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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Canticle for Tecumseh

In the year 2706 AD...

College freshman Reed Rodriguez, recently returned home from college for the summer, is perusing one of his textbooks.

His father enters the family room, "What do you have there, son?"

"Oh, it's a textbook for ancient American studies. There was a lot of cool stuff in there, wanted to review."

"What kinds of stuff?" The father asked.

"Well, this section is a reproduction of a textbook from the year 1968. It is really fascinating. I think I like the stories about cowboys and Indians and the US Cavalry the best."

"Ah, that,' his father snorted. 'I thought you were taking history, not ancient literature. Those are all mythological stories."

"The Indians? Gee, Dad, they have all sorts of copies of ancient news articles and books excerpted in here, describing Indians shooting bow-and-arrows, bad guys with big handguns strapped to their hips, cowboys..."

"Nonsense!' His father interrupted. 'You must have one of those conservative teachers." The older man made a face. "Colleges are bastions of conservative thinking nowadays, it is terrible! The Indians had a civilization in place when white men began to emigrate here. Everyone knows that Indians had houses and land like the Europeans did, only far more in keeping with environmental standards..."

"But, check out this book! See, here it is describing Pontiac, and Tecumseh, and the Prophet as real people, Indians who lived a different lifestyle than the Europeans."

"Pontiac was an automobile, son. That was an old mode of transportation that was used into the 21st century. Automobiles were sold for large amounts of money and the name Pontiac was well known. That author just stole the name to make the story sound familiar to readers of that time. There were no wild Indians, that is simply ludicrous! I supppose you think that Kevin Costner's Last Stand really took place?"

"You mean General Sherman?"

"Something like that. It has been awhile since I was in school."

"Dad, my professor said that these old stories were actual events that were witnessed and described by the people who lived during that time. Heck, a book published in 1968 had to be within a couple of hundred years of General Sherman or less, right? They were closer to that time and they described outlaws like Billy the Kid and indians like Geronimo as if they were real."

Reed's Dad sighed. "I want you to simply do some research, Reed. Go to the library and see what modern historians have to say. I think part of the problem is that that book your professor is using, and I imagine the other texts as well, came from European-American sources."

"Sure Dad, I guess so...why?"

"Well, they had reason to try to make their past more romantic after a few centuries. How many people of European stock do you actually see these days? Nearly everyone in this country is primarily of Hispanic origin, so those who are of European descent have little to be proud of other than the past. That past is primarily that of a crude and primitive people, so they spice it up a little."

"I dunno, Dad. I think this evidence is pretty compelling..."

"Right, I suppose next you are going to tell me that there was actually an Abraham Lincoln and there actually were slaves at one time?"

Reed shook his head. "Maybe I ought to look into it a little deeper."

His father playfully ruffled his son's hair and gave him a short punch in the bicep. "You have three more years to go, lots of things to learn. Take your time, son, and think critically. Don't just believe everything they tell you!"


(All in italics translated from the original Spanish)

The next Point in the Creation review concerns various evidences of dinosaurs and other extinct creatures in literature and artwork all around the globe, vast quantities of information that is laughed off as 'myth' by those who do not care to consider it as evidence.

"Second, the large amount of historical records and the evidences of carvings and figurines and drawings is evidence that dragons and sea-monsters and firebirds were actual living beings - dinosaurs. Once they became uncommon they tend to take on the characteristics of myth. But much mythology is just history passed on by "Chinese Telephone" so to speak. No one has been able to come up with a reasonable explanation for why it is that so many of these representations and records are accurate depictions of dinosaurs according to the best paleontological evidence we have today."

But where, disbelievers, is your actual evidence to disprove the records? How about the Acambaro statuettes, that were acknowledged to be genuine by neutral sources until they realized some of the statues were of dinosaurs, at which point they in a most cowardly and deceitful manner attempted to change their findings.

Reconsider some evidences that I presented previously and tell me how you can refute so much evidence? Remember - Derision is not a logical argument.

11 comments:

Juggling Mother said...

In the year 2706 AD...

College freshman Reed Rodriguez, recently returned home from college for the summer, is perusing one of his textbooks.

His father enters the family room, "What do you have there, son?"

"Oh, it's a textbook for ancient American studies. There was a lot of cool stuff in there, wanted to review."

"What kinds of stuff?" The father asked.

"Well, this section is a reproduction of a textbook from the year 1986. It is really fascinating."

"I'm writing a critical essay on our first contact"

"Ah, that,' his father snorted. 'I thought you were taking ancient fictional literature, not historical fact. First contact is well documented."

"yes dad, but the only actual doscumentation we have dates from 2376, a good few hundred years after the fact. I'm not sure the evidence bears out the historical texts"

"what do you mean son? Geminians landed in the old USA in 1974, and introduced many other races soon after. It's fact. there are loads of references to aliens visiting Earth in 20th century books, films and news articles. Enrico's 2376 book just collates them all for ease of reference"

"yes dad, but we don't have the original evidence, and the supporting evidence seems contradictorary in many places. Were the first aliens to visit the small grey Geminians, or the big green Assualians? The first documentary evidence of an alien trade isn't until 2256, so why did it take so long?"

"well son, it was a long time ago, so texts may get corrupted over time. But Enrico's book draws on evidence of the time. We can only assume he knew what he was writing was true. It's the only contextual evidence we have now, and so many people have accepted it as truth it must be so."

Jeffahn said...

"....No one has been able to come up with a reasonable explanation for why it is that so many of these representations and records are accurate depictions of dinosaurs according to the best paleontological evidence we have today."

People found fossilised bones and, knowing what they did about animal anatomy, reconstructed images/carvings/statues of what they thought the creatures might have looked like. Not being able to explain why the creatures were no longer to be found alive, they constructed myths and ledgends to explain their apparent shyness.

How's that, Mr Ivlovkfy?

radar said...

"People found fossilised bones and, knowing what they did about animal anatomy, reconstructed images/carvings/statues of what they thought the creatures might have looked like. Not being able to explain why the creatures were no longer to be found alive, they constructed myths and ledgends to explain their apparent shyness."

Nice try, but then again you would expect them to depict the animals to look like animals they usually encountered. If there were no longer any saurians about, the big boned unknowns would have been depicted as giant bears or wolves, not saurians.

Second, the resemblance to what modern science believes dinosaurs looked like is at time uncannily like the ancient depictions. In fact, the skin details found in some of the acambaro statues were still unknown at the time of the discovery of the statues but understood later. So, although there is ample proof that the acambaro evidence was not faked, what incredible foresight a modern faker would have had to be ahead of the paleontological curve!

It makes more sense to accept the historical records as actual records, and the ancient depictions as depictions of living beings known at the time. The primary reason so many people disagree is not on evidentiary grounds, but simply because it doesn't fit in with their beliefs!

creeper said...

"In fact, the skin details found in some of the acambaro statues were still unknown at the time of the discovery of the statues but understood later."

I looked through the links you provided and couldn't find any mention of these skin details you mention - could you elaborate on this?

"The primary reason so many people disagree is not on evidentiary grounds, but simply because it doesn't fit in with their beliefs!"

That appears to me to be your sole objection to common descent.

Jeffahn said...

>>>Nice try, but then again you would expect them to depict the animals to look like animals they usually encountered. If there were no longer any saurians about, the big boned unknowns would have been depicted as giant bears or wolves, not saurians.<<<

I win!

Why would you expect them to look like animals they usually encountered? Most ancient people were hunter-gatherers/early farmers and would have had extensive knowledge of anatomy -certainly enough to contruct an at-least crude reconstruction from fossil bones. Again, in typical creationist fashion, you're looking for the facts to support your pre-determined conclusions -with no consideration for the mass of evidence against your position. The geologic evidence against humans & dinos living together is just absolute, and there is no other evidence to suggest anything other than complete seperation.

It's funny that think of ancient people being so clever as to write books about what we should be eating, when we can touch our woman folk, when to take holidays etc. etc. -yet you think that they could only reconstruct dinosaur fossils to resemble animals that they were familiar with.

>>>Second, the resemblance to what modern science believes dinosaurs looked like is at time uncannily like the ancient depictions. In fact, the skin details found in some of the acambaro statues were still unknown at the time of the discovery of the statues but understood later. So, although there is ample proof that the acambaro evidence was not faked, what incredible foresight a modern faker would have had to be ahead of the paleontological curve!<<<

From TO regarding the acambaro statues:


1.The figurines show every evidence of being recent folk art, fraudulently buried in an archeological excavation. De Peso (1953) made the following observations:

The surfaces of the figurines were new. They were not marred by a patina or coating of soluble salts characteristic of genuinely old artifacts from the same area. The owner said none of the figures had been washed in acid. Edges of depressions were sharp and new. No dirt was packed into crevices.
Genuine archeological relics of fragile items are almost always found in fragments. Finding more than 30,000 such items in pristine condition is unheard of. The excavators of the artifacts were "neither careful nor experienced" in their field technique, yet no marks of their shovels, mattocks, or picks were noted in any of the 32,000 specimens. Some figurines were broken, but the breaks were unworn and apparently deliberate to suggest age. No parts were missing.
"The author spent two days watching the excavators burrow and dig; during the course of their search they managed to break a number of authentic prehistoric objects. On the second day the two struck a cache and the author examined the material in situ. The cache had been very recently buried by digging a down sloping tunnel into the black fill dirt of the prehistoric room. This fill ran to a depth of approximately 1.30 m. Within the stratum there were authentic Tarascan sherds, obsidian blades, tripod metates, manos, etc., but these objects held no concern for the excavators. In burying the cache of figurines, the natives had unwittingly cut some 15 cms. below the black fill into the sterile red earth floor of the prehistoric room. In back-filling the tunnel they mixed this red sterile earth with black earth; the tracing of their original excavation was, as a result, a simple task" (Di Peso 1953, 388).

Fresh manure was found in the tunnel fill.

Fingerprints were found in freshly packed earth that filled an excavated bowl.

2.The story of their discovery gives a motive for fraud. Waldemar Julsrud, who hired workers to excavate a Chupicuaro site in 1945, paid workers a peso apiece for intact figurines. It very well may have been more economical for the workers to make figurines than to discover and excavate them. Given the quantity that he received, the contribution to the peasants' economy would have been substantial.
3.The figurines are not from the Chupicuaro. They came from within a single-component Tarascan ruin. The Tarascan are post-classical and historical, emerging between 900 and 1522 C.E.

4.If authentic, the figurines imply even more archeological anomalies:
If the figurines really were based on actual dinosaurs, why have no dinosaur fossils been found in the Acambaro region?

5.Why did no other Mexican cultures record any dinosaurs?

6.What caused the dinosaurs to disappear in the last 1,100 years?

7.There is no credible information to support the claims. The only sources are pseudoscience journalists, creationists, and crackpots, who have obvious ulterior motives for gullibility. Their own dating results are discordant with each other and with the ages of the native cultures, and even attempting to do carbon dating on the inorganic figurines shows their incompetence.”
Your claim about “the skin details” appears to be pretty hopeless and entirely subjective. I looked at a few of the claimed specimens and could see nothing special about them in terms of “the skin details” and they just looked like ordinary weathered/worn statues.

>>>It makes more sense to accept the historical records as actual records, and the ancient depictions as depictions of living beings known at the time. The primary reason so many people disagree is not on evidentiary grounds, but simply because it doesn't fit in with their beliefs!<<<

What historical records? What “living beings known at the time”? How do you know this? “My beliefs tell me that I know it.” So what came first; your beliefs, or your alleged evidence? So what are these “beliefs” that prevent “so many” from being so wondrously enlightened as you? How do you explain it other than a massive conspiracy to disprove your beliefs scientifically? Surely that means that science is wrong? Why not then claim that scientists are devil-worshippers? Why not then claim that they're not really doing science? Why not then try to change the definition of science?

Hklix -cough medicine for the next generation.

radar said...

From TO regarding the acambaro statues:


1.The figurines show every evidence of being recent folk art, fraudulently buried in an archeological excavation. De Peso (1953) made the following observations:


Aha, a Talkorigins post!!!!

I determined I would not go browsing through there but now when it is brought to me, the game changes!

http://www.bible.ca/tracks/
tracks-acambaro-witnesses.htm


(I hope that works)

De Peso has been discredited. Other witnesses testify that he first reported the figurines were bogus and then tried to obtain them for himself. If anyone was trying to perpetrate fraud, it was De Peso! He apparently intended to get them on the cheap and then turn around and verify their authenticity, making a profit in the bargain. One cannot be sure of his motives, but we do know that:

1) He is one uncorroborated witness who has been refuted by several witnesses including both locals and people from the States.

2) His allegations have been shown to be false.

BTW, while I do not link to bible.ca I give them credit for listing information on De Peso (or Di Peso) and also several other witnesses. Talkorigins acts as if De Peso was an authority who was unchallenged and had debunked the find. He debunked nothing other than his own reputation! The 'fresh manure' is his own testimony.

Earl Stanley Gardner said, "…it is absolutely, positively out of the question to think that these artifacts which we saw could have been planted." I would take his word alone over De Peso, although there are several other witnesses to back him up.

If the figurines really were based on actual dinosaurs, why have no dinosaur fossils been found in the Acambaro region?

Since fossils were formed during the flood, their disposition doesn't necessarily match their habitats. The dinosaurs the acambaro makers saw were alive at the time and things that die during normal times don't leave fossils behind. It requires a catastrophic (almost always involving water) event to leave fossil records.

What historical records?

Gee, I devoted an entire post to that....listed a few historical accounts of man-dinosaur interaction and linked to where others could be found. Did you read that?

What “living beings known at the time”? How do you know this? “My beliefs tell me that I know it.” So what came first; your beliefs, or your alleged evidence? So what are these “beliefs” that prevent “so many” from being so wondrously enlightened as you? How do you explain it other than a massive conspiracy to disprove your beliefs scientifically? Surely that means that science is wrong? Why not then claim that scientists are devil-worshippers? Why not then claim that they're not really doing science? Why not then try to change the definition of science?

My, we are getting shrill! No, I am presenting evidence! I am not just blabbing on about my beliefs. If you wish to ignore the evidence, fine. If you can actually explain it away, more power to you. If you just want to play the derision card you lose and I carry the day.

Is the sky is falling if your view of science is proven to be wrong? Are there evidences that should not be scrutinized? Such as evidence that man and dinosaur co-existed long after the flood and even after Europeans had trod North American soil? I fail to see how science is damaged in any way by research and study and the examination of records, art, and literature in the pursuit of knowledge. Hmm, that sounds consistent with science to me!

Better to calmly examine the evidence. Talkorigins has a very weak reply to acambaro that they know is incomplete at best but it is probably all they have so they run with it.

There is no credible information to support the claims. The only sources are pseudoscience journalists, creationists, and crackpots, who have obvious ulterior motives for gullibility. Their own dating results are discordant with each other and with the ages of the native cultures, and even attempting to do carbon dating on the inorganic figurines shows their incompetence.”
Your claim about “the skin details” appears to be pretty hopeless and entirely subjective.


The "skin details" involves the dermal spines or crests that were not supposed to be there at the time the figurines were found but are generally accepted to have been part of the dinosaur today.

The dating was done by non-creationists and, oh, now dating is not reliable? I have said before it is useless past a few thousand years and is only useful as a kind of yardstick to get a feel for an age even at that. But those non-creationists thought the figurines were pretty old before finding out they represented dinosaurs and then they reversed field. Sounds pretty treacherous to me! Also, you are calling the Laboratory of Isotopes in New Jersey and the University of Pennsylvania incompetent since they ran the tests.

Finally, it is apparent that "pseudoscience journalists, creationists, and crackpots" are defined by you as people with whom you disagree. Ad hominem but without teeth, my friend!

creeper said...

"The "skin details" involves the dermal spines or crests that were not supposed to be there at the time the figurines were found but are generally accepted to have been part of the dinosaur today."

I kinda figured that's what you probably meant. Umm, Radar, lizards in the region have dermal spines and similar features too. That makes it pretty unremarkable for local folk artists to incorporate them into their sculptures.

"I have said before it is useless past a few thousand years and is only useful as a kind of yardstick to get a feel for an age even at that."

On what do you base this claim?


You have some highly varying standards of how you apply words like "evidence", "established", "proved" etc. All this stuff about dinosaurs living alongside man is appealing, sure, but so far doesn't rise much above grounds for speculation, on which a hypothesis could be constructed. I have seen similar levels of "evidence" used to support the theories of, say, Erich von Däniken or Graham Hancock or the guys who wrote 'Holy Blood Holy Grail'.

It's all very intriguing, and definitely a good bit of intellectual fun, but not "evidence" of anything. More research is definitely required in all these notions.

Anonymous said...

Dan S said:

Radar: "and things that die during normal times don't leave fossils behind. It requires a catastrophic (almost always involving water) event to leave fossil records."

But that's not what paleontology says.

You are free to argue that fossilization does occur this way, but that's not what the science says. (Yes, you might find a few guys with Ph.D.s - sometimes even in a relevant field! - and perhaps not even from a diploma mill! - in this or that creationist organization who might agree with you, but you can also find a few scientists who insist that HIV doesn't cause AIDS, or historians who deny the Armenian genocide.)

For example:

"The soil in Amboseli ranges from neutral to alkaline, conditions that can encourage fossilization, says Behrensmeyer. In the 3 decades of the team's observations, many bones have already absorbed minerals from soil and groundwater, setting the stage for long-term preservation.

Bones that don't end up in the gullet of scavengers often fall prey to environmental degradations. For example, exposure to harsh sunlight tends to quickly break down bones, which in living animals are made of up to 30 percent protein by weight. Quick burial of a carcass can slow such weathering, says Behrensmeyer, and even bones resting atop the soil in shady areas can endure if they absorb mineral-rich water from just below the ground's surface."

- Learning from the Present: Science News Online

Besides circumstances that are only catastrophic at any scale to the organism itself (getting stuck in tar pits/ entombed by amber / sinking to anerobic bottom of a body of water / etc., most of the ways things get fossilized are only catastrophic if you're pretty small - bones washing into rivers, local flooding, etc. - although you do get things buried by volcanic ash and such rarely. Some aren't even that - for example, for most of the things that die underwater. Things get buried, that's what they do - anybody who's had a garden on a site that's been occupied for more than a few years knows that you sometimes dig up stuff from years past, from bits of broken plates to marbles, in the case of our old house. Archaeology is based on that fact, for example, and you tend to find not just human remains and trash, but all sorts of animal bones. Bones sitting in some upland site roasting under the sun and being gnawed on don't have much of a chance, but as long as remains can just survive long enough, they're in the running. Like contestants on a reality show, most of them won't make it, and even more will be melted or end up completely unreachable (ok, most reality show folks won't get melted - meltdowns are more likely - but y'know what I mean), but yes, animals (and plants) that die during normal times can leave fossils behind.

For really great preservation - soft parts and all, even! - you generally do need mini-catastrophes, like the little mudslides that entombed the Burgess Shale creatures. Heck, California has worse almost every year!

Do you agree that this is what science says, or are you going to make me find lots and lots of links?

But anyway, lots of creativity, Radar and Mrs. A. both!

One quibble:
" The Indians had a civilization in place when white men began to emigrate here. Everyone knows that Indians had houses and land like the Europeans did . . ."

Is pretty much true. Not exactly like the Europeans did, certainly, but depending where you went (just counting north of Mesoamerica), you had in many places (especially southwards) permanent or long-term settlements with cultivated fields and houses. Political organization had developed up to at least the complex chiefdoms ~level, and it's a matter of debate whether Cahokia represents a sort of mega-chiefdom or an actual state.

What's Cahokia? It was a city in what is now Illinois- the largest in pre-Columbian North America north of Mesoamerica - that covered at its peak perhaps 6 square miles with a population that may have peaked at ~20,000 people (or more, or less, estimates vary), larger than many post-Columbian U.S. cities until not all that long ago. It traded with, influenced, colonized, and possibly controlled an enormous region. Within the city were (originally - not all survive today) around 120 earthern mounds (both burial mounds and platforms for cermonial, political, etc. structures), including one about 100 feet tall, with a ~15 acre base, consisting of perhaps 22 million cubic feet of earth. It's so big that for years people simply assumed it was a natural feature rather than something manmade (and think of the labor, and degree of political organization, required to make something that big, basketful of earth by basketful of earth . . . (in several stages over about three centuries, granted). (See here, here, and here.

For whatever reason (not getting into that now), Cahokia declined and was eventually abandoned between the 13th and 15th centuries. As far as anyone's been able to tell, no memory, reference, or trace of this great city and the region it (may have) controlled exists in any myth or legend or piece of folklore ever recorded anywhere on the continent (It's possible some exist, but that they "suffer[ed] a sea-change/Into something rich and strange," to quote Shakey-poo, and cannot now be recognized. (I have a stubborn and basically evidence-free conviction that a certain complex of Southeastern/Plains legends does present a dim, mythologized, narrativized echo, but I'm almost certainly wrong.)

The best we've been able to do along these lines (using myths and legends, that is) has been to try to uncertainly reconstruct from recorded traditions the meaning of some Mississippian iconography (and that's just a gap of a few centuries), for example, what on earth a little ceramic figure of a woman hoeing the back of a giant feline-headed snake might have represented. The equivalent would be using records of, say, 19th century Christian stories to try to make sense of European paintings and sculptures from some hundreds of years earlier. (There's been some fascinating work along these lines, and one of the things I worked on back in college was trying to pin it down a bit, using what we can see in the archaeological record to make it all a bit more testable. Couldn't. Fun, though.)

It's really tragic, overall. When de Soto led his expedition/march/parade of pointless slaughter through the Southeast, he and his men (well, the one or two who were both literate and so inclined) recorded traveling through a densely settled region chockful of towns and temples, bound together by complex political alliances and relationships. In fact, as they caused more and more havoc, word spread until finally they were chased down the Mississippi and out into the Gulf by a kind of multinational coalition.

Next time Europeans showed up in any number in the region, though just a few decades later, they only found small, weaker villages (in fact, it was assumed that the men had lied or exaggerated, until archaeology proved otherwise). Disease had decimated - actually, often worse than killing one out of 10 - the region, weakened by de Soto's plundering and at the mercy of new European infections which Native immune systems had no defense against, spreading far faster than Europeans did. In most cases, the Native societies they encountered were survivors of devasting upheavals, of vast epidemics that wiped out whole settlements, shattering nations and cultures and leaving refugees to cluster together, and of the inevitable political turmoil that accompanies such destruction. The vast virgin forests of the East, teeming with game and allegedly all-but-unused by the 'savages' the ones that old books describe in terms of squirrels traveling long distances without touching the ground, were to some extent (it's a bit controversial) an anomaly, the result of greatly reduced population in the region for some generations prior to widespread European settlement.

But, you might say, this proves your point! Look how so much was forgotten, just like the dinosaurs! But not so fast. We know this because of archaeology and history. We can (amazingly, and depressingly) see de Soto's bloody expedition (1439-43, although he himseld died in '42) in mass graves, including individuals killed by swords, etc. To toss up some other examples, we can study Jamestown, or reconstruct Custer's Last Stand. (Sometimes archaeology is really astonishing.) Yet we don't find any trace of dinosaurs co-existing with people. All you guys have is a few questionable art objects floating around the wonderful world of pseudoscience. Nor can we find a lot of other things, which I'll pass over for the time being. How come?

Incidentally, A Canticle for Liebowitz is a very, very good book. Brilliant, really. Just the sense of history, as you skip from century to century, not to mention the whole moral, ethical, etc. bits . .

Not very cheerful, though.

-Dan S.

radar said...

"You have some highly varying standards of how you apply words like "evidence", "established", "proved" etc. All this stuff about dinosaurs living alongside man is appealing, sure, but so far doesn't rise much above grounds for speculation, on which a hypothesis could be constructed. I have seen similar levels of "evidence" used to support the theories of, say, Erich von Däniken or Graham Hancock or the guys who wrote 'Holy Blood Holy Grail'.

It's all very intriguing, and definitely a good bit of intellectual fun, but not "evidence" of anything. More research is definitely required in all these notions."


Certainly I avoid the shaky stuff so as to not fall down to Von Daniken levels...

No, what I have presented is not proof but simply corroborating evidence. I think more research should be required if people were actually curious and not close-minded.

(radar)"The primary reason so many people disagree is not on evidentiary grounds, but simply because it doesn't fit in with their beliefs!"

"That appears to me to be your sole objection to common descent."

Huh? I have presented all sorts of evidence and arguments against common descent and you say that? Aye-yay-yay!

Radar: "and things that die during normal times don't leave fossils behind. It requires a catastrophic (almost always involving water) event to leave fossil records."

"But that's not what paleontology says.

You are free to argue that fossilization does occur this way, but that's not what the science says."


You can find people to say what they will, but as far as the actual rock layers found in the world, they exhibit water catastophism and in these rocks are where fossils are found. Sure, something can lay around and get buried, but decomposition is a remarkably effective process.

Yeah, I loved Leibowitz when I read it as a teen, wonder what I would think reading it now?

Anonymous said...

Dan S. said

radar: "You can find people to say what they will, but as far as the actual rock layers found in the world, they exhibit water catastophism and in these rocks are where fossils are found."

Except the people saying "what they will" happen to be the geology and paleontology communities, the folks who've gone and gotten advanced degrees and spent years working on this very sort of subject.

Wait, that's just an appeal to authority, you say? Well, yes. But it's an appeal to legitimate authority. As wikipedia points out (look, it's three mouseclicks easier than really searching), "The second form, citing a person who actually is an authority in the relevant field, carries more weight in that the authority is more likely to be correct. However the possibility of mistake remains [something I've never denied]. . . . On the other hand, arguing that all astronomers believe that the planet Neptune exists - and therefore, that serves as evidence of the planet's existence - is a more compelling argument because astronomers are knowledgeable in the relevant field and are in a position to readily prove or disprove the existence of the planet (direct experience). However, it is still better to argue from evidence than from what astronomers believe."

I don't think either of us has the chops to really argue from the evidence on any meaningfully technical level, and trying to do so would be extremely time-consuming.

"Any argument should ideally be based solely on direct evidence and the argument itself, not on the authority of the messenger drawing the conclusion from the evidence. However, it is rarely possible in common discourse to provide all the direct evidence, so an "appeal to authority" is often used as a shortcut:"

Wikipedia gives a list of conditions for a legitimate argument from authority. My claim measures up - does yours?

Another list of ways to distinguish good vs.fallacious appeals to authority is here at the Nizkor Project site, which unfortunately has a very good reason to make logical fallacies as clear as possible.

"decomposition is a remarkably effective process. "

Luckily for us!

"Yeah, I loved Leibowitz when I read it as a teen, wonder what I would think reading it now?"
Hey, give it a try!
(He wrote another one, but I'm reluctant to read it, because I'm pretty sure it'll inevitably be a letdown . . .)

Y'know, kids growing up nowadays in the US just don't have the threat of nuclear annihilation hanging over them like we did (hopefully they're right!). Of course, they have the threat of terrorism instead, poor kids . . .
'When I was your age I had to walk nine miles to school, in the snow, barefoot. Uphill, too, both ways. And worry about Soviet nukes. Kids these days . . .'

-Dan S.

creeper said...

"Huh? I have presented all sorts of evidence and arguments against common descent and you say that? Aye-yay-yay!"

Evidence against common descent? Refresh my memory.