on the same plant. No matter how much time goes by, I don't think any distinct plant (in this case tomato or potato) would reproduce in such way that would bring about this hybrid without human interference of some kind.

I was also alluding to prohibitions in the Torah that forbid sowing two different kinds of seed together and wearing clothes where cotton (a plant derivative) is woven together with wool (an animal derivative), prohibitions which serve as reminders of the order that Hashem desires and instituted right from the beginning when He saw all that He had made and declared that it was good.

Blogger bob k. mando February 01, 2015 12:13 AM  

Rabbi B January 31, 2015 7:33 PM
Yes . . .



animals in the wild have been observed having sex with completely different species.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_sexual_behaviour#Cross_species_sex

now, of course, a seal + otter cross or seal + penguin cross is too far apart to result in offspring.

but surely you would consider animals with differing chromosome counts to be different species?

and, if they cross with something close enough for reproduction IN THE WILD despite the variant chromosome count, how is that the fault of human intervention?



Rabbi B January 31, 2015 7:33 PM
prohibitions which serve as reminders of the order that Hashem desires and instituted right from the beginning when He saw all that He had made and declared that it was good.



that's not the point under discussion, nor am i disagreeing with that.

you ( and i'm assuming your teachers ) have extrapolated that these things do not occur in Nature w/o the interference of Man.

However, Nature is also fallen.

does not the Lord say that in the End Days,
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=isaiah+65%3A25&version=KJV

would this not have been what Eden was like?

IF no animal before the fall "hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain"
THEN the fact that predators exist today indicates that Nature is also Fallen and in rebellion against God.

why then do you draw a distinction between Nature rebelling against God in diet but not in sex?



Rabbi B January 31, 2015 7:33 PM
No matter how much time goes by, I don't think any distinct plant (in this case tomato or potato) would reproduce in such way that would bring about this hybrid without human interference of some kind.



you're being distracted by the variant part of the plant that humans use for a foodstock. the tomato being the fruit, the potato being the root.

both are a species of Nightshade plant. by your lights, the same 'kind' and interbreeding between them not any more remarkable than my previous reference to Water Mint + Spearmint crossing to produce the sterile Peppermint.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potato - Solanum tuberosum

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomato - Solanum lycopersicum

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mentha_aquatica

Blogger bob k. mando February 01, 2015 12:22 AM  

John Regan January 31, 2015 1:47 PM
But no one else gets held to that standard. Why should I?



because we are trying to arrive at a Truth and most of them are knowingly and wilfully ( such as this AGW crap ) lying?

note that i'm not disputing that the simple amount of time involved may well offer ways to disrupt or alter decay rates.

and, of course, we're also assuming that *ALL* daughter elements present were produced SINCE the rock in question solidified ... which may not be a valid assumption.

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