Pat Robertson is perhaps seen by many as an incarnation of complete and utter lunacy and so you are more or less granted an iron-clad guarantee that anything and everything he ever says will be either weird, bizarre or utterly absurd.
But hey … that thought turns out to be wrong, because he has in fact said something that I find to be rational, reasonable and very agreeable.
The context is that there is a group of young earth creationists who have somehow managed to gain scientific credentials and are now determined to provision solid scientific evidence that the words of the book of Genesis are 100% accurate, literally accurate, and that when it says that a god created the world in six days, it means six 24 hours days and that these six days are not poetical metaphors or a rehash of older creation myths, but instead are scientific facts.
So when asked to comment on young earth creationism a couple of months ago, Mr Roberson, as the go-to-guy for sound bytes (or is that bites), had this to say …
people would “have to be deaf, dumb and blind to think that this earth that we live on only has 6,000 years of existence. I think to deny the clear [geologic] record that’s there before us makes us look silly.”
In fact, here he is actually saying it …
In this specific instance he is in fact spot on, ignoring the evidence-based scientific consensus does indeed make young earth creationists look very very silly indeed because geology aside there are trees far older than they think the earth is.
So anyway, Dallas News reports on what the Institute for Creation Research is up to. It’s nothing new, these guys have been around since 1972 when Henry M. Morris set them up after splitting from Creation Science Research Center, so don’t hold your breath, they have been at this since then and so far have, despite their claims, managed to come up with exactly nothing that is actually credible during the past 42 years.
This latest press story spins it all like this …
at the Institute for Creation Research in northwest Dallas, a group of nine Ph.D.s from places like Harvard and Los Alamos National Laboratory say all that molecules-to-man stuff is nonsense. And they’re out to prove it.
The biblical story of Genesis is literally true, they say. God created the heavens, earth and life in six sequential days lasting about 24 hours each.
The universe is not 13.8 billion years old (as astrophysicists calculate by measuring the rate of cosmic expansion), the earth is not 4.5 billion years old (as geologists conclude by using radioisotope dating on ancient rocks), and humans did not split from chimpanzees and gorillas about 4 million to 7 million years ago (as suggested by genetics and the fossil record).
Young-earth creationists like those at ICR argue that everything in the known universe began 6,000 to 10,000 years ago, a numeric range they calculate using the genealogy of the Bible — Adam lived 930 years and begat a son named Seth, who lived 105 years and begat Enos, and so on.
“Our attempt is to demonstrate that the Bible is accurate, not just religiously authoritative,” said Henry Morris III, CEO of the nonprofit with a 49-person payroll and an annual budget in the $7 million range.
“The rationale behind it is this: If God really does exist, he shouldn’t be lying to us,” he said. “And if he’s lying to us right off the bat in the book of Genesis, we’ve got some real problems.”
The real problem here is that what they are doing is not science at all, but rather the complete reverse. They are starting with a conclusion that they have decided just cannot be wrong, and then proceeded to work backwards grasping on to anything tenuous that appears to verify their hypothesis, and reject anything that conflicts. It does truly fool many who are not familiar with the subject and so they do gain traction, not because they actually have a reasonable scientific argument, but rather because it all rests upon a religious foundation that is beyond criticism.
Now please do not misunderstand, this is not about belief vs non-belief, because most of those who do believe are not this crazy and instead go with the prevailing scientific consensus but might add “that’s how god did it”.
As you might imagine … ICR face criticism, not just from scientists who point out that what they are doing is not science, but also from other creationists as well.
Bottom line: Do not be fooled by the latest press story published only a few days ago, it is simply more of the same daft claims that they have been churning out for many decades now and is not actually news at all, just more of the same silliness.
Perhaps the ultimate observation is that when well-known crazy kooks such as Pat Robertson think you are crazy, then you have truly pushed that boat far out into uncharted territories.