Monday, December 11, 2006

Letters in the Post.

A week and a half ago, Jeff Kieft, one of my colleagues, wrote an article that appeared in the Denver Post supporting the teaching of evolution. Today the Post has published letters they received in response. Three are positive and three are negative. The creationist letters are simply too boilerplate and unimaginative to bother with, but I found this interesting bit from one of the supporting letters:

I am a volunteer at Dinosaur Ridge, where we host many school groups as well as adults and families. The attraction of dinosaurs is a great draw, and we attempt to place the fossils and their associated strata in a proper scientific context. It is fascinating (and disturbing) to see the number of students brought to this place by creationist groups to hear absolutely wrong-headed explanations. We only hope some element of truth and reality may filter through the fog of misrepresentation.

Now I have been to Dinosaur Ridge myself, and I must say that it's the sort of thing that should make a creationist's head asplode. You've got dinosaur tracks in hard rock, some of them at a 45 degree angle on a steep mountain, and water ripples 7000 feet above sea level. It is just in-your-face obvious that this is a place that experienced a huge degree of change over a long period of time, including, among other things, the drying up of a sea and the uplifting of some mountains. Those are not minor changes that we can easily cram into a 6000 year old Earth without anyone noticing. And I know that creationists like to say that Noah's flood is somehow responsible for all geological phenomena we see, and that things like mountain ranges were all formed in the one year in which the flood occurred (which would have released enough energy to fry the planet, but never mind), but in this case we're talking about water ripples that required a shore line, not something that could form during a massive, sudden flood. Dumbasses.