Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Interconnectivity of Science Visualised...

One of the central belief systems of the Young Earth Creationists (YECs) is that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old, in line with the Biblical version of Creation according to which the Earth was created just over 4,000 years BC (note: the bible doesn't actually say this but YECs arrive at this age by means of 'Biblical genealogy') Some YEC 'scientists' go further and are seeking confirmation of this fallacy by means of experimental evidence.

But there's a problem for these wannabe scientists. Not only has radioisotope dating painstakingly but conclusively shown the Earth to be about 4.5 billion years old, this result is also directly in accordance with Big Bang theory, which estimates the universe to be about 13.5 billion years old but also predicts successfully the elemental abundances of all
the building blocks of nature by means of nucleosynthesis. The true age of the Earth is also confirmed by other scientific paradigms, archaelogy for instance shows many historical sites to be older than 6,000 years.

It is this interconnectivity between multiple, related scientific paradigms that really poses the greatest problem for the Biblical literalists to find confirmation of their belief system by scientific means. Poking holes in existing evidence is their favourite pastime (and they're really pretty crap at it) but to really refute the existing theory one needs to come up with an entirely new, interconnected body of empirical evidence.

SeedMagazine has reported on a map that illustrates this awesome interrelation between the various scientific disciplines (click on the image to enlarge it).
This map was constructed by sorting roughly 800,000 published papers into 776 different scientific paradigms (shown as pale circular nodes) based on how often the papers were cited together by authors of other papers. Links (curved black lines) were made between the paradigms that shared papers, then treated as rubber bands, holding similar paradigms nearer one another when a physical simulation forced every paradigm to repel every other; thus the layout derives directly from the data. Larger paradigms have more papers; node proximity and darker links indicate how many papers are shared between two paradigms. Flowing labels list common words unique to each paradigm, large labels general areas of scientific inquiry.

And here's one committed Christian who has contributed significantly to measuring the true age of the Earth, as well as educating people on how these methods actually work, including debunking a number of Christian myths regarding radiometric dating. Dr. Wiens became a Christian at a young age, and has been a member of Mennonite Brethren, General Conference Baptist, and Conservative Congregational, and Vineyard denominations.


At 5:54 PM, Blogger BaconEating AtheistJew said...

When you put out posts like this, how can you debate that YECs who actually see real data and still try to poke holes in it, are not suffering from mental illness.

At 5:56 AM, Blogger Gert said...

Mentally ill in the proverbial sense, agreed. But in the literal sense, no. These people are too dangerous and too serious to simply dismiss as "mad"....


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