Wednesday, February 15, 2006

United States of Amnesia, Pt. 2: Their Own Version of the Big Bang

(Courtesy of Brainwise)

Their Own Version of a Big Bang
By Stephanie Simon,
Los Angeles Times

WAYNE, N.J. — Evangelist Ken Ham smiled at the 2,300 elementary students packed into pews, their faces rapt. With dinosaur puppets and silly cartoons, he was training them to reject much of geology, paleontology and evolutionary biology as a sinister tangle of lies.

"Boys and girls," Ham said. If a teacher so much as mentions evolution, or the Big Bang, or an era when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, "you put your hand up and you say, 'Excuse me, were you there?' Can you remember that?"

The children roared their assent.

"Sometimes people will answer, 'No, but you weren't there either,' " Ham told them. "Then you say, 'No, I wasn't, but I know someone who was, and I have his book about the history of the world.' " He waved his Bible in the air.

"Who's the only one who's always been there?" Ham asked.

"God!" the boys and girls shouted.

"Who's the only one who knows everything?"


"So who should you always trust, God or the scientists?"

The children answered with a thundering: "God!"

Check Out the Entire Article and Brainwise's Comments Here


Anonymous said...

that. is really fucked up.

that's all i can say about that.

Anonymous said...

I am believer of creation and I have a couple comments about the article Their Own Version of a Big Bang by Stephanie Simon. First of all I am not a bigot or narrow minded as some people like to label creationist. I do not fear science such as to believe that it is anti Christian. No, on the contrary I believe that if God created the universe that he created science and all we know. The confusion is that too many people are placing scientific "theory" as proven science. Things such as "The Big Bang Theory is exactly what it says it is"..... a "theory" not fact. Also I believe that creationist are labeled and stereotyped as bigot and narrow minded because they do not accept the theories of Macro-evolution or the Big Bang Theory. That is stupid to label us that because we reject a theory. Could not Creationist say that about non-creationist? Do you not reject a Theory your self? I know that with your aspect it's a little diffrent because we view our theory as absolute truth. Yet, is this so unlogical? Has The Bible and its scientific , archeological, and historic ever been disproven? Has not The Bible endured more scrutiny and time than the evolution and big bang theory has? You think we are lunatics because we have faith in God yet we cannot show you Him in person. Can you show me that the Big bang theory is fact? Do you not put just as much faith in believing those things as we do God? I am not trying to attack or scrutinize your believes, but I am having a hard time understanding why you attack our beliefs. Now I know that there are Christians who attack your beliefs, but you cannot take one person and classify a whole religion as such. Also, I do not view trying to disprove a theory as an attack. Scientist are to supposed to attempt to disprove a theory before it becomes fact. Can you disprove God? Obvisouly the answer is no because if it was possible it would have been already done. The reason is because attached to believing in Creation and Christianity comes morals and values. Other theories so upheld because men do not want to answer to any one but ourselves. We try to logic away God so that we do not have to answer to a Holy Judge. We say religion is foolish and that science is truth. Christians are easly fooled into this logic that science is evil. Yet, Is not GOD Science? If you are a creationist you believe that God created everything. SO how can you be fooled into believing that God and science cannot mix? God created everything, so I think would know science. We are letting Scientologist and aethist to push us out of the way and fear science. Why? So that they can have a monoply on the science section and not have the fear of the idea of their theories to be disproven. So, Stephanie Simon is quick to judge and cut down our belief because Ken Ham is teaching children to question theory. Yet what is she doing? Also so many Americans today is against Christianity that it is crazy. Has every one forgot what America was founded one? People are so anti-american because we are not as far ahead of the rest of the world as we once was. Why is that though? What has changed in America that is beginning to cause so many problems for us. Is it Democratic or Republican leadership? No, it's not the fault of one leader. It is the fault of our whole country. When we left in God we trust we started a problem. When we took prayer to God out of school we started a problem. When we left morality and accepted humanism we started a problem. When we went from serving liberty to politics we started a problem. When we we left "It's not what your country do for you but what can you do for your country?" we started a problem. We started a problem when the goverment started accepting things that Christians could not stand for. We started a problem when we took man's theories as fact and left the tried and true arm of God.

Michael Benton said...

Dear anonymous commenter (its so much better when you identify yourself in some way?),

What you believe is simply a theory, unproven, show me proof of your beliefs... please... back it up. You can't ... no way, but you believe, cool, I like belief, as long isn't the insecure dangerous type of belief that requires everyone else to believe as you do so that you can feel more secure.

No one is attacking Christianity--churches everywhere, people praying, people congregating, people preaching and people rejoicing. Happy dominant Christians, even our President is a fundamentalist Christian... yet you embrace your fantasies of persecution, poor delusional Christians (not all Christians, but definitely you and Ham)

The danger is, as far as I know, no one has ever killed someone, or groups of people, or thousands of people, because they didn't believe in evolution (or they believe it differently).

Can you say the same about your Christian theories--how many people have been killed because they did not believe in Christianity (or because they believed it differently?)

The people in this report are not just disbelievers--they are crazy and dangerous. . . they are seriously abusive in that they are destroying the curiosity of children, even the Amish allow their children to go out into the world and make their decision to follow theier religion, with amazing success because they raise strong children infused with their faith--protestant fundamentalists on the other hand raise weak, unstable children unable to think for themselves. No wonder you and Ken are so scared, anything must look better to them, better keep your flock brainwashed or they might notice the leash has long ago disappeared. If you want to raise your children to listen to creationist fantasies send them to bible schools ... let us have our schools free of religion.

...but then that is just my theory, I couldn't care less whether you believe in my theory and would not attempt to harass you for believing differently (I didn't invite you here, but since you decided to drop your neurotic pile of shit here, well I figured I would pull out my critical poop scooper)

I'm not insecure that you believe differently--can you say the same?

Peace believer, yours in skepticism... I'll grant your freedom to believe as long as you grant me my right to be a skeptic!

Brainwise said...

Wow. The anonymous commenter (or a clone) pasted the same "I am a believer of creation ..." comment over at Prophet or Madman. I do enjoy a well-written, contrarian view. And AC (for "anonymous commenter") may have presented a well-formed argument, but I am too tired right now go through the whole thing and make that determination.

I just returned from running the light board for a preview performance at the theater tonight. Hmmmm....I have not been home since 7am, Wednesday morning!

But I do want to briefly address one thing that kind of leapt to my attention. AC's closing statement:

"We started a problem when we took man's theories as fact and left the tried and true arm of God." [Emphasis added]

As soon as I read that, I have to ask ... "which God?" And if AC is referring to the Judeo-Christian God, let's call 'im by his name, Yahweh, just to be accurate, shall we?

I mean, I have to assume AC did not mean "the tried and true arm of Odin" ... or "the tried and true arm of Marduk."

For that matter, which creation does AC believe in? I know, it is spelled out in the comment: The (Judeo-)Christian view of Creation.

And, see, that is the problem I have with Creationism. It is a theory that fervently espouses ONLY the Judeo-Christian myth of creation. There is no room for any other mythology. Yet, I can rattle off at least eight or nine other creation myths. Some are more beautiful or even reasonable than the Judeo-Christian version. Some of these other myths are quite compatible with the big bang and evolution ... while others fly right in the face of such scientific speculation.

But does Ham's Answers in Genesis champion other creation myths? No.

Does the Discovery Institute consider other means of creation outside of Biblical stories? No.

Therefore, Intelligent Design is a not-so-thinly veiled attempt to promote Christianity in schools, in the science classes to be specific.

All I am saying is that there is a time and a place to discuss ID. But that time and place has to be outside of a science class, and not on school time (unless, say, a social sciences or comparative religions class wants to give equal time to a cross-section of creation myths).

Phew. I am really, really tired now. Hopefully, there aren't too many typos or run-ons in this blurb.

I'm gonna sleep on AC's full comment, and maybe I'll have a little something more in the morning.

Susannity said...

Anonymous, I'm not going to debate creationism with you. I just wanted to share 2 things with you. 1. Here is a copy of an excellent post that explains with scientific theory is. It is the most misunderstood thing I hear in this debate so I am pasting it here for your edification.

Lay people often misinterpret the language used by scientists. And for that reason, they sometimes draw the wrong conclusions as to what the scientific terms mean.

Three such terms that are often used interchangeably are "scientific law," "hypothesis," and "theory."

In layman’s terms, if something is said to be “just a theory,” it usually means that it is a mere guess, or is unproved. It might even lack credibility. But in scientific terms, a theory implies that something has been proven and is generally accepted as being true.

Here is what each of these terms means to a scientist:

Scientific Law: This is a statement of fact meant to explain, in concise terms, an action or set of actions. It is generally accepted to be true and univseral, and can sometimes be expressed in terms of a single mathematical equation. Scientific laws are similar to mathematical postulates. They don’t really need any complex external proofs; they are accepted at face value based upon the fact that they have always been observed to be true.

Some scientific laws, or laws of nature, include the law of gravity, the law of thermodynamics, and Hook’s law of elasticity.

Hypothesis: This is an educated guess based upon observation. It is a rational explanation of a single event or phenomenon based upon what is observed, but which has not been proved. Most hypotheses can be supported or refuted by experimentation or continued observation.

Theory: A theory is more like a scientific law than a hypothesis. A theory is an explanation of a set of related observations or events based upon proven hypotheses and verified multiple times by detached groups of researchers. One scientist cannot create a theory; he can only create a hypothesis.

In general, both a scientific theory and a scientific law are accepted to be true by the scientific community as a whole. Both are used to make predictions of events. Both are used to advance technology.

The biggest difference between a law and a theory is that a theory is much more complex and dynamic. A law governs a single action, whereas a theory explains a whole series of related phenomena.

An analogy can be made using a slingshot and an automobile.

A scientific law is like a slingshot. A slingshot has but one moving part--the rubber band. If you put a rock in it and draw it back, the rock will fly out at a predictable speed, depending upon the distance the band is drawn back.

An automobile has many moving parts, all working in unison to perform the chore of transporting someone from one point to another point. An automobile is a complex piece of machinery. Sometimes, improvements are made to one or more component parts. A new set of spark plugs that are composed of a better alloy that can withstand heat better, for example, might replace the existing set. But the function of the automobile as a whole remains unchanged.

A theory is like the automobile. Components of it can be changed or improved upon, without changing the overall truth of the theory as a whole.

Some scientific theories include the theory of evolution, the theory of relativity, and the quantum theory. All of these theories are well documented and proved beyond reasonable doubt. Yet scientists continue to tinker with the component hypotheses of each theory in an attempt to make them more elegant and concise, or to make them more all-encompassing. Theories can be tweaked, but they are seldom, if ever, entirely replaced.

2. I am not a theist, but I have very strong morals and ethics. One does not need to have theism to make good decisions and love their fellow man. =)

Michael Benton said...


Thanks for clearing up one of main problems with the creationist standpoint... I was very tired last night, so I appreciate your insight.


Another big thanks, I'm a humanities professor so I found your scientific explanations to be very helpful for my own understanding of those terms.

Anonymous said...

1. When we took prayer to God out of school we started a problem.

2. When we left morality and accepted humanism we started a problem.

3. When we went from serving liberty to politics we started a problem.

4. When we left "It's not what your country do for you but what can you do for your country?"

"... one of these things is different. one of these things does not belong with the other.". (insert musical notes here). At very least one might ask "Who of His followers can state for themselves what is God's hand in the affairs of 'Man'?"


While this particularily devoted Christian activist isn't (apparently) seeking discourse or a response of any kind.. I thought you all did a fine 'job of it'.

; )

Beheada said...

I just wanted to note that there is also the possibility that both Evolutionism and Creationism exist. I only mean this in the sense that "creating the world in 7 days" could be a metaphor for the 7 x 10^89 years that it took to create the world via evolutionism. There are, in fact, denominations of Christianity (Catholic Church, Episcopalians) which readily and openly accept the Big Bang theory and evolutionism (or choice parts there of) and integrate it into their religion. Food for thought.

For those on the Big Bang end, I also found it interesting to note the "successor" of the Big Bang which basically relates the Big Bang explosion to a series of explosions between colliding universes (much like giant amoeba occasionally flicking into each other, except with much greater force?). Each meeting of two points on the amoeba universe creates the friction required to make a 'big bang'. But don't take this to heart, it is still just a concept as I understand it.

Michael Benton said...

I have no problem with Christian conceptions of the divine creation of the world--I just want out of school science classes, unless, as someone else noted, all religious conceptions of the creation of the world would be taught, but then there really wouldn't be much time for science?

Beheada--I really have no clue whether there is or isn't a God (but if there is one, I would assume that there are also plenty of Goddesses as well, they probably don't have rigid sexual/gender identities like we do, do you thinkd Gods/Goddesses would have all the hang-ups/fetishes we do, they must be really good lovers, I mean think of it they create universes!)

I lik your amoeba illustration, probably the best example I have ever had for understanding the Big Bang theory...