Myths and Legends

Myths and Legends
In His Name We Pray, Ramen

Russ Pitts | 25 Mar 2008 12:55
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The argument goes like this: There weren't actually any dinosaurs. They didn't exist. Couldn't have. Archeological science puts the age of the oldest dinosaur at about 250 million years; the Earth itself, 4.5 billion. Yet, according to the writings in The Holy Bible, the Earth was created only about 6,000 years ago. That's a discrepancy of about 4,499,994,000 years, give or take, putting the creation of the Earth well after the supposed dinosaurs allegedly lived. Therefore, the theory goes, they didn't exist.

It's not science, exactly, but it's what a great many people believe, and that belief matters more to them than whether or not it can be scientifically proven. They believe there were no dinosaurs the same way people believe in ghosts, UFOs and that their case on Deal or No Deal actually contains the $1 million. Not based on provable facts, but on faith. Good luck changing their minds.

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You may think you've seen dinosaur fossils, but you didn't. Not really. Not according to the adherents of faith-based beliefs. What you saw were clever fakes put in the ground by God to give you a plausible reason to doubt his existence. Do you believe in dinosaurs and not God? Gotcha! You're going to hell. Not fair, perhaps, but we're talking about the same guy who flooded the Earth, wiping it clean in order to start over, and leveled an entire city because a few bad apples were sexual deviants. Fairness isn't a priority when you're omnipotent.

So, the Earth is really 6,000 years old instead of 4.5 billion and there were no dinosaurs. Got it? Also, humans did not evolve from an ape-like ancestor. We were created out of whole cloth, from clay, in the form of Adam, the first man. His mate, Eve, came from his spare rib. And then the rest of us issued forth from their loins. This is the faith-based theory of Creationism in a nut shell. It's also known as "intelligent design," and as far as some adherents are concerned, it should replace the chapters in science textbooks about evolution.

"A Lot of Dogma"
In 2005, the Kansas Board of Education was at a crossroads. For years, Kansas schools had been teaching the science-based theory of evolution, filling the heads of little Kansans with Darwin's concept of the origin of the species, and some lawmakers, fed up with this travesty against the teachings of The Bible, had had enough. They wanted equal time given in the classroom to alternate theories, namely intelligent design.

The problem? Intelligent design isn't science-based - you can't prove or disprove it - making it a tough sell for inclusion in a science class. The solution? Change the definition of science. Starting in 2005, after a 6-4 vote of the Board of Education, Kansas schools began teaching scientific theories based not only on direct observation and experimentation, but also on "logical argument and theory building." In other words, faith.

"[The decision] gets rid of a lot of dogma that's being taught in the classroom today," said board member John Bacon, a Republican, and a believer in intelligent design. Bacon and other members of the Board believed the theory of evolution was "unproven," and that intelligent design, although based on improvable hypotheses, was a better fit for the science curriculum of Kansas. The world reacted in horror: Scientists across the nation were outraged, and Bobby Henderson, an out-of-work physicist, was spurred to action. You could say he heard his calling.

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