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“We Believe In Dinosaurs”

 
MrRon
 
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MrRon
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18 February 2020 06:46
 

This PBS special about Kentucky’s “Ark Encounter” premiered last night. I found it both fascinating and disturbing. For those interested, you can watch it in it’s entirety here:

http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/films/we-believe-in-dinosaurs/

The real depressing part was that even today, 40% of American’s conclude that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old. Few conclusions are so far removed from reality. An equivalent scale of error would be like saying that the distance from New York to Los Angeles is 20 feet. Also disturbing, was/is the concerted effort by creationists to misconstrue the actual science and to cast doubt in the minds of young people. In one scene, Ken Ham is drilling an audience full of youngsters on how to respond to someone who tries to argue in favor of evolution. He asks the kids, “What do you say to someone who believes in evolution?”, and the kids all answer robotically and in unison, “Were you there??”. Ham congratulates them and then repeats this over and over and over, making “were you there?” an automatic response in the kids.

There are also brief clips of evolution deniers Mike Pence, Kentucky’s governor Matt Bevin, and “Dr.” Ben Carson. Also, apparently Ham now has plans on the board to further expand the park and add new attractions. And with friends in high places and an alarmingly large base of young Earthers in this country, he may go far. 

Ron

 
DEGENERATEON
 
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DEGENERATEON
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19 February 2020 18:04
 

I find the 40% number to be suspicious.  Does this include grade schoolers and demented elderly?  If its true, then that is pretty discouraging. 
Don’t these people believe in Noah’s ark?  Were they there?

 
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19 February 2020 22:23
 
DEGENERATEON - 19 February 2020 06:04 PM

Don’t these people believe in Noah’s ark?  Were they there?

Good retort.

Evolution - it’s why you need a flu shot every year.

 
MrRon
 
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MrRon
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20 February 2020 06:07
 
DEGENERATEON - 19 February 2020 06:04 PM

I find the 40% number to be suspicious.  Does this include grade schoolers and demented elderly?  If its true, then that is pretty discouraging. 
Don’t these people believe in Noah’s ark?  Were they there?


To my knowledge the 40% figure does not include grade schoolers and the demented elderly. So yeah, it is very discouraging.

And the hypocrisy of believers demanding that those who accept the fact of evolution need to have “been there” is quite obvious.

Ron  

 

 

 
DEGENERATEON
 
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DEGENERATEON
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20 February 2020 07:30
 
MrRon - 20 February 2020 06:07 AM
DEGENERATEON - 19 February 2020 06:04 PM

I find the 40% number to be suspicious.  Does this include grade schoolers and demented elderly?  If its true, then that is pretty discouraging. 
Don’t these people believe in Noah’s ark?  Were they there?


To my knowledge the 40% figure does not include grade schoolers and the demented elderly. So yeah, it is very discouraging.

And the hypocrisy of believers demanding that those who accept the fact of evolution need to have “been there” is quite obvious.

Ron  

 

I didn’t find anything specifically about the age of the Earth on the PEW research site, but did find the following on US adults view on evolution:

https://www.pewforum.org/2019/02/06/the-evolution-of-pew-research-centers-survey-questions-about-the-origins-and-development-of-life-on-earth/

If you take the “Humans have always existed in present form” result to equate roughly to the Earth being 10,000 years old, the 2005/2006 results line up nicely with 41-43% of the pie.  It looks like the more recent surveys bring the number down to 18-31% partially based on how the question is asked.  This appears to be a result of saying “humans have evolved guided or allowed by God”.  Which is the current Catholic church position if I’m not mistaken - that evolution and creation are not incompatible. So god put this plan in motion billions of years ago so that he could “create” us in his image at this tiny sliver of time and here we are to witness our own god-like form.  The 99% of all species to ever inhabit the Earth have gone extinct to bring about this form- take a deep breath and revel in the magnificence of this moment in time my friends - we are truly in the Age of Aquarius!!!

 

[ Edited: 20 February 2020 07:32 by DEGENERATEON]
 
MrRon
 
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MrRon
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20 February 2020 09:36
 

In my opinion, anything higher than 10% is embarrassing and inexcusable. There are approximately 240 million adults in the U.S. (over the age of 18). So if 10% believed in a young Earth that would still mean there are 24 million people out of touch with reality. These are people who vote. And who have influence. Sad.

Ron

 
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Cheshire Cat
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20 February 2020 12:03
 

America was founded by religious extremists, mainly the Puritans. Religious fanaticism is part of the cultural DNA of the United States. You don’t see this extremism in other industrialized nations.

This religious fanaticism comes and goes in waves.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Awakening

For a time, it seemed as if this sort of religious hysteria was a thing of the past; it was something that even mainstream Christian churches viewed as embarrassing. By the 60s, these fundamentalist, charismatic and evangelical Christian offshoots were marginalized and appeared to be going extinct.

In the 70s this began to change.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Great_Awakening

Today we are in the midst of a full blown spasm of religious fundamentalism run amok. I suppose the main difference between this one and the others, is that this strain is vying to gain political power, and is succeeding. They’ve taken over the Republican Party.

Gaining political power gives their irrational ideas — such as the young earth and Intelligent Design — a certain mainstream legitimacy. The Republican elite, who desperately need these people as voters, cater to these religious fantasies. In fact, Republican politicians go out of their way to validate this magical thinking in order to keep their voters happy.

When you have this coupling of political opportunism and the religious lunacy of 40% of the American population, you get a generalized dumbing-down of the nation as a whole.

 
 
unsmoked
 
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unsmoked
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20 February 2020 13:13
 
MrRon - 20 February 2020 09:36 AM

In my opinion, anything higher than 10% is embarrassing and inexcusable. There are approximately 240 million adults in the U.S. (over the age of 18). So if 10% believed in a young Earth that would still mean there are 24 million people out of touch with reality. These are people who vote. And who have influence. Sad.

Ron

This is why the Russian hackers have a heyday influencing U.S. elections.  24 million people out of touch with reality?  Here is fertile ground for scuttlebutt.  Russian hackers who study the manipulative techniques of TV evangelists?  How to win friends and influence people who think Jesus is coming soon?

 
 
DEGENERATEON
 
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DEGENERATEON
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20 February 2020 13:31
 
Cheshire Cat - 20 February 2020 12:03 PM

America was founded by religious extremists, mainly the Puritans. Religious fanaticism is part of the cultural DNA of the United States. You don’t see this extremism in other industrialized nations.

Was America founded by religious extremists?  It never had a state religion, none of the founding documents mention an official religion - or even refer to Christianity. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ISylK4g6UM
What about Italy?  World’s eighth largest economy, 78% Roman Catholic, and apparently dumped Catholicism as the official state religion in 1985.

 
Cheshire Cat
 
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20 February 2020 15:22
 
DEGENERATEON - 20 February 2020 01:31 PM
Cheshire Cat - 20 February 2020 12:03 PM

America was founded by religious extremists, mainly the Puritans. Religious fanaticism is part of the cultural DNA of the United States. You don’t see this extremism in other industrialized nations.

Was America founded by religious extremists?  It never had a state religion, none of the founding documents mention an official religion - or even refer to Christianity. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ISylK4g6UM
What about Italy?  World’s eighth largest economy, 78% Roman Catholic, and apparently dumped Catholicism as the official state religion in 1985.

Yes, thankfully, there is no official state religion in the United States. That’s not what I’m claiming.

I’m saying that the earliest immigrants to the American continent were religious extremists, namely the Calvinists. There were others as well, later on. These people have had an strong influence on this country. Have you ever heard of the Protestant Work Ethic? It originated with them and is still seen as a virtue in this country.

 
 
DEGENERATEON
 
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DEGENERATEON
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20 February 2020 16:09
 
Cheshire Cat - 20 February 2020 03:22 PM
DEGENERATEON - 20 February 2020 01:31 PM
Cheshire Cat - 20 February 2020 12:03 PM

America was founded by religious extremists, mainly the Puritans. Religious fanaticism is part of the cultural DNA of the United States. You don’t see this extremism in other industrialized nations.

Was America founded by religious extremists?  It never had a state religion, none of the founding documents mention an official religion - or even refer to Christianity. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ISylK4g6UM
What about Italy?  World’s eighth largest economy, 78% Roman Catholic, and apparently dumped Catholicism as the official state religion in 1985.

Yes, thankfully, there is no official state religion in the United States. That’s not what I’m claiming.

I’m saying that the earliest immigrants to the American continent were religious extremists, namely the Calvinists. There were others as well, later on. These people have had an strong influence on this country. Have you ever heard of the Protestant Work Ethic? It originated with them and is still seen as a virtue in this country.

Yes but, if America was founded by religious extremists, why didn’t their strong influence result in any manifestation of their doctrine in the Constitution (aka the DNA of this country)?

 
Cheshire Cat
 
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Cheshire Cat
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20 February 2020 16:44
 
DEGENERATEON - 20 February 2020 04:09 PM
Cheshire Cat - 20 February 2020 03:22 PM
DEGENERATEON - 20 February 2020 01:31 PM
Cheshire Cat - 20 February 2020 12:03 PM

America was founded by religious extremists, mainly the Puritans. Religious fanaticism is part of the cultural DNA of the United States. You don’t see this extremism in other industrialized nations.

Was America founded by religious extremists?  It never had a state religion, none of the founding documents mention an official religion - or even refer to Christianity. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ISylK4g6UM
What about Italy?  World’s eighth largest economy, 78% Roman Catholic, and apparently dumped Catholicism as the official state religion in 1985.

Yes, thankfully, there is no official state religion in the United States. That’s not what I’m claiming.

I’m saying that the earliest immigrants to the American continent were religious extremists, namely the Calvinists. There were others as well, later on. These people have had an strong influence on this country. Have you ever heard of the Protestant Work Ethic? It originated with them and is still seen as a virtue in this country.

Yes but, if America was founded by religious extremists, why didn’t their strong influence result in any manifestation of their doctrine in the Constitution (aka the DNA of this country)?

The founding fathers were products of their time — the Enlightenment. Most of them believed in rationalism and valued knowledge, not blind faith. They also saw how state religions were corrupting forces in Europe, particularly England, and consciously chose not to follow that path.

 
 
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20 February 2020 18:21
 
Cheshire Cat - 20 February 2020 04:44 PM
DEGENERATEON - 20 February 2020 04:09 PM
Cheshire Cat - 20 February 2020 03:22 PM
DEGENERATEON - 20 February 2020 01:31 PM
Cheshire Cat - 20 February 2020 12:03 PM

America was founded by religious extremists, mainly the Puritans. Religious fanaticism is part of the cultural DNA of the United States. You don’t see this extremism in other industrialized nations.

Was America founded by religious extremists?  It never had a state religion, none of the founding documents mention an official religion - or even refer to Christianity. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ISylK4g6UM
What about Italy?  World’s eighth largest economy, 78% Roman Catholic, and apparently dumped Catholicism as the official state religion in 1985.

Yes, thankfully, there is no official state religion in the United States. That’s not what I’m claiming.

I’m saying that the earliest immigrants to the American continent were religious extremists, namely the Calvinists. There were others as well, later on. These people have had an strong influence on this country. Have you ever heard of the Protestant Work Ethic? It originated with them and is still seen as a virtue in this country.

Yes but, if America was founded by religious extremists, why didn’t their strong influence result in any manifestation of their doctrine in the Constitution (aka the DNA of this country)?

The founding fathers were products of their time — the Enlightenment. Most of them believed in rationalism and valued knowledge, not blind faith. They also saw how state religions were corrupting forces in Europe, particularly England, and consciously chose not to follow that path.

It’s a good thing the founding fathers were enlightened, else the religious influence we see today would likely be worse.  I’m still surprised at the percentage that believe the earth has been around for 10,000 years or less.  I’m going to run my own survey - it won’t meet any academic standards but I’m interested in what people around me will say.  Despite the disagreements on many topics I’ve seen on this site, I would guess that the percentage here would be under 5%.

 
unsmoked
 
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unsmoked
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21 February 2020 11:34
 
DEGENERATEON - 20 February 2020 06:21 PM
Cheshire Cat - 20 February 2020 04:44 PM
DEGENERATEON - 20 February 2020 04:09 PM
Cheshire Cat - 20 February 2020 03:22 PM
DEGENERATEON - 20 February 2020 01:31 PM
Cheshire Cat - 20 February 2020 12:03 PM

America was founded by religious extremists, mainly the Puritans. Religious fanaticism is part of the cultural DNA of the United States. You don’t see this extremism in other industrialized nations.

Was America founded by religious extremists?  It never had a state religion, none of the founding documents mention an official religion - or even refer to Christianity. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ISylK4g6UM
What about Italy?  World’s eighth largest economy, 78% Roman Catholic, and apparently dumped Catholicism as the official state religion in 1985.

Yes, thankfully, there is no official state religion in the United States. That’s not what I’m claiming.

I’m saying that the earliest immigrants to the American continent were religious extremists, namely the Calvinists. There were others as well, later on. These people have had an strong influence on this country. Have you ever heard of the Protestant Work Ethic? It originated with them and is still seen as a virtue in this country.

Yes but, if America was founded by religious extremists, why didn’t their strong influence result in any manifestation of their doctrine in the Constitution (aka the DNA of this country)?

The founding fathers were products of their time — the Enlightenment. Most of them believed in rationalism and valued knowledge, not blind faith. They also saw how state religions were corrupting forces in Europe, particularly England, and consciously chose not to follow that path.

It’s a good thing the founding fathers were enlightened, else the religious influence we see today would likely be worse.  I’m still surprised at the percentage that believe the earth has been around for 10,000 years or less.  I’m going to run my own survey - it won’t meet any academic standards but I’m interested in what people around me will say.  Despite the disagreements on many topics I’ve seen on this site, I would guess that the percentage here would be under 5%.

Religion isn’t the only culprit when it comes to understanding how old the Earth is etc.  In his book, THE MAGIC OF REALITY, Richard Dawkins points out that 19% of the population today don’t understand what a year is.  They think the Earth orbits the sun once a month.  In the U.S. that would come to 70 million who don’t know what a year is.

He goes on to say that even those who know that it takes a year to orbit the sun, think the Earth is closer to the sun in summer, more distant in winter.  He suggests, “Tell that to an Australian, barbecuing Christmas dinner in a bikini on a baking hot beach.” 

 

[ Edited: 21 February 2020 11:38 by unsmoked]
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icehorse
 
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22 February 2020 08:15
 

And this my friends, is why I assume we all spend time on this forum.

I suppose it’s somewhat useful for us to spar with each other to sharpen our skills. But much more of our energy ought to be going into figuring out how to make critical thinking “cool”, and ignorance and illogic “not cool, dude”.

 
 
Cheshire Cat
 
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22 February 2020 12:48
 

There is something else to take into consideration about these things, namely, that not everyone is born with a high or even average intelligence.

My understanding is that if you have an IQ in the 80s or less, you will have major problems functioning in this modern society of ours. It wouldn’t be surprising if people in this below average intelligence range don’t know the earth revolves around the sun, or what evolution is, or when dinosaurs lived, or how old the earth really is. Probably, to people like this, the simple explanation that god made the world in 7 days, and that humans and dinosaurs coexisted, seems possible. After all, people that they like and trust have told them this is true; why believe what unknown strangers say is true, people you’ve never met?

 
 
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