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Oldest Rock 4.4 Billion Years Old Found in Australia

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A zircon discovered in the Jack Hills range in Australia has been dated to 4.375 billion years ago, give or take six million years (or 6,000 years ago if you believe the creationists), the oldest object discovered on earth. Here's the fascinating article in Huffington Post.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/24/earth-oldest-rock-crystal-study_n_4846410.html

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The creationists have no explanation on how scientists have drilled down into the polar icecaps and determined that millions and millions of years went by in order to create that many layers of rock. It's insane for anybody to insist that the Earth is only 6000 years old in light of the massive evidence against it.

I continue to insist, "just because the Earth is 4 billion+ years old doesn't mean God didn't create it." I think there's some common ground the creationists and the scientists should examine, because one doesn't necessarily have to exclude the other.

I also say the numbers in the Bible are totally suspect anyway, since it's gone through at least 2000 years of translation to various different languages. A lot gets lost along the way.

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I also say the numbers in the Bible are totally suspect anyway, since it's gone through at least 2000 years of translation to various different languages. A lot gets lost along the way.

If you can access the BBC IPlayer have a look at The Bible Hunters. It is interesting they set out to prove that the Bible was the undisputed unalterable word of God and ended up showing that it was something that had been changed and added to and had parts deleted over time.

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It's not these people's belief in God I find astounding. It's their belief in the Bible as the word of God that has me shaking my head. Why would they believe that so adamantly? Especially the crazy parts, and the parts that contradict itself. There are long lists of those.

I think these people want to believe there is something like that, an uncontested truth, and so they do. They find it comforting. They need an absolute truth, and have chosen that as their touchstone. They don't want anyone telling them the Bible isn't their absolute truth, and will fight against those so proclaiming simply because they need that in their lives.

There's no point in arguing with them or showing them the error of their ways. They hold to their belief and will not budge an inch or even consider any arguments against them. I wonder what it would be like to believe in anything that strongly.

C

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It has been pointed out by a number of different people that if Jesus came back to Earth today and preached what he preached the fundamentalist Christians would almost certainly be the ones throwing him to whatever wild beasts they had available.

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I continue to insist, "just because the Earth is 4 billion+ years old doesn't mean God didn't create it." I think there's some common ground the creationists and the scientists should examine, because one doesn't necessarily have to exclude the other.

Back when I was a teenager and went to Sunday School, I was told to look at Genesis chapter 1 and read "day" as "period of time of unknown length". If you do, the order of creation listed pretty much agrees with current scientific theory.

1, The universe was created/came into existence

2. "Let there be light" -- the Sun formed and started emitting energy through nuclear fusion

3. The Earth formed, with seas and land (the order here isn't quite perfect -- the Bible has the water first, then the land, when the order is almost certainly the other way around)

4. Plants formed

5. The Sun and Moon appeared. This one is questionable, but the early Earth probably did have a large cloud covering, in which case this is the breaking of the clouds.

6. Animals appeared. That is, it was plants first, then animals.

7. Mankind appeared.

Not perfect, but generally in agreement with modern scientific theory. Not bad for something that was written a few thousand years ago.

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Guest Dabeagle

Back when I was a teenager and went to Sunday School, I was told to look at Genesis chapter 1 and read "day" as "period of time of unknown length". If you do, the order of creation listed pretty much agrees with current scientific theory.

1, The universe was created/came into existence

2. "Let there be light" -- the Sun formed and started emitting energy through nuclear fusion

3. The Earth formed, with seas and land (the order here isn't quite perfect -- the Bible has the water first, then the land, when the order is almost certainly the other way around)

4. Plants formed

5. The Sun and Moon appeared. This one is questionable, but the early Earth probably did have a large cloud covering, in which case this is the breaking of the clouds.

6. Animals appeared. That is, it was plants first, then animals.

7. Mankind appeared.

Not perfect, but generally in agreement with modern scientific theory. Not bad for something that was written a few thousand years ago.

I'd say that shows the bible can be bent any which way to make it make sense for ones own purposes.

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Possibly, but it's still interesting. It may be a coincidence (throw out enough items, some will be correct), but given that the current theory on how the solar system was formed is a lot newer than what's in Genesis chapter 1, I think it's intriguing.

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I think these people want to believe there is something like that, an uncontested truth, and so they do. They find it comforting. They need an absolute truth, and have chosen that as their touchstone. They don't want anyone telling them the Bible isn't their absolute truth, and will fight against those so proclaiming simply because they need that in their lives. There's no point in arguing with them or showing them the error of their ways. They hold to their belief and will not budge an inch or even consider any arguments against them. I wonder what it would be like to believe in anything that strongly.

There's a great line in a current debate between a creationist and a scientist, where the moderator asks, "what would cause you to change your beliefs?" The creationist answers, "nothing," while the scientist answers, "evidence."

You tell me which is the more logical answer. Who the hell can cling to believing the English translation of the Bible as being 100% accurate? To me, it's a bunch of moral fables tied together to give people some guidelines on how to live their lives. What idiots would believe it wholas bolas? It's total insanity.

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Yes, guidelines on how to live their lives colored by opinions of the times. The times in the Old Testament allowed the things it preached, like stonings and slavery. They would never write it that way today because our sentiments on what is moral and what isn't have changed.

That's one reason I get such a kick out of religious people pontificating: if we didn't have religion, where would our morals come from?

C

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That's one reason I get such a kick out of religious people pontificating: if we didn't have religion, where would our morals come from?

That's why they hate the idea of Secular Humanism: just living your life as best you can, adhering to basic human decency, obeying the law, being kind to other people, being honest, and yet not observing any religion at all. Rightwing fundamentalists hate the idea that maybe it's possible for people to live a life that's decent and reasonable, yet completely ignore religion. To me, Secular Humanism makes total sense, and (as flawed as I am) I've tried to stick with that for most of my life, even before I knew what this philosophy was called.

I'm a little bit religious, but only in the most distant way. As I think you and I have discussed before, the one religious belief I lean towards is that of being a Deist: that there is a god, but only a god who created the universe and then walked away, basically waiting to see what would happen, and that almost all organized religions are completely screwed up. I think all of life is simply a grand experiment, like a scientist throwing a bunch of random chemicals together in a giant test-tube to see what would happen. I do think there are real miracles in life, and I also look at stuff like the design of the human body, or the way a tree grows, or the similarities between animals, and I can't help but think there's some intelligent design going on. But I also lean towards the 2001 idea (echoed in Prometheus) that maybe some aliens came along and gave us a kick in the ass that really started things going; it wasn't all random, and it wasn't all god. I think we had a few different cooks in the oven.

But the fundies just make me puke. 6000 years? Don't make me laugh.

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6000 years? Don't make me laugh.

For real.

In this office is a lump of uranium ore. If you do the math (half-life dating) it puts it at 3.3 billion years.

The trilobite fossil dates from the late Cambrian (500 Myrs) to the late Permian (250 Myrs).

This fellow last swam in the Eocene Era 56-33.5 million years ago.

fossile-fish_zps0b060047.jpg

To swallow Fundamentalism, you've got to ditch all of science and embrace a shit-ton of ignorance.

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Unfortunately, as I have found to my cost, the argument based on being able to show by scientific process that a piece of rock is over n billion years old does not work with them. The answer you get is "God made it that way as a test of our faith, so it is not evidence of the age of the earth." There are some arguments that you just can't win. That though does not mean that we should give up trying.

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Between 1830-33 Charles Lyell published Principles of Geology in three volumes. It turned out to be the birth of geology as a science and began to explain the time scale of geological processes.

It turned out to be one of the most influential books of the 19th century. Darwin read it which gave scope to evolutionary processes that he proposed.


Lyell asked Robert Fitzroy, captain of HMS Beagle, to search for erratic boulders on the survey voyage of the Beagle, and just before it set out FitzRoy gave Darwin Volume 1 of the first edition of Lyell's Principles. When the Beagle made its first stop ashore at St. Jago, Darwin found rock formations which seen "through Lyell's eyes" gave him a revolutionary insight into the geological history of the island, an insight he applied throughout his travels.

These aren't exactly new ideas. Lyell and Darwin's work is now closing in on being 200 years old and we're seeing the same irrational arguments.

WTF

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