all Why We Work So Hard I came across this on USENET, in the talk.origins newsgroup. It di
Why We Work So Hard
I came across this on USENET, in the talk.origins newsgroup.
It discusses why the educated need to continue to work hard
at answering questions of others with the facts. We cannot
break through the religious ignorance of the Stringfellows,
the Winters, the Wolffs, or the Bedards, but in our endevors
of trying to do so, people who sit on the sidelines and
observe -CAN- be be reached and educated.
The topic of the lecture was radiometric dating.
Bill Hyde, Department of Oceanography
Some years ago I was giving a paleoclimatology lecture at
A&M. One of the questioners after the talk kept asking some
odd question with the word "God" in it. Despite asking him
to repeat it, neither I nor anybody else was ever able to
understand any other word in the question. This started off
another, more coherent, questioner, who expressed doubts as
to systems of dating. I asked him:
"What view to you take as to the date of the last Ice Age?"
The response being
"I take a Fundamentalist Christian view."
"So you take the view that my contention that the last glacial
maximum was about 18,000 years ago is nonsense since the world
is only about 6,000 years old?"
To give him credit, he did acknowledge that he didn't know what
was wrong with radiometric dating, and that he would never learn
the requisite physics so that he never would learn what was
wrong, and that is it scientifically unacceptable to pronounce
a body of work without some contradictory evidence.
In fact my interest in the creation/evolution debate was due
to the time I spent at A&M. A creationist friend lent me a
pile of Gould and Gish. I read the Gould but not much of the
Gish (after his absurdist "second law" argument Gish's
credibility went to zero. His statement that only "bible
believing scientists" could do good research into origins
didn't help him much either).
I had a number of informal debates with a PhD candidate
in Food Sciences. I never "converted" him, but other
creationists listening in, including the one who lent me
the books, came to believe that the scientific evidence was
on the side of evolution. This is why I feel it is worthwhile
to debate creationists, young earthers, and Tedsters in
general. You never "convert" them, but if you argue well and
avoid using insult, you can "convert" others.
Department of Oceanography
Halifax, Nova Scotia
hyde@Ice.ATM.Dal.Ca or email@example.com
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank