Monday, September 29, 2008
Sailing Away on the Ark--Vote On this Pressing Issue
The LA Times reports:
Soon after Sarah Palin was elected mayor of the foothill town of Wasilla, Alaska, she startled a local music teacher by insisting in casual conversation that men and dinosaurs coexisted on an Earth created 6,000 years ago -- about 65 million years after scientists say most dinosaurs became extinct -- the teacher said.
After conducting a college band and watching Palin deliver a commencement address to a small group of home-schooled students in June 1997, Wasilla resident Philip Munger said, he asked the young mayor about her religious beliefs.
Palin told him that "dinosaurs and humans walked the Earth at the same time," Munger said. When he asked her about prehistoric fossils and tracks dating back millions of years, Palin said "she had seen pictures of human footprints inside the tracks," recalled Munger, who teaches music at the University of Alaska in Anchorage and has regularly criticized Palin in recent years on his liberal political blog, called Progressive Alaska.
The idea of a "young Earth" -- that God created the Earth about 6,000 years ago, and dinosaurs and humans coexisted early on -- is a popular strain of creationism.
Though in her race for governor she called for faith-based "intelligent design" to be taught along with evolution in Alaska's schools, Gov. Palin has not sought to require it, state educators say.
In a widely-circulated interview, Matt Damon said of Palin, "I need to know if she really think that dinosaurs were here 4000 years ago. I want to know that, I really do. Because she's gonna have the nuclear codes."
And this from another source more friendly to the 6,000 years argument:
Six Thousand Years:
The Bible says the world is about six thousand years old. How do we arrive at that number?The Bible provides a complete genealogy from Adam to Jesus. You can go through the genealogies and add up the years. You'll get a total that is just over 4,000 years. Add the 2,000 years since the time of Jesus and you get just over 6,000 years since God created everything.
Is there anything wrong with figuring out the age of the earth this way? No. There is nothing to indicate the genealogies are incomplete. There is nothing to indicate God left anything out. There is nothing in the Bible that indicates in any way that the world is older than 6,000 years old.
The Bible does tell us, however, that the fossils we find could not have been buried before God created Adam. The animals whose bones became fossilized had to have died after God created Adam. That means those fossils must be less than 6,000 yers old. Here's why:
How do we get fossils?
The animal has to first die. That's rather obvious. When did death enter the world? Not until Genesis chapter three when Adam and Eve disobey God. So up until that time neither people nor animals died. So, based on the Bible, there could not be any bones to create fossils until after the fall.
Here's another Biblical reason why the fossils we find could not have been buried before God created Adam:
When we examine fossils, in some of them we see evidence of sickness, disease and cancer. There is evidence of violence and of one animal eating another. So there were some problems. Not everything was good.
Yet, at the end of day six of creation: "God saw all that He made and behold. It was very good." (Genesis 1:31 NASB)
God didn't call His creation just good. He called it very good. A world with sickness, disease, cancer and violence is not good. So, the fossilized bones we now find had to have come from animals that died after God created Adam, and after the fall.
Well, I for one am thrilled that there's scientific evidence to support the theory that man has only been around for 6,000 years. Using the Bible as a science text is one of those great American ideas: everyone is entitled to their own opinion, however, loony. Apparently Palin is a member of a large group of Americans who share this belief.
"A Gallup poll last year showed almost half of Americans believe that humans did not evolve but were created by God in their present form within the last 10,000 years. Three of 10 Republican presidential candidates said in a recent debate that they did not believe in evolution.”
Teaching kids that humans and dinosaurs existed at the same time would be the final nail in the coffin of American scientific education. Just hand over your house keys to the Chinese and the Indians and go sail away on your Ark.