Thursday, October 06, 2005

Oooeww! The Grand Canyon

According to the NYTs, if you float down the Colorado River between the Grand Canyon, you have two choices as tour guides: creationist fundamentalists or good ole' scientists. Let's see if you can the tell the difference between the two.

  1. "You see any cracks in that?" he asked. "Instead of bending like that, it should have cracked." The material "had to be soft" to bend, Mr. Vail said, imagining its formation in the flood. When somebody suggested that pressure over time could create plasticity in the rocks, Mr. Vail said, "That's just a theory."
  2. "Look at the weathering, look at the size of the pieces," Eugenie C. Scott... "To a standard geologist, to somebody who actually studies geology, this just shouts out at you: This is really old; this is really gradual."
Can you pick who's the person with absolutely no evidence for his claim and the other one that actually has scientific, geological evidence for his/her contention?

Of course you can: Mr. Vail's the nut without any credentials, while Eugenie C. Scott's the one with the fancy-pantsy degree that actually says she studied something other than her fantasies.

As quote #1 shows, Mr. Vail is what you get when you combine Biblical fundamentalism and hippie culture -- religious righteousness and a bad beard. Getting away from ad hominem attacks though, you'll notice that once again a Biblical fundamentalist doesn't understand the difference between the everyday usage of "theory" and its scientific equivalent. They all seem to forget that a scientific theory means a whole bunch of scientists have looked over the same evidence and arguments while conducting similar experiments and couldn't debunk the theory. That's big stuff considering if you can debunk something that has risen to the level of scientific theory, you usually win prestigious awards and get your name in a bunch of fancy journals. Let's just say that Mr. Vail's name won't be appearing in any of them anytime soon. Yet, it would be nice if he would at least give credence to that most supernatural of events: erosion.

I kid the creationists -- that Bible does move mountains.

Wait a minute, no I don't, especially when this drivel comes out of their mouths.
To Kathryn Crotts, 56, a pastor's wife from Greensboro, N.C. , touching the canyon's basement rock was a spiritual moment.

"In the book of Genesis, it talks about God walking the face of the earth," Mrs. Crotts explained. "Maybe His footprints are there."
I know where I want to leave footprints and it isn't on the earth's surface at this moment.