Every time I think I’ve had my lifetime fill of tearing into deluded would-be advocates for the Christ Jesus, I find something else on the Internet that seems degrees worse than anything I have derided previously, and I just have to load this interface and start screwing with the material in question. I’m no different than when I tell people I watch very little TV, right before I spend seven hours watching Tim and Eric’s Awesome Show, Great Job! online.
Owing indirectly to some recent activity on Dispatches From the Culture Wars, always a great source of insightful commentary assuming you’re not overly sensitive to exposure to the Grand Overwhelming Stupid, I unearthed this stunningly bad treatise challenging evolution. It was written in 2007 but was published to “Way of Life Literature” a few months ago. Mind you, the rant I am hopefully almost halfway through is even more pointless than most anti-creationist rants, because the author of the piece in question, David Menton (who somehow earned a Ph.D. in cell bio from Brown way back when), is a shill for Answers in Genesis and has been exposed as a flagrant liar and an idiot on more than one occasion. Still, the fact that the bright lights behind “Way of Life Literature” actually find Menton more compelling than damning is instructive in its own right, so here I am.
The opening paragraph of “THE EVOLUTION DATING GAME” reads as follows:
Much of the controversy between evolutionists and creationists concerns the age of the earth and its fossils. Evolution, depending as it does on pure chance, requires an immense amount of time to stumble upon anything remotely approaching the complexity we see in even the simplest living things. For over 200 years, geologists have attempted to devise methods for determining the age of the earth that would be consistent with evolutionary dogma. At the time Darwin’s Origin of Species was published , the earth was “scientifically” determined to be 100 million years old. By 1932, it was found to be 1.6 billion years old. In 1947, geologists firmly established that the earth was 3.4 billion years old. Finally, in 1976, they discovered that the earth is “really” 4.6 billion years old. These dates indicate that for 100 years the age of the earth doubled every 20 years. If this trend were to continue, the earth would be 700 thousand-trillion-trillion years old by the year 4000 AD. This “prediction,” however, is based on selected data and certain assumptions that might not be true. As we will see, selected data and unprovable assumptions are a problem with all methods for determining the age of the earth, as well as for dating its fossils and rocks. It has all become something of a “dating game” in which only the evolutionarily-correct are allowed to play.
There are so many fuck-ups in just this one passage–and the essay in its entirety is quite long–that describing them will probably cost me a half an hour, possibly more. When I first read it, I was nearly blinded by the force of its thrumming incompetence. But I have since recovered and am prepared to address specifics.
First of all, evolutionary biologists don’t give a fuck how old the earth is (or if they do it doesn’t relate to their work). Evolution, broadly speaking, does not depend on “pure chance,” but even if it did, this would not necessitate “an immense amount of time to stumble upon anything remotely approaching the complexity we see in even the simplest living things”–not that biologists disagree anyway; of course some of the changes to organisms that have transpired over millions of years take, well, millions of fucking years. This is precisely why certain things that seem improbable to the parochial human mind can occur; our brains simply are not equipped to account for time scales hundreds, thousands, or millions of times longer than our own lifespans.
The idea that geologists are in bed with biologists is ludicrous enough. But when Menton says that this has been going on for over 200 years, it kinds of screws with his credibility. Charles Darwin was born in
2009 1809, and it took him a while to inspire that which bitter Jesus fans would later call “evolutionary dogma.” To complain that people were championing evolution in the early 1800’s is akin to bitching about the treatment of text-messaging and Internet porn during World War I. It really is just that stupid. Also, creationists have an extremely difficult time correctly identifying the book they so often like to complain about. It’s On The Origin Of Species. It’s not that hard to get right. When a layperson leaves out the first few words, it’s one thing, but when someone purporting to be an informed critic fucks this up, it’s quite another. And it’s revealing–David Menton is a cognitive cripple.
There’s also Menton’s worse-than-fuzzy math. The reliability of his sources aside, the fact that the estimated age of the earth has changed over time is not a detriment to science, but a credit to the willingness of scientists to refine their claims based on new findings. When he blabbers, “if this trend were to continue, the earth would be 700 thousand-trillion-trillion years old by the year 4000 AD,” he’s not only making a ruin of basic arithmetic, but is also ignoring the factor of convergence. Just look at the fact that the claimed age of the planet has remained static over the past two-plus decades. And what Menton calls a “prediction” is anything but what real scientists actually predict. You won’t find any earth scientists who think that the age of the earth is going to skyrocket exponentially or without bound. That’s just bullshit that exists only in Menton’s mind.
Of course, clowns like this guy cannot avoid blaming widespread conspiracies for the various failures of their various claims. The phrase “only the evolutionarily-correct are allowed to play” marks its originator as both an imbecile and a whiner, which is never a useful combination. If anyone could produce a meaningful, reasoned rebuttal to evolution, it would have already happened. It would also have made someone rich. Instead, the world is stained by functionally retarded people like Menton, whose only argument here is that dating rocks and fossils is an imperfect process. No shit! Who knew?
Menton goes on to gurgle about “radiocarbon dating” as if this is something geologists rely on in order to figure out how old the planet is. Of course carbon decay isn’t a means of figuring shit like this out. I can’t believe this warbling shitbird has a Ph.D. in anything. He expects people to just overlook the fact that “radiocarbon” and “radioisotope” are not synonyms, apparently. The entire midsection of his shitburst is neatly and methodically refuted here. The idea that circular reasoning is involved in any way is something only an unmitigated fucktard would claim, which is why it makes sense that Menton is claiming it.
Menton’s final paragraph is at least as bad as his first:
As far as the plausibility of evolution is concerned, it really doesn’t make any difference if the earth is 10 billion years old or 10 thousand years old. Indeed, if the whole of evolution were reduced to nothing more than the chance production of a single copy of any one biologically useful protein, there would be insufficient time and material in the known universe to make this even remotely likely. Time by itself simply does not make the hopeless evolutionary scenario of chance and natural selection more reasonable. Imagine if a child were to claim that he alone could build a Boeing 747 airplane from the raw material in 10 seconds, and another were to claim he could do it in 10 days. Would we consider the latter less foolish than the former, simply because he proposed spending nearly a million times more time at the task? Our Creator tells us that “the fool has said in his heart, there is no God.”
Actually, for a score of obvious reasons, it does make a difference. Just not to idiots like David Menton. It’s funny that he terms something understood by virtually all working biologists as not remotely likely. Sure, assfuck, you’re the go-to guy when it comes to knowing this stuff, and an unimpeachable source of information.
I’m imagining a child claiming he could build a 747 in ten seconds, and I am not impressed. The parallels between this scenario and evolution are nonexistent. But fuckheads thrive on dishonesty, which is why this fellow is unfailingly dishonest.