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…or at least an hour and a half over my lunch hour today. I went to see geologist Dr. Emil Silvestru speak about evidence for the biblical flood of Genesis.

The mechanism for a flood basically depends on some catastrophic plate tectonics, which is a theory I’ve heard before. I know very little about geology so I’m not able to comment logically on the theories he presented, but there was nothing glaringly wrong about it. Basically with large enough changes in the earth’s crust (and he presented some arguments as to the feasibility of such) you can get the kind of large scale flooding needed for a “global” flood. There is certainly enough water to do the job, if you just redistribute it appropriately. I would definitely have to look up some of the people he mentioned and some of the scientific articles he appealed to before I could say I was convinced even of the mere possibility though.

Where he ran into trouble was where he would try to fit this into a literal interpretation of the Bible, right down to the young Earth idea. Now if you told me that there was evidence for large scale tectonic events that could have caused massive flooding, wiping out much of the life on Earth, millions of years ago I might be inclined to believe you, especially if it happened at the time of one of the mass extinctions. On the other hand, this guy was saying this all happened 4500 years ago. He might as well have started arguing that the Earth is flat.

My favourite part was the diagram of Noah’s Ark, which included everything from people to elephants to a good old Tyrannosaurus Rex. Don’t worry about overcrowding though—he only had to take two of each type of animal, and they all diverged after the flood, presumably in an orgy of species differentiation lasting, I would assume, for only as long as they could without any humans noticing. Maybe it happened the same way God forcibly split up Noah’s family to form all the cultures around the world we have today.

Now if he could have presented a consistent argument to such I would give him more credit, but he constantly used to geological features that are tens of thousands to millions of years old as evidence for his flood. When questioned he said that all of it must have actually formed within the last few thousand years. The ice age, for example, only took about 500 years.

All of this he basically chalked up to errors in carbon dating. The difficulty in dating geological features accurately I can understand, but not to hundreds of orders of magnitude! A few thousand and a few million is quite a margin. And of course there are other methods of dating that cover different epochs and are often more accurate.

Even worse, he denies that civilisations like the Egyptians and the Chinese were ever around as long ago as 2500 BC, again calling it errors in carbon dating. I could swear we had other ways of dating things like human history (say, CALENDARS) but obviously I must just be brainwashed by my Old Earth scientific paradigm. It does solve one problem though—the Egyptians could have used dinosaurs to do all the heavy lifting when building the pyramids!

Random FAQ Comments (3)

3 Responses to “An afternoon with Creationists”

  1. lambic says:

    I was disappointed to see a program on PBS recently making similar claims. I know PBS is American, but I always thought it was a little smarter than that.

    Don’t worry about overcrowding though—he only had to take two of each type of animal, and they all diverged after the flood, presumably in an orgy of species differentiation…

    Does this mean he accepts evolution by natural selection? Of course, in much shorter timescales than is feasible.

  2. GP says:

    That seemed to be the implication. Although this wouldn’t be evolution of humans from early primates or even primates from other animals. It was more like saying you only needed one species per genus, which could diverge into other species of the same genus. The genera themselves would still have been created directly by God, I guess.

  3. caliibre says:

    Why can “Creationists” &/or “Intelligent Design” advocates ‘solve’ Sudoku Number Puzzles so quickly? THEY JUST PUT A “G” IN ALL THE EMPTY SQUARES; it’s just a matter of faith you know! It’s the same method creationists resort to in trying to prove their unsustainable “intelligent design theory”. They just assume all gaps in current understanding and/or knowledge regarding evolution must be filled with a (G=god) solution. Saves them having to think and question I suppose; blind faith, a refuge for the feeble-minded!

    caliibre

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