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This is the first in a series of examinations of the problems with (a literal interpretation of) Genesis. My intentions in writing these are two-fold: firstly, to raise awareness about the a-scientific, fantastical nonsense that creationists attempt to pawn off as science (not by misrepresenting or cherry picking their claims, but by referencing arguments made and supported by popular YEC resources); and secondly, to serve as a potential counterpoint to the lies individuals raised into this nonsense have heard. Why? Because I was one of those people, raised on Kent Hovind, Abeka "science", etc., and I'm thankful to those who actually educated me, and helped me to recognize the flaws inherent to what I'd been taught. If I can do the same for someone, even in part, I would be delighted. (For more on my thoughts on creationism, see here).



This post will address some of the implications of Noah's ark, the flood, and dinosaurs.
First, a little background. Genesis 7 tells us that Noah loaded multiples of every animal on the ark:


2 Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.

3 Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.
Now, with there being, at a low estimate, some 8.7 million or so species known today, a literal reading -- that Noah crammed every species into the ark -- is patently absurd. Even young earth creationists see the folly of such literal reading. So YEC have pared it down to "kinds":

The concept of kind is important for understanding how Noah fit all the
animals on the ark. If kind is at the level of family/order, there would
 have been plenty of room on the ark to take two of every kind and seven
 of some. For example, even though many different dinosaurs have been
identified, creation scientists think there are only about 50 “kinds” of
 dinosaurs.
Even though breeding studies are impossible with dinosaurs,
by studying fossils one can ascertain that there was likely one
Ceratopsian kind with variation in that kind and so on. (emphasis added)
(Yes, you read that right. No, it's not an anomaly either. Young earth creationists posit that, aside from "regular" animals, Noah had dinosaurs on the ark. Yes, dinosaurs. Now please pick your jaw up from the floor and carry on reading.)

YECs believe this settles the difficulty of loading the ark. While I will grant that the numbers they toss around -- "16,000 animals (the maximum number of animals on the Ark, if the most liberal approach to counting animals is applied)" -- are less absurd than 8.7 million times some figure between two and seven, it is a far stretch from reasonable or supportable. It is also something that is completely invented: the Bible makes no mention of supersets, or speciation occurring after the flood. If we're reading Genesis literally, there is absolutely no reason (beyond "gosh, claiming that makes us look really stupid...") to inject animal families, speciation, etc., into the text. Creationism in this regard is not a literal reading of the flood story; creationists have added to the story that which was never mentioned, and changed the meaning of "every" to become something else entirely, something that seems, in context, less absurd than "every" animal.

At any rate, while there seems to be a little divergence among young earth creationists over whether the ark was comfortable or not, the consensus is that it was all very doable. The logistical difficulties are mitigated in several ways. First, we must know that, "Without getting into all the math, the 16,000-plus animals would have occupied much less than half the space in the Ark (even allowing them some moving-around space)." In case you're wondering, yes, that includes dinosaurs, because



In Genesis 6:19–20,
 the Bible says that two of every sort of land vertebrate (seven of the
“clean” animals) were brought by God to the Ark. Therefore, dinosaurs
(land vertebrates) were represented on the Ark.
And YECs have anticipated the "how the heck did dinosaurs fit on the ark?!" objection. AiG tells that "not all dinosaurs were huge like the brachiosaurus, and even those dinosaurs on the Ark were probably 'teenagers' or young adults."

(I can't help but wonder how large a "teenage" brachiosaurus would have been, and how kindly its parents would have taken to a few humans herding it into a wooden prison.) As for food, God had that difficulty all sorted out, too.


Dinosaurs could have eaten basically the same foods as the other
animals. The large sauropods could have eaten compressed hay, other
dried plant material, seeds and grains, and the like. Carnivorous
dinosaurs—if any were meat-eaters before the Flood—could have eaten
dried meat, reconstituted dried meat, or slaughtered animals. Giant
tortoises would have been ideal to use as food in this regard. They were
 large and needed little food to be maintained themselves. There are
also exotic sources of meat, such as fish that wrap themselves in dry
cocoons.
While there is zero evidence that Noah and his family would have had the technology or know-how to prepare food in such a manner for 16,00 animals (not even the Bible mentions reconstituted meat and fish in cocoons), the fact that something "would have been ideal" is often presented in these creationist articles as if that is explanation enough. Quite frankly, it's not. It would be "ideal" if leprechauns gave the animals magic biscuits that nourished them to the fullest and produced no waste materials, but "ideal" isn't "evidence that it happened". And evidence, of course, is never forthcoming.

There's also the issue of food storage: where, exactly, does one store enough food for 16,000 animals on a ship? An African elephant can eat 300 lbs of food per day. In a year, that's 109,500 pounds of food, per elephant. A lion eats 8-9 kg of food a day; that's between 6437.5 to 7242 pounds per lion. That means that Noah & co would have had to pack 16 to 18 times the weight of a large female, or 11.7 to 13 times the weight of a large male lion, per lion. African elephants range between 5,000 and 14,000 lbs; Noah's family would have had to have room for 8 times the weight of a huge elephant. On the other end of the scale, a grasshopper eats about 1/2 their own weight in a day -- meaning that even taking something as tiny as a grasshopper isn't as simple as it sounds: for every grasshopper you take, you need to take about 182.5 times its weight in food. Since grasshoppers are, Biblically speaking, clean animals, that's 1277.5 (or 2555, if the seven of the clean creatures is interpreted to mean seven of both male and female) times the weight of a grasshopper in food. You can quickly see how this will spiral out of control: it's not just a matter of cramming the sorry creatures into the ark, it's a matter of feeding them thereafter. Since they're all going to eat more than their own weight, generally many times more, Noah would have had to accommodate that (there goes the opportunity for perambulation, and then some...)

So, let's recap the "literal" reading of the flood story. Noah and his family built a giant, three-level boat, and loaded at least two of all animals (some restrictions and limitations apply; please see Kent Hovind or Ken Ham's interpretation of "literal" for details) thereon, including dinosaurs. Baby or teenage dinosaurs. This was a roomy, or not, ride, depending on who you ask. Noah stashed what can only have been a considerable amount of dried hay, giant turtles and reconstituted dried meat in the ark, for his companions' feeding. And let's leave waste management for another post, because, really, this literal interpretation stuff provides more than enough sh*t for one day...

So now we come to the question of "what happened afterwards?" Well, as for the dinosaurs (we'll save the others for another post), God's plan to save them didn't work out so well. First of all, there was climate change (no, not the kind that we can measure and demonstrate, silly! The kind that Kent Hovind extrapolates from Genesis):


Dinosaurs getting off the ark had a very difficult time. The climate had
 changed and things were different. Remember before the Flood they lived
 to be 900. After the Flood they only lived to be 400, then 200, and
then 100. Now in today’s world 100 is old.
There were other factors, of course.


As the population of people began to grow after the Flood, the
population of dragons began to go down. As people moved in and civilized
 an area, the big ferocious animals are either killed off or driven off.
 It happens everywhere. That is exactly what happened to dragons. People
 killed dragons for several reasons. They killed them for meat, because
they were a menace, to be a hero, to prove their superiority,
competition for land and medicinal purposes. Many ancient recipes
included dragon blood, dragon bones and dragon saliva. Gilgamesh is
famous for slaying a dragon.
(In YEC-ese, dragon is the old fashioned name for dinosaur). When it comes to evidence, the standard seems to be "can it be construed as supporting the creationist narrative?" If yes, then it's fact; if no, then myth. Thus we can accept dragons, but not sirens, nymphs, unicorns (those even get a mention, in the KJV!), griffins, Jotunn, dwarves, vampires, zombies, etc., etc., etc. And while “dragons” are useful to the creationist narrative, and the rest aren't, we have no more evidence of dragons than most of the others (and in some cases, less...consider all the actual burials of "vampires", for instance; surely, a burial has to trump a story, right?).

But the real kicker is that extinction is the "wrong" way to look at it altogether. As Hovind asks, "The question is not what made them go extinct, the question is: did they go extinct?" He seems to believe that they, or some of them at least, are not, in fact, extinct at all.


During the Age of Sailing Ships there were thousands of legends of
people sighting sea monsters. Well, if you are in a sail boat it’s
pretty quiet going through the water. Today, with a diesel engine they
can probably hear you coming 50 miles away under water. Of course, you
are not going to see one today. But, there are stories all over about
dragons living with man.
In Hovind's worldview, dinosaurs are still out and about, hiding beneath the waves. They were happy to come out and be spotted by superstitious people (who also reported spotting mermaids and a host of other myths), but have a fear of technologically advanced folk (who might actually document and prove their existence)...even those in wind-powered sailing craft. They are also the dragons of Chinese and Babylonian myth and the dragons mentioned in the KJV. Ken Ham is slightly less committal, but he leaves the door open all the same.


Evolutionary indoctrination that man did not live at the same time as
 dinosaurs stops most scientists from even considering that the drawings
 are of dinosaurs.
 

It certainly would be no embarrassment to a creationist if someone
discovered a dinosaur living in a jungle. However, this should embarrass
 evolutionists.
To be fair, he is probably right on one point -- it's a stretch to suppose that anything could embarrass the folks who run Answers in Genesis. But I digress.

So, as far as dinosaurs are concerned, God saved the babies in order to let them die out thereafter because of climate change and man's activities. Or most of them. Or some of them. Who knows. Regardless, it was all part of God's amazing plan. Amen.

Moving on...let's just look at how the 50 dinosaur kinds became the wide diversity of dinosaurs that we know existed (at least 300 species). This happened through a variety of means, including (wait for it...) natural selection. 


After the Flood, the animals were told to “be fruitful and multiply on the earth” (Genesis 8:17).
 As they did this, natural selection, mutation, and other mechanisms
allowed speciation within the kinds to occur. Speciation was necessary
for the animals to survive in a very different post-Flood world.


There's a couple of problems with this. First, if the varied species of dinosaurs came to be only after the 100 ark-traveling-baby-dinosaurs disembarked, the argument that mass graveyards point to the flood is null and void. How can species that did not yet exist have died in the flood?


The contorted shapes of these animals preserved in the rocks, the
massive numbers of them in fossil graveyards, their wide distribution,
and some whole skeletons, all provide convincing evidence that they were
 buried rapidly, testifying to massive flooding.
Furthermore, how can hundreds of new species have been born in a time that was, as creationists seem to universally agree upon, very unkind to dinosaurs? If dinosaurs were experiencing shortened lives, climate change, habitat challenge, and all manner of threats from humanity, is it likely that such a wide range of species as we know existed would have come into being? Is it logical to suppose that an increasingly hostile environment gave rise to many times the diversity of species than were witnessed before the flood?

In the creationist narrative, when the dinosaurs left the ark, they were suddenly thrown into a “devastated” and “much more difficult world in which to survive.” But in these adverse conditions, they promptly evolved into hundreds of species, leaving the wealth of fossil evidence that we have behind...and also died out (or mostly died out), because of said harsh conditions. Those are really pretty mutually exclusive states. You can either have them emerging into a world that fosters a gigantic boom in dinosaur life, or you can have them emerging into a world where climate change and hunters will drive them to extinction. Remember, creationism limits the time of existence after the flood to a tiny window, a mere 4,000 years. The argument is that, simultaneously, dinosaur life exploded, all over the globe; and was driven out of existence, to such a point that the best “evidence” we have for dinosaurs co-existing with man is the occasional dragon legend (and, again, we're being very picky-and-choosy about what kind of legends we're going to accept as factual, and what we're going to dismiss as hogwash). And all of this happened in the course of 4,000 years. It's a preposterous stretch with other species (necessitating, as Bill Nye pointed out during his debate with Ken Ham, an average of 11 new species evolving per day), but what happens when we throw in the condition that they must evolve and die in enough time to ensure that our only evidence is spotty legend, here and there, of dragon fights and sightings? You have hundreds of species of dinosaur evolving at a rapid pace, into a hostile environment, and then mostly dying out -- far enough in the past that our sightings are, as noted, irregular, ill documented and, oddly, often connected to tales of fantasy and magic. (That's a coincidence). 

But it gets better, as you dig deeper. See, creationists aren't claiming that it was just a matter of more hunters (there would be less, presumably, for some time after the flood -- Noah's incestuous family, no matter how quickly they got to, umm, work, would have had some difficulty repopulating the world that quickly). They're not saying it was just lifespan changes and whatnot. Creationists allege that the ice age was a direct result of the flood:



The Flood-Caused Ice Age


Two particular aspects of the Flood were instrumental in causing the
Ice Age: (1) extensive volcanic activity during and after the Flood, and
 (2) the warm oceans following the Flood.
And though the Bible doesn't mention the ice age at all, and even though things in the past more or less didn't happen if you weren't an eyewitness or the Bible doesn't mention them, creationists can be very specific about how long the ice age lasted:


Thus, the total time for the Ice Age is a maximum of only about 700 years (500 years to accumulate, 200 years to melt).
The ice age, creationists argue, is how migrations happened:


Most believe the Ice Age was triggered by the Flood of Noah. The
rising magmas, lavas, and hot waters associated with continental plate
movements would have caused ocean temperatures to rise. Also, fine ash
from volcanic eruptions probably lingered in the upper atmosphere in
post-Flood years, which, unlike a greenhouse effect, would reduce the
sunlight for cooler summers. So the mechanism for such a rare event was
in place due to Genesis 6–8.

But what happens in an ice age? A lot of water is taken out of the
ocean and deposited on land, so the ocean level drops. This exposes land
 bridges.
Animals, including dinosaurs, made their way all over the world, aided at least in part by these ice-age-exposed land bridges. Now take a moment to consider the implications of this. The hundreds of species for which we find evidence all over the globe are somehow supposed to have crossed various land bridges during the ice age (the land bridges would be flooded afterward). So, the dinosaurs presumably evolved into all the species we know of AND migrated all over the earth in the 500-700 years following the flood – both of which factors are necessary in this scenario, since we have examples of many species across many continents: they had to come into being, and had to travel all over the world, before the ice age ended (and the creationist land bridges were closed), since those species did not exist on the ark. In other words, for the populations we find all over the earth to have got there, they would have had to be around before the 700 year ice age (which was itself brought about by the flood) ended, closing the land bridges. So, speciation would have had to occur very, very quickly, during an ice age. That's right, during an ice age. And after speciation and migration occurred, after at least part of the ice age,dinosaurs would have faced extinction.
Even when addressing the creationist ice age's alleged impact on the dinosaurs, creationists seem to miss the point:
The Ice Age may also have contributed something else to animal migrations. Generally speaking, reptiles are found in larger numbers and
 greater varieties in warmer climates, potentially like most dinosaurs,
and would not thrive as well in the cold. It makes sense that they
strayed from colder areas, died out, or their numbers were at least
reduced. It also makes sense that mammals would thrive in colder
climates.
Let's recap. 

1. 50 "kinds" of baby dinosaurs board the ark.
2. 50 kinds disembark.
3. The flood causes an ice age, which reaches its worst at 500 years.
4. The baby dinosaurs have grown up, and start creating baby dinosaurs of their own.
5. Hundreds of new species arise.
6. Thanks to the ice age (!!), the hundreds of new species of dinosaurs are able to get all over the world.
7. Oh my god, there's an ice age going on!! Geez, why didn't anyone tell us? (Many of the dinosaurs go extinct, because dinosaurs and ice ages aren't a good mix...unless they're in the process of speciation and migration, apparently, because that went off without a hitch)
8. The ice age ends. There are still dinosaurs alive, because they spawn dragon myths later on.


Granted, I wasn't there and didn't see it, so I'm sure creationists (who also weren't there and didn't see it, and whose book never mentions it) will tweak my timeline a little. Some pieces necessarily cannot be tweaked, however. 5 must proceed 6, and 3 has to be well underway before 6, because that speciation and migration would have had to occur before extinction in order for us to find the fossils that we find where we find them. (Say that five times fast...)

When one examines the creationist narrative, even just as it relates to dinosaurs, the conclusion is inevitable: it is impossible and contradictory. There are many ways to interpret the Genesis stories, but to take parts of them at face value and add your own interpretation elsewhere, as creationists have done, is to make them absurd, and then to heap further absurdities upon them. It is to construct a timeline of events, particularly in regard to dinosaurs, that defies all reason or logic. It is to selectively credit myths for which we have no evidence as fact, with no good reason as to why one is accepted and another discarded, beyond wishful thinking. It is to assert that science, which has good solid, evidence behind it, is wrong, on just about everything, and to offer in its stead a few men's interpretation of “a book”, as Ken Ham put it. It's not science, and I'm not convinced that it's even very good religion. It's definitely a disservice to both, because it disregards the one and makes the other absurd.

The original version of this article was posted at Rachel's Hobbit Hole

Originally posted to Rachels Hobbit Hole (on Daily Kos) on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 04:49 PM PDT.

Also republished by Progressive Atheists.

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Comment Preferences

  •  They Fell overboard ;-) (12+ / 0-)

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 05:03:27 PM PDT

  •  I don't know why they think evolutionists would (14+ / 0-)

    be feel embarrassed?

    It certainly would be no embarrassment to a creationist if someone discovered a dinosaur living in a jungle. However, this should embarrass evolutionists.
    So called "living fossils" appear from time to time. Like the coelacanth. Science doesn't get "embarrassed" by those discoveries, quite the opposite, they get excited about the chance to learn more.

    On the other hand YEC are a constant embarrassment to themselves. With idiotic ideas that don't even stand up to the simplest examination of their own "evidence".

    GOP 2014 strategy -- Hire clowns, elephants, and a ringmaster and say "a media circus" has emerged and blame Democrats for lack of progress. Have pundits agree that "both sides are to blame" and hope the public will stay home on election day.

    by ontheleftcoast on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 05:04:15 PM PDT

  •  other questions (7+ / 0-)

    how did Noah and his family feed themselves after the flood? How did the surviving animals for that matter?

    All the food is gone.  The animals are barely hanging on, ok maybe there is some vegetation that makes it, but what do all the carnivores eat if there are only 2-7 of everything at the start and they need a LOT more than that?

    How did we get to 7 billion people from what maybe a dozen after the flood? (Granted, not the first time this question has been asked...I'm looking at you Adam and Eve).

    I don't have a problem with your average religious person.  I don't believe what they believe, but as an agnostic, I don't think them crazy for believing in a higher power and afterlife...heck I secretly hope I'm wrong and they are right, because heaven sounds better than personal annihilation by a long shot (heck, hell does too).

    I do have a problem with extremist literalists like YEC and their ilk.

    •  You'd think that there would be a genetic (5+ / 0-)

      bottleneck problem...like incest
      Not a great Christian idea

    •  "Literalists"? (6+ / 0-)

      These YEC folks are not merely Biblical literalists, they are scientistic confabulists.  

      I want to thank Rachel191 for introducing me to this amazing train of thought (YEC).  I have NEVER heard such serious craziness before in my life.  And I've been around a while.

      An illusion can never be destroyed directly... SK.

      by Thomas Twinnings on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 06:36:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Self-proclaimed Biblical Literalists (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rogneid

        believe that they believe the Bible literally, but that is not in fact possible, and they in fact do not.

        The sky, for example, or as they call it the firmament of the heavens, is not solid and does not contain the stars, nor does it have doors to let water through to create Noah's Flood.

        Also, the Bible is quite explicit that Cain's descendants were still around when it was written, even though it is equally explicit that only Noah's family survived.

        Among other things.

        Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

        by Mokurai on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 10:04:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm wondering how they convinced those two lions (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      allie4fairness, Rogneid

      to refrain from devouring the two sheep before the sheep could  "go forth and multiply."  I mean there were only two, right?

      Seems like some serious extinction would have taken place immediately after the flood unless Noah was able to convince the predators to cool it for a while.  Lions are not known for their fasting.

      Ted Cruz president? Pardon my Vietnamese, but Ngo Pho King Way.

      by ZedMont on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 08:28:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They didn't get off the Ark (0+ / 0-)

      until there were olive trees, so we can pretend that all of the other vegetation had also grown back.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 09:51:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not accurate. An olive branch brought back by a (0+ / 0-)

        dove -- evidence the waters had receded (somewhere).

        LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

        by BlackSheep1 on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 09:25:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Right (0+ / 0-)

          An olive branch with fresh leaves, not from one of the trees drowned and killed by a year of being underwater. An olive seed would have had to sprout and grow to a sapling to provide that branch.

          Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

          by Mokurai on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 04:29:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Except not a year underwater (0+ / 0-)

            40 days and 40 nights. If we're going to show them the error of their ways we must be accurate.

            LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

            by BlackSheep1 on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 05:58:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  forty days, forty nights, not a lotta exercise (0+ / 0-)

      the rule of three says three minutes no air, three days no water (flood = water, no?) three weeks no food. IF they're still not sure where the Ark landed ... look for the barnyard runoff.

      I mean, seriously, people. Just ... damn.

      LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

      by BlackSheep1 on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 09:23:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I get a kick out of the bizarre combinations (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, commonmass, Rachel191, ZedMont

    of science (continental plates, natural selection, ice age), Biblical literalism, and creative Biblical interpretation that some of the YECs come up with.

    Nitpick, because I read Old Norse for fun: in (normalized) Old Norse the singular is jǫtunn (Icelandic jötunn), and the plural is jǫtnar (Icelandic jötnar).  If you’re going to Anglicize it completely, I suggest jotun for the singular (because the second n of jötunn is an inflexional marker) and jotuns for the plural.

  •  Wasn't this issue settled recently with the (12+ / 0-)

    discovery of those lost Dinoviticus Scrolls near the Dead Sea recently. The link escapes me, however, I still have this note fragment on my desk.

     photo jesus_dinosaur_zps00fc0358.jpg
    Dinoviticus 3:26 "And Jesus so loved the dinosaurs that he took them all to heaven with him when he died on the cross as a reward for the purity of their faith."

    How would Jesus be able to take the dinosaurs with him to heaven if they hadn't survived the flood on he arc. Did you ever think of it that way Rachel?

    (Humor Alert! Some aspects of this comment may contain elements of exaggeration for comic effect.)

    "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

    by HoundDog on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 05:11:22 PM PDT

    •  A great one! And besides, there was (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      allie4fairness, Rogneid

      recently aired a video clip of a living oar fish and a giant crock. Sorry, cannot take time to link, but easily findable; not originally posted to be creationist evidence, but just imagine the fodder for these contorted believers. Those might easily be "understood" as "dragons" of the sea? Don't forget the fossilized dinosaur footprints side by side with man's in Texas (likely a set that got filled in with silt and look more human size: but do not tell that to the young earthers)!

      •  Dammit, quit with the Texas-bashing here ... (0+ / 0-)

        I've BEEN to that state park.
        http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/...

        https://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/...

        Close to Glenn Rose.

        Dinosaur Valley State Park contains some of the best preserved dinosaur tracks in the world. The dinosaur tracks are located in the riverbed, so please call ahead to check on river conditions. There are two fiberglass models, a 70-foot Apatosaurus and a 45-foot Tyrannosaurus Rex. They were built, under commission of the Sinclair Oil Company, for New York World's Fair Dinosaur Exhibit of 1964 - 1965. Other activities include camping, picnicking, hiking, mountain biking, equestrian use in a separate 100-acre area, river swimming and fishing, and wildlife observation.

        If you would like some help finding and identifying the dinosaur tracks, you can use your gps enabled smartphone, or other mobile device, and the digital dinosaur track maps available on the Mapping Dinosaur Tracks page, to hunt for tracks; you will even be able to find tracks that are not currently visible because they are covered with dirt.    

        and for fun check out the PDF of the book on the dinosaurs of Texas http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/...
        (it's a bit dated: the Lege got off its duff in '09 and officially changed the state dino to Paluxysaurus).
        The middle Cretaceous titanosaur Paluxysaurus has been proposed as a replacement for the existing Texas state dinosaur, the very similar Pleurocoelus (below); the matter seems to be perpetually hung up in the Texas state legislature.
        Nifty. Don't go in the hot months (mid-April thru mid-November) -- it's that part of Texas where the heat and humidity can roast you alive. Of course, that's when the river's lowest, and you can see the tracks the best....

        http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/...

        My kids are 27 and 31 now; we took them in the summer of '94, when we all still fit (with camping gear) in my SO's '87 Skylark. We all had a blast -- that was also the kids' first trip to Six Flags.

        Matter of fact the guy who named the dino species is from my alma mater.

        People tracks? Um, no.

        http://www.talkorigins.org/...
        http://www.badarchaeology.com/...
        http://www.nytimes.com/...

        LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

        by BlackSheep1 on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 10:07:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I Think Most In the Scientific World Would Start (9+ / 0-)

    with the biggest and most basic problems and finish off the subject before having to bother with such minutia.

    There was a recent diary within the last week or two pointing out that there is not enough water on the entire planet, including oceans lakes glaciers rivers and underground aquifers,  to raise the seas more than a few hundred feet, which would leave almost all the land still dry. I'd link it but I'm not finding it with this site's dicey search function. Someone else may have a pointer.

    So there's really no need to get into the rest of it.

    Although it can sometimes be entertaining to pursue some of the ideas to their logical conclusions.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 05:11:23 PM PDT

    •  I would agree... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader, ZedMont, allie4fairness

      except that the counter to such objections is, "well, God probably just..." They actually have all sorts of sad answers to that point. Like fossil dating and other well established ideas, they are simply rejected.
      My approach is to work within the limitations and special allowances they grant thmselves -- because it is such bad pseudo-science that, even within their own framework, it's pretty easy to disprove.

    •  They used to have an answer to that... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ZedMont, allie4fairness

      The sky, or "firmament" was seen as being, well, firm. It covered the Earth, which was a circular disc (says in the bible that god marked it off with a compass) as a dome. This separated the land from the waters beyond. It would get leaky sometimes and you'd get rain. When god decided to destroy the world (in a comic book he'd be called Dr. Omnipotent and heaven would be his "lair") he simply opened the firmament.

      The YECs may have abandoned the literal word of the bible in this case, but I understand there are flat Earthers out there who haven't given up.

      One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain -Bob Marley

      by Darwinian Detritus on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 06:53:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  But (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      allie4fairness
      There was a recent diary within the last week or two pointing out that there is not enough water on the entire planet, including oceans lakes glaciers rivers and underground aquifers,  to raise the seas more than a few hundred feet, which would leave almost all the land still dry.
      Don't you see? That means there were far fewer species Noah had to rescue: only those that coulde not survive up to a few hundred feet of elevation!  So there was plenty of room on the ark!

      Ideology: A set of assumptions so appealing that one looks at their abstract logic rather than at how the world actually works. -Michael Hudson

      by Justus on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 09:08:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yup. It would have taken (0+ / 0-)

      200 feet of water a day to put Mt. Ararat under water in 40 days. That is not rain.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 10:08:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  about 70 meters max for all the icecaps (0+ / 0-)

      somewhere around 100 meters max for all the groundwater.

      Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

      by terrypinder on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 04:43:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Those must have been some fantastic cages (6+ / 0-)

    I mean, even with all the advanced technology, Jurassic Park couldn't keep the T-Rex and others from getting loose. Oh hang on, Jurassic Park was fiction. Oh hang on, ...

    And besides, I always wondered how they transported and stored all that eucalypt for the koalas to eat.

    "He is Joe McCarthy, he is bad news ... I hope Mr. Cruz does not have a nice weekend." - Chris Matthews

    by lotac on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 05:17:30 PM PDT

    •  Well, in the movie, Mrs. Noah went from animal to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kingsmeg, allie4fairness

      animal waving a sort of censer whose smoke immediately put the animals into a deep sleep, so as to facilitate their husbandry, you see.

      Oddly, the magic smoke did not affect the humans, who not only didn't fall asleep, but stayed up late at night worrying that they might have been taken for a ride.

      Ted Cruz president? Pardon my Vietnamese, but Ngo Pho King Way.

      by ZedMont on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 08:34:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  To me, trying to mix scripture and science (6+ / 0-)

    (that is, to try to use scripture to offer an "alternative" theory to evolution) is not only blasphemous, but also a misuse of that very scripture.

    Biblical literalism is an insult to the scriptures, and an insult to the Deity. Anyone who thinks God is so narrow has not really contemplated the full possibilities of a creator God and what He might be able to accomplish.

    I hold some, shall we say, unorthodox views about the origins of the universe (basically, "God" is the "Big Bang") and manage to practice Anglican Christianity quite well. It should occur to people that scripture--especially the two creation stories in Genesis--is an attempt to communicate an idea by pre-scientific peoples. Who can deign to have a view into the inner life of the Trinity? Who can deign to say that our days are the same as God's days?

    The bottom line is that scripture is not a science textbook, and to try to make it one is, again, blasphemous, disrespectful, and ridiculous.

    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

    by commonmass on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 05:18:19 PM PDT

    •  The deepest insult to God in this hypothesis (0+ / 0-)

      is that Adam and Eve and the Serpent in the Garden have to be history so that the Fall is history, or else God cannot redeem us by sacrificing himself (Junior) to himself (Dad) in the Crucifixion and Resurrection.

      So much for omnipotence and omnibenevolence.

      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

      by Mokurai on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 10:12:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Who makes that argument? (0+ / 0-)

        Last I checked, the argument was A and B must take place in order to avoid scriptural contradiction.  They're not arguing that God couldn't have done something different.  They're God did it according to their reading of the Bible. YMMV on how well they've met their burden.

        •  Ken Ham & Co., Answers in Genesis (0+ / 0-)

          among others. Ham stated this explicitly during his debate with Bill Nye, and it is on the page

          7.5 Danger No 5: Relativation of Jesus’ Work of Redemption by Dr. Werner Gitt

          If one does not regard Adam as a real historical person but as a mythical figure, then one can consequently not accept Jesus’ work of redemption as real.

          Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

          by Mokurai on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 04:34:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's not the argument you described (0+ / 0-)

            Gitt is plainly arguing readers must either accept the historicity of the Fall myth or reject the scriptural testament of purpose and mechanics of redemption.  It's a weak position that even believers could easily refute, but it is not an argument for a small God.

            •  No, I said (0+ / 0-)
              so much for omnipotence and omnibenevolence
              not them.

              Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

              by Mokurai on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 07:14:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I know you said it, but (0+ / 0-)

                you mentioned it while describing an argument advanced by creationists:

                The deepest insult to God in this hypothesis
                is that Adam and Eve and the Serpent in the Garden have to be history so that the Fall is history, or else God cannot redeem us by sacrificing himself (Junior) to himself (Dad) in the Crucifixion and Resurrection.

                So much for omnipotence and omnibenevolence.

                How would I read that as something other than your characterization of the creationist position?

                I understand the temptation to sling the small God retort around--it played well in Cosmos.  But it's a strawman.

                •  Well then I have no idea what you mean by (0+ / 0-)

                  the small god retort, either as you apply it to me or to Cosmos.

                  I stated a Creationist claim. Then I commented that it is nonsense on their own principles, whose application they fail to see.

                  Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

                  by Mokurai on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 08:56:52 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  "Small God" (0+ / 0-)

                    As in a good that is not omnipotent (or omnibenevolent--though I question whether this is a defining characteristic in Abrahamic theology). You're arguing that the creationist theodicy requires denying these transcendent qualities of God, correct?

                    •  I'm observing that it (0+ / 0-)

                      does deny it, when compared with all of the non-Creationist churches that allow God to save us however He will.

                      Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

                      by Mokurai on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 12:14:15 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  That's my point (0+ / 0-)

                        Creationist churches do not deny that it's within God's power to offer redemption--or do anything else--any way he damn well pleases.  To simply say God did something a certain way is not to assert that he couldn't have done it in any other fashion.

    •  commonmass: I'm thinking if you haven't seen (0+ / 0-)

      the new Cosmos yet you'd like it.

      Talks a bit about this guy http://en.wikipedia.org/...
      in episode 1.

      The guy the YEC would burn alive again if they could because he's the one saying they make God too small.

      LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

      by BlackSheep1 on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 10:10:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Incorrect (0+ / 0-)

      nothing in Biblical literalism requires denying "the full possibilities of a creator God," no more than your consignment of God as a supernatural component to a singular event in the distant past denies the  possibility of some other conception.

  •  They try so hard to make their story fit any (6+ / 0-)

    science of any kind at all, just sad really.

    The real world is a Wonder, the cosmos, subatomic particles that change when observed by a conscious being....now THAT is awesome.

    their world is short and limited and closed off

    "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

    by merrywidow on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 05:22:47 PM PDT

  •  Why couldn't this have been a big local flood? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rachel191, Compost On The Weeds

    there was no mass communication so Noah's world was the hundred or so miles away anyone had ever gone, why does this STORY have to be the entire planet when their little spot WAS the whole world to them?

    "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

    by merrywidow on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 05:24:20 PM PDT

  •  Aaaaaand what the heck is a "Creation Scientist"? (5+ / 0-)

    That's an oxymoron. There is no such person.

  •  YECs need a new hobby (n/t) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Thomas Twinnings

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 06:14:01 PM PDT

  •  Creationists forget they can appeal to miracles (4+ / 0-)

    Never ceases to amaze me.

  •  I wonder... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allie4fairness, rduran, where4art
    After the Flood, the animals were told to “be fruitful and multiply on the earth”
    I wonder what language was used to "tell" the animals to be fruitful and multiply on the earth?  I doubt any animals understood Hebrew or whatever language Noah spoke.

    Actually, I wonder if Noah could speak at all, since he is not quoted a single time in Genesis.

    But back to the animals.  Let's think about this like a creationist.  Maybe Noah learned animal languages and you know, barked instructions to dogs, whinnied instructions to horses, baaa-ed instructions to sheep and so on.

    Or maybe he just used pornographic hand gestures.  And if he did, would they get it?  Especially the flies.  I mean, how in the world could a fly relate, you know?

    I don't know about you, but I never worried about animals sitting around pondering whether or not to "go forth and multiply."  They have always seemed to do it spontaneously, and dogs, for example, if they don't have another dog, they hump your leg.  That may have been the result of a miscommunication I suppose, or it could have been the result of severe boredom after being cooped up in a floating menagerie for a fricking year.  I'd probably be humping somebody's leg too.

    This young earth creationism business is WORK!!!

    Ted Cruz president? Pardon my Vietnamese, but Ngo Pho King Way.

    by ZedMont on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 08:23:21 PM PDT

  •  And after all those valid remarks... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    allie4fairness, Justus

    ...the main question is:  Why this masquerade to kill every human but a few?

    Because the Bible is supposed to teach us that God is the one who gives and takes life just by the power of his own will.  So again, why would he make it so complicated and twisted?

     

  •  Saline balance (0+ / 0-)

    Let's not forget the aquatic and marine species.

    All that rain, several inches per minute, to cover the whole earth in 40 days and 40 nights.  ANd what of the slaine balance?  WOuld the sea creatures die due to dilution of the sea water?  And freshwater species die because of the salinity of the water when mised with sea water?  

    And, of course, the land plants few of which could survive immersion for so long, would also have suffered from lack of sunlight when covered with so much wter.  And, of course, would be killed by the salinity of the water covering them.

    Ideology: A set of assumptions so appealing that one looks at their abstract logic rather than at how the world actually works. -Michael Hudson

    by Justus on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 09:43:39 PM PDT

  •  LOL (0+ / 0-)

    Some people just don't understand metaphor. The YEC are exactly those people.

    T&R for a very funny, snarky post. BTW, Connie Willis wrote a short story called "In the Late Jurassic" which is kind of about dinosaurs evolving...into birds. It's quite good.

    English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education - sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street. E. B. White

    by Youffraita on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:38:01 PM PDT

    •  Some metaphor is terrible (0+ / 0-)

      But that's not really what's at work here.  Setting aside the genuine numbskulls like Hovind or Haggard, the remaining luminaries are either:

      1. formerly working scientists who've decided to invest the rest of their now dead careers into apologetics,
      2. currently working scientists and engineers available for testimonials, and
      3. creationist Bill Nyes (i.e., Ken Ham) who act as communicators.

      These aren't stupid illiterates.  They've got centuries worth of faith tradition at their backs.  That they never abandon material discredited long ago that even lay critics can brush them aside should be a source of disappointment.  However, on the rare occasions they do come up with a novel attack on the consensus, experts almost always have to take the lead.  

  •  their god is sooooo small. (0+ / 0-)

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

    by terrypinder on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 04:40:24 AM PDT

  •  The literal reading (0+ / 0-)

    does present Scripture as a complete compendium of scientific and historical knowledge.  That creationists would innovate explanations--however unreasonable--beyond the text is hardly an abandonment of that interpretive tradition.

    I suspect creationists will abandon baraminology--an eighty year old idea barely in its first quarter century of development--and their current geological nonsense once they revisit their core challenges posed by the deluge myth.  Remember, their objective is to reconcile some hypothetical flood hydrology and the Genesis 7 account of conservation with the geologic record and present day biodiversity.  To that end, they'll abandon some of the unnecessary battles they've undertaken, like:

    1. reading 7:2 and 7:14 as requiring species extinction to be a post-deluge phenomenon,
    2. relying on Ark conservation to explain reconstitution of life after the deluge,
    3. asserting a natural recession of flood waters (8:1 clearly depicts removal of flood waters by artifice)

  •  Hey, if a Saurian could evolve (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rduran, CBrachyrhynchos

    Into a talking Gecko that sells insurance then, hell, anything's possible, right?

    SMH. Creationists. Utter buffoons.

    A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism. -Carl Sagan

    by jo fish on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 08:01:20 AM PDT

  •  There is one more fact that disproves the... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rduran

    ...whole Noah's Ark myth once and for all.

    It is inconceivable that coyotes and road runners could coexist for such a length of time in such an enclosed space. Surely the few coyotes on board would inevitably have done themselves in through a continuous series of complex, and extremely hazardous schemes devised to catch the road runners. It is well documented that such schemes inevitably result in grievous bodily harm to the coyotes (1). It is my assertion that such repeated sustained injuries would inevitably result in death, and therefore, extinction of the species rabidus appititus. Since I have directly observed coyotes in my back yard, the Ark myth cannot possibly be true.

    Halleluiah...where's the Tylenol?

    (1) See Toons, Looney; Warner Brothers, et. al.

    So endith the trick.

    by itsjim on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 08:19:19 AM PDT

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