Religion: Age of the Earth

It’s about 4.56 billion years old, endo presto. Sounds simple, no? However, some group of theists disagree with this, namely New Earth Creationists who take the six day creation of Genesis to be completely literal (i.e. it took 144 hours to create everything) and that anything that opposes this is wrong, because that’s what the Bible said.

Other theists, including Father George Coyne (watch his interview in the satirical comedy/documentary, “Religulous“), former director of the Vatican Observatory with a PhD in astronomy, seem to agree that this is not the case, but rather side with the age proposed by science (billions of years).

I personally don’t see why it should be a problem for creationists, I mean, maybe it was a day in the eyes of God, which may equate hundreds of millions of years. One explanation I found was that there were in fact millions, if not billions, of years between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2.

But even if the date was wrong, why would it discredit that it could have been created by a supreme being? So from my point of view, it would be entirely possible for one to believe the Earth to be billions of years old and still be a creationist, so I don’t see why some people are being so anal about it… =_=

So New Earth peepz, I’m sorry to inform you that there’s no chance that the earth, Universe, and whatnot is only 6,000 years old. Feel free to blame it on the guy who started the Bible by saying he took some “creative liberties” when inspired by the word of God (you know? Like movies do with movies based on “factual events”).

It’s not like it’s the only obvious error in there anyway, which is why you shouldn’t take the Bible literally, but more as a collection of stories designed to teach morals :/ (Original post ends here)

Anywho, for sake of argument, I found a 2-hour long video of a seminar by Kent Hovind on the age of the Earth, which should be seen below the paragraph beneath this one.

I chose this seminar, not because Hovind is the brightest Creationist (because he really, REALLY isn’t…), but because he is the loudest and smoothest one, which means that he can reach thousands of people who are inclined to believe his BS because he makes it look credible.

All I want is for people not to fall for the half-truths and lies that he presents (which I will make mention of underneath the video), I don’t want to force you to stop believing in creationism or something like that, just to be clear.

Before you watch the video, I would like to emphasize that despite his son’s (the guy in the beginning) claims, Kent Hovind is not a doctor. The “doctorate” he holds is from a non-accredited pay-$25-per-month university and is essentially worthless.

However, what he does with it is use it for what is called “Argument by Authority” (you should have learned about this in elementary school). By calling himself “doctor”, people are more inclined to believe him because they assume he knows what he’s talking about since he is a doctor (this is referred to as a “logical fallacy“).

He does the same by always emphasizing before a seminar that he was a high school science teacher for 15 years, but neglects to mention that he started the school himself. Told ya he was smooth. Anywho, on to the video.

In an effort to try and shorten this post, I’m adding a video by the user ExtantDodo on YouTube (the user is a joint account of two MD/PhD students with help from their peers).

The video is a critical analysis of Kent Hovind’s seminar (though it uses older footage) which actually covers almost all the points I had, but I figured this would be more interesting. The few extra points, I will add in text-form below the video.

Oh, and in case you are wondering what the superscripted numbers in the text-parts video are doing, it’s because the Extant Dodos have been smart enough to add sources to their claims in the end of the video. Also, you may want to consider pausing at the text-parts, since they fly by pretty quickly sometimes.

And here comes the list of issues I had with the seminar, not mentioned in the video above. Some of these are about twisting meanings of words so that they fit his agenda (he either does this because he’s extremely cunning or because he’s extremely incompetent and honestly doesn’t know what the words mean):

  • In the intro, Eric Hovind says “…Dr. Hovind gives solid evidence that this Earth is not billions of years old. In fact, the evidence point toward a literal six-day creation…” Looking past the fact that Kent Hovind doesn’t have the credentials to call himself a doctor, he never provides any solid evidence against the Earth being billions of years old.

    In fact, during the seminar, he actually only spends about 10-20 minutes talking about the age of the Earth, while the remaining is spent on bashing evolution, astrology, and geology, saying how wrong they are based on the supposed “fact” that the Earth is only 6,000 years old. So he actually fails pretty badly at proving anything.
  • At about 00:01:45 in, Hovind claims that evolution has no scientific evidence and bases his claim on the fact that no one having won the $250,000 offer made by him which requires proving the theory of evolution.

    What he neglects to mention is that his definition of evolution does not match the scientific definition of evolution and that 4 of the 5 points one has to prove have nothing to do with the evolution theory.

    In short, his offer is an unsolvable gimmick most likely designed just so he can use it to say that evolution cannot be proven.
  • At about 00:02:00 in, Hovind pretty much shoots himself in the foot by saying “People believe in it, I understand, but that doesn’t make it science.” This is where I’d like to remind people that he is advocating that the Bible holds all the scientific answers you need. Irony can be funny, no?
  • During a long and pointless sidetrack, Hovind says at 00:21:55 “No one has ever seen a dog produce a non-dog“, which is the most basic misconception of macroevolution.

    Macroevolution is not having a male and a female of a species mate and then *bloop* out comes a new species. Macroevolution is the culmination of microevolution and usually, though not always, take a looooot of time, which is why live observations of macroevolution are almost unheard of.
  • At about 00:29:10, Hovind once again shoots himself in a foot. He says (emphasis added): “You see boys and girls, we all came from a dot and the dot came from nothing *chuckles* And they call that science? And put it in a science journal? I think I’d call that a fairy tale and put it in the garbage.

    So he’s basically calling the concept of the universe being created from nothing a “fairy tale” that he’d throw in the garbage. But isn’t that how it was in the Bible that he “believe[s] from cover to cover“..? Hypocrisy much? =3
  • At about 00:30:45, Hovind makes a big deal of pointing out (as a bad thing) that science is tax supported.

    He neglects to mention that all religions in the US are exempted from having to pay taxes on their direct income (the individual pastors and whatnot do pay an income tax, but the churches do not) nor do they pay property tax on any property directly associated with a respective church (i.e. the church itself, fellowship hall, etc.).

    Either way, it was a cheap shot that had nothing to do with the theme of the seminar, and there was no point in mentioning it other than making science “look bad”.
  • Soon after, Hovind poses the question “why aren’t the laws still evolving?” Other than being completely inane, it is misleading.

    Laws are written by man to explain observations they make. Unless the observation changes, there’s no need to change/re-phrase the law. And the only reason the laws have ever been changed in past has been due to more detailed research leading to more detailed observations (e.g. Galileo vs. Aristotle in terms of the Law of Gravity).
  • A few minutes into part B, Hovind speaks of overcrowding. However, from his explanation, he obviously does not understand what the term means. He says the world is not overcrowded because, in a nutshell, there’s enough space for everyone. However, overcrowding has nothing to do with physical space and how it is occupied.

    Overcrowding deals with the amount of available resources to sustain the population. When the population is greater than what the available resources can sustain, it is called overcrowding. So when Hovind says that the world isn’t overcrowded because there’s lots of space, he’s being ignorant.
  • At 01:21:45, Hovind claims that “amuse” means to “not think”. Having already proven that he is incapable of using a dictionary (when he stated that “universe” comes from “uni” meaning “one” and “verse” meaning line, and then then connects it to the Bible “God said…”, even though it comes from “unus” and “versus” and means “turn into one”, i.e. universe = everything), this is of course incorrect.

    The original meaning of the word is actually the exact opposite. “Amuse” meant “cause to ponder” (“to muse”) and alternately “to divert (attention)”.
  • At 01:46:40, Hovind yet again shoots himself in the foot (I’m surprised there’s anything left to hit).

    He refers back to earlier in the seminar where he talk about the sunken ship with the box of coins and using the limiting factor. In that scenario, it was indeed the most recent made coin in the box that was the limiting factor. However, when trying to decide how old something possibly is, the same method does not apply.

    If you have two coins from a Mayan civilization, one is from 1501 another from 1123, you don’t say that the civilization only existed since 1501, and not sooner, since that’s the most recent date. You, of course, look at the oldest one.

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