The Colbert Report: Ken Miller On Intelligent Design Advocates genre: Hip-Gnosis & Tongue-In-Cheek

Stephen Colbert speaks with Kenneth Miller on the subject of evolution and the efforts of creationists to adapt their strategies to have intelligent design taught in science classes as a plausible alternative. As Miller notes, while creationists lack any scientific evidence to support their theories (or their dislike of evolution), they are adept at crafting rhetoric, relabeling, and devising campaigns to sway public opinion.

All too often, the creationists have the scientific community on the defensive...from a public relations perspective. They're able to do this because a large portion of the American public is looking for reasons to reject evolution and embrace intelligent design. Hence, any gap in the extensive data supporting evolution is emphasized by the creationists and a sympathetic public frequently adopts the talking points and propagates them.

Were the creationists required to substantiate their beliefs beyond a citation from the Bible, they would fail miserably. In fact, the bulk of the science they have put forth has been debunked and dismantled by the scientific community. Unfortunately, the Bible is often sufficient evidence for a large portion of the voting public, which places the onus on evolutionists to fill each and every gap in the fossil record as well as defend against each new argument launched by the creationists.

In truth, those supporting a Biblical interpretation of the origin of the universe must contend with countless contradictions. I want to look at one of these inconsistencies. Many Biblical literalists believe the earth is approximately 6,000 years old. They also believe that man and dinosaurs walked the earth together since they believe that God created each living creature in it's current form at the moment of creation.

That brings me to the story of Noah's Arc. While no certain or verifiable date has been placed upon the great flood and the building of the arc, the prevailing opinions suggest it would have occurred over 4,000 years ago. Since creationists reject than humans underwent any evolutionary progression, one can assume that dinosaurs walked the earth when Noah built his arc. In fact, the Creationist Museum contends that dinosaurs were present on the arc.

OK, I don't know about anyone else, but I think the notion that dinosaurs were present on the arc is beyond any standard of rationality...and I say as much only after allowing for the existence of Noah's Arc for the sake of making this argument. There isn't a single scintilla of evidence supporting the presence of dinosaurs at the alleged time of Noah's Arc...and yet it is a fundamental belief of many of the creationists who are arguing that intelligent design should be part of a science curriculum.

Rather than recite the volumes of scientific evidence that demonstrate the absurdity of this creationist belief, I've included a tongue-in-cheek graphic that can be found below the Ken Miller video clip. I think the graphic successfully serves to dramatize the events I imagine would have taken place on Noah's Arc had it actually housed dinosaurs. Then again, I'm sure a card carrying creationist would be happy to prove me wrong by citing and interpreting a few verses from the quintessential scientific journal...the Bible.

Creationist Bible Study - Noah's Arc Revisited

Noah'sArc.jpg

Comments

1 On June 18, 2008 at 2:52 PM, Ben in oakland wrote —

Daniel: you wrote ..."There isn't a single scintilla of evidence supporting the presence of dinosaurs at the alleged time of Noah's Arc".

And there isn't a scintilla of evidence that they weren't, which unfortunately is a hole you could drive a very large dinosaur through and still have room for all of the other flood myths from Italy to India coming from about the same time.

Not to mention, since the size of the Ark is strictly defined in the bible, and we know how big a brontosaur was, there wasn't, shall we say, any room?

Oh wait, G shrunk them all down so that they would fit, and Noah forgot to mention it.

Pretty silly stuff.

And that is what they creationists count on.

2 On June 18, 2008 at 4:31 PM, daniel wrote —

Ben,

I'm not sure I follow your statement, "And there isn't a scintilla of evidence that they weren't". If one takes virtually any of the time frames offered for the occurrence of Noah and his arc, by religious scholars, then the fossil records and carbon dating tell us that it would have been impossible for dinosaurs to have been present at any of those times.

If what you're saying is that creationists will always find a Biblical citation to support their beliefs, then I understand your statement. However, the science is virtually conclusive (again predicated upon the time frames offered by Biblical scholars) that dinosaurs had already been extinct for millions of years by the time Noah built his arc.

If you're simply stating that there is no evidence for an arc in the first place (save for a Biblical reference) - therefore it would be impossible to have any evidence of anything whatsoever, then I see the point you're making.

Anyway, thanks for commenting.

Daniel

3 On June 18, 2008 at 4:43 PM, ben in oakland wrote —

I was being a bit facetious-- there's plenty of evidence for dinosaurs, a tiny bit for Noah's Ark (and i mean even tinier than the arc must have seemed with T. Rex on it), and yes, i was commenting on the lack of a biblical quote on the subject of the dinosaurs. But for creationists, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence-- quite the contrary!!!

Thought Theater at Blogged

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