all Why We Work So Hard I came across this on USENET, in the talk.origins newsgroup. It di

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all 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." I replied "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?" "Yes." 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. Bill Hyde Department of Oceanography Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia hyde@Ice.ATM.Dal.Ca or hyde@ac.dal.ca

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