I am skepti-cool
Posted on September 25, 2013
This blog is definitely not in the vein of my normal posts but it does shed light on the inner workings of my brain when I am not entirely consumed by the human digestive system. I recently had a brief engagement regarding the subject of this blog and was politely told I should “read a book”. After a burning through the Twilight series and Dr. Seuss’ Hop on Pop, it appears my opinions haven’t changed much. Part of my reticence to post on this subject had to do with my sheer laziness as I did not want to create the kind of graph I felt was necessary to convey my thoughts. Well lo and behold, someone did it for me and I “happened” across it. Yay! I can write my post with half the work done for me now!
So, what was the subject of the conversation during which I was told my literary habits were not up to snuff? Evolution. The same person who clearly did not realize I had in fact read EVERY Hardy Boys book available could not understand how I could look at the “fact” of evolution with any bit of skepticism at all. Well, I do have some problems with the underlying logic. One of which being the time required.
Now, before I continue, I would like to lay out a few disclaimers:
1. I am not a scientist. Despite my proclivity to wearing white lab coats and the fact that I have conducted multiple experiments regarding how felines react to external stimuli (ie. duct tape) placed on their paws, I have not received formal scientific training…unless you consider my Saturday viewings of Beakman’s World as training.
2. I do like to fancy myself a logical thinker. So, my comments below rely on nothing else but my logic (and a calculator for the big numbers).
3. I am not God. I have chosen to place my faith in God and that faith is strong enough for me to “allow” God to have created the world in whatever fashion and timeframe he felt like creating it. The Bible says the earth was created more recently than scientists say. I’ve chosen to put my faith in the Bible. And I do not believe the age of the earth is a salvation issue. As long as you believe Jesus died on the cross for your sins, I believe we can bandy this issue aboot while we are here and then one of us will get a sweet “I told you so” in heaven right after we ask God about the whole Adam and Eve belly button issue.
Alright, now that the perimeters have been set, allow me to lay out my thoughts. One of the key components required to allow evolution to occur is time. Millions upon millions of years are required to allow natural selection to use trial and error to improve upon itself…without cognizance of course. So, the scientific “consensus” indicates the universe is billions of years old. Sweet, this does not contradict evolution and one of the key (I cannot understate the KEY-ness of the time required) requirements for evolution to occur has been concretely proven…right? Well, therein lies my issue. Thankfully, the dude (or dudette) who put the following graphs together (the full entry and the rest of the graphs are found here: http://www.waitbutwhy.com/2013/08/putting-time-in-perspective.html) inadvertently illustrated my conundrum. I’m sure his intentions with this information was to do the exact opposite of provide an illustration to my conundrum, but I’ll take it anyway.
So, this first graph shows what he calls “recorded history”. I like to think of this as what we “know”. It has been observed and recorded by humans. It represents some 5,500 years.
The comments on the graph are the website author’s.
So this next graph shows the theorized age of the universe.
So they both appear to be the approximate pictorial same size right? Well it turns out the bottom graph happens to show a much bigger timeframe than the first. It shows a 13.8 billion year time period. As this number is big enough to give me a headache, I am choosing to deal with the theorized age of the earth which, according to the site is 4.6 Billion Years (the yellow line in the graph). This number only gives me minor athlete’s foot.
So, what the scientists are doing is taking what we know and can conclusively verify with observation from 5,500 years of human recorded history (things like how we’ve witnessed carbon decaying over that time, etc.) and extrapolating that over a time period of 4.6 Billion years. Well, according to my math, we’ve only witnessed carbon decaying for .000012% of the time it’s supposedly been decaying (5,500 / 4,600,000,000). But yet scientists feel that witnessing .000012% of “time” is enough to make a confident extrapolation out of.
It must be nice to be a scientist. I don’t know many other professions that would be able to take such a relatively small amount of observed data, make extrapolations of such gargantuan proportions, call it fact supported by consensus, and somehow not get laughed out of the room. How many elections are called after .000012% of the precincts have reported? (“Well Bob, Marge Jenkins has just cast her vote so we are confident enough to call this election for [insert presidential candidate’s name]”) Would you trust a stockbroker who guaranteed a 800% return on a stock over 30 years because it performed well the day after it’s IPO? These examples are obviously facetious but are convenient illustrations of why it is hard for me to have the same confidence many others have since “that’s what science says.” If you find it preposterous to risk some money on an outlandish investment like the one above, why would you choose to risk eternity for the same odds? Now that is some faith!
I am not arguing at all that scientists aren’t smart guys and gals. I happen to know several scientists who I have the utmost respect for.In fact, most scientists are probably more intelligent than I am. But I’ve got a hot wife and three awesome kids whereas they are getting geeked up about the upcoming “International Conference on Plasma Physics and Controlled Thermonuclear Reactions.” Score this round for ME!
I know this next statement is tantamount to heresy but (and I’ll whisper it so nobody gets angry) sometime scientists are wrong (SMALL TEXT). The word “consensus” is constantly thrown around as a basis for the accuracy of a statement or theory. Well, as it turns out, there has been scientific consensus on many things, such as a flat earth. This article also shows some science blunders from the last 20 years: http://discovermagazine.com/2000/oct/featblunders#.UkJHT6FgYY0. But you can do your own research. Just Google “things science doesn’t know.” Turns out we assume scientists know everything except what they don’t know.
FYI, there is also consensus between me and my mom that I happen to be the most precious boy on earth! BOO-YA! Science baby!!
So, I write all of this just to say that, while I put my faith in God, those of you who believe evolution is fact are putting at least as much faith in a scientific community willing to make extrapolations such as these and then ridicule people who don’t swallow it nice and easy. Faith is a choice. You are just choosing to have faith in the current scientific establishment.
In conclusion, if you want to call evolution a theory, then let’s talk. I love an intelligent discussion on things. Until then, read a book. And poop, fart. Sorry, quality control would not let a whole blog go out without those references.