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James Zediana

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Why is there such heated debate over Creationism vs. Evolution?

Recently Fox News and Gallup posted some poll results:

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/09/07/fox-news-poll-creationism/

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/09/07/fox-news-poll-most-believe-prayer-heals-45-believe-in-creationism/

http://www.gallup.com/poll/145286/Four-Americans-Believe-Strict-Creationism.aspx

I found them interesting and wondered why they cause so much discussion. Two theories both sides unwilling to budge. So I devised an experiment and on a Christian blog I posed that evolution was true and on Ted as you may know I posed a debate on evolution and sided against it.

In both cases the arguements were fierce and hence my final question on the subject in TED. I appoligize for those who got heated and there were a few. I thank those who tried to answer.

So for this question I am wondering about why this topic is so heated? Your answers will help my report for school.

Topics: religion society
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    Oct 18 2012: Hi James.
    Obey (below) & I have clashed on many occassions, & most of his points have been answered. However there is an inability on both sides to take on board the viewpoint of the other. This is frustrating for all, but creationists seem to be considered as some sort of lesser being. Christian etiquette demands that we love our enemies, so I try to take it on the chin. Not always successfully.
    The fossils that are so persuasive to the evolutionists, are also, for a different reason, persuasive to me.
    In order to become a fossil a creature must be buried rapidly. The various layers of rock seem to be liberally scattered with fossils; some even penetrate several layers. The joints between layers are typically clean & smooth. It seems obvious to me that this feature could not have been formed gradually over millions of years.
    Now I freely admit I may be wrong. I await a reasonable alternative mechanism; but I fail to see how the rapid formation argument is dismissed out of hand. Is it not a viable alternative ? Typically I am told to read a geology book.
    From my perspective this is frustrating, notwithstanding loving my neighbour.

    :-)
    • Oct 19 2012: Peter,

      I venture that the problem of explaining things to you start with trying to figure out where to start. Example, your claim about fossils and geological layers is wrong almost at every word, sprinkled with a few truths. It is even worse, I have to guess what kinds of mistaken concepts lie below the surface of your already patently wrong claims. I guess that's the reason people tell you to go and read a good book on geology (add thermodynamics to the list, please).

      The first sentence sounds, intuitively, right. An organism should be buried somewhat rapidly to be fossilized. However, when looked more closely, this is false (the wikipedia article on fossils might give you a clue of the many kinds of fossils, and thus how not all of them had to be buried rapidly). So, supposing that some organisms were buried rapidly by some flood is all right. Jumping from that to the conclusion that therefore the whole of geological layers were deposited rapidly is plainly silly.

      The joints between layers are rarely smooth. I am appalled that you would say the contrary to what geologists say, and to what I have witnessed myself. We can actually separate layers and see the evidence for erosion. Lots of layers, lots of erosion events. Often the eroded layers can be slanted with respect to other layers. It's obvious that such layers were formed over quite long periods of time.

      Rocks are not steaming with fossils. Some places are, some places aren't. There's nothing surprising about fossils penetrating several layers. Interesting cases, of course, but nothing contradictory to any results in geology and geophysics.

      That's but a flavour. But, obviously, a full course in geology would be better for you. That is why it is frustrating. There's too much to rectify in your understanding of the sciences, and these are just comments in an internet forum. Science is not a one sentence deal. It's hard work.

      :-)
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        Oct 19 2012: Thanks Entropy; you make my point very well. The assumption is that I am wrong & you are right. Kudos for not mentioning pixies & Spaggetti Monsters.

        :-)
    • Oct 19 2012: It's not an assumption Peter. I know for certain that you are wrong. I know so because I have studied geology, studied rocks, studied layers, studied how geologists distinguish minerals, thus sources of sediments, metamorphic processes, the effects of pressure, the effects of heat, distinguishing wind from water erosion, and understanding how layers are deposited. I have also studied palaeontology. Studied different kinds of fossils, learned how different kinds of fossils formed, studied some fossils, and so on. The only way to make the assertions that you make is to remain ignorant of a billion details about geology and concentrate on a few points to make it appear ass anything but impossible (more rhetoric than science).

      It is not a matter of assumptions, but a matter of study. A matter of knowledge against the badly deformed information that creationists are fed by their charlatans.

      :-)
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        Oct 19 2012: You make several assumptions Entropy.
        1) I have not studied this.
        2) I am gullible.
        3) The experts who believe as I do are charlatans.
        4) You are infallible.
        This is why the debate gets heated. A total lack of respect for the informed opinions of others. The fact is that neither of us was there, & consequently cannot be sure.

        :-)
    • Oct 19 2012: I'm not infallible?!

      :-(

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