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Dinosaurs, creationists, the ark



On AOL, I was involved for a while with quite a few "scientific" 
debates with creationists.  I stopped because they seemed to follow 
monthly patterns of making blind assertations, having the 
evolutionists crush them easily, having them shut-up, making the 
evolutionists go away, and then making blind assertations.  Over and 
over again ad naseum.

Anyway, one day, a particularly ignorant creationist, 
NDFENSE@aol.com, said he would be willing to send anyone a tape 
of a lecture made by a Dr. Girouad that explained how dinosaurs fit 
into the creation story and such.  Of course, being a dinosaur lover, I 
couldn't pass up the chance to rebut the certain idiocy of the tape.  I 
have not of yet recieved a response.  Here are some excerpts from 
the tape, and my responses, that try to explain how dinosaurs fit in.

-"We find fossils of dinosaurs every single place in the world."
Re: This is a lie.  You find dinosaurs only in rocks radiometrically 
dated between ~240 million years ago and ~63 million years ago.  
You don't find dinosaurs in other rocks because they're not there.

-"Regular, dinosaur-hipped variety; which is how the should come 
because dinosaurs were reptiles."
Re: His hideous explanation of Saurischia, which is been an archaic 
term for over a decade.  Modern cladistic diagrams (i.e. after 1985) 
have four main branches of dinosaurs: Paleodinosaurs (Lagosuchids 
etcetera), Herrerasaurs (Herrarasaurids and Protoavids etcetera), 
Theropods (three-toed, meat-eating [normally] dinosaurs and birds),
and Phytodinosaurs (Sauropods and Ornithischians).  They also will 
put Pterosaurs and Ornithosuchians as respectively more distant 
outgroups.  All of these together make up the group Ornithodira, 
which has been raised to class status under the name Aves or
Ornithodira because they are not morphologically or physiologically 
similar to "reptiles". [Yes, I agree in the monophyly of 
phytodinosauria]

-"God says . . . dinosaurs that lived in the water . . . things like the 
Plesiosaur."
Re: Plesiosaurs aren't dinosaurs.  You (and his audience) should 
know this (especially after he told them it wasn't a dinosaur).

-"Have you ever seen Tyrannosaurus rex eat anything?
Re: Well, yes I have.  On numerous Triceratops vertebrae and skulls 
and Hadrosaurian limb elements and vertebrae there are deep 
gouging tooth marks that will line up exactly with those of 
Tyrannosaurus rex' teeth.

-"Have you ever seen the teeth of a Panda "Bear"? . . . long, sharp, 
teeth.  The fruit bats of Australia or New Zealand?
Re: Obviously Dr. G. failed Comparative Anatomy and dental school.  
The Pandas (pandas are not bears, please tell Dr. G. not to refer to 
them as such) have large sharp teeth a) because they were inherited 
from a common Carnivoran ancestor with raccoons, and b) because 
they are helpful in removing edible bamboo from the plants (have you
ever tried to eat bamboo?).  Fruit bats have sharp teeth because they 
a) inherited them and b) are used to puncture the skin of fruits and 
vegetables.

-" . . . so what do big long teeth mean?  Big long teeth, that's all."
Re:  actually they mean that the owner uses its teeth to puncture or 
cut (not chew) a particularly resistant piece of food.

-"God tells us . . . Genesis 1:30, 'To every . . . "
Re: The Bible is not a scientific resource and cannot be brought into 
the discussion of a scientific subject.

-"The roots of his teeth were very, very shallow."
Re: That is an outright absolute lie.  Not in any way a distortion of the 
truth; a lie.  The verage T. rex tooth (mid-maxilla) was about ten 
inches long.  Four of which would be exposed, the other six would be 
imbedded into its skull as a very sturdy and unmoving root.

-"If Tyrannosaurus rex . . . pulled all his teeth out."
Re: This statement is partially an extension of the above lie and also 
a libel of John Horner's advocacy of scavenging in Tyrannosaurs.  
Horner says that T. rex would learn quickly not to bite into the 
back-bone of a six-tonne Triceratops, if he did that he would
yank all his teeth out.  I have no argument with that specific point, but 
T. rex (or anything else) wouldn't be stupid enough to bite down on 
the back-bone of a Triceratops. (have you ever seen the back-bone of 
a Triceratops?).

-"Would have had to gum an animal to death, and nobody believes 
that."
Re: Just to prove a point.  In the OFF chance that T. rex would be in 
the position to "gum an animal to death," there simply is enough 
muscle mass in the skull of T. rex to crush and collapse the lungs of 
a 100kg animal, easily.

-"Tyrannosaurus rex had real good teeth for stripping bark and things. 
 And that's why in some of the skeletons of the Tyrannosaurus rex 
skull we found sugar cane fossilized between the teeth"
Re: Oh?  To get things straight, T. rex' teeth most resemble those of 
Kamodo Dragons'; long sharp and serrated.  There is also, in the 
premaxillary teeth of the upper jaw, a peculiarity of having all the 
shaped like capitol "D"s in cross-section and be arranged in a
pattern shaped like a capitol "U".  The premaxillary teeth are short, 
stocky and sharp; arranged somewhat like a shovel for scooping out 
large chunks of meat, not a scraper for stripping bark.  There are also 
many kinetic flexing joints in the skull that made the mouth even 
larger.
    As for sugar cane...  I don't know what T. rexes Dr. G.'s looking at, 
but there has absolutely not been any sugar cane or bark or anything 
found fossilized between the teeth.  The only thing I can think of that 
Dr. G. could have so largely distorted the truth about is a suggestion 
back in the mid eighties that T. rex stored bacteria imbetween it's
teeth so as to give its victim a massive infection after one bite and 
save itself from a long drawn out battle.  If that is not Dr. G.'s 
inspiration, then the sugar-cane suggestion is an outright lie.

-"Before Adam sinned there was no death in the world."
Re: This is impossible, what about all the plankton?  What about all 
the digestive bacteria?  Or do they not count?

-"We don't see a lot of dinosaurs running around today."
Re: Actually, I saw quite a few dinosaurs running around today.  Each 
State has its own State Dinosaur  Chances are that you and Dr. G. 
(not me however, meat is disgusting) eat a dinosaur every 
Thanksgiving.

-"We find fossils of dinosaurs all over the Earth; even at the tops of 
mountains."
Re: Not "all over the Earth", only in sedimentary deposits that have 
been radiometrically dated to be between ~240 to ~63 million years 
old.  For instance, you cannot find dinosaurs in the western half of the 
State of Washington because all of the rock deposits have been 
radiometrically dated to be too recent.  You can go right ahead and 
look, but I guarantee you you won't find any dinosaur fossils in 
western Washington (unless you cheat and build a mine three miles 
deep).

-"Dr. John Horner found at the top of a mountain in Montana . . . "
Re: The fossil local is called "Egg Mountain in the Two Medicine 
Formation", but unless you classify forty feet a mountain, it isn't one.

-"'I guess they were caught in a flood.'"
Re:  Dr. G. is quite the libeler at this lecture, isn't he?  If one were to 
look at Horner's book "Digging Dinosaurs", he explained that a herd of 
possibly 10,000 Maiasaura peeblesorum were at a seasonal nesting 
ground at a very large lake in the highland plains of the Laramide 
Mountains (Pre-Rockies western North America back-bone mountain
range).  There were also the nests of a Hypsilophodontid: 
Orodromeus makeli and a small predator, Troodon formosus.  His 
explanation (from geologists at the site) is that
there was a volcanic eruption (far greater than St. Helen's) nearby that 
sent a literal mountain of mud down the tributary rivers into the lake 
and floodplain almost instantaneously covering the dinosaurs in four 
feet of boiling mud and a thousand degree ashfall (powderised rocks 
and metals at a thousand degrees).  Just remember the footage
of Spirit Lake and the Tootle River, now imagine it tenfold and ten 
times as close.

-"How could he fit those dinosaurs on that little bitty boat?"
Re: Good question.  As I'll explain later, it's pretty impossible.

-"I was speaking at a High School in Indiana . . . "
Re: I certainly hope it was private or Dr. G. would certainly have the 
ACLU on his hands (not that I would feel sorry for him).

-"<about dinosaurs> He took the babies . . . "
Re: Even if he did, he would still have some pretty big animals on his 
hands.  There is evidence that Sauropods (Brontosaurs) were not egg 
layers.  A live-birth Brachiosaur would be about the size of a 
Volkswagon, not the cute cat-sized animal the audience is picturing.

-"'He moves his tail like a cedar.' . . . There's only one critter that has 
a tail like a cedar."
Re: If you read the quote correctly, you will see that the tail moves 
upright like a cedar, not that the tail resembles a cedar.  Dinosaurs, 
by definition couldn't move their tails in such a manor as to set them 
upright like a cedar.  That is a deliberate misinterpretation of
the quote.  Also, many other animals also have "cedar-like" tails, like 
sloths and kangaroos.  Also, later on in the quote, the Bible speaks 
of B.'s strength coming from the sinews of his testicles.  Since no 
one was B.'s master, I doubt that Job did much of an exploratory 
autopsy on B., so the testicles had to be external.  By definition the 
only animals to have external testicles are mammals.

-"Now this is a drawing by Dr. Roy Mackle . . . and even though they 
didn't get any pictures of it Dr. Mackle said, 'No question about it, this 
animal is there.'  . . . even though there's no photographic evidence . . 
. Mackle was able to record the voice print."
Re:  Dr. Mackle went to the Congo and conveniently forget to remove 
the lens cap from his movie camera when he came across the Mekile 
Mmbembe (or however you spell it).  His description however is 
bogus.  He describes a creature similar to a sauropod, except that it 
had a very flat back.  No sauropod (or dinosaur for that matter) had a 
flat back.  The most distinctive feature of sauropod anatomy is their 
long spined vertebrae, always at least as long as the centra.  Many 
species (Diplodocids Dicraeosaurs, Mamenchisaurs etcetera) had the
spines split over the neck and upper back causing two ridges to be 
visible.  If Dr. Mackle had really seen a dinosaur, it is beyond me how 
it could slip his mind that there were ridges over the back and neck.

-"The natives in this area, who are very reliable eye-witnesses."
Re: I'm sure that all those native Europeans who said they saw 
Griffins and Dragons were being reliable too.

-"1977, off the coast of New Zealand, a Japanese fishing boat pulled 
up a carcass . . . and the tissue and blood samples show it . . . "
Re: Actually, the fishermen drug up the carcass that had been rotting 
for months hung it on a hook, took a really bad picture of it and 
dumped it back into the ocean.  There were no dorsal fins because 
there was no back left.  The neck appeared to be long because the
area in front of its pectoral fins was eaten away.  Also, there were no 
tissue samples taken at all, that was a fabrication of Dr. G. most 
probably.  The people on the boat said it was probably a rotten shark.

-"What we think the Loch Ness Monster might be."
Re: I certainly hope that "we" is not inclusive of me because I know 
that there is not anything living in Loch Ness that could be 
characterized as a monster.  People have studied fish populations in 
the lake and concluded that it cannot support a population of large 
predators.

-"Noah's Ark was 437 feet long, 73 feet wide and 44 feet high.  it had 
three decks."
Re: I've been on ships twice that size that have trouble fitting 3000 
people onboard.

-"Noah's Ark could have held 125,000 sheep sized animals."
Re: Perhaps this is true if you took the decks off of the ark and 
dumped 125,000 sheep into it and shoved 'em in real good."

-"How many animals did Noah have to bring on the boat?  It depends 
on who you talk to."
Re: Why yes it does depend on who you talk to.  Some biologists 
contend that there are only five million animal species, others say fifty 
million.

-"Noah would have to bring on the ark 50,000 individual animals at the 
most."
Re: Oh?  If you add in extinct species the total count of species 
should be in the hundreds of billions or trillions.  Not 25,000.


-"Recent estimates have downgraded that estimate to as low as five 
thousand or ten thousand."
Re: Even if you use that mythical indefinable, bogus term "kind", 
there is no way that there in all of the Earth's history there would only 
be 2500 kinds.

-"Noah took two of every kind."
Re: What is a kind?  No creationist has ever been able to give an 
understandable response to this.  Besides that, 5000 years ago, 
when the Bible was written, kind almost certainly was 
interchangeable with species.  Back then they had no convoluted 
psuedoscientific definitions that have nothing to do with reality.

-"Kind; which probably goes up to a family level."
Re: Which kind are Hyena's in?  Are they in the dog kind or the cat 
kind?  Are they in their own kind?  Are cats, dogs and hyenas in a 
kind together?

-"We think that the creatures hibernated.  That as the water came 
down there would have been a lot of clouds their temperatures would 
have got much cooler and that what would have occurred onboard the 
ark is that the temperatures would have dropped and that the
animals would have a tendency therefore to hibernate.  And that what 
we find is that in every creature there's a latent tendency to hibernate.
Re: Oh my goodness..... First of all, hibernation is an instinctual 
Circannual Rhythm, it happens yearly.  It is not in any animal 
Circatemperic as Dr. G. is suggesting.  That whole thing about how 
the rain made them sleep is ludicrous, people have done studies
showing that to be false.  Not every creature has a latent tendency to 
hibernate.  Have you ever seen a non-comatose human sleep more 
than thirty-five hours?  You won't find any birds hibernating either.

-"We know that bears can hibernate for up to nine months. . . "
Re: That's fine and wonderful for bears, but I'm not a bear, and neither 
are you, or are cats or birds or snails....

-"On Sunday after lunch I have a tendency to hibernate."
Re: No he doesn't.  He gorged himself and is lacking energy because 
an unusually large amount of blood has migrated to his stomach and 
intestines.

-"Why are there no human fossils from the flood?  And I think the 
best answer to that is a scriptural answer . . . "
Re: So no answer; or are we forgetting that the Bible cannot enter a 
scientific debate as evidence.

-"Man, being more intelligent and more mobile, was able to go up to 
the tops of hills."
Re: Other than the blatant arrogance and ignorance in the first part of 
the quote, I've got a question.  Have you ever seen cows in a flood?  
don't they climb to the tops of hills, or do they show the smart cows 
on my TV and the stupid ones on his?

-"And those human bodies would have done exactly what human 
bodies do now, float on top of water."
Re: Every single kind of carcass floats on water.  An interesting point 
is that dinosaurs should be at the top of the geologic record, not in 
the middle because their bodies massed only about 85% of the water 
that they displaced, compared to the mammal's 95%.

-"How did kangaroos get to Australia after the flood?  They hopped, 
that's easy."
Re: That's stupid.  That is the sorriest explanation of how come 
marsupials were the dominant mammals in Australia and why there 
were no Placental Mammals there until very recently.

-"One other thing is that they found Platypus teeth down in South 
America."
Re: Funny thing that modern Platypus don't have teeth.

-"Just what science demands for us to see . . . "
Re: That's not what I see.  How many languages are spoken in 
Switzerland, heck how many in California?  Language is not much of 
a barrier, it wasn't for ancient Native Americans who spoke just fine 
and dandy to eachother using their hands and not their mouths.  If 
you actually ask a cultural anthropologist what they would think 
would be an effective barrier between cultures, they would most likely 
say something like a mountain range or a desert.

-"All of the languages in the world seem to have originated from one 
central language."
Re: Oh?  Most linguistic experts really struggle when they study 
language origins.  For instance, Indo-European is a pretty well 
established language family, it SEEMS to have roots with 
Finno-Ugric, but no one can be really certain because they are vastly 
different.  No one has any idea where Basque came from.  No one 
has any idea where Etruscan came from.  Those languages are not at 
all similar to any other languages in the world at all, and yet Dr. G. 
claims he knows where they came from.

-"There should be a tremendous river delta at the end of the Colorado 
River."
Re: Perhaps the fact that the Colorado dumps into a deep submarine 
canyon slipped Dr. G.'s mind?  Is he claiming that there was not 
enough time for river deltas to form?  How did the Mississippi's form? 
 Could it be that the Mississippi dumps onto a continental shelf and 
the Colorado doesn't?


-"Have we ever seen a canyon like the Grand Canyon Form?  The 
answer is yes."
Re: The answer is no.  Nothing as enormous as the Grand Canyon 
was ever (or could ever) be formed quickly enough for people to see it 
happen.

-"What do you see?  A canyon, a canyon with . . . "
First of all, the St. Helen's canyon isn't there anymore, secondly it is 
so tremendously smaller than the Grand Canyon the analogy is 
imbecilic.  Also, where is the volcanic catalyst for the Grand Canyon, 
I certainly don't see any Krakatoas or Vesuviuses in northern Arizona.  
-"This what they call a pyroclastic mudflow."
Re: It truly surprises me that someone supposedly educated in 
geology, cannot tell the difference between a pyroclastic mudflow and 
erosion.

-"No evolutionary biologist would have believed . . . "
Re: Yes they would have.  They would look over there shoulder and 
seen an active volcano with a third of its northern slope missing and 
say, "Ah-ha!  This is a pyroclatic mudflow because there's an active 
volcano with a third of its northern slope missing right over there!"

-Pastor Bullock>"As I was listening there, I thought of this whole 
theory of evolution (says Theory of Evolution like it was some 
unmentionable sex act).  Folks, it; it was concocted by the devil, and 
the truth of the matter is the basis of evolution is atheism; in my 
opinion.  People don't believe that there is a God and one way that 
they can destroy the idea that there is a God, is to come up with a 
foolish theory that takes more faith to believe in than what the Bible 
says.
Re: Certainly Rev. B. doesn't believe that the ancient Greeks, 
Buddhists, Baha'is, Lamarck, Huxley, and Darwin are/were all the 
devil incarnate?  This is ludicrous.  The truth of the matter is the basis 
for evolution is scientific observation in the natural world and 
experimentation in the laboratory, not atheism.  The last sentence is 
very bitterly toned (especially when spoken).  There is no real 
scientific basis for creationism.  Even if you think that evolution is 
silly, it has always and will always have more backing in science.  
>From Sherlock Holmes: When you have eliminated all the 
impossibilities, what is left, however improbable, is the solution.  
Creationism is a scientific impossibility no matter how you look at it.

That's a lot of what the letter was.  They claim that Noah and his kids
didn't have to go and fetch the animals, but that God had them come to them.
 They say that only the baby animals came on the ark.  They say try to hock
the bogus psuedoscientific term of "kind".  There is no definition of it that
is resonable, because _Homo sapiens_ is in a kind by itself, but the two
orders of bats are all shoved into a single kind.  They are claiming that
after the ark landed, natural selection within the kinds then let all the
different species evolve (yes they "aprove" of microevolution) faster than
any evolutionary biologist would ever suggest.  They claim that they didn't
have to clean or feed the animals because they were hibernating.  That's it.
 If you want the tape, just ask'im for it, 'k?

Peter Buchholz
Stang1996@aol.com