Zingrone: Demand evidence from religion, too

William Zingrone Associate professor of psychology

Throw your geology textbook away, biology ones too, your organic chemistry textbook, your smoke alarms, don’t bother to get a PET scan or thyroid scan if you have cancer, unplug your electronic devices from the wall if your electrical power is generated by a nuclear plant.

None of the textbooks are right, and all those devices can’t possibly work because Ken Ham and Ray Comfort and other knowledge deniers claim the earth is only 6,000-10,000 years old.

According to them, Carbon-14 dating doesn’t work, nor do any of the other dozens of methods we have for dating the earth.

Yet, somehow devices like smoke detectors, nuclear reactors and nuclear imaging machines that depend on the very same incredible technology of radioactive chemistry and physics work just fine.

All the science we use daily all over the globe must be hopelessly flawed because Ham and the Ph.D gofers on his staff know better than all the thousands of scientists who can somehow run hundreds of thousands of nuclear devices correctly all over the world but just can’t get the dating part right.

The very idea is so preposterous and pretentious that it deserves all the ridicule we can heap upon it.

More than 130 labs worldwide produce C14 dates daily for archaeologists, geologists, classics scholars, biblical scholars, paleontologists, etc. C14 works excellently for dating artifacts back to 50-60,000 years old, every day of the week.

Hams’ Answers in Genesis’ website does a decent job relating the science behind C14, but then conveniently leaves out it gives dates beyond the few thousand years allowed in its absurd Young Earth Creationist scheme.

Screen shot 2013-10-24 at 10.57.03 PMHams’ resident Ph.D knows better than all the thousands of scientists all over the world who operate all these dating methods? Hiding information to make your crap theory seem plausible: isn’t that dishonest? Doesn’t that go against one of those commandments we hear about all the time?

Is that why so many educated Christians, even Evangelical ones like Rachel Held Evans, whose blog I spoke of in a previous editorial, have given up denying the young age of the earth because the evidence is just too overwhelming and the claim of a young earth is a bald-faced lie?

We should be outraged at this insane denial of reality, this infantile rejection of science, this dishonest attempt to make an extreme, ridiculous and idiosyncratic interpretation of the Bible look plausible by denying or deliberately hiding information as if it didn’t exist. We should be outraged.

Furthermore, we have more than 40 other dating techniques that use radioactivity like Carbon-14 that date the age of rocks, fossils, etc., beyond the range of C14, also in use daily all over the world.

The same radioisotope chemistry that tells us how to build the smoke detectors in your house, that runs the hundreds of nuclear powered subs and ships steaming all around and under the oceans or generates electricity in dozens of nations is the same science that tells us the earth is billions of years old.

The international community of scientists know the theory of how these things work, they know the intricacies of the isotope chemistry and physics in your textbooks and can build and operate these incredibly complex and elegant technologies, yet somehow Ham and his resident Ph.Ds can overturn the consensus of an entire scientific domain by proclamation alone.

Their ludicrous claim is exceeded only by its sheer bombast.

This is not a clash of world views; this is reality versus absurd delusional claims based on a perverted interpretation of Biblical scripture.

It is knowledge versus complete bullshit.

Creationism is pseudoscience and Kentucky shouldn’t be funding a dime of it. Ham and Comfort and others demand you do Christianity their way or you are not a real Christian.

Twelve trips to the moon, about 800 pounds of moon rocks dated in dozens of samples at different labs by radiometric dating, and hundreds of meteorites too, collected for decades from all over the world all yield the same dates in the neighborhood of 4.3 billion years old for the age of the earth and our solar system.

But Ham and Comfort and company don’t want you to know about that either, they pretend it doesn’t exist.

All the science must be wrong because they demand their absurd fantasies have to be right.

This is a prime example of the arrogance of religious thought.

Evidence is demanded in every other human endeavor, but you can make up whatever you want in religion and hide behind the banner of faith to promote your preposterous ideas.

We need to be strident: vociferous and loud and constant in ridicule and refutation of such Creationist drivel.

We should be outraged.

104 Comments on "Zingrone: Demand evidence from religion, too"

  1. It is so sad to see this professor have such a hardened heart towards God. One day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. All evolution does is try to do away with a God that created this world. For anyone to deny this is very sad! There are so many holes in the THEORY of evolution that they have to say the earth is millions and billions of years old to explain away their THEORY. Evolutionists cannot come up with ONE example of a kind changing to another kind. They can come up with many examples of changes in a species, but not a kind changing to another kind. Even though evolution has many unexplained holes in the theory and there is not one shred of evidence used with the scientific method to prove this evidence, it is taught in schools as though it were the gospel truth. Why do some Evolutionists get so hateful in there talk towards Creationists/Christians?

  2. For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,
    “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
    20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

  3. This professor's display of appalling ignorance of the nature of knowing and the nature of science is not surprising since our educational institutions are in the dark on the subject of epistemology.

  4. We don't even have all the facts of history from about 3000 years back and yet these 'scientists' want to tell me what happened 'billions of years ago'. That's an insult to my intelligence.

  5. Professor, AIG doesn't reject carbon dating, it rejects the assumptions that lead to dates beyond 6K years. It might be beneficial to study their arguments and evaluate them on their merits.

  6. Mike Boynton | October 26, 2013 at 12:26 pm |

    Wow, when someone is losing a debate they tend to start calling the other side name which is what this professor has done.

  7. Note this professor cannot express his views without using gutter language.

  8. Gary Connelly | October 26, 2013 at 12:44 pm |

    Does anyone else find it a little ironic that a professor of psychology is commenting on another science's lack of evidence? Is there any academic field with less credible information than Psychology?

  9. Zingrone's rant shows what type of person he really is.

  10. I'm a physicist and have read enough of the material from AIG to realize that do not deny the science behind radioactive dating. They do, however, question the presuppositions about the past that read in the long time scales. Carbon 14 dating depends on the idea that C14 to C12 ratios have been in equilibrium in our atmosphere for hundreds of thousands of years. Good observational science shows they have not reached equilibrium even today. So, using C14 to date things can give relative dates, but nothing absolute, because we are not absolutely sure of the ratios at any given time in history. Likewise, all of the radiometric dating assumes beginning ratios and consistent decay rates, both of which we can not be absolutely sure of. Recent research show that decay rates on Earth can change due to factors like solar activity. Presuppositions that suppose moon rocks formed under certain circumstances dictate what the initial ratios should have been, but we do not have a sound understanding of how the moon formed. I think Zingrone should stick to psychology and leave the physics to physicist. We should be outraged at the logical fallacies in this article. The international community of scientist once thought the Universe was filled with ether and that heat was a substance called phlogiston. The international community does not decide truth. Truth is not democratically decided.

  11. Repent and trust in Christ, and then you will have all the evidence you need, in a changed heart, a changed life, and a new future!

  12. George Gray | October 26, 2013 at 1:49 pm |

    If he is so sure Ken Ham is wrong then debate him in an open forum on campus. He won't because he is a coward and a blowhard using his position to try to discredit anyone who disagrees with him. People like him won't confront the informed they stick with inexperienced students that won't fight back because they need the grade. Intellectual bullies. Very sad

  13. Eric Mortensen | October 26, 2013 at 1:49 pm |

    Why is it okay for this guy to use taxpayer dollars to rail against two individuals and the God they serve? There By promoting his own religion on Kentucky dollars. Seems like the exact thing he was railing about Answers in Genesis doing not to long ago.

  14. Dude, you're a Psychology professor… If there's anyone not qualified to speak about science, it's you.

  15. //This is not a clash of world views; this is reality versus absurd delusional claims based on a perverted interpretation of Biblical scripture.

    It is knowledge versus complete bullshit.//

    Yes, it's the reality of Christ vs the absurd delusional claims of atheism.

  16. Brian Carter | October 26, 2013 at 2:14 pm |

    I'm not sure i understand the connection between having devices that detect carbon and being able to determine the age of things with those devices. is there definitive proof that the deterioration of carbon is constant enough to determine age?

  17. Kimberly Pyle | October 26, 2013 at 2:18 pm |

    That was my very first thought when reading this article!

  18. Hannah NPaul French | October 26, 2013 at 3:11 pm |

    When the date is known through observation, the date given by radiometric dating is usually wrong. But when the date is not known through observation, we are supposed to believe that the date given by radiometric dating is 100% accurate. It's a good thing the moon landing didn't depend on these guys being right about the age of anything, or Neil Armstrong would still be stranded up there. – Paul

  19. The THEORY of evolution shouldn't even be a THEORY. Theories need evidence to back them up. Where is the evidence for evolution. I don't see animal kinds changing into other animal kinds nor did people several thousand years ago?? But evolution has evidence?? Show the evidence!! That is what I call a bald-faced lie?? Why is only one theory being taught?? Why is a theory taught as fact?? That isn't science!!

  20. Terri Christians | October 26, 2013 at 3:43 pm |

    I am a believer of a young earth. The evolutionist can't agree on the same date of the age of the earth. Even in their millions age they are not consistent. God's word is consistent. Is does not lie. Science proves that it is true. Just read Romans 1, Corinthians about people having "itching ears."

  21. Stacey Jewell Stahl | October 26, 2013 at 4:07 pm |

    Be outraged all you want, but try to challenge the difference between observational science and historical science regarding the age of the Grand Canyon.

    Observational science: We observed Mt St Helen's explode, then a canyon form, then a river start to flow. Note: a catastrophic event created a canyon and then a river in less than a year.

    Historical science: Stating as fact that each layer of strata in the Grand Canyon represents an amount of time that proves that millions of years of erosion from the Colorado River created the Grand Canyon. This historical science is not backed by current observation but by an unseen, unproven theory of the age of the canyon. Note: Noah's Flood is the catastrophe that created the Grand Canyon and then began the flow of the Colorado River.

    No, I wasn't there, but I have current observational proof that a catastrophe creates a canyon which creates a river. You, sir, would look preposterous to refuse to look at the observation and call it drivel and then say there's proof of river erosion creating the Grand Canyon.

    So I've given you evidence. It's not blind faith I'm touting. What say you now?

  22. Paul Mulder | October 26, 2013 at 5:03 pm |

    I think everything God created was mature…

  23. It is interesting that the good professor is very silent about all the previous comments. Doesn't he have anything further to add? Yes, the debate about young earth vs. old earth has been going on for the two millenia of church history, and I find it very fair that Mr. Ham has made an effort to of bring out the facts of the young earth argument with his museum, lectures, studies, etc. This is the way we advance knowledge in the USA. By the way, men of good will debate lively, but generally they don't call names. Right, professor? (drivel, preposterous, absurd, fantasies, arrogance, bullshit. I don't believe these kinds of words give you much credibility, professor.)

    But I would like to address Prof. Zingrone's accusation that somehow this effort is somehow costing the state of Kentucky. This a not-for-profit corporation which draws people from all over the country and the world. They spend money in Kentucky, contributing to its economy. The museum provides jobs for KY citizens, who also spend their earnings in KY. Combine this with the fact that no state or federal aid directly benefits the organization, and I have a difficult time seeing how they are helped by the state. Oh, Prof. Zingrone may say they are helped by being tax exempt, but so is his university who pays him to make these allegations.

    Let the debate continue, but please may we hear from you Prof. Zingrone? I am anxious to know how you refute my and the other contributor's comments.

  24. Sorry, but you're wrong about Ham and Comfort being clowns. Hate 'em or like 'em, clowns are professional entertainers. Ham and Comfort are jokers. They are professional deceives, and far more dangerous than clowns.

  25. Seems like Professor Zingrone has a perfect opportunity to refute all the people commenting on his article. Although it is obvious that he hasn't bothered to read much of anything on AIG's site, I'm sure he is intelligent enough to respond to the disagreements brought before him in this comment section. Hopefully we will hear from him soon.

  26. This article is dead on and shows that Ham, Comfort and their ilk are grasping at straws. I've been to the creation roadside attraction (it's not a museum) and was dumbstruck by what I saw. Floating forests? REALLY??? I find it the height of irony that he has to use "super-evolution" to describe the diversity of life on earth today while denying that evolution even exists. Makes one head spin. He also promotes the idea that incest is OK. And don't even get me started on his ark. As someone who was in the NAVY and knows all too well just what being at sea entails, I can tell you the logistics alone…..just did not happen.

    But be that as it may, another proof that Ken isn't really serious about presenting himself as a "real" scientist because many of his claims CAN be tested. The ark being the best on that comes to mind. Build it according to "biblical" dimensions, TRY to stock it w/ every "kind" of animal and, if he could make it that far, tow it out to sea and set it adrift for a yr (the biblical claim of how long they were adrift) w/ a 70 yr old couple and 3 middle age couples to care for the animals. Ages scaled to best replicate the stages of life claimed in the bible.

    Another would be to build a lab and soil layers consistent w/ the Grand Canyon and then simulate the amount of water calculated during the supposed flood and look to if we get the same sort of layout. See this is what "good science" is. Coming up w/ a hypotheses and testing it. However he won't do this. Why? BECAUSE HE KNOWS IT WILL FAIL just like his bible. It's MUCH more easy to distract and confuse isolated homeschooled children and their stay-at-home quvierful moms that don't have the critical thinking skills or education to question these things as well as those who actually DO have the education but "choose" to remain willfully ignorant.

  27. Speaking of the Moon, did you know that one of the reasons we did so many fly-bys of the Moon before we landed was to try to determine the thickness of lunar dust? NASA was concerned that if old universe/solar system dates were true, then the lunar dust would be about 700 feet thick, and totally swallow the lunar lander. But, as Neil and the boys reported by direct observation, it is only about an inch and a half thick!

  28. And yet despite your attempt to point out what's wrong w/ the dating method, scientists still consider it a good tool to give an age of an item within the bounds of it's usefullness. If you can prove that it's not as reliable as some think, then prove it.

    //The international community of scientist once thought the Universe was filled with ether and that heat was a substance called phlogiston.// – And the bible says that the earth was completely covered in a worldwide flood and that there was a dome over the earth but we know that's simply not true. This is simply a disingenuous attack to simply try to discredit scientists. It "may" have been thought to have been that way at one time but when new evidence came along to show otherwise, scientists changed the model to fit the facts, not the facts to fit the model as Ken tries to do. YOU should know this.

    //The international community does not decide truth.// – No. The evidence does and the evidence says the earth is 4B yrs old. That was after looking at repeatable, verifiable information and testing they came to a "conclusion". It wasn't voted on. Much like being on a Jury. You use the evidence to make the determination. Again, if you can disprove it, submit your findings and win your Nobel.

    // Truth is not democratically decided// – I agree. Christians in the US like to say that we're a "christian nation" but the truth is we never were or are a theocracy. Our constitution was set up to be a secular government.

  29. Nope. One day YOU will see as every mouth will open and every tongue shall taste HIS Noodly ways. I beg to to accept the Flying Spaghetti Monster (Sauce be upon HIM) as you're personal lifeguard before HE throws you into the great toilet bowl of last nights dinner. Please don't harden your stomach against HIS tasty goodness. It's your choice.

  30. Daniel Park | October 26, 2013 at 8:36 pm |

    Some people just make stupid conclusions without reading other people's point of view. If you know so much about AiG, then you should know that they aren't rejecting the radioactive dating. I can't even call you a professor, because of how stupid you wrote your opinion without defining correctly on what the other person was thinking.

  31. And yet despite your attempt to point out what's wrong w/ the dating method, scientists still consider it a good tool to give an age of an item within the bounds of it's usefullness. If you can prove that it's not as reliable as some think, then prove it.

    //The international community of scientist once thought the Universe was filled with ether and that heat was a substance called phlogiston.// – And the bible says that the earth was completely covered in a worldwide flood and that there was a dome over the earth but we know that's simply not true. This is simply a disingenuous attack to simply try to discredit scientists. It "may" have been thought to have been that way at one time but when new evidence came along to show otherwise, scientists changed the model to fit the facts, not the facts to fit the model as Ken tries to do. YOU should know this.

    //The international community does not decide truth.// – No. The evidence does and the evidence says the earth is 4B yrs old. That was after looking at repeatable, verifiable information and testing they came to a "conclusion". It wasn't voted on. Much like being on a Jury. You use the evidence to make the determination. Again, if you can disprove it, submit your findings and win your Nobel.

    // Truth is not democratically decided// – I agree. Christians in the US like to say that we're a "christian nation" but the truth is we never were or are a theocracy. Our constitution was set up to be a secular government.

  32. This article is dead on and shows that Ham, comfort and their ilk are grasping at straws. I've been to the creation roadside attraction and was dumbstruck by what I saw. Floating forests? REALLY??? I find it the height of irony that he has to use "super-evolution" to describe the diversity of life on earth today while denying that evolution even exists. Makes one head spin. He also promotes the idea that incest is OK. And don't even get me started on his ark. As someone who was in the NAVY and knows all too well just what being at sea entails I can tell you. Just did not happen.

    But be that as it may, another proof that Ken isn't really serious about presenting himself as a "real" scientist because many of his claims CAN be tested. The ark being the best on that comes to mind. Build it according to "biblical" dimensions, TRY to stock it w/ every "kind" of animal and, if he could make it that far, tow it out to sea and set it adrift for a yr (the biblical claim of how long they were adrift) w/ a 70 yr old couple and 3 middle age couples to care for the animals. Ages scaled to best replicate the stages of life claimed in the bible.

    Another would be to build a lab and soil layers consistent w/ the Grand Canyon and then simulate the amount of water calculated during the supposed flood and look to if we get the same sort of layout. See this is what "good science" is. Coming up w/ a hypotheses and testing it. However he won't do this. Why? BECAUSE HE KNOWS IT WILL FAIL just like his bible. It's MUCH more easy to distract and confuse isolated homeschooled children and their stay-at-home quvierful moms that don't have the critical thinking skills or education to question these things as well as those who actually DO have the education but "choose" to remain willfully ignorant like

  33. I withdraw my previous comment. Knaves is far more appropriate.

  34. Reynold Hall | October 27, 2013 at 1:29 am |

    So it's the people at AIG who DO know and follow science then, you other commentators?

    First off: Read something about radiometric dating from a christian physicist who, unlike the AIG people has NOT taken any statement of faith:
    http://asa3.org/ASA/resources/Wiens.html

    Tony Dunn, if you have read AIG's material like you claim then you should be aware of the following which should disqualify any of those people from commenting about science

    Steve Tyler: You claim that the author needs to read the AIG arguments about radiometric dating on their "merits"? You too need to have a look at the following:

    This is part of the statement of faith that all AIG members and prospective members have to sign as a precondition of employment:
    "By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record. Of primary importance is the fact that evidence is always subject to interpretation by fallible people who do not possess all information."

    Of course those people don't have all the information either, but at least honest scientists do NOT promise to outright disregard any facts that go against what they've already decided MUST be true.

    So Steve: What "merits" can there be when those people promise to disregard any facts which go against what they've decided to be true?

    Gary Connelly seems to have missed the point utterly when the author of this article talks about all the regular scientists (which would include physicists!) use their knowledge of radiometric dating to

  35. Reynold Hall | October 27, 2013 at 1:30 am |

    …finishing previous post:
    …radiometric dating to build smoke detectors, nuclear plants, etc.

  36. Reynold Hall | October 27, 2013 at 2:06 am |

    Odd that you should mention a verbal debate George:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/aronra/2013/06/01/ken-ham-refused-to-debate-me/
    "So Ken Ham has answered my challenge. He says he’ll have a debate, but not with me. Oh no, he won’t face me."

    "He actually wants to replace both of us. He wants to pit a professional scientist with respectable accolades against one of his own anti-science apologists wearing similar credentials."

    As for why most scientists don't "debate" creationists?
    "Professional creationists like Kent Hovind have demonstrated in live debates that they can utter as many misrepresented distortions in one sentence as there are words in that sentence. Most credible scientists would be completely blind-sided by such outrageously unethical behavior. Any legitimate scientist will have a specialty, but the creation scientist is a jack-of-all trades, trained to lob a jumble of falsehoods from vastly different fields all in rapid fashion, such that no actual academic could have all the necessary knowledge to adequately address or refute enough of those points in the limited time allowed.

    Only a few actual scientists are familiar and fluent in creationist tactics enough to really put them to task. "

    Ra is apparently one of them, so Ham won't actually debate HIM.

    Besides, you do know that science is settled in the LAB, and not on the debate circuit? Read up on Samuel Birley Rowbotham: A flat-earther who almost never ever lost a debate. Does that mean that the sun orbits the earth?

  37. Reynold Hall | October 27, 2013 at 2:14 am |

    Tim Kalmbach Uh, you do know that the "moon-dust" argument is wrong?
    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CE/CE101.html

    Even AIG rejects it:
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/tj/v7/n1/moondust
    "Calculations show that the amount of meteoritic dust in the surface dust layer, and that which trace element analyses have shown to be in the regolith, is consistent with the current meteoritic dust influx rate operating over the evolutionists’ timescale. While there are some unresolved problems with the evolutionists’ case, the moon dust argument, using uniformitarian assumptions to argue against an old age for the moon and the solar system, should for the present not be used by creationists."

  38. And Gary is a highly trained what?

  39. Reynold Hall , is there any evidence or are there any arguments that you would entertain as legitimately supporting a Young Earth Creation view? Also, how would you define a credible scientist?

  40. Gabo Entropía | October 27, 2013 at 2:34 am |

    Do you really think that those possible sources for problems make our planet only 6000 years old? Do you really think that the experts in radiometric dating don't know about sources of noise and how to deal with them? Do you really think that C14 is the only one method for radiometric dating? Do you really think that if several isotopes agree on dates the radiometry is what's wrong rather than the idea that our planet is only 6000 years old? Do you really think that every radiometric dating method needs C14 to C12 ratios? Do you really think that wrong rations are behind the agreement of several isotopes even if those other methods don't depend on knowing initial ratios? Do you really think that wrong rations are behind the agreement of several isotopes even if those isotopes decay each at different rates? Do you really think that rocks without carbon are dated using C14? Are you really unaware that the uniformity of decay has resisted all kinds of quite violent tests? All you have demonstrated, if you're really a physicist, is that radiometry is not within the domain of expertise of just any physicist, and that you are not precisely one who would understand half of it. The psychologist did a much better job than you investigating and understanding the consequences of cherry-picked denial of radiometry. You, on the other hand, attempted to dismiss the claims on the basis of your "title," rather than on the basis of proper understanding of the issues. We should be outraged at the logical fallacies of your "rebuttal."

  41. Reynold Hall, one of the main points that AIG tries to make is that the foundation of this dispute is our worldviews or biases. You point out that AIG employees sign a statement of faith and thus should be disqualified from commenting about science. Does it follow then that anyone who signs the Humanist Manifesto should also not comment about science? Both are statements of faith. The difference is tha AIG admits where their bias is upfront. Instead of dismissing their arguments out of hand, how about entertaining them from their perspective? At the very least you would be able to understand why they believe what they believe instead of dismissing them as dishonest.

  42. Gabo Entropía | October 27, 2013 at 3:15 am |

    Danny Willis No amount of "worldview" excuses can make up for cherry-picking of data and of scientific results. No amount of "worldview" excuses can make up for a "mistake" between 6,000 years and 4.5 billion years. Yes. Rejection of any data that conflicts with their preferred conclusions is indeed a problem with any institution. Do you really not see any problems with that? Reject any evidence if it conflicts with your preferred conclusion? The problem is not that those employees sign a statement of faith, but what the statement says. Did you read it? Do you understand what it means? I would not trust anything those guys told me. I would have to be checking myself to make sure that no evidence was left out. If the statement said "we will accept the truth no matter how painful, no matter how delightful, no matter how unwanted, no matter how wanted, no matter how good or how bad for our beliefs!" Then I could take them seriously. But that's just me, I guess.

  43. Gabo Entropía | October 27, 2013 at 3:26 am |

    That some institution would give you "evidence" that the planet is just about 6000 years old by deforming some information, and then by ignoring copious amounts of carefully and painfully gained expertise is not an insult to your intelligence then?

  44. Reynold Hall | October 27, 2013 at 4:25 am |

    Danny Willis
    How many scientists have signed "the humanist manifesto"? In fact, where in that manifesto is there anything where they promise to disregard data that goes against their views, as in the AIG statement of faith?

    Other than that, Gabo Entropia has spoken for me.

  45. Reynold Hall | October 27, 2013 at 4:28 am |

    Danny Willis
    A credible scientist would be someone who has NOT promised to disregard as invalid any evidence that goes against what he or she has already chosen to believe.

    As for evidence: How's about all the radiometric dating showing that the earth is only six thousand years old, instead of a bunch of dodging and excuses from the YEC people that ALL of those millions of radiometric dates have somehow been misinterpreted?

    How about us only being able to see stars that were six thousand light years away and no further if the universe is really only that old?

  46. Reynold Hall | October 27, 2013 at 4:30 am |

    Hah? How did I get to become a "top commenter"? I've only ever commented on this site a few times.

  47. Reynold Hall | October 27, 2013 at 4:33 am |

    There is a problem with that, as fellow christian Christopher Sharp points out here:
    http://www.csharp.com/lisle.html

    "A common defense for the creationist appearance-of-age argument is that Adam was created mature in the Garden of Eden in order to be fully functional. There are two problems with this, quite apart from whether Adam existed or not as a real individual: (1) his remains are not around today (or have not been identified), whereas starlight, rocks and asteroid orbits can be directly observed today, and (2) one could argue that if Adam existed, he had to be mature to be fully functional, but, say, the Kirkwood gaps or the craters on the Moon perform no function other than to deceive us into believing in a false and non-existent past history of a 6000 year old Solar System. I argued with him that he was following a God of deception rather than a God of truth. Another problem with the appearance-of-age argument is that it is not science because it is not falsifiable even in principle, i.e. the argument by implication is that God being omnipotent could fool us in such a way that humans could never test this argument out to see if it is true or false even in principle. This type of argument is junk science and trailer trash theology."

  48. Reynold Hall http://americanhumanist.org/Humanism/Humanist_Manifesto_I Here is the original manifesto. You can see that they hold science as the ultimate way of knowing anything about our origins and reject outright anything outside of science being able to explain it. To reject any possibility of the supernatural is to automatically disregard any data that goes against their beliefs. If you look further on the site you can find those that have signed it including Richard Dawkins and Eugenie Scott.

    Gabo Entropia. You can not just wave your hand and dismiss the argument of different starting worldviews. The fact that you are attempting to do so just proves my point that most of those opposed to AIG can not or will not admit their bias/worldview. AIG does not dismiss evidence only because it conflicts with their worldview; in fact the evidence is the same for both the Biblical worldview and the evolutionary worldview, it is the interpretation and stories assigned to the evidence that is rejected. If you honestly think that ones worldview has no effect on how one interprets their scientific findings then our discussion will not make any sense going further.

  49. Reynold Hall | October 27, 2013 at 4:52 am |

    Consistent? Really?
    http://errancy.org/index.html

    Scientists' estimate of the age of the earth is a lot more consistent than that.
    http://talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-age-of-earth.html
    http://talkorigins.org/faqs/icecores.html

  50. Reynold Hall | October 27, 2013 at 4:56 am |

    Sorry, Max. That's backwards. Evidence first, then belief.

    James: You need to have a look at what some fellow believers of yours say about atheists before you use ad-hom attacks to try to discredit what someone's trying to say.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZuowNcuGsc

  51. Reynold Hall , I am assuming that you understand AIG's arguments against the assumptions of radioisotope dating methods. Could you break down for me why it is only a bunch of dodging and excuses and not actually valid arguments? It seems that if we don't know the original amounts of the isotopes, whether they amounts only changed due to decay instead of outside influences, or if the decay rates were constant since no one was able to observe any of it for the thousands of years necessary, then we should be reluctant to trust its results.

    The distant starlight problem is one that YECers do have to acknowledge. The good thing is that the starlight horizon problem is equally bad for billions of years believers. Since both sides have similar problems, then it really points to a lack of understanding about the speed of light and whether or not is is truly constant.

    Of course, since I am not a scientist, I don't expect you to buy any of my thoughts on the matter. My question is, if a scientist who has NOT promised to disregard as invalid any evidence that goes against what he or she has already chosen to believe makes the exact same arguments as AIG, would you believe them?

  52. It doesn't take a scientist to know that religion is nonsense. I'm not a scientist, yet I can tell fact from fantasy.

  53. Reynold Hall | October 27, 2013 at 7:32 am |

    Danny Willis
    You left out something from the very top of the page:
    "The Manifesto is a product of many minds. It was designed to represent a developing point of view, not a new creed. The individuals whose signatures appear would, had they been writing individual statements, have stated the propositions in differing terms."

    You also left out this:
    "Obviously humanism does not deny the possibility of realities as yet undiscovered, but it does insist that the way to determine the existence and value of any and all realities is by means of intelligent inquiry and by the assessment of their relations to human needs. Religion must formulate its hopes and plans in the light of the scientific spirit and method."

    That's a lot more leeway than is allowed in the AIG statement of faith.

    And no: It is NOT the "same evidence" for both sides. And YES, AIG and yecers in general do dismiss evidence out of hand that doesn't fit their worldview. That is exactly what they have to promise to do in their statement of faith!

    Here: Read this and look at what YECer Jason Lisle had to dismiss or ignore in order to skip to his views:
    http://www.csharp.com/lisle.html

    Read from
    "Creation Astronomy: Viewing the University through Biblical Glasses:" onwards.

  54. Reynold Hall | October 27, 2013 at 7:45 am |

    Danny Willis
    I gave a link to an actual christian physicist who goes into great detail about creationist radiometric dating earlier:
    http://asa3.org/ASA/resources/Wiens.html
    He deals with your objections.

    You can find more resources on the talkorigins site. I don't have the time to give a full education on this. This is something that requires some research.

    You ask:
    "My question is, if a scientist who has NOT promised to disregard as invalid any evidence that goes against what he or she has already chosen to believe makes the exact same arguments as AIG, would you believe them?"
    It depends on how well the evidence holds up.

    Thing is: YEC claims don't hold up. Even when one ignores the fact that they promise to disregard evidence that goes against their views. Here's some more resources to show what I mean:
    http://talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html

    http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL126AFB53A6F002CC

  55. I too had similar ideas….until God opened my eyes/heart/brain etc to the truth about Himself.

  56. Gabo – all these numbskulls can do is obsessively pick at holes they think they've made.

  57. Insulting your intelligence is a very minor offence.

  58. Bill Weather | October 27, 2013 at 3:16 pm |

    pure BS Tony Dunn – 3 assumptions in radiometric dating #1 uranium and lead ratio starting point #2 no heat involved turning uranium into lead much quicker than the natural aging process. #3 no water taking out uranium leaving the lead, was invovled. MAJOR UNSCIENTIFIC ASSUMPTIONS! As with C-14, heat greatly effect c-14 as well….. you are either LIARS, dishonest, or you are tied in some way economically to defending the lie! my web site disproves you thoroughly http://www.censored-science.org/

  59. " Is there any academic field with less credible information than Psychology?"

    Explain yourself

  60. Explain yourself.

    Psychology is much of a science as physic and biology. Only those ignorant of actual science speak like you.

    Psychology uses the very same scientific method as all the other sciences.

  61. Go back to basic biology and you will see why you come off as an idiot.

  62. There is actually a very good consensus across the board.

    99.99% of all scientists agree that the Earth is at least 4.5 Billion years old.

  63. Explain yourself….

  64. Did you fail basic high school biology?

  65. Why is it okay for the taxpaying dollars be used to indoctrinate a science class with Creationism?
    Kentucky is lacking in the sciences because Creationism, despite the lack of science is better supportered than true science- science that actually uses the scientific method.

  66. Dan Eastwood | October 27, 2013 at 7:43 pm |

    As a physicist, perhaps you are aware that if fundamental physical constants varied so much, then our fundamental understanding of radioactivity is flawed; we wouldn't have functional nuclear reactors, nor would we have evidence of billion-year-old nuclear reactions. Even more, if these "finely tuned" constants varied so much, there wouldn't be life at all. Your argument that radiometric dating is flawed, also has some really big flaws.

  67. How much of Ham's "facts" are grounded in empirical research?

    None.

  68. Now what is your "research" for that answer?

  69. You have an answer for everybody below, don't you Jordan? Except your answers are not answers, but merely mock people. That is the evolutionist weapon! Just mock, mock, mock! Even Gabo below. All he does is say "Do you really believe? Do you really believe? Do you really believe?" Mock, mock, mock! Yes, we really believe what God has said, "In the beginning, God created…"

  70. You mean a passionate and dedicated professor, who is worried about the state of our education in the US and who is sick of religious organizations trying to support false science?

  71. Maybe instead of calling people stupid over and over, you could form an actually argument against their opinion. It's clear that AiG accepts a young earth view which means that they reject data involving radioactive dating which is exactly what Dr. Zingrone is talking about. Perhaps you need to read the article again.

  72. Gutter language? He's completely reserved. I could say much worse about creationism and AiG. You confuse the criticism of ideas and beliefs with the personal attacks of individuals. He did not once call anyone an idiot. He was criticizing the pseudoscientific ideas of an organization that clearly lies, misrepresents, and perverts scientific data to fit their twisted personal world view.

  73. What? Lol I agree with Jordan, you should really explain yourself.

  74. Evan Hannan | October 28, 2013 at 1:11 am |

    Where did you get this word 'kinds'? From the bible? Because I'm pretty sure there is nothing in zoology about kinds of animals, species perhaps, but not kinds. Also modern animals do not evolve into modern animals, I hope you understand that. We see speciation occurring in our time, not just geological time, a species separates when it can no longer reproduce with its relatives due to genetic and phenotypic changes. Here is a great, simple website that explains speciation: http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/VSpeciation.shtml a few minutes on that should make it easy to understand how this occurs. As far as evidence, the theory of evolution has been around for quite sometime and still hasn't been overturned. Darwin knew nothing about genetics, today molecular biology, the discovery of the gene, all supports Darwin's theory. It didn't have too, it could have completely overturned it, but it didn't. Along with molecular biology, our understanding of chemistry, physics, and geology, along with the fossil record and sediment layers all support the theory of evolution. If you want evidence for evolution, instead of yelling on a Facebook comment, take a class in Biology (BIO 216 at Murray State explains the theory caught well and gives tons of evidence and the predictable power of evolutionary theory) or go to a Museum or go talk to any Evolutionary Biologist. One night one Wikipedia might even educate you on the amount of evidence support the theory of evolution. Just some suggestions.

  75. Evan Hannan | October 28, 2013 at 1:16 am |

    He's paid by the state to educate people, which is exactly what he's doing, both in the classroom and for the general public with his articles. Just because you disagree with him doesn't make his argument invalid. Also, nonbelief isn't a religion, it's a lack of belief in god(s) and in his case anti theism, a lack of belief in religion(s). What he is doing is completely legal and we need more of it.

  76. Evan Hannan | October 28, 2013 at 1:28 am |

    First of all, that's not an argument but a logical fallacy, a personal attack called an ad hominem. Secondly, as Jordan pointed out above, psychology is as much of a science as biology and physics, it's the study of animal and human behavior. Don't get Freudian clinical psychology mixed up with modern psychology, just like you shouldn't get alchemy mixed up with modern chemistry and creationism with modern biology. Finally, a professor with a PhD in developmental psychology and research that focuses in Cognitive Evolution, who is well read in science not only in his field but in other fields, should be able to express his point of view just like someone as yourself can express their view openly. There are not authorities in science, only experts. The only thing that matters is whether you can support your claim with evidence, which Dr. Zingrone has done. The irony of your comment is that someone like yourself, with no background in psychology or science, really has no qualification to speak on either.

  77. Evan Hannan | October 28, 2013 at 2:01 am |

    'It is interesting that the good professor is very silent about all the previous comments. Doesn't he have anything further to add?"

    Its funny that you say that, Dr. Zingrone JUST figured out about all the comments tonight. He's been busy spending time with us (members of MSUSORS and MSU Freethinkers) at the Kentucky Freethought Convention. I'm sure Dr. Zingrone will have a comment about this great dialogue in his next article. But being a professor who works hard and is constantly busy with campus organizations, tutoring, and academic panels on top of his secular speaking he doesn't have much time to comment on Facebook.

    Also, calling out his "name calling" is kind of funny, it might not lead any more credibility but it certainly doesn't take away from it as long as he shows or explains why their ideas are absurd and bullshit. Also, I read that article and not once did he call anyone an idiot or use an ad hominem. He was merely criticizing ideas, I find nothing wrong with that? Yeah he's a little passionate, but so what, someone needs to be. I'm curious to why so many people confuse personal attacks with criticism of beliefs. It's not the same. Ideas and beliefs that are brought to the public should be criticized openly.

    "Creationism is pseudoscience and Kentucky shouldn't be funding a dime of it. Ham and Comfort and others demand you do Christianity their way or you are not a real Christian." – I think the key word here is "shouldn't" he wasn't saying that we are paying for it, but that we shouldn't. If creationism ends up in public schools, then yeah, we're paying for it and there is no denying that is exactly what AiG wants. Also governor Steve Beshear at one point (not sure now) was wanting to use Kentucky tax payer's dollars to help support the building of the Ark Encounter due to the benefit to Kentucky that you mentioned above. Benefit or not that would be trampling over the First Amendment and sorry to say, I do not want my money to be supporting pseudoscience and one religions version of biblical "history." As long as the park stays nonprofit (as it should) then no problem. The difference between Dr. Zingrone and the park is simply: The university pays him to teach, which he does and on his spare time he is open to write about WHATEVER he wants (as long as he is not PERSONALLY defaming or attacking anyone) in the newspaper, they are not paying him to write in the MSU News, that's something he does freely and has every right too just like all the Christian professors who write in about their opinions and beliefs.

    Mr. Andree, you seem like a reasonable man, we may disagree, but at least (I think) we agree on one thing, that the debate should continue (as you said) and this dialogue is needed and can only help. Keep an eye out next Friday for Dr. Zingrone's response.

  78. Evan Hannan | October 28, 2013 at 2:06 am |

    I have yet to see one personal attack or defaming of an individual in his article. You people keep confusing criticism of beliefs and ideas with ad hominems. There is a difference, BIG difference.

  79. Interesting, Evan, that he is so busy that you felt the need to take his place! All I meant by my comments about his verbiage is that people who resort to these words usually do so when they are short on arguments, which is certainly the case with the professor. What we have is a simple disagreement about what is possible. It is either possible for God to do what he has said, which Mr. Ham is endeavoring to do through his work, or it is not, as the professor says. I do not think the professor brings light to the subject when he characterizes his opponent's view as he does. Who is he trying to convince? I think he is trying to convince people who believe as Mr. Ham does. The rest are already on his side. When you characterize those you are trying to convince as dolts, you may lose the battle with them before you start. Better to bring carefully reasoned arguments. Eh?

  80. The sky is Purple. There for it is written and there for it is now a fact based on your argument.
    Just because something is written down without being thoroughly criticized and tested does not make it a fact.

  81. Let me see, you have criticized and tested and duplicated creation in the test tube repeatedly, right? So from your experiments, I must conclude that nothing created everything! Sorry. Let's get Evan back into this conversation. He makes a lot more sense than you.

  82. Kent Alexander Martin | October 28, 2013 at 4:20 am |

    That is the vaguest attempt at pseudo-philosophy I've seen today. Congrats, Berj. Considering the author is writing from a position of peer reviewed evidence, he's on solid ground. I don't know what kind of absurd rabbit hole you're looking to dive down concerning epistemological certitude, but I doubt you'll find much currency with pseudo-philosophy outside of your own echo chamber.

  83. Kent Alexander Martin | October 28, 2013 at 4:39 am |

    It would seem to me that those with no substantive criticisms often resort to criticizing language used. It's a comforting mantra, but it is a poor metric by which to judge an argument. It's much easier to do that than address the central thesis of the piece, after all. "Look! He used language I find offensive! I'm off the hook for actually presenting a cogent rebuttal. *whew*"

  84. Kent Alexander Martin | October 28, 2013 at 4:55 am |

    While we're randomly wall-of-texting from the Bible, let's bring out the classics:
    "I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet." 1 Tim 2:12
    What about this gem from Jeremiah? (19:9)
    "I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and daughters, and they will eat one another’s flesh because their enemies will press the siege so hard against them to destroy them." God sure sounds like a dick, huh? Oh, and don't forget – slavery is totally, cool, too!
    "Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh." 1 Peter 2:18

    All of the above seems about as relevant to the discussion at hand as your list of quotes, so I hope this contribution to the discourse is appreciated!

  85. Zach Bender | October 28, 2013 at 5:01 am |

    And where exactly did you get your physics degree? The University of Tijuana?

    Even if radioisotope dating techniques involving atmospheric gas isotopes were to be entirely discredited, there are several other dating techniques available that make it blatantly obvious that the Young Earth model is impossible. These include, in no real order, electron spin resonance dating, paleomagnetic dating, biostratigraphic dating, and dendrochronology. Hell, even dendrochronology, which is just a fancy word for counting tree rings, demonstrates that the Earth is at the very least around two or three thousand years older than the absolute oldest Young Earth model age of ~10k years.

  86. Kent Alexander Martin | October 28, 2013 at 6:00 am |

    It's mind blowing that someone who would take it upon herself to teach children could be so staggeringly ignorant.

  87. What has always gotten to me about this Creationism vs. Science debate, is not only the fact that Creationism doesn't take logic or any supporting evidence in to account, but also the fact that the proponents of Creationism wish to assert the teaching of their "theories" in public schools. Creationism isn't even in the same ball park as "The Big Bang Theory!" While both deal with a similar topic (the origin of the universe), Creationism requires no evidence for it's claims, while "The Big Bang Theory" does.

    What angers me most though about it, is that to teach Creationism (which is based on religious beliefs) in a science class, would be to teach, in part, the preference for Christianity in public schools. It seems proponents of Creationism being taught in schools assume that the entirety of the USA is Christian, which is a great fallacy! This country supports the right to practice one's religion and to tolerate other religions. We can all discuss religion in an academic setting, to educate people about other beliefs and open a window in to culture, but we absolutely MUST NOT teach children to favor a certain side in the classroom. That is for the children to decide.

    To sum this up: Creationism, which is a religious belief, is an aspect of an independent culture with independent beliefs and if it is taught in schools at all, it must be in a secular context in a Social Studies class; NOT Science.

  88. Nakayama Yao | October 28, 2013 at 6:38 am |

    I saw my professor!!

  89. " Is there any academic field with less credible information than Psychology?"

    Yes there is: Theology

  90. Rather, "I've used language he and those of like mind will find offensive! I'm off the hook for actually presenting a cogent thesis. *whew*"

  91. Well Mr Dunn, I notice you avoid discussing the 40 other radiometric dating methods and the dozens of other non-radiometric methods that all intercorrelate with each other and support C14 dates and the date of the geologic column, fossils, artifacts and age of the earth. My undergrad training is in anthropology specifically human evolution and archaeology, with graduate work in brain and behavioral evolution. My research in cognitive development feeds my inquiries into cognitive evolution. I guest lecture on evolutionary topics in the Biology dept here at MSU and worked for a number of years in the radio-isotope medical imaging field. Ive been following the Creationist movement for some years now as well so I think I'm reasonably acquainted with the field to discuss it. But I am a journalist in this debate and the consensus of the science, the scientists who work in this field is what is important, not anyone persons credentials. My reporting the consensus doesnt make it right because I happen to have a PhD, it is the evidence for the dating it and the consensus of the scientific community that makes Creationism ludicrous. There are no fallacies in my article.

  92. I commented on Mr Dunn's reply. Ky was considering tax breaks for the planned theme park. It is interesting that none of you seem to be able to refute any of the science which works every day all over the world. The science will continue without you insane denials. Your only claim is your certainty that you know how to interpret 2,000 year old writings better than anyone else. To anyone who takes issue with my attack on the absurdity of Creationism in general and Young Earth Creationism in particular I suggest you go to the prominent Christian scientist and devout Evangelical that the MSU Christian Racer Faculty suggested you learn about in their ad last week: Francis Collins. His website BioLogos will provide you the same clear opposition as I have to both Old Earth and Young Earth Creationism. So if you don’t like hearing it from a non-believer like me, listen to what Francis Collins and dozens of other Christian scientists have to say on the topic. If you would like to check it out on your own, read Ken Ham’s Answers in Genesis website or Albert Mohler of the Southern Baptist Conferernce’s blog for the YEC interpretation of scripture and then check out the opposing scientific view from Dr. Collins or any of the knowledgeable scientists we are lucky to have on our staff here at MSU. Talk to our physicists, chemists, biologists, and archaeologists about the age of the earth, the many types of radiometric dating and the dozens of non-radiometric dating methods that all corroborate one another. Additionally you might google these terms and read the science for yourself, or check out geology, archaeology and biology journals from our library and read the voluminous science we have that negates these ridiculous views. You could also certainly talk to any of the MSU professors and staff listed in the CFR ads as they endorse Francis Collins stance on science and should be knowledgeable on Dr. Collins views on the impossibility of Creationism and the complete compatibility of the scientific view with Christian beliefs. Then decide for yourself

  93. If Creationism was to be taught in a science class, we would have to change the facts to make it fit the fiction.

    Instead of teaching cell division/mitosis & miosis we will have to teach that woman came from man ( which is categorically wrong)

  94. Debates decide nothing. Ask any debate coach, they dont even care what side of an issue they take, its solely an exercise on debate techniques and argumentation. Science isnt decided by debate. Verification and replication is how knowledge proceeds, not sophistry. Science deniers always suggest debates because that is all they have.

  95. Dude, My undergrad training is in anthropology specifically human evolution and archaeology, with graduate work in brain and behavioral evolution. My research in cognitive development dovetails with my inquiries into cognitive evolution. I guest lecture on evolutionary topics in the Biology dept here at MSU and worked for a number of years in the radio-isotope medical imaging field. Ive been following the Creationist movement for some years now as well so I think I'm reasonably acquainted with the field to discuss it. You are clueless. If you'd like a Xian scientist with credentials instead of a mere non-believer like me, go to the Biologos website, Francis Collins website and you will see the same critique of Creationist nonsense.

  96. Hannah what you said about radiometric and observation is hopelessly wrong. Read the science instead of Xian propaganda so you dont get hosed again. And we landed men on the moon six times and the US and USSR did dozens of hard and soft landings since the late 50's. Get your science from science sources, not religious ones and you will get real info instead of nonsense. The Creationist tried to prove once that the moon couldnt be old because it didnt have enough dust accumulation. They had to drop that argument years ago. More grasping at straws. We use dozens of radiometric and non radiometric dating methods daily allover the world and it works just fine. Creationism denials are complete crap. Read the science for yourself.

  97. I dont use taxpayer dollars. i write on my own time, in the evenings and weekends. I fulfill all my contractual teaching and service obligations here at MSU. My writing efforts are not funded by the taxpayers.

  98. Im not an atheist. And see the Biologos website for a Xian perspective that completely disagrees with Creationism. Science is not delusional, it works for all of us of any religion. We all use the same science everyday.

  99. Kent Alexander Martin | October 28, 2013 at 2:47 pm |

    Bruce AndreeExcept that there was a cogent thesis that you, and everyone else replying, has failed to actually address without cherry picking bad data and falling for your favorite cultural biases. In failing to do so, you resorted to criticizing a certain set of words that you did not like. You can refute the thesis or continue to complain about words you dislike, but only one route will get anyone to take you seriously.

  100. If Ken Ham dislikes personal comments, why is his smug visage all over the AIG website? If he's not prepared to take personal criticism, he should remove his personality from the site. He won't though, because he loves himself too much.

  101. Oh and Mr Gray, I dont teach a course where someone's grade is dependent on their beliefs, that is pure crap on your part. Anyone that knows me here knows your comment is not only wrong but sad in itself. You know nothing about me nor the students I teach.

  102. Well, please enlighten us then as to my epistemological errors. Go for it.

  103. In his introduction to the controversial book Sociobiology, E. O. Wilson wrote that Albert Camus was wrong when he said that the only serious philosophical question was whether or not to commit suicide; i.e., is life worth living? There are other serious philosophical questions, but Camus was essentially correct if there is no God. This existentialist position is not as nihilistic as it sounds; it actually offers a convenient and appropriate starting point for a developing dialogue on the meaning of life in the absence of religion. I think that is what Bill Zingrone and most atheist humanists are trying to convey; there is meaning and beauty in a life without the opportunity for resurrection. We are here and alone, like it or not, and the only resource we have to understand everything around us is the logic that extends from our unique brain. That logic, applied to the world through science and the scientific method, has allowed us to do wondrous things, from building the great edifices of the world to putting a rover on Mars. This same logic is the basis of all creativity, including the fine arts. Music deconstructs, after all, to mathematics. Can you imagine what the world would be like if religion had been successful in squashing Copernicus, Galileo and other thinkers who gave us our current heliocentric solar system? Would we as a species prevail and persist with a world-view that recognizes only 6000 years for the age of the Earth? Can you really imagine America as a Christian theocracy where creationism is taught as the prevailing model for the origin of the universe and humans?

    We are not used to Bill Zingrone’s anger because until recently atheists, like gays, necessarily had to remain hidden for fear of ostracism or worse. Fundamentalists (one could argue all religious personnel) have had free reign in this country because of the flawed perception that America is a Christian country. But our forefathers had the understanding of the need to separate church from state, and although the far Christian right would like to overturn that decision, they are too late, because, much to their dismay, America is morphing into something quite different than they expected; a true democracy, composed of many races, creeds and spiritual belief systems, including atheism. The advancing freedom of blacks, women, gays and now atheists is no accident; it represents the natural evolution of a free society, and there is further progress to be made. This progress comes through the difficult and lengthy metamorphosis from primitive to enlightened and rational thinking; thinking based on brutally unbiased observations and interpretation. Those that decry Bill Zingrone’s anger are not aware of the current American religious dynamic; all recent studies show that religion in America is on the wane. Young people are leaving the church in disgust, not only for its absurd preaching and positions on scientific questions, but also because of its protection of pedophiles and the recognition that church officials have been getting rich at their expense for centuries. Bill Zingrone’s anger is an understandable response to the psychological slavery we have endured in this country under Christianity for millennia. As in the now-famous lines from the movie Network (1976), Bill Zingrone is shouting, “Things have got to change. But first, you've gotta get mad!… You've got to say, 'I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!'

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