I expected some kind of response to this letter about science and religion; someone obligingly penned—and the newspaper printed—this disastrously pathetic attempt at rebuttal:
To date earth, it's best to research both sides of debate
The author of a recent letter purports to debunk the Christian view of the world as a fable.
The writer bases his views on supposed scientific fact. Perhaps he should actually research his subject matter rather than simply repeating someone else's either biased or uninformed opinion.
For instance, if one asks a scientist how he determines the age of a fossil the answer is by the layer of rock in which it is found. Then if you ask how he determines the age of the rock, the reply is by the type of fossils found in it.
Um, what is wrong with this picture? How about a fossilized tree extending through many layers of rock? This must be the Methuselah of all trees!
If each rock layer were formed over eons of time the tree would have had to live thousands and thousands of years to have accomplished this feat!
[name redacted out of pity]
The fundamental issue here is that THERE IS NO SCIENTIFIC DEBATE! Against the expert consensus of the scientific community, there is only a collection of fables written by goat herders and fishermen. If any side in this debate is “biased or uninformed opinion,” it is that of biblical literalism.
To begin with the writer’s points, such as they are: the circularity alleged in the rock-and-fossil example is simply inaccurate. There are several dating methods (including morphological evidence and radiometric dating) that are mutually confirmatory. None of the results of any scientific analysis leads to the conclusion that the earth is only 6,000 years old, as a literal interpretation of biblical chronology. Some may consider the “fossils were planted by Satan to deceive us” belief to be a competing “side of the debate,” but it is a side unsupported by anything except conjecture.
I will spend a few sentences on the “Methuselah tree”—as much a fantasy as the 969-year-old biblical Methuselah—because it illustrates the vacuity of the attempts to create a controversy where none exists. (Explaining the basics in elementary language is important, because that is apparently where the writer’s education ended.) As a tree grows, it puts down roots in the soil below; it cannot be older than the soil, or it would have grown while miraculously suspended in mid-air as the soil was deposited around its roots. The process of fossilization, if it occurs, takes places after the tree has died and its growth has ceased. Any soil layers found above such a tree were, by logical extension, laid down post-mortem. The strata and their contents remain in chronological order, as common sense will show.
With examples like this, I no longer wonder at our nation’s poor educational standing compared to the rest of the world. Far too many people are obviously unacquainted with any books other than the bible.