Neil DeGrasse Tyson reveals age of Earth, creationists' heads collectively explode

Ken Ham's Answers in Genesis group is handling the latest episode of "Cosmos" about as well as you might expect

Published April 25, 2014 11:50AM (EDT)

  (Bruce Press/Wikimedia Commons)
(Bruce Press/Wikimedia Commons)

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

AlterNet It did not take long for the creationists to take issue with Neil DeGrasse Tyson and the latest episode of Cosmos on Fox. Why you ask? Well, because Tyson dared to declare the age of the earth to be 4.5 billion years old.

Answers in Genesis (AiG), the organization run by "young Earth" creationist Ken Ham, known for his recent debate against Bill Nye on the topic of evolution has now taken issue with episode 7 of Cosmos as the show taught us just how scientist Claire Patterson discovered the true age of this very planet.

Creationists Fire Back At Neil DeGrasse Tyson's 'Cosmos'

AiG takes issue because early on Tyson declared that the true age of the earth couldn’t be found without a reliable historical record. The Bible was once believed to be this historical record, but as Tyson explains, it is no longer. Now we can look to the rocks themselves to find our answer.

Right away AiG on its website attacks science as unreliable because this particular episode discusses how scientific bias can be used for good and bad. The episode itself shows how good data always wins over bad and highlights just why science works, through peer-review.

AiG misses this point entirely and now believes, as it always has, that science is flawed and biased. Ironic from a site that states its mission is to prove its conclusion, almost the total definition of bias.

Now, AiG claims:

How ironic that the Cosmos writers shine light on how scientists’ biases affect how they interpret the same data! Bias doesn’t just come from a desire for money, prestige, or power. Bias also comes from a scientist’s worldview.

What worldview are they referencing? This makes the ultimate assumption that Claire Patterson and many other scientists are simply atheists out to prove creation wrong, when in fact science is not looking to prove creation wrong, it is looking to explain the world we know and if in doing so creationist claims are disproven, so be it, scientists move their views with the data at hand.

AiG often uses claims such as this in order to attack scientists like Patterson and Tyson. Tyson has become public enemy number one since the first episode of the Cosmos reboot aired just a month back.

First AiG demanded equal airtime on Fox to teach its view of human existence because of an episode that was devoted solely to evolution and completely debunked just about every single creationist claim.

Now AiG wants you to believe that Earth's age cannot be known through radioactive dating because it conflicts with AiG's faith-based beliefs. AiG goes on to attack Tyson for mocking the Bible as authoritative.

So what is that biblical authority that Tyson mockingly rejects? Tyson tells us that 17th-century scholar Archbishop Ussher “like almost everyone one else of his time and his world... accepted the biblical account of creation as authoritative.”

Yes, this is true, and then AiG goes on to use Isaac Newton, a highly respected scientist, to back up Ussher’s claim. However, Newton agreed with Ussher well before scientists knew about radioactive or carbon dating and before Darwin discovered natural selection. If we know anything about Newton it is that he cared for the scientific truth and one could easily assume he would move his views with the evidence.

AiG is grasping at straws when it has to look for scientists who predate all modern discoveries to back up its evidence-less claims.

Since Tyson showed the world the Grand Canyon as a source for understanding the age of the earth and using the many layers of rock and explained how old each layer is and how the canyon itself formed, AiG had to attempt, as always, to dispute that claim.

AiG believes the Grand Canyon was formed in a catastrophic event; not just any event, but the great flood in the book of Genesis, and shames Tyson for ignoring this “evidence.”

The only evidence AiG provides to back up its great flood hypothesis is referencing its “authoritative” Bible. No evidence backs up a single claim AiG uses against Tyson, just the feeling that its “scientists” are angry that once again millions of viewers are shown just how laughable the creationist beliefs are.

Each week’s episode drives creationists like Ken Ham and his band of pseudoscientific faith-heads to the brink of insanity. They rush every week to find what things they can find to dispute in each episode. They never actually offer up their own evidence to the contrary, but instead simply attack Tyson for not using the Bible as the source of all science.

AiG closes up its argument by saying:

Truth does not change according to who believes it. Our Creator God has provided us with truth about our temporal and physical origins in His Word. And that history is consistent with what we observe scientifically.

Just as Tyson shows us each week, what we observe scientifically is what drives our understanding of the earth and the life on it, not what you want to be true and most certainly not what you believe.

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Alternet Answers In Genesis Aol_on Creationism Ken Ham Neil Degrasse Tyson