Thursday, April 4, 2013

Creationist bets 10,000 dollars no one can disprove Genesis.

Dr. Joseph Mastropaolo
Dr. Joseph Mastropaolo, a member of the Creation Science Hall of Fame, wagered $10,000 that evolutionists cannot disprove the literal reading of Genesis. 

I would note that Mastropaolo's Ph.D. is in kinesiology and is therefore not terribly relevant to an examination of the physics or geology involved in radiometric dating or most of the other things he seems to think he is an expert it.

Full article here:

So Mastropaolo correctly points out that proving the earth is old would disprove the Genesis account.
What evidence do they have that original creation didn't happen?" Mastropaolo said. "In order for them to cast doubt on that Genesis narrative, they have to prove that the Earth is very, very, very old.
So, along comes science with it's radiometric dating, dendrochronology, plate tectonics and the like, all of which demonstrate the earth is much older than 10,000 years. Ah, says Mastropaolo, those tests are all flawed. Why can't we trust radiometric dating?
As evidence he cites inconsistency in radiometric estimates of the Earth's age. In 1921 it was estimated that the world is 1.5 billion years old, while in 1991 it was estimated that the world was 4.5 billion years old.
Ah, that's right science sometimes changes because of new information so it must be totally wrong.

In fact Mastropaolo has a "calibration equation" he uses that basically seems to break down to claiming that every 1.163 million radioisotope years equals only 10 actual years. So apparently his argument is that 1,163,000 equals 10 and therefore creationism makes perfect sense.  He also believes that there were still dinosaurs around as little as 1,000 years ago.

After a bit of internet searching I managed to find his actual website (Science Supports Literal Genesis) in which I discovered what this "calibration equation" consists of. Part of his argument actually consists of claiming that most societies throughout history until recently believed the earth was younger and assuming that those answers must be the correct ones because they are the more common ones. The argument is based in extremely simply algebra and functionally ignores all of the discoveries in physics and geology that caused scientists to the change the estimates. 

Here is another in his long list of bizarre arguments.
Besides unreliability, another reason for rejecting the radioisotope data was their bias for older ages of the Earth. Note that the estimate in 1921 was 1.5 billion years old whereas the estimate in 1991 was 4.54 billion years old. These data would have us believe that in the 70 solar years from 1921 to 1991 the Earth, and everything on the Earth, aged 3.04 billion years.
It's difficult to tell if he statement is sarcastic or if he legitimately believes that these date changes were actually caused by the mere passage of 70 years and not because of a refinement of radio-isotope dating methods gave us more accurate results.

Over and over again he seems like he creates bizarre arguments to deny scientific consensus in order to justify his conclusions.  So it seems that Mastropaolo's claim that it is impossible to disprove Genesis is true...if you start out by throwing out all the evidence that proves it wrong.

1 comment:

  1. Doesn't this demonstrate the lack of understanding people have about science and the different thought processes going on here. That last quote is insightful about how many theists think, I think. Only when one is comfortable about uncertainty and willing to live with provisional truths will they understand, let alone accept how science operates. I get the feeling that they think if something never changes it must be right and if it does it must be false. Thanks for posting.