Young rocks disguised as old rocks.

April 8, 2006 | By | 2 Replies More

Young rocks impersonating old rocks. My favorite program was the hike to the base of the falls. Layers of rock are like chapters in a history book and this canyon, carved so deeply, told an ancient story. Standing at the bottom, calling out over the roar of the falls, I got to teach the exciting conclusion, “The layers of slate and shale beneath our feet tell us that 300 million years ago, this deciduous forest was a tropical jungle.”

“What book d’ya get that out of?” came the reply one day. And thus it began, for this waterfall was not only located in ancient rock, it was also in the heart of the Bible-belt. I had heard there were people who believed the Earth was only 6,000 years old, but I never thought I would actually meet any. That summer, and every other summer I worked teaching science to the public, I met a lot of them. Though most objectors would just walk away from the program, some mothers would cover their children’s ears to protect them from the “blasphemous park ranger.” One man, after I patiently explained how we know the age of rocks, finally just threw up his hands, exclaimed, “The Devil made that rock look that old to turn you away from God,” and led his family back up the trail.

Why do beliefs like this matter? Why not just shrug and say that it doesn’t matter? There are important reasons.

The article from which this excerpt was taken was written by Lauren Becker, a science interpreter who has taught at museums and parks around the country.

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Category: Evolution, Science

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (2)

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  1. Dan Klarmann says:

    Nice point Erich.I always like asking (and have elsewhere on this site) why God left us one clue in one place about the youth of the Earth (the Old Testament Bible from the Middle East) and the Devil left billions of interlocking and overlapping clues throughout the Earth, space, and time about its immense age. As deep as we can drill or dive, as high as we can fly, as far away as we can peer, every bit of evidence seems to agree on about the same age to within the (known) limits of the accuracy of our observations.

    Which one is the more powerful creator of evidence? Or, who is the more insecure about what man may discover by pursuing knowledge?

  2. Ben says:

    Bible science for dummies:


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