Friday, March 08, 2013

Ancient Arctic Camels Were the Moose of Their Day

From the CBC, we learn that Pliocene camels were the moose of their day. The technical term appears to be "really huge herbivore".


Robert Byers said...

I am a biblical YEC creationist and love the fauna that once existed in North america.
I twas very healthy and camels were here from the beginning soon after the great flood.
These camels were living during a later age whewn it was colder. Say about 1800BC.
Only the llamas survived to modern times and only in the high mountains of South America. Probably great drought wiping out a great megafauna.Rapid biological change is what happened and at least is a option for biological diversity and this needed because of short timelines as indicated by the bible.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

It takes a special sort of dishonesty to maintain, in the face of all the evidence to the contrary, that the earth is only a few thousand years old.

This kind of dishonesty is one reason I, and many others, have left Christianity. Truly YEC are corrupt and dishonest people.

Robert Byers said...

Mr Shallit
I was just talking about fauna but its nothing to do with dishonest.
Everybody in origin issues, who are thoughtful and well read, are in ernest about their conclusions.
I am!
We are persuaded by the witness of the bible and not persuaded by contrary evidences made against Genesis etc.
Thats why we contend and do a good job.
If the opposition had great evidence it would be a problem for us.
however they don't.
In fact evidence for past and gone events and processes is very difficult. its not testable or easily investigated like physics.
Anyways I am a confident Evangelical Canadian creationist and interested in origin subjects and other subjects that cross with it.
Someone's right and someone's wrong.
nobody is up to fighting truth. Not on our side and I don';t see it on the other side.

Gerry said...

Jeff, last thing I want to do is convince you to re-enter Christianity, but I have to wonder; isn't leaving Christianity because of YEC a bit like leaving democracy because some politicians have their hands in the till? or leaving education because some teachers abuse their students? or, generally, leaving something you believe in because some of the others who believe in it, or profess to believe in it, turn out to be reprehensible and loathsome?

Jeffrey Shallit said...


I don't think you're thoughtful, well-read, or honest. You have no evidence and you lie about evolution.

Jeffrey Shallit said...


The point is that Christianity - supposedly a kind of ethical system - is so completely shot through with dishonesty that there is no reasonable way to accept it.

cody said...

Robert Byers said, "If the opposition had great evidence it would be a problem for us. however they don't."

Understanding radioactive decay is the key to understanding both the age of the Earth and nuclear weapons. The fact that we successfully built such (originally theoretical) weapons is a testament to the comprehensiveness of our understanding of radioactive decay. To suggest the theory of radioactive decay leaves room for a Young Earth is akin to suggesting The Blue Marble leaves room for not-approximately-spherical-Earth theories. The predictions we make in particle physics are the most accurate predictions in human history, by a wide margin, and this is just one small part of science — geology, astrophysics, biology & evolution — the whole of honest investigations into how the universe works (aka science), all converge on the same consistent picture of a very old planet — heck even dendrochronology points to an Earth more than 6,000 years old! But you have a book that says otherwise, and despite the fact that it contains obviously antiquated ideas about slavery and women, and an abundance of contradictions, you can't accept the fact that it could be wrong about the origins of the universe. Needless to say in my opinion, your confidence is unjustified. If you're really interested in origins, take a class on evolution, ask questions if you don't understand something, really give it a shot, don't let your preconceived notions interfere with understanding this — when you really get it you'll see it's among the most beautiful facts we've ever discovered.

Gerry said, "isn't leaving Christianity because of YEC a bit like [abandoning a good idea because of a small minority of loathsome actors/participants abuse or distort that idea]."

No, it is not at all the same. YECs take the bible at it's word, it is the moderate Christians (the vast majority) that are ignoring the unpleasantness in the 'good' book, not the creationists. YECs are frequently motivated to reject scientific explanations out of a fear that if any single part of the bible is wrong than the whole book is suspect — a view many of us anti-theist atheists wholeheartedly agree with. So it is more akin to abandoning fascism in 1930s Italy despite the fact that most fascists were likely normal citizens who probably rationalized the evils of fascism away in order to live a relatively peaceful and secure personal life. At it's heart, Christianity (as well as Islam and Judaism) is based on the ignorant superstitions of our ancient ancestors, which is precisely why it contains so much drivel about beating slaves and marrying rapists and such a slew of other contemptible nonsense.

Once you step outside of religion and take a look back at all the damage it has caused throughout history — and continues to cause today — you begin to realize there simply isn't anything good about it whatsoever (which is why I compared it to fascism).

Robert Byers said...

Extrapolating backwards from some rate thing is just extrapolation.
It has nothing to do with the minor issues splitting the atom.
This is a simple idea once one can understand the breckdown of particles etc. tHats why it was done before complicated things were done, and not much yet, in dealing with healing our biology.
There is no reason to presume a steady decay etc of this or that going on today.
Imagination can supply other options.
the biggest fact is the bible, a witness, says the earth ain't that old.
A witness in good standing until shown otherwise.

cody said...

Robert Byers, my name is Cody, not Jody.

"There is no reason to presume a steady decay etc of this or that going on today." No, there are very good reasons to presume the rate of decay is constant (we know some things that influence it, but we also know how to take them into account), we've done many many experiments, systemically searching for every possible influence over rates of decay. To hypothesize (as you sugggest) that an unknown factor could alter the ratios so dramatically as to revise the ~4.5 billion year old downwards to ~6,000 years, would require almost a million fold increase in the rate of radioactive decay — which is not exactly the kind of effect that goes unnoticed in the lab. Additionally it would have to explain how so many other lines of evidence — sedimentary, dendrochronology, plate tectonics & fossil patterns, rates of genetic drift, are all similarly mistaken in their carefully measured & calculated rates. Focusing on dendrochronology for a moment, how do you propose the counting of tree rings, which can date the Earth to more than 11,000 years old, could possibly be mistaken?

"The biggest fact is the bible, a witness, says the earth ain't that old. A witness in good standing until shown otherwise."
The bible is "a witness in good standing"!? Seriously!? How do you account for all the contradictions!? Or all the horrendous barbarism of the old testament? Have you even read that book!? Any person who would endorse the statement "20 And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished. 21 Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money." (Exodus 21:20-21), has, in my humble opinion, forfeited their credibility. If you really read that book and think about what it is saying, seriously reflect upon what it is saying, you'll see it sacrifices it's own good standing (which you merely assumed it had in the first place).

Extrapolating from your carelessness with my name I presume a similar carelessness with reading your good book, and with understanding scientific evidence, which you clearly do not. Please take a look at the video on dendrochronology, and the link on biblical contradictions, and address those issues before continuing to claim the scientific evidence is flawed or the bible is trustworthy. Your failure to do so already suggests to me that you are not interested in an honest discussion of this issue (as Jeffery pointed out repeatedly) but rather that you suffer under the delusion that if the bible is wrong at all than you'll somehow be hurt, or the world will be scary or dangerous or less beautiful or whatever deeply-seated fear you have as a result of the religious lies you were indoctrinated into.