The Earth is old man, old.

I recently met a Christian who was convinced that the Earth is only, maybe 6,000 years old or so. Why? Because this makes sense. That doesn’t contradict Adam and Eve. Sure.

Is anyone here really convinced that the Earth is merely thousands of years old? Yes, I am an evolutionist. But I don’t think you have to be to believe the facts in front of your eyes. Radiology allows us to analyze certain compounds in the earth that decay at different rates to get a pretty good idea of how old the rock is, right? Does anyone not believe in radiology? Or chemistry for that matter? To me, believing the Earth is only thousands of years old is like believing the Earth is flat, or the center of the universe for that matter. Come on!

Some Christians I can only argue with for so long.


Well, I don’t think you can use reason to argue someone out of a religious belief, so it’s pointless to try. Your best best is to lead a happy, fulfilled, non-lightning-struck life and raise your children to be critical thinkers. Of course, that may backfire when they rebel against you and join the Moonies, but at least you’ll have tried.

The Genesis stories don’t say anything about the age of the world, that was tacked on later. And yes, there are definitely people who don’t buy into carbon-dating and such.

By the way, “evolutionist?” Never say that again. Evolution is not an ideology or a religion, it’s a scientific theory. The people who you’re talking about are trying to say it’s an ideology, and once you start using their terms you make your argument that much more difficult. I’ve become convinced lately that Creationism is really dangerous because it can do so much to retard scientific education in this country, and because it could damage scientific progress if more groups of people start trying to campaign against science because they don’t like what it says.

You can’t reason someone out of a position which wasn’t reached through reason. It only serves to piss you off and encourage them further.

My bet is this subject has been covered before. Perhaps Cecil has had some words on the subject.

I have visited the Grand Canyon and seen the different layers of strata (?) from top to bottom. That to me would qualify as “facts in front of your eyes”. However, I don’t consider radiology or even chemistry as the same sort of facts. This may be a nit-pick but the fact is that those that won’t believe the Grand Canyon proves them wrong, most likely don’t know beans about what radiology is and think that Chemistry is a subject they didn’t take in school.

So sorry, gradualist. :wink:

In other words, I absoultely believe the Earth developed over millions of years, not thousands. Believers in evoution almost always have to combat criticism of believers of creation, so I can see how “evolutionists” have come about. I’m not really trying to get into fossil records and the evolution of man from chimp or anything. Simply, just the fact, yes fact, that the Earth is millions of years. I’m just wondering if there are any dopers out there who are convinced that the Earth is absolutely merely thousands of years young. Anyone?

Ask them if they believe in the speed of light, then have them explain why the night sky is filled with stars. A 6000 year old Earth would only have fews stars visible.

It is folly. You will only end up frustrating yourself

Actually, most of the visible stars are within 6000 light years, archmichael, but you could certainly direct them towards supernovae in other galaxies and the like.

Thanks, SentientMeat. I was under the impression that there would be a lot fewer stars visible to the naked eye. Which is true, but enough to fill a night sky.

A lot of creationists are trying to explain stars beyond 6000 light years using ‘science’.

Actually if you do some digging, it doesn’t make any sense as it’s self contradictory. YEC’s get their claim that the earth is 6k years old from the Bible, specifically from Bishop Usser (Usher?) calculations of the geneologies (sp?) listed in the bible-as they supposedly go back to Adam and Eve.

The problem with this is that there are several genealogies in the bible and that they are contradictory. Additionally, and correct me if I’m wrong, but at one point the bible even states that you shouldn’t care or maybe it was investigate genealogies.

The other problem with YEC is that there are two creation stories in the first two chapters of Genesis. This is a problem for literalists/YECs because they are contradictory (it’s not so much a problem for those who believe it’s a metaphor).

But arguing with YEC’s can and most often does lead to nowhere. They believe that you are misguided and being lied to by Satan or the Evil Atheist Agenda. Furthermore, they seem to have a problem with saying ‘I don’t know’ and will offer any ad-hoc rationalization for whatever evidence contradicts their solidified beliefs.

Where do you meet these people? I don’t think I ever met anyone since I was eight years old who takes creationism seriously. I don’t think it’s a Christian thing, I think it’s an uneducated thing.

They are all over the internet. I’ve met a few of them in the real world as well. Perhaps it’s just a location issue though.

I wouldn’t brandish them all as uneducated, as some of them are very educated. However you are partially correct that most of them aren’t educated in evolutionary biology.

Here’s a quote from Kurt Wise, a very educated YEC:

My ten year old son is a young-earther, for now, thanks to his bio-dad’s influence. And it’s odd, because he wants to be a zoologist when he grows up. But he definitely sees it as a conflict with his ‘beliefs.’ I’ve tried to help him through it, but as you can imagine, an atheist stepdad and a pagan mom are probably not best suited to helping him reconcile his faith with scientific fact.

It’s very hard for me to deal with, since I was raised Catholic, and the idea that any form of knowledge can be ‘unChristian’ bugs the shit out of me. Whatever my beef with the Church, I can say that they did right by me in this respect.

I think that all the fuss is the result of a fairly small, but vocal strain of Christianity. I’m unsure if other religions have their counterparts.

Here in the Bible Belt, there are a lot of young earth creationists

I personally consider evolution clearly proven by the evidence.
But why would that stop a believer?

  • God planted the evidence to test us

  • Satan planted the evidence to mislead us

  • there is no evidence: it’s an atheist conspiracy

You know there’s a reason why those of us here up North tend to mock people from the Deep South and Texas. If there’s one part of the country that consistantly clings to anachronism and backward thinking, it’s that part of the country.

-Kang and Kodos

There was a very scary article in the NY Times yesterday about how biology teachers in Alabama (and even Ohio) are scared to teach evolution straight out. (Sorry no link - I read the way I can get ink on my fingers.) No creationists who make a fuss in the schools in the Bay Area, though a couple of them write wacko letters to the paper.

You won’t find many in the SDMB newcomb_being - they all got scarce when they actually had to defend themselves against people who actually knew something about science.

I’d say fly-over country, where I grew up, is thick with 'em, but we got our contingent of them in SunSoCal, too. They’re everywhere in the US, and oddly not so much (or at least not so vocal) in Europe.

I don’t even bother with them anymore. You can fight incidental ignorance, but you can’t win against deliberate, intentional arse-exploring. No scientific theory, however well validated, and no observed data will convince them otherwise.

Then there’s the Mormons. Don’t even get me started.


My oldest niece and her husband are YEC types; both are college educated. My niece teaches school (in a religous school) and her husband is a commercial pilot. The point is that neither of them are dummies and yet they BELIEVE, and think they can prove, the young earth nonsense.

For a Los Angeles transplant, it’s quite a shock. I’ve had quite a few interesting conversations about God, evolution, gays, the Civil War…

Not everyone believes in creationism, but they stay quiet.

This Korean guy is gonna get lynched one of these days.