Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Creation of Evolution and Stuff

This post is in response to ross, a reader who commented on the note The Evolution of Creation and the Battle of the Two.

Thanks to everyone so far who has read my rather long and probably boring posts, but to the one who wanted me to clear up some stuff, here we go:

Carbon dating is only applicable to material that has the carbon-14 isotope, which forms in the atmosphere and then becomes part of a carbon dioxide molecule. Carbon dioxide is then taken by an organism capable of photosynthesizing and used. Those organisms are then eaten by other organisms, so in consequence the only places that this radiocarbon can be found are in organic molecules and the atmosphere or water as dissolved carbon dioxide. It is never put into a mineral. It is only good for dating things up to approximately 60,000 years, because it is based on the half-life of the radiocarbon isotope which is about 600 years. After 60,000 there is not enough of the radiocarbon left to test and date. The unstable radiocarbon gives up an electron and an anti-neutrino, (a particle that is neutral and only given out during radioactive decay,) causing it to be changed back into a stable molecule. It is however pretty accurate to within a few decades, when it is done right.

However, radiometric dating is the main reason for the age of the Earth but it uses different molecules than carbon dating. The half-life of any radioactive isotope remains constant, although different isotopes have different half-lives. The time it takes for a certain amount of a substance to get from being radioactive to a stable substance is what is used in determining the age of the Earth. Here is the equation for how the age is found using this information. Potassium-Argon dating is the form of radiometric dating used commonly to derive the age of the Earth, and is fairly accurate with a standard deviation of only about 1 million years. This seems like a lot, but it is actually pretty little when compared to the 4.3 billion years old the earth is estimated to be. Of course this is only in a pretty simple form, but going into greater depth would be tedious and unnecessary, but for the most part these are pretty conclusive and accurate testing methods with margins of error that are minimal compared to the amount they go against. They can’t carbon date you and see when your birthday is, but they can carbon date you in 1000 years and say that you are approximately 1000 years old. Other tests for the age of the earth are done using rock layers and what we know about the patterns in which they are laid down and changed. They give another good estimate for the age of the Earth.

In conclusion, the age of the Earth is a good estimate based on measurements and observation. Of course there is a little discrepancy between exact ages, (ranging from 4 - 4.54 billion years,) but it is rather conclusive that the Earth is really freaking old.

The passage is actually in reference to God creating the animals and leaving them alone but I think I was a little hasty in referencing it. Here is what I meant when I put it in:

After he creates all of the animals in the first chapter of Genesis, he doesn’t do anything else with them aside from have Adam name them. They are pretty much left out of everything else until the flood story which happens a long time after the creation. This is in reference to the whole God creating animals and then letting them do their own thing.

I really only used Darwin’s theory of natural selection as an example. Regardless of whether he refuted his own theory, it remains theory, which by its very nature is not considered fact. This does mean that using his theory to prove evolution as fact is invalid, but this does not disprove evolution. Evolution itself is observable. Microevolution is the kind that is completely explainable. That is when minor variations called mutations randomly appear during mitosis of single celled organisms. This happens in multi-cellular organism, such as humans, also, but usually results in a non productive cell or a cancer. These mutations often allow the single celled organism to better cope with its environment. This is fact. However macroevolution is where it becomes fuzzy. This is the kind that Darwin’s theory tries to explain. Darwin’s theory isn’t about if evolution happens but how evolution happens. It attempts to explain how the variation of animals arrived like it did. The missing link problem is partly explained away in the theory itself. That is why this theory is so popular. It is very well thought out and is the best way proposed so far that the phenomena called macroevolution happens. It is also based on observation. But it remains a mystery as to how macroevolution happens, and so Darwin’s theory remains theory until it is replaced by a better one.

And for the last point, I understand and appreciate the not trying to insult and offend, and even more I appreciate trying to make me a more informed person. I hold that without information, no argument can be won. However, I didn’t say anything about Creationism. Just that too often arguments are stupid and illogical, and carried out by misinformed people. Hence the attempt at humor in the first point of the original post. I thank you for your comment and taking the time to read all of everything, and hope that any confusion is now finally put to rest.

Until another day, your friend Revkale. (With special thanks to ross, for reading commenting and making me back up my points. I probably would have not been nearly as knowledgeable without your help.)

Copyright 2008, Revkale

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


I know its been a while since my last post, but I have been a little sick for the past week so I ask you guys to forgive me. As a peace offering, I give you this very long post, and hope you find it interesting, enlightening and so many other -ings it blows your freaking minds.

What is it that makes people want to read? It could be simple interest in the subject matter. It could be a release from the profane. It could be that the reader is just extremely bored and willing to spend the time in the hopes that they glean some sort of interesting information from the material. Of course those are all part of it, or else you wouldn’t have gotten this far in the essay, but what is at the heart of our lust for the written word? It could be any number of factors, from the aforementioned interest in subject matter to a desire to be a character in a story. It could be our ever present need to escape the stress and hazards of the mundane, or it could be a need to find something more in life; a hand stretched out to us, holding the possibility of worlds previously trapped in our imagination. Literature can offer us the words of Gods and men alike, or even words never spoken, but just as meaningful. Literature, whatever its allure has defined civilized society for all ages. But why? What is the power it holds over people?

The main reason that we are drawn to literature is our thirst for knowledge. It doesn’t seem that we can really learn that much from many books, but things are rarely what they seem.

Like tiny moths to the flame we are drawn to the writing, hoping to feed our minds and warm our souls. Reading a book always imparts something on us. Tiny tidbits of information are always given by the author and taken by the reader, whether consciously or not. One may learn different world views, (as cliché as that is,) strange facts that the author took the time to find so that the reader didn’t have to, and most importantly what happens next. Books broaden our minds and make us smarter by the simple fact that we have read them. We are that much more aware of the world; that much less ignorant. We are observers, at the mercy of the author and his/her ability to engage us, and sometimes trick us. We are gullible and naïve and love being them. We read to destroy that part of ourselves. By observing we become smarter, more aware. We grow with every piece we read. Like fertilizer for the mind, a story, work, poem or other form of literature gives us character, influences us and can sometimes change us so profoundly that afterwards we become unrecognizable to ourselves.

An unread book is like a two way mirror, offering a glimpse into the author’s imagination, a glimpse into a world where we can sit back and watch someone else in situations we can only dream about. We see their extraordinary luck, whether that luck be good or bad. We see their decisions, and react to them as if the characters that we are watching are real. We get intimately attached to them, and hate to see them lose. We watch them without their knowledge and have information on them that they often don’t have. We can see what will happen to them and try vainly to warn them. We are voyeurs to their lives, knowing intimate details about their thoughts and the thoughts of others. All of this knowledge gives us a sense of power; a sense of near-omniscience. Of course we don’t have anything remotely close to omniscience as we are only aware of what the author cares to share with us, so even though we are as all-knowing gods to the characters in a book, we are ourselves controlled by the author who is an even more powerful god. Not only does the author see everything as we do, but has the power to control the fates of those characters that we can only watch. They can change the characters and through them change us. We feel for the characters, sometimes knowing them as well as our best friends, and sometimes better even than ourselves. We want them to carry on and on, never stop. We want to be with them as we would with a friend. Spend time, hang out. But eventually the story ends, and so must our attachment to the character, that other person we knew so well.

Literature offers an escape. Worlds so unlike our own that they seem to be just fantasies, even too obtuse for our minds to imagine as possible. The allure of these worlds is that though they seem far removed from our own world they are essentially reflections of it. They contain the same elements as our world. They are seemingly just as developed and complex as ours. The members of those worlds, whatever they may be, more often than not love, hate, suffer from cruelty, death and complex emotions. They, like us, are just people trying to get by in their world. They also have something else, some allure that grips people, making them want to be part of the world in the story. Maybe it’s the valor of the hero, the undying loyalty of the side-kick, the glamour and glory that comes from saving the world. Most people become jaded by the real world. They are told not to expect their dreams to come true and to be practical. So much so that it is like living another life by reading a story. The story proposes a world were dreams are real, and even normal people can become kings. Practicality is just as common as a picture in a novel. The reader thinks “if only it could happen that way.” Literature offers them the answer to the hypothetical and rhetorical question, catching many of them unawares. They don’t expect an answer, and are pleasantly surprised when it comes through a book. Hence the joy of reading.

The written word has inspired millions to live and billions to die. Without out it society could be nothing beyond a tribe. With it, the expression of the human soul are possible. It is the Erector set to the constructs of the imagination. Language itself, as powerful as it is, is the basis for literature. It holds every modern human in its grasp and can manipulate them in so many ways. It is a release. It is binding. It is the fabric of humanity, the enabler of the intellectual and the plaything of the child. It is so much to us.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Evolution of Creation and the Battle of the Two.

Since starting college I’ve witnessed many animosities concerning certain subjects. Abortion, gay marriage, evolution vs. creationism. It is with this last one that I have seen the worst arguments presented by both sides. One side quotes the Bible, the other quotes a theory. Both sides get heated and attack the other, which, we all know, is ad hominem. That, my friends, is a nasty and cankerous little logical fallacy that occurs when people get angry. It is ugly. But to help enlighten on some of those most unruly parts of the common arguments I have this for you:

1. You cannot seek to disprove evolution by saying that neither you nor your grandmother is a monkey. This is a logical fallacy. Just because you find it distasteful that you may be remotely descended from simian fauna doesn't make it not true. You may be ugly and stupid. That is most certainly distasteful but that doesn't mean it is untrue. (Ad Hominem, isn’t it lovely?) The Bible says that God made humans from dirt. This is a little more insulting than a monkey, as dirt is inanimate in and of itself. At least a monkey doesn’t become mud when it’s wet.

2. There is very conclusive evidence that the world is much older than 6000 years. This is undeniable. You cannot disprove evolution based on this. It is simply not true.

3. People that believe in evolution are not all stupid, nor are they all atheists. There is an entire branch of evolutionists that say that God created the universe and then let life take its course. There is even a passage in Genesis that supports this.

4. Evolution itself is a fact. It is observable, and it is real. Darwin’s theory of evolution is just one theory as to how that fact comes about. A theory is a commonly held notion that is accepted until the next notion that is slightly better comes up. IT IS NOT FACT!

I hope this clears the argument up a little bit. Just some thoughts.

Copyright 2008 RevKale All Rights Reserved.

First Post

Howdy. I am revkale, and this is my blog. Of course you knew that already as you're reading it.
Anyway I figured I would start this blog thing with a little introduction to me and what I write about. I am a college student in Arkansas, but don't fault me for that. I have a near obsession with religion and philosophy, thinking them two of the most important subjects in human history, and will probably write most about those. If you don't like that then this blog probably isn't for you. I apologize if I offend anyone, but it will probably happen, so brace yourself.

Finally, I am a strange person, and will probably say some strange things, but even if you don't enjoy my blog and become a devoted fan, I will still write things, and I hope you are interested in them.

Brace yourself! Revkale found the Internet!