Zingrone: Science is not decided by debate

William Zingrone Associate professor of psychology

In my last column, I described walking off the solar system down the sidewalk from Main near Sparks to Lizo using a bowling ball for the sun, peppercorns for Earth and Venus, poppy seeds for Mars, Mercury and Pluto, an acorn for Saturn, a walnut for Jupiter and coffee beans for Neptune and Uranus.

The walk truly conveys the enormous distances between the planets compared to their tiny, tiny relative size. Although the planets extended past the Curris Center, our bowling ball sun’s gravitation extended another 2,000 miles, to Hudson Bay Manitoba.

That’s one powerful bowling ball. I wonder if Einstein and Newton had that level of insight just from their formidable mathematical understanding of the gravitational force and the masses involved.

One surprise I didn’t get to: the nearest star is another two light years from that edge of our solar system: Proxima Centuri, and on our campus scale it would sit another 2,000 miles north of Manitoba, near the North Pole … and it’s a golf ball. Proxima Centuri is a red dwarf only one-seventh the size of our sun.

Google “Proxima Centuri” and look at the incredible and voluminous detailed data we have on its size, distance, makeup, etc.

You can read for hours about its history and future, burning its thermonuclear fuel of hydrogen differently than our sun over millions, billions of years.

Of course all of what you would read must be completely wrong because Ken Ham and Ray Comfort proclaim by Biblical genealogies that the Earth can only be 6-10,000 years old. So the whole history and energy production of our Sun and other stars that require billions of years for the life cycle to complete,

the 4.5-billion-year age of our Earth (corroborated by radiometric dating), the entire solar system and our sun is all wrong.

And of course we cannot see a star consume its fuel, we can’t observe such processes, the time frames are just too long.

It’s just like evolution. Since we can’t witness one species turn into another, then according to the Dynamic Duo of Delusion,“it can’t be science.” It seems all this astronomical data and interpretation, all of Cosmological Theory is completely wrong, it isn’t science because these two say so.

The arrogance of these men is exceeded only by the absurdity of their ideas.

Our sun exerts its gravitational force on the planets, comets and the interplanetary dust as first described by Newton. Gravitational Theory is refined and enhanced by Einstein’s General Relativity Theory.

But of course, gravity is not observable so it can’t be science either.

Additionally, Gravitational Theory is an integral part of the Cosmological Theory that determines the age of the universe, 13.5 billion years back to the big bang.

That has to be all hogwash as well. Good thing we have Ken and Ray to straighten out all these scientists all over the world.

Google “Human Evolution,” “Whale Evolution” or any animal or plant and “Evolution.” You can read for hours and hours about what we know; what tens of thousands of scientists have discovered and are working on daily, all over the globe, adding to the oceans of data we already have that support the fact of Evolutionary Theory.

Google “Rodent Evolution.” Murray State’s own Robert A. Martin, professor emeritus of biology, did seminal work here for roughly 20 years on the subject and published “Missing Links” – a highly regarded book explaining evolution in detail.

Of course everything Bob did, the entire book he wrote, his life’s work, his more than 50 publications: all of it was hopelessly wrong because Ken Ham and Ray Comfort say so.

We should be outraged, especially here at a University, a place dedicated to the discovery and dissemination of knowledge, especially a state University, that we have religious leaders, even professors on campus that lie to their students and tell them all this science is wrong, to ignore their professors who teach astronomy, archaeology, evolution or human evolution because non-scientists like Ken Ham and Ray Comfort encourage it.

This is not Bob Jones University or Liberty University or Dayton Bible College. Bill Nye the Science Guy will be speaking here Feb. 3 about the importance of science and science education, the day before he goes to the Petersburg, Ky., Creation Museum to “debate” Ken Ham.

Science is not decided by debate. It’s an old scam run by Ham and other Creationists. Bill is well aware the audience will be packed with Ham supporters as usual. Bill has said he doesn’t care and will speak up for science, regardless of the “debate” setup.

The Creationists are against any information that contradicts their absurd interpretations of Scripture.

The quote inscribed above Pogue Library is so good, so appropriate, it bears repeating: “The Hope of Democracy Depends on the Diffusion of Knowledge.”


Column by William Zingrone, Associate professor of psychology

3 Comments on "Zingrone: Science is not decided by debate"

  1. A clear and direct a presentation of the futility of arguing a mountain of empirical evidence with people who believe that it can be outweighed by a feather of denial.

  2. Actually science is decided at least partly by debate but it's debate over the meaning, replicability, successful application of scientific evidence of the kind you point to. And I'll wager your academic life is proof positive that debate has a place in science, but debate among the knowledgeable, among those who gather, examine, and weigh scientific evidence not among those who call scientific evidence "mere opinion." Great essay!

  3. Very nice article Bill. I've never understood how otherwise intelligent people (I'm not including those with no understanding of science) can dismiss science in the face of religion. I know MDs who do not believe in evolution, as if it's just as opinion. As a christian and a science teacher, I'm often at a loss when I encounter either atheists or fundamentalist Christians who get into heated debates, either trying to argue against the existence of God with science, or the existence of science with their religious stance. It doesn't work.

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