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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Why I almost quit doing this....

You know, I did quit blogging regularly for awhile and nearly quit altogether. It happens that a real-life situation caused us a great deal of grief and trouble. The old saying that "no good deed goes unpunished" applies. I think we would still do it over again because the cause was just and the need was great. I found myself stretched way too far for awhile, though.

I do get discouraged when I get comments back that indicate that the reader really didn't pay attention to the posts or else refuses to acknowledge them. Let's look at a response like that, from a commenter I enjoy hearing from but who seems stuck somehow:

I was beginning to think you were stuck under something heavy.

Yep, I was. Out now, though.

"I really don't remember what particular point we were stuck on in the Creation debate now. Perhaps commenters will remind me?"

Yeah, I asked for it, didn't I?

If by this you mean the number of points you've abandoned when you could no longer support your stance, the list is really quite long and it would take too much out of my day to compile them all. Your blog does have a good archiving feature in the left sidebar, where you can find all these.

Aha, I am charged with crimes! Let's examine some of them:

For the moment, here is a brief rundown of recent open questions:

1. You recently used evidence of ice cores going back something like 800,000 years and tree rings going back over 10,000 years in order to back up a certain position on global warming that would be insupportable given only the written records of the last two centuries that are available to us.


Not true. I used arguments about data from the last approximately 4500 years to make those points.

When I drew your attention to the fact that this was incompatible with your YEC beliefs, you pretended to misunderstand the problem for a while, but then endeavored to show how ice cores and tree rings actually indicate a young Earth.

So you posted an opening argument that did not show such a thing about ice cores. The "opening argument" was not followed by any subsequent argument.


It is you that has misunderstood. I didn't use data from beyond about 4500 years, as I have stated and shown several times. But go ahead and revisit the "opening argument" and you will see that the article was a firm statement that refutes the idea that ice cores "prove" an old age. I didn't follow up on the opening argument because 1) no one gave any evidence in response other than "is not!" and, 2) I was going to go on about tree rings once that happened. But it hasn't happened.

Are you going to finish this argument, or are you content to admit that ice cores and tree rings indicate a world older than 6,000 years?

I posted a nice, long post that blows holes in any 800,000 year conclusions and I will be content to say that ice cores can be shown to reflect a world that is 6,000 years old based on the evidence. No one has countered my post yet.

2. Your larger argument about global warming - that it doesn't matter because there have been climate cycles in the past (a position that by itself you cannot support with the amount of scientific evidence that your worldview requires you to ignore or refute) – doesn't add up, because it does not logically mean that these cycles will continue indefinitely into the future, certainly not if any factors affecting the climate change. It is like saying that a Tsunami could never happen because we see the tide go in and out every day.

Please....I used evidences from the last 4500 years and those evidences are pretty convincing. It is like saying that if the have gone in and out for the last 4500 years, then if the tide is in right now it will soon go out again....because the evidence indicates that it always does. Just as the evidence indicates that warming is followed by cooling is followed by warming is followed by cooling...


3. The folks at ICR debunked the argument you posted about the speed of light changing. I posted both an excerpt from and a link to their argument.

I posted links as well. "Debunked" is a strong word, since those who suspect a change in the speed of light are in the process of researching this. I said that the speed of light does change, demonstrably, in differing conditions and that it may have decayed from the time of Creation. I really cannot say whether anyone has come close to proving this, or that it is actually true and neither can you.


Do you think the ICR is part of a secular conspiracy?

No, I believe they are very conservative and won't consider this a topic of discussion without further data being presented that makes it more of a possibility.

Do you still maintain that the speed of light is changing, and if so, on what basis?

I merely presented it as a possibility to be considered. There is another good possibility that the Earth was created on the cusp of a relativistic event horizon associated with a White Hole. I will post on this particular matter soon. I am just saying, there are several ideas that are more plausible than, gee, there was this big bang and something came out of nothing....


There's probably more that are also recent, and a whole slew from last year, but this should serve for now to continue the conversation.

About the content of this particular post:

1. "I speak like I belong to God, act like it, vote like it, think like it."

Is it considered a Christian virtue to continue to spread fallacies even after they are pointed out to you?


Well, what fallacies? I've refuted your charges above and seem to be fallacy-free at the moment.

2. "They often talk a good game, yet they live by a hodge-podge of both humanistic and Christian rules."

There is significant overlap between how a good Christian and a good humanist conduct their lives (indeed, there are both Christian and secular humanists). Unfortunately, you don't seem to know what 'humanism' is and you leap to some rash conclusions because of it. It would be very helpful if you could read up on the subject, of course with the proper degree of tolerance that one would expect from an observing Christian.


I've "read up" as you would say on the subject of Humanism. The modern Humanist draws from the Renaissance and the Darwin-Nietzsche schools of thought. I have no doubt whatever that there are many Humanists who are "good people" as men judge goodness. A Humanist doesn't have to be a detriment to his community and in fact may be a great asset to it! He is, however, certainly a great danger to himself, for if he successfully deludes himself into believing his own philosophy he will be subject to harsh judgement by his Maker later on. All Humanists believe that it is mankind that is responsible for its own salvation and moral standards and so on...it is man-centric rather than God-centric.

The Christian point of view is to say that no one is good enough to meet the standard of "good" and that right and wrong are absolutes determined by the Creator of us all. A Christian must acknowledge his inability to be his own salvation and submit to God by admittance and repentance. If we humble ourselves before God and accept salvation through Christ, we are then changed and are better able to live Godly lives because of the Spirit of God that then lives within us. Being human, we will still fail at times. But a Christian acknowledges his Maker, the rules of his Maker and seeks to please his Maker while he lives on this earth.

My posts on the EAE have been meant to highlight the fringe, the absurd and the remarkably evil in order to point out that the basis for Humanist thought comes from the desire to eliminate God from all consideration. I have also reasonably pointed out that, whereas a sociopath may be a menace to society, he is in perfect harmony with a pure atheistic and evolutionist viewpoint, for he sees no intrinsic value in others and acknowledges no absolute standards of right and wrong. In fact, the EAE can argue that there is no such thing as right and wrong.

I almost quit blogging because I was tired and unsure if it did even one bit of good. But I am refreshed and ready to continue on! I will keep shouting from ethernet rooftops!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Radar,

very sorry to hear about your troubles, and I hope everything is okay now.

"I used arguments about data from the last approximately 4500 years to make those points."

Exactly. And what is that data from the last approximately 4500 years based on? This is one of the questions you've been consistently avoiding over the last few months.

If you do indeed want to claim that ice cores and tree rings are unreliable methods of dating, then you also do not have data going back even as far as 4500 years at your disposal. Instead, all you have is actual recorded temperature data, which only goes back a couple of centuries. Mainstream scientists can use this kind of data, but YECs – faced with the options of denouncing ice cores and tree rings as not being a source of reliable data or having to concede an old Earth – cannot.

"Please....I used evidences from the last 4500 years and those evidences are pretty convincing."

They're convincing if you take on board the reliability of tree rings and ice cores. Otherwise, you cannot use them as convincing evidence.

”I posted a nice, long post that blows holes in any 800,000 year conclusions and I will be content to say that ice cores can be shown to reflect a world that is 6,000 years old based on the evidence. No one has countered my post yet.”

I pointed out that it didn’t come close to reflecting a 6,000-year-old world at all. It merely attempts to cast doubt on some of the methods used by some scientists. If you read up on how the ages of ice cores were determined and confirmed, you’ll see that the article falls far short of debunking the reliability of ice cores.

”I didn't follow up on the opening argument because 1) no one gave any evidence in response other than "is not!" and, 2) I was going to go on about tree rings once that happened. But it hasn't happened.”

Well that’s a pretty strange way of chickening out of presenting your case, and it sure didn’t look at the time that you were making your full case contingent on how people would respond to the opening argument. (On the contrary, in the following post, in the very same paragraph in which you struck a boastful pose because nobody had yet responded to the “opening argument”, you said quite clearly: “Tree rings will be discussed in short order as well.”) I’m beginning to suspect you’ve come to the realization that the whole thing just doesn’t add up with your other beliefs.

"It is like saying that if the (tides) have gone in and out for the last 4500 years, then if the tide is in right now it will soon go out again....because the evidence indicates that it always does. Just as the evidence indicates that warming is followed by cooling is followed by warming is followed by cooling..."

This is wrong for the exact reason that I indicated in my previous comment:

a. the tide goes in and out every day.
b. we can therefore predict that the tide will continue to go in and out every day, in predictable patterns.

So far, so good. But can we predict that this pattern will never change, based on this logic?

No. We can't. If this were the case, there would be no tsunamis - ever.

And as we know, there ARE tsunamis. So:

c. if we have evidence of, say, underground volcanic activity nearby followed by unusual water movements (here used analogously for changes in environmental conditions), then it certainly is possible for the pattern to change - because the underlying conditions are different.

2. ”"Debunked" is a strong word, since those who suspect a change in the speed of light are in the process of researching this”.

??? So what if they’re researching this? The point was that that particular argument was a non-starter and was very thoroughly debunked. By fellow creationists no less.

”I said that the speed of light does change, demonstrably, in differing conditions”

That in itself doesn’t indicate anything about the speed of light changing over time.

”and that it may have decayed from the time of Creation. “

“May” being the operative word here. As usual you have to start with the outcome (a literal reading of the bible) and try to fit some kind of pseudoscience around it instead of looking at the evidence and letting the dice fall where they may, even if that does mean that the Earth may be older than 6,000 years.

”Well, what fallacies? I've refuted your charges above and seem to be fallacy-free at the moment.”

Hardly. You still have that whopper of a cognitive dissonance of thinking ice cores and tree rings are completely reliable in one context (climate patterns) and just the opposite in another context (a young Earth).

”He is, however, certainly a great danger to himself, for if he successfully deludes himself into believing his own philosophy he will be subject to harsh judgement by his Maker later on.”

What if you have it wrong and, say, the Muslims have it right and you’d be subjected to whatever happens to “infidels” in Islam after you die? Wouldn’t that mean you’re being a great danger to yourself?


I'll be traveling for the next few days, and I'll get back to your speculative caricature of the "EAE" then.

radar said...

Sorry, but I have to stick by my guns. No one has debunked the light speed decay idea yet, it is being researched and remains a possibility.

Ice cores and tree rings do not belong to evolutionists! Creationists take the same data and view it in a different way and I did demonstrate that it is being done in a scientific manner rather than just wishin' and hopin'. Furthermore, we have plenty of historical records that tell us about the weather going back through multiple centuries. Maybe we don't have recorded temperatures, but grapes growing in England and Greenland being green are evidences nonetheless.

So there is no dissonance here. I call upon you to move on to evidences rather than falling back to the same old arguments.

Also, while it is true that tsunamis may come, they have been observed to come. In the ebb and flow of global warming and cooling the only evidences we have in the last few centuries is that it is cyclical. Yes, there were "ice ages" but that is well explained by the Flood model in which ice is formed in the immediate post-flood word by first the major temperature changes and second the extreme heavy snowfalls that were recorded at that time (and now we see evidences that much of that glaciation was caused by tremendous snowfalls rather than long years of extreme cold.

*Sigh* I can post more information and I suppose you will ignore it and claim dissonance or something but I will do it anyway. But I will start with some lightspeed and starlight posts.

Anonymous said...

"I call upon you to move on to evidences rather than falling back to the same old arguments."

They're "old" arguments because you consistently avoid them and they therefore need to be repeated to you until you provide an answer that is consistent with your beliefs or acknowledge that you don't have such an answer. And no, that doesn't mean that you gave "answers I didn't like" - you simply avoid answering these questions. I suspect that is because you fail to grasp their significance as it pertains to your line of reasoning. "Moving on to evidences" indeed; you have yet to provide any evidence that is consistent with your beliefs.

Ice cores and tree rings don't belong to evolutionists, indeed, and I never made such a claim. Old Earth Creationists can make use of them to support an argument, as can anyone who doesn't explicitly deny their validity. YECs, however, claim that they are not valid, even to the point of claiming that they support a 6,000 year period, which means they can't use conclusions based on ice core dating without simultaneously abdicating their pretensions of a young Earth.

To present convincing arguments related to dating, YECs would have to find a scenario that unites the different dating methods in a way that is actually consistent with a young Earth. As far as I know, YECs have pointed out some potential problems with this or that detail, but have not come even remotely close to finding a consistent explanation of the scientific data that indicates a total age of the Earth of 6,000 years.

The problem that you consistently fail to grasp is this: if you want to claim that, say, tree ring data that according to mainstream science go back 12,000 years actually go back only 6,000 years, then you cannot use the mainstream interpretation of an event that lay, say, 1,000 years in the past - instead you'd have to conclude that that event lay 500 years in the past.

Worse, if you want to claim that ice core data that according to mainstream data goes back 800,000 years in your view only goes back 6,000 years, then you'd have to conclude that an event that according to mainstream interpretations of ice core data took place 1,000 years ago took place a mere 7.5 years ago. Not only that, but you'd be able to demonstrate today that 133 ice core layers are deposited every year.

And if you were to "stick to your guns", you'd be able to demonstrate how these dating methods "sync up", based on key events that would appear both in ice cores and tree rings for the period in which they overlap (which according to mainstream science ends with the beginning of tree rings, but according to YEC covers all of history, i.e. the past 6,000 years).

And of course the same applies to other methods of dating (radiometric etc.).

"No one has debunked the light speed decay idea yet, it is being researched and remains a possibility."

I look forward to the results of the research; the notion that existing records of measurements of the speed of light indicate that it has changed has, however, been thoroughly debunked - by creationists.

"Maybe we don't have recorded temperatures, but grapes growing in England and Greenland being green are evidences nonetheless."

And what dating methods are used to determine the age of those grapes and that vegetation? Anything that is remotely consistent with a young Earth? If you accept that, say, radiometric dating indicates the age of something to be 1,000 years, would you still accept it if it indicates the age of something to be 10,000 years? If not, then you can't accept the dating of 1,000 years either, as the entire method, according to you, is questionable.

Also, do the dating of such grapes/vegetation sync up with the "800,000 years of ice cores squished into 6,000 years" scenario?

"I can post more information and I suppose you will ignore it and claim dissonance or something but I will do it anyway."

I will not ignore it, and I would appreciate it if you would stop ignoring the questions I pose when they make you uncomfortable. I don't know how many times I have asked you what the data over the past 4,500 years was based on, and you have consistently avoided this question. Even now you are only slowly inching towards it.

As for your cognitive dissonance, your approach to this global warming argument in tandem with your insistence on YEC rejection of mainstream dating methods is a perfect example of it; it's hardly a hollow accusation.

-- creeper