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For example, in Genesis, the world was created in 7 days by an ‘almighty’ being hereafter referred to as god. In reality, and as the more rational among us know, the world evolved over a period of billions and billions of years, along with animals and mankind itself.
A close examination of the bible, and the ‘holy scriptures’ [that didn’t make the publishing cut], reveals huge holes in the descriptions of the natural world and no amount or religious explanation can offer sufficient reason as to why beyond nonsensical mumblings such as: it’s god’s will. The religious will tell you that any explanation of the universe beyond that offered in the bible is part of a large conspiracy headed by the world’s scientists to undermine the ‘word’ and will of the lord.
The evidence for scientific, not religious explanations of the world is overwhelming and indisputable, except by the fanatic faithful, who refuse to accept that the earth is more than 6,000 years old, and man actually tamed and rode dinosaurs. This sort of nonsense is taught in private Christian schools all over the country. It is taught to young and impressionable children, who have no experience beyond their own perceptions, encouraged by parents whose fanatical beliefs shape their paradigm.
In America the Religious Right has established more than a toehold in neighborhoods and communities, as well as in government. Their twisted beliefs drive legislation such as the abortion bill recently signed into law by Texas’ governor. But there is more, and that’s the push by republican lawmakers to make creationism, alongside evolution, part of school curriculum’s. In the more extreme cases Christian politicians are trying to remove evolution entirely from public schools, and to substitute the simple-minded concept of creationism.
The war on science has been waged since before Copernicus and Aristotle, and from time to time the fighting has become intense indeed, as people with new ideas about the creation of the actual world were tortured and often put to death for their beliefs. While it’s convenient to reflect back to those days with a cavalier “that was a long time ago,” the war continues in America and the creationists are making slow and insidious progress.
The Young Earth Creationist (YEC) movement calls for the rejection of evolutionary science and the substitution of creationist dogma in science classrooms across the nation. These determined fundamentalists are working hard to influence legislation that mirrors their beliefs in statehouses from the north to the south and east to west.
The leaders of the YEC are men like Ken Ham, William Lane Criag, Walt Brown, Kent Hovind, who is serving prison time for tax fraud, and Kent’s son Eric Hovind. These individuals are supported and propped up by their own “foundations” and Answers in Genesis, an influential creationist website popular among fundamentalists.
The YEC movement espouses the incredible belief that all evolutionary and geological science is completely wrong or at the least severely flawed in its evidence and calculations. Most scientists agree the earth is approximately 4.3 Billion years old. Creationists say that the earth, based on biblical calculations, is only about 6,000-10,000 years old.
Author and atheist Richard Dawkins once made the following humorous observation:
Believing that the earth is only 6,000 years old is like believing the entire width of North America is 500 yards.
Keep in mind that creationists believe that the Genesis story is true, all of it, including Adam and Eve, the talking snake, Noah’s Ark, and etc. These are literal facts to them. As mentioned earlier they even claim, without one scintilla of scientific support, dinosaurs lived with humans before god drowned them in the great flood. The YECs have even set up museums and theme parks around the country devoted to this idea, with animatronic dinosaurs complete with saddles, living peacefully alongside humans. This is the fairy tale they want to perpetuate in the nation’s public schools.
The Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc Cave in the Ardèche department of southern France is a cave that contains some of the earliest known cave paintings, as well as other evidence of Upper Paleolithic life. It is located near the commune of Vallon-Pont-d’Arc on a limestone cliff above the former bed of the Ardèche River, in the Gorges de l’Ardèche. Discovered on December 18, 1994, it is considered one of the most significant prehistoric art sites.
The cave was originally explored by three speleologists: Eliette Brunel-Deschamps, Christian Hillaire, and Jean-Marie Chauvet for whom it was named. Chauvet (1996) has a detailed account of the discovery. In addition to the paintings and other human evidence, they also discovered fossilized remains, prints, and markings from a variety of animals, some of which are now extinct. Further study by French archaeologist Jean Clottes has revealed much about the site. The dates have been a matter of dispute but a study published in 2012 supports placing the art in the Aurignacian period, approximately 30,000–32,000 BP.
Hundreds of animal paintings have been cataloged, depicting at least 13 different species, including some rarely or never found in other ice age paintings. Rather than depicting only the familiar herbivores that predominate in Paleolithic cave art, i.e. horses, cattle, mammoths, etc., the walls of the Chauvet Cave feature many predatory animals, e.g., cave lions, panthers, bears, and cave hyenas, but no dinosaurs of course.
Subscribers to the creationist myth cannot accept indisputable evidence such as that found at the Chauvet Caves because it flies in the face of their long held belief that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old. As a result they cannot appreciate the historical beauty of complex art created 32,000 years ago.
America is sadly unique in its adherence to creationism. In most civilized nations such mythology is not important and their governments are quietly secular, free from the influence of Christian crazies. Shockingly, over 46% of the American people actually believe the earth is less than 10,000 years old, and this is a frightening statistic indeed, as it presents a clear and present danger, with almost half of the country rejecting science and embracing religious clap-trap as the source of the world’s actual origin.
Can you imagine a country that teaches religious myth as opposed to proven science? Millions of the nation’s children will believe in nonsense and eschew reality. This has the potential to destroy scientific inquiry in America, and groups such as the YEC have already succeeded in getting anti-evolution and pro-creationist laws passed with anti-science, pro-religion dogma being taught in classrooms.
It is imperative that science win out over mythology. If we, as a nation, allow religious dogma to make further strides over science, a seriously ‘dumbed down’ generation is America’s future and rational thinking people need to fight, and fight hard to prevent this from happening. If apathy is the word of the day, and the faith based charlatans are allowed to triumph, a bleak future awaits our once proud country.
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