>What is an example of the "religious beliefs" that creationists want to teach?
It was clearly shown in the Arkansas case that the creationist "model" (they
can't call it a theory because it isn't) is exactly the Christian creation
myth (i.e. Genesis), and no other. The timeframe was taken from the bible,
the idea of a catastrophic flood was taken from the bible, etc.
It was quite clear that there were religious motives behind the sponsoring
of the bill, too:
[Paul] Ellwanger's [the man who drafted the model act
which became the Arkansas law] correspondence on the subject
shows an awareness that Act 590 is a religious crusade,
coupled with a desire to conceal the fact... "I view this
whole battle as one between God and anti-God forces..." "It
would be very wise ... not to present our work in a
religious framework..." Mr. Ellwanger's ultimate purpose is
revealed in the closing of his letter to Tom Bethell:
"Perhaps all this is old hat to you, Tom, and if so, I'd
appreciate your telling me so and perhaps where you've heard
it before -- the idea of killing evolution instead of
playing these debating games that we've been playing for
nigh over a decade already..." (Borrowed from Gordon Davisson)
Whether you are sincere or not, the people that you are backing sure as
hell aren't. Do you support the above? It is clearly religion.
>As for the content of thier (and my) beliefs, it is "We think that xxx
>is true because we see yyy." If all creations are wrong, and yyy doesn't
>support xxx, that makes creationist view bad science, not religion.
It is BAD SCIENCE backed by religion. Bob, you may not [yourself] believe
that it is religious, but it is quite clear that the main supporters of
the "equal time" bills DO know it.
>>But nowhere near as bad as the religious fundamentalist lobby (which spouts
>>lie after lie after lie).
Examples of half-truths, out-of-date references, and plain bad calculations
from creationist literature (you asked for it!):
 In a calculation of the amount of dust entering the earth's atmosphere
from space, Slusher (Age of the Cosmos, 1980) uses obsolete dust-influx
figures ranging from 3.6E6 to 256E6 tons per year. These are estimates,
far out of date, while the MEASURED value is about 2E4 tons per year.
Dalrymple adds "Considering that good satellite data on meteoric influx
were available before Morris and Slusher published their papers, they
obviously have been highly selective in their choice of obsolete data."
 Morris (What is Creation Science?, 1982), cites a discovery of natural
Plutonium-244, which indicates that the plutonium was formed at about
the same time as the solar system, rather than at the time the galaxy
was formed. A note is made in the article that the half-life of that
isotope is 80 million years. Morris refers to the article and indicates
that it shows an age of 80 million years for the solar system.
Dalrymple comments, "What Morris and Parker have listed as an 80-million
year age for the solar system is simply the half-life of Plutonium-244.
Clearly, they do not understand either the content or the significance
of the discovery reported in the brief news article that they cite as
their source of documentation."
 Barnes (Physics: A challenge to 'geologic time', 1974), says:
"Some scientists claim that radioactivity in the earth would
alter [Kelvin's] limit upward, but none has given any clear
analysis of how much it would alter Kelvin's value. Kelvin was
well aware of radioactivity, as demonstrated by the fact that
he wrote several papers on it. That did not appear to him to
alter the problem at all. He was working from an actual measured
thermal flux gradient and a knowledge of thermal conductivity
of the crustal rocks and was still confident that he had shown that
the earth's age does not exceed 24 million years."
Dalrymple says, "The first statement is simply untrue. There is a large
volume of literature on the subject of the thermal state and history
of the earth; most beginning geology texts treat the subject. The
remainder of Barnes' paragraph is also wrong. Kelvin's last published
remarks on the age of the earth were in 1899, four years before
Rutherford and Soddy published their findings of the energy available
from radioactive decay. [i.e. Kelvin knew about radioactivity, but he
did not know that it generated heat; Barnes is being misleading]"
 Morris and Parker (same as ) list a geological study of the mid-
Atlantic ridge, which they claim supports a young earth. The study
itself just indicates that the ocean floor is young near the plate-
building areas, and does not support Morris at all (it indicates an
age of 5 million years, which is far beyond the creationist timespan).
 Morris (The Young Earth, 1974; The Scientific Case for Creation, 1977)
lists an "indicates age of the earth" of 100,000 years from "formation
of C14 on meteorites"; he references a report by Boeckl.
Dalrymple comments, "Boeckl's report, however, was about tektites, not
meteorites. Tektites are small globules of glass whose origin has been
the subject of much debate, but is now thought to be from meteoric
impacts on the earth. Boeckl was attempting to establish the cosmic
ray exposure age for these objects to determine their residence time
in space. To do so, he ASSUMED a terrestrial age FOR THE TEKTITES of
10,000 years to make his calculations. Boeckl did not calculate
an age for the earth, nor did he produce any data that could be used
to do so; Morris even has the number wrong (10^6 rather than 10^5)."
 Morris (Scientific Creationism, 1974), attacks radiometric dating (in
particular K-Ar dating), as follows:
"The so-called branching ratio, which determines the amount of
the decay product that becomes argon (instead of calcium) is
unknown by a factor of up to 50% Since the decay rate is also
unsettled, values for these constants are chosen which bring K-Ar
dates into as close correlation with U-Pb dates as possible."
Dalrymple says, "Slusher makes similar comments (1973, 1981). This
statement would have been true in the 1940s, but it was certainly not
true when Morris wrote it. By the mid to late 1950s, the decay
constants and branching ratio of K40 were known to within a few percent
from direct laboratory counting experiments. It would not have taken
much time or effort for Morris to find that out, but I suspect that he
was not interested. Instead, he apparently chose to pick obsolete
information out of old literature to represent the current state of the
 Slusher (Critique of Radiometric Dating, 1973), claims that C14 radiation
is so weak that it is not even applicable for 10-15k years, as even
"the best of instruments" cannot measure it.
Dalrymple adds, "That statemtent was as untrue in 1973 as it is today.
Modern counting instruments, available since 1960, are capable of
counting the activity of C14 in a sample as old as 35k years. In
laboratories which are shielded against cosmic rays, that limit is
easily extended to 50k years. New techniuqes using accelerators and
mass spectrometers now hold the promise of extending C14 dating to
100k years or more. Slusher is simply wrong."
 John Moore (Questions and Answers on creation/evolution) states that
"The method involving the decay of rubidion-87 into strontium-87
is considered to unreliable that it has been discarded."
Dalrymple says, "The truth, however, is just the opposite; the Rb/Sr
method is one of the most widely used techniques available."
There are several more examples (I could probably reproduce 50 more if you
want), but I think you get the idea. Dalrymple sums it up as follows:
"The examples I have shown you are typical. Their brand of science
invariably falls short of even the minimum standards of scholarship, accuracy,
and objectivity necessary for true, rational science. I think that the
creationists' attempt to portray their obsolete, inaccurate, and mis-
understood data, their illogical and misleading arguments, and their
erroneous conclusions as true science is both unfair and deceptive.
I think it will be a sad day for civilized humanity if science, that
magnificent field of objective inquiry whose only purpose is to decipher
the history and laws of the physical universe, is allowed to fall victim
to the intellectual fraud of the creation science movement."
> Bob Bales
Dalrymple, G. Brent, paper presented at the Federation of American Societies
for Experimental Biology (66th annual meeting), April 1982.
Dalrymple, G. Brent, paper presented at the 63rd annual meeting of the Pacific
Division, American Association for the Advancement of Science (4/84).
Dalrymple, G. Brent, US Geological Survey open-file report 86-110, titled
Radiometric Dating, Geologic Time, And The Age of the Earth: A Reply
To "Scientific" Creationism (To be published soon in a book from
Wm. Kaufman & Co publishers).