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Re: YEC zombie argument on comets rises again

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  • Todd S. Greene
    Re: YEC zombie argument on comets rises again From: http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/TrueOrigin/message/17185 ... Hi Dan, No, it isn t. Scientific results
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 29, 2008
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      Re: YEC zombie argument on comets rises again
      From:
      http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/TrueOrigin/message/17185

      --- In TrueOrigin, Dan <gourmetdan@...> wrote (post #17183):
      > --- In TrueOrigin, Todd Greene wrote (post #17174):
      >> --- In TrueOrigin, Dan <gourmetdan@> wrote (post #17172):
      >>> How do you know comets are made of ice? They look like they
      >>> are made of rock.
      >>
      >> Comet
      >> (World Book at NASA)
      >> http://www.nasa.gov/worldbook/comet_worldbook.html
      >
      > I suppose your answer is "Because NASA says they are."

      Hi Dan,

      No, it isn't. Scientific results are not dealt with like religious
      believers treat their religious doctrine, such as young earth
      creationists treat young earth creationism.

      According to your rhetorical-argument-by-false-insinuation, I guess
      NASA doesn't actually fund or conduct any research in astronomical
      science by hundreds of millions of dollars every year, and there isn't
      any of this research being published in professional science journals.
      No, NASA is just making things up and expecting everyone to believe
      them on their authority just because they say so.

      It's because your rhetorical-argument-by-false-insinuation is utterly
      false that we know that your comment ("I suppose your answer is
      'Because NASA says they are'") is nothing more than a straw man
      fallacy used for diversion.

      I understand that that's how the religious doctrine of young earth
      creationism operates, but you can't project how young earth
      creationists operate onto professional scientists and others who take
      science seriously, because scientific results and the scientific
      process is very different from the manner in which religious faith
      operates.

      > The reason I said they look like they are made of rock
      > is because we have much better pictures than what you
      > reference.
      >
      > I was thinking of more recent evidence like this:
      >
      > http://space.newscientist.com/article/
      > dn13224-comet-samples-are-surprisingly-asteroidlike.html
      [link is line-wrapped]

      Apparently you missed the end of the article, which states the following:

      | The picture that emerges is that Wild 2 appears to be
      | "kind of an asteroid-like comet", Ishii told New
      | Scientist. Wild 2 may have formed in the outer solar
      | system from material that had drifted there from the
      | inner solar system, she says. Alternatively, the object
      | itself could have formed closer to the Sun and then
      | migrated outwards later, she says.
      |
      | Wild 2 should still be considered a comet, she adds,
      | because it is throwing off gas and dust as ice on its
      | surface evaporates in sunlight. But she says the new
      | findings bolster the view that there is no sharp
      | dividing line between comets and asteroids. "This is a
      | good indication that there is a continuum between
      | asteroids and comets," she says.
      |
      | Some objects in the outer asteroid belt have been
      | dubbed 'outer belt comets', because they contain a lot
      | of ice that sometimes produces tails when it evaporates
      | in the Sun's heat. And some objects in the outer solar
      | system beyond Neptune appear to be rocky in
      | composition, like asteroids, says co-author John
      | Bradley, also of Lawrence Livermore.

      And, anyway, Dan, will you please explain what relevance this has, if
      any, to the young earth creationist argument about short-period comets?

      >> Comet Facts
      >> http://www.planetary.org/explore/topics/
      >> near_earth_objects/asteroids_and_comets/comet_facts.html
      >> [link is line-wrapped]
      >>
      >> "Comets are small, irregularly shaped objects composed
      >> of a mixture of rocks, dust, and what astronomers refer
      >> to as 'ice' - frozen water, methane, and ammonia."
      >>
      >> You should also know that spectroscopy is used to
      >> determine the molecular makeup of what is being
      >> observed.
      >
      > You should know that the spectroscopy is observing OH and
      > O ions and is extrapolating backward as a sign of water.
      > More recent work indicates that there is very much less
      > water on comets than expected.
      >
      > http://www.holoscience.com/news.php
      > ?article=nm613913&keywords=comet#dest
      [link is line-wrapped]

      First of all, the holoscience site is a pseudoscience site, with a
      pseudoscience axe to gring. It has no credibility with me.

      Second, I'm glad you refer to the Deep Impact Mission. It's too bad
      you're ignoring their research as well. You should read this short
      article:

      Deep Impact Mission Update - January/February 2006
      Water Ice Found on a Small Portion of the Comet's Nucleus
      by Lucy McFadden
      http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/deepimpact/mission/
      update-200602.cfm#lmcfadden
      [link is line-wrapped]

      Here is an excerpt:

      | What is significant is that the extent of this ice on
      | Tempel 1's surface is not sufficient to produce the
      | observed abundance of water and its by-products in the
      | comet's coma. The team thus concludes that there are
      | sources of water from beneath the comet's surface that
      | supply the cometary coma as well.

      Also, Dan, will you please explain the relevance that this has, if
      any, to the young earth creationist argument about short-period comets?

      >>> How do you know the Kuiper Belt exists. Have you seen
      >>> it?
      >>
      >> Kuiper Belt
      >> http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/faculty/jewitt/kb.html
      >
      > OK, you haven't seen it but believe in it.

      Apparently you didn't look at the reference I gave you, so you ignored
      what is pointed out there. Not only that, but on that basis you
      misrepresent my response and then use your misrepresentation as a
      further basis for making false insinuations about me. A string of bad
      assumptions.

      Yes, Dan, the Kuiper Belt has been seen. In other word, what was
      expected to be observed at the available levels of telescopic
      resolution have in fact been observed, beginning in 1992.

      This would be exactly like you asking me, "How do you know the Grand
      Canyon exists. Have you seen it?" And if I had never visited the Grand
      Canyon personally I would still tell you, "Yes, I've seen the pictures
      of the Grand Canyon by those who have been there (and it's also been
      observed by satellite from Earth orbit)." (Except in the case of the
      Grand Canyon, I actually have been there personally.)

      I also want to thank you for showing everyone that people with an
      anti-science agenda are forced to play word games in order to
      misrepresent matters, because they don't want to deal with the actual
      science.

      Additionally, will you please explain what relevance, if any, this has
      regarding the young earth creationist argument about short-period comets?

      >>> How do you know the Oort Cloud exists? Have you seen
      >>> it?
      >>
      >> We know that the comets come from that region because
      >> that's where the aphelion of their orbits is.
      >
      > Do you know why scientists assume that the Oort cloud
      > exists at the aphelion of cometary orbits? Because they
      > assume that they are made of ice

      Wrong again. It isn't "assumed."

      > and further assume
      > that this makes their lives very short in relation to the
      > assumed age of the solar systems

      Wrong again. It isn't "assumed."

      I guess you didn't know that comets have tails.

      > and therefore assume
      > that there must be a source at the aphelion.

      First of all, you're talking about the Oort Cloud, right? (Not the
      Kuiper Belt.) So since some of the long-period comets have orbital
      periods of over a million years, then I guess that just means the
      solar system has only been around for a few hundred million years,
      rather than about 4.6 billion years. So I'm really not sure what
      you're getting at here.

      Second, the young earth creationist argument about comets is based on
      short-period comets, not long-period comets. (Indeed, it's based on
      ignoring the existence of long-period comets.) It's the Kuiper Belt
      that is relevant to the YEC argument, not the Oort Cloud.

      Third, you seem to be assuming that there is some physical reason why
      there should not be any Oort Cloud sourcing the long-period comets.
      Can you give a scientific explanation of this reason, or not? If you
      can, then do it. If you can't, then you have nothing. The Oort Cloud
      is a good scientific explanation for long-period comets. I assume that
      you, on the other hand, have no scientific explanation at all.

      However, I do want to thank you for recognizing and acknowledging the
      facts that (1) comets have an orbital aphelion, and (2) long-period
      comets have an orbital aphelion in the Oort Cloud region. I
      congratulate you because in several discussions that I've had with
      young earth creationists about this issue since 1999 you are the very
      first one to explicitly acknowledge these facts in such a discussion.

      >>> I guess you haven't seen the Oort Cloud then...
      >>
      >> We can't observe anything when it is *in* the Oort Cloud
      >> region because telescopes can't resolve things as small
      >> as comets from that far. What we know is that
      >> long-period comets come from that region because that's
      >> where the aphelion of their orbits is.
      >
      > Science doesn't *know* that they come from the Oort
      > Cloud. Science *assumes* that's where they 'come from'
      > because it believes that they are made of ice and cannot
      > last through very many solar orbits and therefore must
      > 'come from' some unobservable source at the aphelion.

      We know for a fact that long-period comets come from the Oort Cloud
      region *because* that's where the aphelion of their orbits is. Do you
      think that they really come from Mars, shooting them out into space
      somehow, and then they end up with an orbital aphelion in the Oort
      Cloud region? Really, Dan, your comment here doesn't make much sense.

      Also, you need to explain what relevance this has to the young earth
      creationist argument about short-period comets, if it has any
      relevance at all.

      >> We could not directly see anything in the Kuiper Belt
      >> either until through advancements in the technology of
      >> astronomical instrumentation we finally had telescopes
      >> that could resolve the larger of the comets in the
      >> Kuiper Belt. That happened in 1992. Of course, we
      >> already knew the Kuiper Belt was there because we knew
      >> that that's where the short-period comets were coming
      >> from (it's where the aphelion of their orbits is). (Note
      >> also, as another example of this kind of thing, that the
      >> first moon of Pluto discovered was not discovered until
      >> the late 1970s.)
      >
      > Again, science is only barely resolving what it believes
      > are large objects at the aphelion of the short-period
      > comets.

      First of all, whether we can barely resolve them or not is irrelevant
      to whether or not we can observe them and get all kinds of information
      about them by analysis of the light and determinations of mass.

      Second, you write "what [science] believes are large objects" in the
      Kuiper Belt, denigrating the discoveries with verbal subtlety,
      insinuating that maybe somehow they haven't really been discovered and
      astronomers merely "believe" they have discovered them in the Kuiper
      Belt. The verbal trickery is pretty transparent to me. The fact of the
      matter is that a number of large object have been observed in the
      Kuiper Belt region.

      Here are the largest 17 Kuiper Belt objects discovered, in estimated
      size order, with calculated distances (from the sun, in AU, where AU =
      Astronomical Unit = sun-earth distance = approx. 93 million miles) and
      estimated sizes (in kilometers):

      Name/Designation Avg Dist Est Size
      Eris (2003UB313) 67.69 2,400
      Pluto 39.53 2,300
      2003EL61 43.31 2,000
      Sedna (2003VB12) 486.0 1,800
      2005FY9 45.66 1,600
      Quaoar (2002LM60) 43.58 1,290
      Orcus (2004DW) 39.34 1,100
      Ixion (2001KX) 39.65 980
      2002AW197 47.30 940
      2002UX25 42.53 810
      2002TX300 43.11 800
      Varuna (2000WR) 42.90 780
      2002MS4 41.90 740
      2003MW12 45.94 740
      2005RN43 41.53 740
      2002TC302 55.02 710
      2003AZ84 39.45 710

      From:
      The Dwarf Planets
      by Mike Brown
      http://web.gps.caltech.edu/~mbrown/dwarfplanets/

      I would also recommend that people read the comments made by
      astronomer Mike Brown here:

      Why does it take so long to announce these discoveries?
      http://www.gps.caltech.edu/~mbrown/planetlila/index.html#discovery

      You can also read the actual research article about Eris (2003 UB313)
      here:

      Discovery of a planetary-sized object in the scattered Kuiper Belt
      by M. E. Brown, C. A. Trujillo, and D. L. Rabinowitz
      (The Astrophysical Journal, 12/10/2005)
      http://www.gps.caltech.edu/%7Embrown/papers/ps/xena.pdf

      Third, astronomers have observed over a thousand Kuiper Belt objects
      that are not so large. If you had actually taken a good look at the
      site about the Kuiper Belt that I already gave you the reference for
      you would already know this. Here it is again:

      Kuiper Belt
      by David Jewitt
      http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/faculty/jewitt/kb.html

      If you check the menu on the left you see "IAU KBO Table" (IAU = , KBO
      = Kuiper Belt Objects). Click on that and it takes you to:

      List Of Transneptunian Objects
      http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/iau/lists/TNOs.html

      There is also this:

      List Of Centaurs and Scattered-Disk Objects
      http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/iau/lists/Centaurs.html

      > It has not
      > observed the 'Kuiper Belt'.

      Yes, astronomers are observing Kuiper Belt objects right now.

      > That is still
      > an assumed structure because science assumes that comets
      > are made of ice and therefore cannot survive assumed
      > long-ages of solar approaches and therefore assumes that
      > there must be a replenishment region and mechanism.

      Right. It's all "assumed." This, again, shows how young earth
      creationists love to play word games by using false words.

      Here is a mapping of the orbits of the Kuiper Belt objects that have
      been observed:

      Plan View
      http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/faculty/jewitt/kb/kb-plan.html

      So much for your incorrect use of the word "assumed."

      >> Also note that we see material such as what constitutes
      >> the Oort Cloud around other stars:
      >>
      >> Comets Clash at Heart of Helix Nebula (2/12/2007)
      >> http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/Media/releases/
      >> ssc2007-03/release.shtml
      [link is line-wrapped]

      > Here again, science *assumes* that comets are generating
      > this dust. All that is really observed is large
      > quantities of dust,

      Dust which has the properties of cometary material.

      > which was unexpected.

      Your statement is out of context. It was unexpected for that
      particular kind of star. It is not unexpected for other stars.

      > Once observed, scientists
      > were compelled to create a story to explain

      That's right, that's part of what scientists are supposed to do, is
      come up with scientific explanations. As you demonstrate by your
      wording, young earth creationists don't like scientific explanations.
      This is because young earth creationism is based on religious belief,
      not science.

      > the dust because
      > current models do not predict the observations and
      > 'dueling comets' was the best story that they could come
      > up with.

      Of course, you don't even address *why* the observation of the dust
      unexpected around that kind of star in the first place. It's because
      that star is a white dwarf, produced by a supernova, and the stellar
      explosion would have blown away such a dust field. Of course, it's the
      interaction of comets in the "Kuiper Belt" of that star that
      regenerated the dust field. That's what the article is about.

      What scientific explanation do you have? Oh, wait, that's right, you
      don't even have a scientific explanation.

      > There are huge
      > differences between what is observed and what is imagined
      > or conjured up to explain anomalous observations.

      What "huge" differences are those?

      There certainly is a huge difference between people like young earth
      creationists on the one hand who make up stories based on deliberately
      ignoring relevant empirical facts they don't like, at the drop of a
      hat, on the basis of their religious dogma, whether we're talking
      about astronomy, or geology, or other areas of science, and scientists
      on the other hand who come up with scientific explanations based on
      dealing with empirical observations of how things work in the real world.

      Indeed, in the scientific community, other scientists will climb down
      a scientist's throat for ignoring the empirical results of other
      relevant research, even if he has done so inadvertently. Young earth
      creationists on the other hand (and I know this, because I've seen it
      myself time and time again) praise each other for "standing fast in
      the faith" for deliberately ignoring scientific data they don't like.
      These attitudes and approaches to scientific study are completely
      contrary to each other. The former is commendable (critique failure to
      deal with relevant data and uphold the standards). The latter is
      reprehensible (tell people they're doing the right thing to ignore the
      facts that are contrary to what they currently believe).

      If in a court trial a homicide investigator was found to have
      purposely buried some evidence relevant to the case, he could be held
      in comtempt by the court, and reprimanded by his superiors (if not
      fired outright, depending on the severity). Yet in churches nationwide
      preachers not only praise people for engaging in that same kind of
      behavior (in relation to adherence to religious dogma) but promote the
      attitude. It's obvious that these two approaches are fundamentally
      different from each other.

      > We certainly don't
      > 'see' an Oort Cloud around a distant star any more than
      > we can see our own imaginary 'Oort Cloud'.

      We see the material of an Oort Cloud. We don't see everything because
      we're not able to see everything, but we do see what parts of it we
      are able to see.

      Another example: We see stars, but we are actually not able to see the
      star itself directly because of, again - I've mentioned this before -
      telescopic resolution. We can't see the actual disks of stars like we
      can see the disk of the Sun. We have to infer the properties of stars
      based on whatever information we can derive from their light. (I think
      there are only two or three exceptions to this now, because with the
      best modern telescopes I think a couple of stars have actual had their
      disks resolved IIRC.)

      > Most philosophical naturalists have no idea how many
      > assumptions they accept as fact to support their
      > underlying beliefs.

      First of all, from scientific papers I have looked at, and from
      discussions I've read by scientists, it is my experience that
      scientists have a grasp on what assumptions they are or are not making
      that is far superior to anything represented by young earth creationists.

      Second, it is also my experience that young earth creationists love to
      misuse the word "assume" and "assumptions," and that it is YECs
      themselves who are assuming that things have been assumed when in fact
      they have not been assumed but have been checked and tested somewhere
      in the chain of scientific reasoning.

      Third, young earth creationist themselves make all kinds of
      assumptions that are either (1) factually wrong, or (2) unscientific
      by their very nature. (Example: The apparent age argument that an
      awful lot of young earth creationists use. "What, the rocks have all
      the physical features of having been around for millions of years as
      if they were affected by geological processes for such a long time?
      Well, no problem! God just made them look that way!")

      Fourth, well, as I'm writing this I just realized the significance of
      your term "philosophical naturalists." Of course, we're talking about
      science, and thus about what Christian writers themselves have
      distinguished as "methodological naturalism." So perhaps your comment
      isn't even relevant to what we're discussing about comets.

      >> Spitzer team spots stellar sauna (8/30/2007)
      >> http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/08/30/spitzer_sauna/
      >>
      >> Additionally, Dan, try not to miss the point. The point
      >> is that young earth creationists have been using this
      >> false argument about comets (specifically about
      >> short-period comets; they seem to either be ignorant of
      >> the existence of long-period comets - or they ignore
      >> them deliberately) for at least 40 years, and many are
      >> still using it today (which is what I quoted my
      >> discussion from). We have known this is a bad argument
      >> for 40 years. The errors of this argument have been
      >> explained to young earth creationists for 40 years. Yet
      >> young earth creationists are still using it.
      >
      > I think you have missed the point. Even if you assume
      > that comets are made of ice, science merely assumes that
      > the Oort Cloud and Kuiper Belt exist without evidence.

      No, it's not "without evidence." There you go misrepresenting the
      matter, yet again.

      In regard to the Kuiper Belt, you are just totally wrong. See my
      discussion above.

      In regard to the Oort Clound, do you know what the aphelion of an
      orbit is?

      Additionally, it is the young earth creationist argument about
      short-period comets that I'm addressing, and that young earth
      creationist argument acknowledges that comets deteriorate when they
      pass relatively close to the sun in their orbits (the ones that get
      perturbed into the inner solar system). The YEC argument is *based* on
      the deterioration of comets. So in fact it is you who has been
      repeatedly missing the point.

      I would also point out, as I have already pointed out, that their
      argument is based on short-period comets - but at the same time the
      argument ignores the long-period comets. But it is the short-period
      comets that come from the Kuiper Belt region, not the Oort Cloud. The
      long-period comets come from the Oort Cloud region, so in fact the
      Oort Cloud is irrelevant to the YEC argument. It is the Kuiper Belt
      that is relevant to the YEC argument, and it is the Kuiper Belt that
      proves unequivocally that the YEC argument is wrong. However, even
      before we had we have direct observational verification of comets in
      the Kuiper Belt region, the concept of the Kuiper Belt region was
      indeed a scientific explanation for short-period comets, especially
      since we already knew that that is the region of the orbital aphelion
      of short-period comets.

      AT ITS VERY BEST, the YEC argument about short-period comets was
      merely an EQUIVOCAL argument, based on pretending that they could know
      that there could be no source of comets coming from the Kuiper Belt.
      But it was impossible for YECs to know this, which is why their
      argument was a bad argument 40 years ago just as it is a bad argument
      today. However, today the argument is even worse, because beginning in
      1992, due to continuing technological advances in telescopic
      instrumentation, we began getting direct observational verification of
      the Kuiper Belt explanation.

      > Resolving a few
      > large objects at the aphelion of short-period comet
      > orbits is a long way from observing the Kuiper Belt. You
      > may simply be resolving a few large objects at the
      > aphelion of short-period comet orbits.

      You're just wrong again. See my discussion above.

      > The Oort Cloud is assumed because icy comets cannot
      > persist through assumed long-ages of solar approaches
      > under the current model.

      The long ages aren't "assumed." There you go making a subtle argument
      on the basis of misrepresentation, by wrongly using the word "assumed."

      > If comets are
      > not made of ice, but are rocky as they appear;

      Wrong again. "Comets are small, irregularly shaped objects composed of
      a mixture of rocks, dust, and what astronomers refer to as 'ice' -
      frozen water, methane, and ammonia."

      Since you obviously want to dispute the professional astronomers who
      actually research comets, then I look forward to your detailed
      research paper published in a professional astronomy journal providing
      detailed explanation, scientific explanations of course, of how all
      these astronomers are wrong about the constituencies of comets. Until
      that time, I understand that currently you are merely *assuming* that
      all the research professional astronomers have done about comets is
      somehow wrong. And, quite frankly, I put less that zero stock in the
      credibility of your assumption.

      > or if the
      > universe is not as old as assumed then the rationale for
      > assuming the Oort Cloud and Kuiper Belt also disappears.

      There you go wrongly using the word "assumed" again.

      > You have not
      > 'known' that the argument is refuted, you have *assumed*
      > that it is refuted. There is a huge difference.

      No, Dan, I do know that the YEC argument about short-period comets is
      refuted. The YEC argument relied on there being no comets orbiting in
      the Kuiper Belt region (comets with orbits not perturbed into the
      inner solar system), but in fact they are there, just as expected. It
      is quite obvious that you are the one making all sorts of bad assumptions.

      Also, assumptions - or, in the case of science, hypotheses - are not
      all equal. Some assumptions are far superior to others. Obviously,
      assumptions, hypotheses, that take relevant facts about what we
      already know are automatically far superior to all other assumptions.
      Assumptions made based on ignoring relevant scientific data are
      automatically bad. This is something you seem to not recognize in your
      rhetoric.

      >> This is the pseudoscience pattern that young earth
      >> creationists follow with argument after argument, issue
      >> after issue. The logical fallacies and/or factual errors
      >> are explained to them, and they just deliberately ignore
      >> all the problems and continue to promote the bad
      >> arguments regardless of the errors, regardless of the
      >> actual science. This is why young earth creationists
      >> have such a sorry reputation.
      >
      > Since I have now pointed out how 'science' engages
      > in its own set of fallacious assumptions, bad arguments
      > and pseudoscience,

      Uh... What you really mean is that you have made some unsubstantiated
      assertions. And you certainly have not shown anything whatsoever
      relevant to somehow justifying the YEC argument about short-period comets.

      > I hope that
      > you will now recognize the 'sorry reputation' that it
      > has.

      What I recognize is that people who habitually make false assertions
      against science on the basis of their religious beliefs have a sorry
      reputation for doing so. The young earth creationist argument about
      short-period comets is simply one example of this.

      >> I will never understand why young earth creationists
      >> seem to love to talk about science even while at the
      >> same time they (1) don't seem to know very much about
      >> the science they're talking about and (2) seem to hate
      >> the idea of actually studying anything about the actual
      >> science and (3) are very antagonistic toward those who
      >> do know something about the science and try to explain
      >> it to them.
      >
      > I will never understand how philosophical naturalists
      > seem to love to talk about science while at the same time
      > they (1) don't seem to know very much about the
      > assumptions underlying their opinions,

      What assumptions are those, again? Oh, right, it's actually you (1)
      making assumptions about what is assumed and not assumed when you
      don't really know, and (2) failing to recognize a fundamental
      difference between provisionally good assumptions (assumptions based
      on the evidence) and bad assumptions (assumptions based on ignoring
      the evidence).

      And, again, we're talking about science, not "philosophical naturalism."

      > (2) seem to
      > hate the idea that reality might be different from their
      > beliefs

      When young earth creationists make comments like this to me, I always
      laugh about the hypocritical nature of the comment.

      > and (3) are
      > very condescending toward those do know something about
      > the science and try to explain it to them.

      Indeed, this is the attitude you've been showing us. I laugh about the
      hypocrisy of this one too, due to the broader context within which
      we're having this discussion. Young earth creationists are the most
      condescending and hubristic people on the planet. They believe in
      their hearts that they cannot possibly be wrong because, after all,
      they assume that the belief in their heads is nothing less that what
      they were told to believe by an omnipotent, omniscient being who knows
      everything. (Never mind that the Bible says nothing at all about
      orbital mechanics and the orbital mechanics of comets, or the influx
      of cosmic dust on the moon, or the decay of the rotational speed of
      the earth, and so on.) And since that is so, as far as young earth
      creationists are concerned it is perfectly okay to ignore the vast
      bodies of professional scientific research produced by two centuries
      of scientific work done in astronomy and geology. Young earth
      creationists magically know better.

      Dan, let's just say I don't pay any attention to young earth
      creationist complaints about condescension.

      Additionally, there are in fact contexts in which condescension is
      *deserved*. One of these is, for example, when a person deliberately
      ignores the logical and/or scientific errors that are pointed out to
      him and explained to him, and then defiantly continues to promote his
      errors regardless of the facts. When people "cross the line" like that
      is when they engender a certain amount of irritation that many times
      results in a condescending attitude. It is my factual experience that
      the vast majority of the young earth creationists I have discussions
      with about science know little to nothing about the actual science
      that they're talking about. But worse than this (because actually
      there's nothing wrong with innocent ignorance; we are all ignorant
      about a great many things) is that they deliberately refuse to educate
      themselves and deliberately ignore attempts to help them learn about
      some of the relevant scientific information. They seem quite content
      to merely regurgitate pseudoscience misinformation from young earth
      creationist literature (such as the YEC argument about short-period
      comets), and at the same time have less than zero interest in learning
      something about some of the actual science on the subject (less than
      zero meaning they actually behave in a manner showing that they are
      deliberately refusing to learn about it and then correct their errors
      and modify their discussion based on what they learn).

      Anyway, condescension or no condescension, the point is that a person
      who makes an argument or claim who is presented with the relevant
      information and adequate explanation showing either that his argument
      is logically flawed and/or his claim is factually wrong has the
      responsibility to correct his errors. Young earth creationists have a
      very strong tendency to not do this. The YEC argument about
      short-period comets, still being used after 40 years, is one example
      of this in the young earth creationist community. There are many,
      many, many other examples like this.

      Have you ever heard about those fossilized human footprints in the
      Paluxy River? ;-)

      >> The only conclusion I've come to about this is that
      >> while young earth creationists in their rhetoric pretend
      >> that they're so interested in the truth, in actuality
      >> they're not interested in the truth at all because this
      >> is what their behavior shows. It's really a shame.
      >
      > The only conclusion I've come to is that while
      > philosophical naturalists in their rhetoric pretend that
      > they're so interested in the truth, in actuality they're
      > not interested in the truth at all because this is what
      > their behavior shows. It's really a shame.

      Well, we're talking about science and how young earth creationists
      deal with science - or, actually, how they fail to deal with science.
      You can't back up your assertion with facts. Indeed, the scientific
      process, the body of research produced by scientists and how they
      actually go about doing science, proves that your statement is wrong.

      I made the statement I made in the context of pointing out a specific
      example that demonstrates what I'm referring to: The YEC argument
      about short-period comets.

      - Todd Greene
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