I posted this when we were briefly atheistzone so some people may have missed it. It is on a billboard outside a baptist church near where I work:
I really think the church are doing themselves no favours here. It seems to suggest that the fact that theories change is a bad thing and the fact that God always stays the same (as the God in the bible) is a good thing.
I felt like walking inside and telling them not to be so hard on themselves.
From Sunday School April 3rd....The beauty of Science is that it is always open to improvement and change.
the best experiments can only offer supporting evidence for a theory. The case is never closed in science, because we don’t know what effect might turn up in the future that could show that the theory is incomplete. All we can say is that the theory is right so far…..
A trivial example of science changing, that I remarked on recently in real life:
When I was a kid, all the books said the Cambrian began 560 million years ago. As of a couple of years ago the figure given is 542 million years ago. Not only is it a bit more precise, indicating the measurement is more sensitive, it actually changed in the second significant figure.
This is because we are far more precise at radioisotopic based (please, don't call it "carbon dating" when discussing the Cambrian) dating. We've even started using old cyclotrons (useless now for physics research, we've moved beyond their capabilities) for separating out individual atoms of samples.
A man is on a guided tour of the dinosaur exhibition at the Natural History Museum. He hears the guide say that a certain fossil is 85,000,007 years old. He is amazed at the accuracy of the dating and asks the guide what test was used to allow them to be so specific with the ageing of the fossil.
The guide replies “Well it was 85 million years old when I started working here 7 years ago”.
Ok…back to my day job :-)
It's like the man who read one time that there was a one in a million chance that on any given airplane flight, there would be a bomb on board. He reasoned that therefore there's be a trillion to one chance that there'd be TWO bombs.
So he carried a bomb--which he had no intention of detonating--onto his next flight.
Ha ha, I like both these. I shall be adding them to my (limited) joke repertoire.
Ignorant and intellectually lazy people want absolute certainty. The rest of us want maximum plausibility.