Equal opportunity creationism bashing

January 2, 2009 | By | 60 Replies More

The December 12, 2008 issue of Science Magazine (online only to subscribers) suggests that creationism is a growing movement in many Islamic countries.

The author, Salaman Hameed, writes that:

The Koranic narrative of creation includes a six day account of creation. The length of each day, however, is not clearly specified. One day has been defined as “a thousand years of what you count” (32:5) or as “a day the measure of which is 50,000 years” (70:4). The resulting ambiguity leaves open the possibility of a very old earth. Indeed, young-Earth creationism is wholly absent in the Muslim world, and the universe billions of years old is commonly accepted. On biological evolution, Islamic scholars and popular writers hold a wide range of opinions that represent a broad spectrum of culture and politics, from secular Turkey to the conservative monarchy of Saudi Arabia and the Muslim diasperas in Europe and in the United States.

Contrary to the scholars and Islamic communities, more than half of the lay population of five of the six listed Islamic countries studied considered that evolution by natural selection “could not possibly be true.” Those anti-evolution countries include Turkey, Indonesia, Pakistan, Malaysia and Egypt. For instance, only 8% of Egyptians give credence to evolution by natural selection. In the sixth listed country, Kazakhstan, evolution well accepted.  A recent survey of 25 Muslim university students from Turkey and Morocco indicated that most of them rejected “macroevolution” and tied it to both atheism and to the impossibility that random mutations could lead to complex species.

This widespread rejection of evolution in many Muslim countries gives rise to a potential solution to the problem of creationism here in the United States.  I suspect that most of our American creationists are highly suspicious, if not hateful, of Muslims. I thus think that our American creationists might go a long way toward rejecting the attitudes and beliefs of Muslims–they will tend to want to do the opposite of what the Muslims are doing. Therefore, let’s start a campaign to put up lots of billboards along the highways prominently indicating that most Muslims reject evolution by natural selection. Let’s see, then, if these billboards have the effect of causing American creationists to those rethink their position so that they “aren’t like Muslims.”  If the campaign is wildly successful, we might even see fundamentalists holding Darwin Appreciation Days at their churches.

P.S.  This post is for all of you American creationists who insist that I pick on you because you are Christians. Not true.  See? I’m picking on the Muslim creationists too.

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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 (60)

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  1. Karl writes:—"I should have stated that catastrophies push the limits of what our common everday experiences tell us about the workings of natrual laws.

    Well, I'll go with that, certainly. It's just a question of what we know that allows us to place events in context. Broaden the context, of course, and anything that can happen becomes normal.

  2. Vicki Baker says:

    Karl asks "does this answer the question?"

    Yes, it does. You agree that there is no way to "count forward" from a date recorded in the Egyptian calendar system and get to "Tuesday" while at the same time "disregarding calendar changes." To even attempt this kind of calculation, you'd have to compare records from different calendar systems, which means taking into account all the various adjustments and fudges used to make the calendars match up with the actual earth year.

    I did not bring a "scientific mindset" to the issue of what happened on the day of Joshua's battle. You did.

    You made a specific, verifiable claim that using concrete, quantitative methodology- i.e. examining actual, physical, written records and arithmetic – one could prove that a day is missing from history. Furthermore, you asserted that this calculation had been done and "verified by astronomers."

    To review, this is the claim that you made:

    This is data verified by astronomers researching this event from recorded solstisis (sic) observations.

    If we disregard calendar changes and deal only with a chronology based upon solar motion, and go back to the earliest available records, and trace the calendar through to the time of Joshua, the day of Joshua’s battle was on a Tuesday, whereas if we compute backwards to the time of Joshua from the present day, the day of the battle would have been on a Wednesday. The day of the month is the same, but it is a different day of the week.

    You included a link to a website as a source for this assertion. This website cites a book written in 1890 by a non-astronomer named Charles Totten. Totten never made his calculations public, so they could not have been "verified by astronomers". Also, Totten's calculations for the missing day rely on his assertion that Creation occurred on September 22. 4000 BC.

    You can read how the Totten story influenced later Christian apologists, and why even Biblical literalists now reject it, here:

    http://www.reasons.org/resources/apologetics/josh

    What all this tells me, Karl, is that so far from being a faithful believer in the Bible, you are so desparate for scientific "proof" of scripture that you will grasp at any pseudo-scientific straw. You then regurgitate this material unreflectively, clogging up the comments section with great swathes of valueless verbiage.

    This exercise is a complete waste of time, therefore I'm not going to engage in it any more.

  3. Karl says:

    Erich,

    I recall I gave you something like what you asked for several months ago, I didn't however put forth the best foot that science has to offer. There are reasonable thoughts (even as Jefferson would say) concerning the rule of natural law over the mis-interpreted recorded matters of history.

    I believe you have good reasons to believe what you do concerning the natural world. If never said you don't have good inductive science skills. I only believe you have found it all too convientient to discount recorded historical data which leaves you open to interpret others parts of the historical record as you chose.

    I can give you the other side of the story, even though you think I couldn't possibly understand it. I chose to not believe it, does that have to mean I don't understand it properly?

  4. Vicki Baker says:

    Hahahahhahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahah!

    The merriment engendered by Karl's

    comment at January 10th, 2009 at 2:48 pm which cross-posted with my comment above, almost makes the time I've wasted on this worthwhile.

    To review:

    on January 7th, 2009 at 1:10 pm Karl copied 'n' pasted the folllowing:

    If we disregard calendar changes and deal only with a chronology based upon solar motion, and go back to the earliest available records, and trace the calendar through to the time of Joshua, the day of Joshua’s battle was on a Tuesday, whereas if we compute backwards to the time of Joshua from the present day, the day of the battle would have been on a Wednesday. The day of the month is the same, but it is a different day of the week.

    In response, I asked the following question:

    I really want to know how we can “disregard all calendar changes” and count forward from the “first solstice recorded in ancient Egyptian records” and arrive at “Tuesday”.

    Karl spent a day or two preparing a wad of verbiage in answer to this, which he spat out on January 10th, 2009 at 10:34 am.

    In between his post and my typing and posting my response at 3:16 pm Jan 10, Karl did another google expedition, in which he encountered verbatim the same quote I had originally queried, but it is as if he is seeing it for the first time, so he puts it forward as a "new method" for calculating a lost day.

    Here's the quote he posted on Jan 10 at 2:48 p.m. :

    If we disregard calendar changes and deal only with a chronology based upon solar motion, and go back to the earliest available records, and trace the calendar through to the time of Joshua, the day of Joshua’s battle was on a Tuesday, whereas if we compute backwards to the time of Joshua from the present day, the day of the battle would have been on a Wednesday.

    This is just too, too funny for words. It illustrates brilliantly the utter folly of attempting to have a rational conversation with Karl.

    Again here's the link for why even creationists have thrown this particular chestnut on the compost heap:

    http://www.reasons.org/resources/apologetics/josh

  5. Karl says:

    Vicki,

    I must say for someone who says she's through commenting you don't show much self restraint. Even though you thought my repost of a quote was showing that I can only find other's information and use that to form my own posts. I considered that Post at first and though, how could the calendar changes been ignored from a scientific perspective.

    They can't be ignored from an historians perspective, but errors between recorded days and actual fractions of days can be minimized by the a technique that just looked at annual days between the solstices.

    Let me explain what you seemed to miss while reading what others have stated about the matter.

    It should be possible to simply piece together year after year the days between the summer and winter solstices without any discussions of required corrections. This is of course assuming that the year of 365.25 days has been invariant for the thousands of years man has kept these records. Sounds reasonable for a naturalist's perspective.

    This should, if the extrapolation holds (we have no reason to believe that it shouldn't hold) give us a clear way to really see when and how the ancients finally arrived at their abilities to tweak their calendars, and also to see when and how they should have expected a certain number of days needed for fudge factors.

    There are written records in the scientific literature (astronomical data) that indicate there was an unexplainable loss of nearly a day. Laugh all you want, because you can explain it as errors that appear across cultures and as a conspiracy planted in their miscalcualtions by the calendar makers.

  6. grumpypilgrim says:

    Karl wrote, "There is a God who created mankind for a purpose. Included in this purpose was an inherent free will in man and a necessity to learn how to chose right from wrong."

    I'm just starting to read the long commentary in this post and the first thing I noticed is the above claim of Karl's. Here's my question: Doesn't it seem the least bit absurd for a god to have created mankind for "a purpose" and then to include in that "purpose" am trait inherent in mankind that would effectively eviscerate whatever that god wanted? Seems to me if a god created mankind for "a purpose," then any god worth his godhood would see to it that his "purpose" would be fulfilled.

  7. Karl says:

    Grumpy stated:

    Seems to me if a god created mankind for “a purpose,” then any god worth his godhood would see to it that his “purpose” would be fulfilled.

    Freewill and predestination are nasty concepts for the human mind to wrestle with.

    If you were somehow given the abiltity to have an opportunity to create "a clone or a new intelligent life form," and you wanted to see if it measured up to your expectations? You have it within your ability to decide when and if this creation meets your desired expectations. When would you decide when the creation measured up or not? How long would the creation need no easily detectable direct intervention from you to know if it was going to turn out according to your expectations?

  8. Karl says:

    Everyone really so certain the earth's not been subject to a world wide flood in the recorded history of mankind?

    Something has snaked its way through our solarsytem in the past that has been very inhospitable, looks like something has been found our there that might be responsible for all of this catastrophism.

    A brown drawf star with seven planets of it own is reaching perihelion with our solarsystem during the next four years. Could be getting a bit catastrophic around our neck of the woods once again.



  9. Erich Vieth says:

    Special Notice to Karl: You are shamefully naive about "Nibiru." See here. It's all a hoax and you don't seem to give a crap. You'd rather spread hoaxes than do responsible research.

    (Anticipating your objection), NASA's David Morrison is more trustworthy than your anonymous video. You might not think this fair, but Morrison, a highly trained and experienced scientist has put his name and conclusions into the public domain and defended them over a lifetime. The anonymous person(s) who created your Youtube video has no credibility, especially in light of the End Times eschatology espoused in the notes at YouTube.

    You have earned the very short leash I am putting you on, effective immediately. You have been working hard to clutter up this website with junk science, junk videos and junk links. You've outworn your welcome. From now on, your comments will be deleted, in their entirely, unless they are undeniably compliant with the Comments Policy of DI. Based on your track record, you have earned the burden of convincing me of each comment's worthiness. To have any chance of being published here, your future comments will need to be short (a few sentences only), and your cited sources will need to have an immediate smell of credibility. This site is no longer a place for you to pull up your cyber-chair and hold court.

    Out of courtesy, I will offer you this: If you have a website of your own where you talk at length about your theory of the universe and the meaning of life, I will print it at in these comments. That way, anyone who wants to hear more of your ideas will be free to do so.

  10. Anyone who would post that Niburu video doesn't really belong at DI. I have suspected for some time that Karl is trolling us and this confirms it as far as I'm concerned. Anyone who thinks that a video of this sort would convince THIS crowd is either startlingly naive or simply putting us on.

    An aside…

    Why is it that all conspiracy/armageddon videos share certain characteristics, the most obvious being an overuse of declamatory text? This one is particularly bad because of the effect chosen to present the text. Boy, that is hard to read, and for those of us who read a little faster than normal, annoyingly slow!

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