Happy Birthday!

| 45 Comments

To the earth. According to Archbishop James Ussher, of course.

Hat tip to Epsilon Clue for the reminder.

45 Comments

Wow. 6,013 years old today. Where does the time go.

fnxtr said:

Wow. 6,013 years old today. Where does the time go.

Pffft! I’m older than that.

Well, you know, you get wrapped up in a Good Book and time just flies!

What nonsense. This is the year 5770 since the creation of the earth.

Any one know what day of the week that was on?

It was a Sunday, apparently. Which actually contradicts the Bible, doesn’t it?

http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/ussher.htm

fnxtr said:

Wow. 6,013 years old today. Where does the time go.

6012, actually: there was no year zero.

If the Heavens and the Earth were created on Sunday but the source of lighr (the sun) was not created until the forth day (so no day or night yet) how do you know it was on sunday?

It’s not 6,013. Get it right, guys! The earth is 6,012 years old today. That’s 6,008 since the Year One, and four more before that. Hey, I’ve been celebrating this at my blog since last year. And it’s not just the earth, it’s the whole universe! Also, Adam’s birthday is six days from now. He’s a Scorpio.

Actually, it’s 2008 since the Year One, and 4,004 before that. Durned math!

Off topic, but it’s also Avogadro’s Day - or Mole Day: 10/23. (This is a chemist joke - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mole_Day)

Maybe you could hear pro football on the radio in the background?

Ivorygirl said:

If the Heavens and the Earth were created on Sunday but the source of lighr (the sun) was not created until the forth day (so no day or night yet) how do you know it was on sunday?

Maybe you could hear pro football on the radio in the background?

Paul Burnett said:

Off topic, but it’s also Avogadro’s Day - or Mole Day: 10/23. (This is a chemist joke - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mole_Day)

Hardy har har.

My buddy just explained to me why programmers get Hallowe’en and Christmas confused.…

Glenn Branch said:

NCSE had a cake.

Wish I had thought of that.

I was not going to post a Facebook update, but now I’m going to steal this. Thanx.

***AHEM**** It’s, I think, practically Eugenie Scott’s birthday, in most timezones.

Happy Birthday, Dr. Scott!

6012 and 6013 are both way off. Today is Saturday, so it’s only 2 days old. ;-)

On the Curmudgeon’s site a commenter brought up an excellent point - that Ussher “used every possible scholarly source available to him at the time to correlate the various events in ancient history…” To which I added that it’s those who have the luxury of today’s evidence and still claim, or facilitate the belief, that the universe, earth, life, etc. are many orders of magnitude younger than the evidence concludes, who deserve criticism. That may be trivially true to us, but we need to make it clear to casual readers that we are not criticizing Ussher but today’s activists.

In fact most of today’s anti-evolution activists, despite playing favorites with the evidence, are in more hopeless disagreement over the ages than ever. And they go out of their way more than ever to avoid stating when any major event occurred in the history of the universe.

Paul Burnett said:

Off topic, but it’s also Avogadro’s Day - or Mole Day: 10/23. (This is a chemist joke - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mole_Day)

I knew that, but I’m taxing my aging brain trying to remember if I ever thought about them being in the same day. Probably not since I’m more interested in the antics of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” crowd than those of the “hard YECs.”

Anyway, having taught chemistry I see a fascinating similarity between studenta who have trouble grasping the concept of a mole and those who have trouble grasping the concept of biological evolution.

Frank J said:

In fact most of today’s anti-evolution activists, despite playing favorites with the evidence, are in more hopeless disagreement over the ages than ever. And they go out of their way more than ever to avoid stating when any major event occurred in the history of the universe.

Indeed. To steal Richard Dawkins’ analogy, arguing that the earth is less than 10,000 years old is the same level of error as arguing that North America is less than 10 yards wide.

Frank J said:

In fact most of today’s anti-evolution activists, despite playing favorites with the evidence, are in more hopeless disagreement over the ages than ever. And they go out of their way more than ever to avoid stating when any major event occurred in the history of the universe.

It is curious that they are opting for this tactic. It’s like trying to cap a volcano; when it blows, it’s gonna blow hard.

This avoidance of such an obvious topic perhaps suggests that their focus is primarily on political and legal maneuvers, and that these discussions are taking place in the bowels of their churches out of public view.

The other strange tactic is Dembski’s course requirements to place his scientifically illiterate students in full view of the public by having them challenge “evilutionists” on the Internet (where there is a permanent record, no less).

One gets the distinct impression that they are trying to assess the more organized and carefully thought out explanations of science to the public in order to find ways to distort and word-game these educational outreach activities.

But these stupid lieutenants of ID/creationism are putting their naive rubes out on the point position. While that tactic may be used to drum home the lesson that scientists are cruel and evil when they demand evidence and accountability for claims, it also exposes the inner psyches of the fundamentalist youngsters who are being “directed into the slaughter”.

Maybe the general conclusion we can take away from all this is that nobody in the community of anti-science fundamentalism ever thinks beyond the end of their noses. It’s almost as though they are gearing up for a huge political battle in which real blood will flow.

I wonder if this has anything to do with the wars going on within the Republican Party at the moment.

It worth noting, the NCSE at least got a round cake, and not a FLAT cake.

I guess it would be difficult to bake an oblate spheroid cake, wooden tit.

Mike Elzinga said:

Maybe the general conclusion we can take away from all this is that nobody in the community of anti-science fundamentalism ever thinks beyond the end of their noses.

I wonder if this has anything to do with the wars going on within the Republican Party at the moment.

I think the IDiots are stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea. Yes, rationally, if they were to prevail on the ambition of eking out a narrow theory that can sneak under the radar of the Establishment clause, they all should avoid mentioning any particular religion play between narrow lines.

But on the other hand, the rubes are not going to donate big for the cause of nameless faceless odorless “Intelligent Agent” who is indistinguishable from Vishnu, Buddha, aliens and spaghetti monsters. Unless you assure them you are doing it for the Christ and convince them it is to get Christ into schools and into the government the rubes are going to walk. They wont form a votebank for pure ID.

So they are trying to have it both ways, and try to make some fine distinctions and botch it royally. Like “though I have repeatedly said that I believe Christ is the Intelligent Agent, but I did it wearing my faith hat, not my scientist hat and I had my fingers crossed.”

It is almost like the elephants seals that get stranded under the polar ice cap with just one air hole within 10 or 15 miles and they have to go up there to take a breath and they know there are polar bears on the surface mauling them. Only it is tragic with elephant seals and we feel a sense of relief at the predicament of the IDists.

Bishop Usher’s calculation contains a flaw. He assumed each generation was 30 years. What he didn’t know was that Adam’s great-great grandchildren’s generation all jumped the gun by 3 days. So the actual earth’s birthday was 3 days earlier.

You won’t have to give an account for your mocking to the Bishop. You will have to give an account to God, who created the heavens, the earth, and you. You can read all about mockers and their status in the Book you ridicule. Might be interesting to learn what it says about you.

I’m happy to do that, Richard. That’s because I don’t believe that God’s a monster who’s going to torture me for all eternity. That idea is a mockery of God, right there in itself. Rather, I think that if He’s there at all, He’s the bloke who gave me my brain and told me that He expects me to use it.

I don’t mock Him. I mock fools who pay woo merchants to tell them lies. That’s who I mock.

Really? I just got this vision from God saying: “What? I set the universe in motion over 12 billion years ago, give you the wit to learn about it, and instead you try to turn my advice on spiritual guidance into a science book? Are you nuts??? We’re going to have a little chat when you get up here…”

The Bishop isn’t being mocked. He did the best with the knowledge he had in the mid-1600s, and did it, to the best of anyone’s knowledge, honestly. However, he knew nothing of radioactive decay, modern evolutionary theory, plate tectonics, or any other aspect of modern science because they hadn’t been discovered yet.

The people who are being mocked are the stubborn and ignorant people who refuse to learn or even acknowledge modern science and instead insist that a ~4000 year old story (told by ignorant people trying to understand their world) is true, and their thoroughly dishonest and dispicable leaders who push their dishonest and unconstitutional agenda at the expense of advancement of our country (as well as some others not in the US).

Richard Ball said:

You won’t have to give an account for your mocking to the Bishop. You will have to give an account to God, who created the heavens, the earth, and you. You can read all about mockers and their status in the Book you ridicule. Might be interesting to learn what it says about you.

fnxtr said: It was a Sunday, apparently. Which actually contradicts the Bible, doesn’t it?

http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/ussher.htm

No, as per the Jewish tradition, the seventh day of rest (sabbath) is properly Saturday. Having Sunday as the day of rest derives from the Roman pagan calendar.

fnxtr said:

It was a Sunday, apparently. Which actually contradicts the Bible, doesn’t it?

http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/ussher.htm

I remember reading “something” (as in creationist mumbo-jumbo) that it was a Monday. That should set everything right. Yes? :) No? :(

Keelyn said:

fnxtr said:

It was a Sunday, apparently. Which actually contradicts the Bible, doesn’t it?

http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/ussher.htm

I remember reading “something” (as in creationist mumbo-jumbo) that it was a Monday. That should set everything right. Yes? :) No? :(

At 9AM in fact. You know how they strive for accuracy.

Keelyn said:

Keelyn said:

fnxtr said:

It was a Sunday, apparently. Which actually contradicts the Bible, doesn’t it?

http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/ussher.htm

I remember reading “something” (as in creationist mumbo-jumbo) that it was a Monday. That should set everything right. Yes? :) No? :(

At 9AM in fact. You know how they strive for accuracy.

No, 6 PM on the 22nd; it’s tied to the Jewish method for counting days. John Lynch points to a thoughtful piece about Ussher. Ussher was a product of his time, and I think his effort was admirable.

I do not, however, admire people in the 21st century who hold to a 17th century proposition that is inconsistent with the objective evidence available today.

Thony Christie has a defense of Ussher (but not modern creationists) here.

Ivorygirl said:

If the Heavens and the Earth were created on Sunday but the source of lighr (the sun) was not created until the forth day (so no day or night yet) how do you know it was on sunday?

God has this really nice Rolex Watch he got for his Birthday. :)

Straw man alert! Thony Christie says,

Ussher is notorious for dating the creation of the world to 6 pm on the 22nd of October 4004 … a fact that the hordes of Pharyngula and other similar self appointed defenders of scientism love to brandish as a proof of the stupidity of Christians.

To the contrary, in Why Evolution Works, Paul Strode and I wrote

When the Scottish Archbishop James Ussher in 1654 examined the chronologies of the Bible from the creation, he was doing cutting-edge scholarship that required a knowledge of ancient history, languages, and cultures, as well as a deep understanding of the text itself. Using the Hebrew Bible as his guide, Ussher concluded that God had created the universe in 4004 B.C.E.

Ussher was very sophisticated, but by 1800 it had become clear that the earth was much older than a few thousand years and Ussher was wrong. To insist today that he was right is what is stupid.

GvlGeologist, FCD said: The Bishop isn’t being mocked. He did the best with the knowledge he had in the mid-1600s, and did it, to the best of anyone’s knowledge, honestly.

Well, maaaybe. But the man claimed to know the exact day time of day of creation. It seems to me that even in his day, a reasonable and honest person would have to admit to himself and others that he could only get an approximation with the evidence that was available.

MPW said:

GvlGeologist, FCD said: The Bishop isn’t being mocked. He did the best with the knowledge he had in the mid-1600s, and did it, to the best of anyone’s knowledge, honestly.

Well, maaaybe. But the man claimed to know the exact day time of day of creation. It seems to me that even in his day, a reasonable and honest person would have to admit to himself and others that he could only get an approximation with the evidence that was available.

I don’t think Ussher published his results as a “take it or leave it” proposition. He did lay out his argument in detail in good scholarly fashion. The specific date is based on the timing of the autumnal equinox in 4004 BCE and the Jewish calendar; the 6 pm comes from the time of sundown, which marks the beginning of the day. It’s actually, based on the information Ussher had at his disposal, a pretty reasonable argument.

Again, my issue isn’t with Ussher’s estimate, it’s with that fact that some people today think we should prefer a 17th century theological/scholarly exercise to objective evidence available to all.

Actually, the Hebrew day begins a bit after sunset, when 3 stars appeareth in the firmament (yes, I know, appeareth is singular). But now you have made me really wonder – did God use Greenwich Mean Time?

Matt Young said:

Actually, the Hebrew day begins a bit after sunset, when 3 stars appeareth in the firmament (yes, I know, appeareth is singular). But now you have made me really wonder – did God use Greenwich Mean Time?

I think there are three sort of reasonable responses:

1) GMT+2 (Jerusalem time)

2) GMT+3 (Iraq/Garden of Eden time)

3) It’s whatever time God says it is so stop asking questions like this …

This darned round earth model really complicates things!

This darned round earth model really complicates things!

Yeah, that’s why we got railroaded into this time zone thing!

Does God get jet lag?

Does God get jet lag?

I always wondered how it was that Captain Kirk didn’t get terminal jetlag. No matter where he was in the universe, he always managed to beam down to a planet at high noon.

stevaroni said:

Does God get jet lag?

I always wondered how it was that Captain Kirk didn’t get terminal jetlag. No matter where he was in the universe, he always managed to beam down to a planet at high noon.

Standard orbit, Mr. Sulu.

Does God get jet lag?

There are several schools of thought. The Orthodox aver that God is everywhere at all times and is therefore acclimated to all time zones simultaneously and does not suffer from jet lag. The Heterodox view is that God is in every time zone at all times and therefore constantly suffers from jet lag.

Christian Scientists claim that jet lag is all in God’s head; they are joined in this view by psychoanalysts. Trinitarians think that the Father and Son occasionally get jet lag, but the Holy Spirit, being incorporeal, is immune. Mormons and Scientologists agree that God came from a planet where they do not have jet lag. (Chiropractors, incidentally, do not think that God can get jet lag, because he did not injure his spine.) Jews say, “Jet lag, shmet lag. As long as he’s healthy.”

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This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on October 23, 2009 12:49 PM.

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