My first time posting on Think Atheist, so I thought some of you might find this to be interesting. 

Ran across this today ( blog by the name of "Worldview Warriors" arguing for a biblical flood using this argument: 

"The first obvious sign that a worldwide flood occurred is that there would be thousands upon thousands, millions upon millions of dead creatures buried underneath the surface of the earth. When we look at Geology, guess what? This is exactly what we find: thousands upon thousands and millions upon millions of creatures buried beneath the earth. Unfortunately, before secular humanists got their hands on the fossil record, creationists were poorly interpreting the fossils that were buried underground, which paved the way for secular scientists popularizing more scientific interpretations of the fossils. Today, creationists fight to set the record straight despite the fact that their interpretations are more reasonable and more logical than that of secularists."

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  • the extremely good sorting observed. Why didn't at least one dinosaur make it to the high ground with the elephants?
  • the relative positions of plants and other non-motile life. (Yun, 1989, describes beautifully preserved algae from Late Precambrian sediments. Why don't any modern-looking plants appear that low in the geological column?)

I read similar points in Dawkins recently (Greatest Show on Earth) and I have to admit I facepalmed.  Why did that not occur to me?

This shows the value of what I call "unapologetics"--rebuttals of arguments by Christians, both about evolution and about Christianity per se.  (I use the term because I won't apologize for being an atheist and for disagreeing with them, hence an unapology; also it's truly the opposite of a Christian apologetic.   I know, strictly speaking that an "apologetic" doesn't mean saying one is sorry, but the play on the different meanings is too good to resist.)

Without a lot of these unapologetics mind, all it takes for a Christian to possibly win you over is to have an argument that seems good on the face of it; if you can't see the flaw, you could be screwed, he could convince you he has a point.

I was raised atheist, but not raised with the tools to fight off a clever Xian apologist--the idiots, of course, had no effect on me.  Neither was my brother; he ended up converting, and it took him thirty years to shake it off.

I was nearly taken in by arguments re: Josephus given to me by someone I trusted because of a friendship that went back 15 years; fortunately I found unapologetics, good solid arguments that the Josephus quote that is supposed to prove a historical, miracle working Jesus, is a forgery.  Once you read those arguments and read the Josephus quote in context, it's obvious that the argument that it is a forgery is correct.  I called my friend on his argument; I wonder if he ever tried to use it on someone else.  I wouldn't be surprised, and I am disappointed in him if so.

It doesn't take just intelligence to see through the better arguments by the other side, but intelligence armed with arguments someone else came up with (validated, of course by your own though process), since no one of us is smart enough to see every hole or know every factual error, I mean lie, that they will exploit.

On the creationist site referenced above, one of the commenters is suggesting that the biblical, "fountains of the deep" (as he takes it to mean underground water, though anyone who has read the first two chapters of Genesis, knows that "the deep" refers to space, or an off-earth area), were the result of water being released from storage in hydrous wadsleyite.

This from Wikipedia:

Hydrous wadsleyite is a considered a potential site for water storage in the Earth’s mantle due to the low electrostatic potential of the underbonded oxygen atoms. Wadsleyite is found to be stable in the transition zone of the Earth’s upper mantle. These regions are between 400 and 525 km in depth.

There is one argument and one statement in the text. 

The argument deals with the flood:

  • Premise 1: "(A) sign that a worldwide flood occurred is that there would be (many) dead creatures buried underneath the surface of the earth."
  • Sub-conclusion: "This is exactly what we find"
  • Conclusion (implied): Therefore, a worldwide flood has occurred. 

The error with this, from a formal logic standpoint, is that, while the premise is true, it does not provide logically conclusive support for the conclusion offered. Though it may be that a flood would create lots of buried dead creatures, a flood is not necessary to create this condition, and it may be caused by other course of events. From a practical argumentation standpoint, it is a conductive argument which lacks support, both in the amount of premises and especially the lack of counter-considerations. 

The statement deals with the interpretation of the fossil record:

  • Premise 1: "Creationists were poorly interpreting the fossils"
  • Premise 2: "(This) paved the way for secular scientists popularizing more scientific interpretations"
  • Premise 3: "(Creationist) interpretations are more reasonable and more logical than that of secularists"
  • Conclusion: "Therefore, creationists fight to set the record straight"

Clearly, it is intended to imitate an argument, but is in fact a statement of (perceived) fact. The conclusion is not based on the premises offered, but an explanation of the rationale behind the work of creationists. 

One of the comments I posted on the "Worldview Warriors" website is one I've posted here in the past, about the airtightness of the ark, the fact that according to this god's own blueprints, there was only one window in the ark, 18" X 18", and it was kept closed until the very end, when the birds were released. I then explained how much methane a single cow produces in a day, calculated the volume of the ark's interior, and proved that only 250 cow-sized animals could entirely fill up the ark with methane in less than the time the ark was afloat. I went on to explain that with only one window, and it closed, there would have been no light in the ark, and that any lanterns or candles would have resulted in an explosion that would have rivaled a meth lab.

This is a comment I got back:

JD70 has left a new comment on the post "Proof of the Worldwide Flood":

@ archaeopteryx

Your methane comment made me laugh so hard I almost woke up my family. :) It was funny. I wasn't laughing at your "facts" in the comment.

Again though, you are making some serious assumptions and you do not even realize it. You assume that the used some sort of "fire" for lighting. Question: since that world was destroyed, is it possible that some other form of light could have been used? Possibly even something like a glow stick. Chemicals combining to make light? Is it possible, is all I am asking.

Regarding the animals, is it possible that they went into a hibernation like state during most of the journey? Again, is it possible? You see, you are making assumptions to the record. As am I. I'm willing to admit it because I wasn't there to do a very important thing, observe it. Are you willing to admit that, if the story is true, you we not there to observe it either?

Bronze Age glow sticks and suspended animation - Confirmation Bias -- tsk, tsk.

If I'm not mistaken, they were milking the cows and goats during the journey.  Sort of precludes hibernation.

No mention of milking cows - I guess that was Sunday school narrative and not in the Holey Scripture, :D

The thing I always found quirky was how Yahweh was on speaking terms with Noah before and after the flood, yet Noah had to rely on birds to figure out whether or not it was safe to leave the ark.

Probably to reiterate the effectiveness of bird signs. You know, because that was kind of like the weather channel back then.

Theists try so hard to prove that their thesis MIGHT be true and then conclude that since it MIGHT BE TRUE, it MUST BE TRUE. 

They obviously start with the thesis that there was a flood, and then look for confirming evidence. A real scientist would be looking for DISconfirming evidence.

Well, theists claim that the Grand Canyon was carved by thr rushing waters of the flood, but everyone knows it was made by Paul Bunyon dragging his axe!

This was my response:

Actually JD70, it was originally a little longer and a lot funnier, but these comments are limited to 4096 characters and I had to cut some to get it all in.

According to Bishop Ussher, the"flood" allegedly occurred in 2300+ BCE, but Genesis wasn't written until 950 BCE, some 1300 years later. As mentioned earlier, the entire Noahic story was plagiarized from the Akkadian flood in Mesopotamia, 600 years earlier. Using Occam's Razor, which is more likely, that someone within the Jewish community decided it would help unite the Jews if they had some heroic figures as role models, so they plagiarized the Ziusudra story, making the hero Jewish, rather than Akkadian - or, is it more likely that Bronze Age Hebrew nomads had glow sticks and suspended animation technology?


So you destroy his argument in a toilet-humory way and all he can see is the humor... not just that you (so to speak) blew his whole "theory" away.  (I shouldn't dignify it with the word "theory" as that puts it on par with something epistemically respectable like evolution, so I had to use sarcasm-quotes.)


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