Essay talk:Question Creationism!

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List of suggestions for questions. Those which are already present in the essay are striked out.

  • If Adam & Eve and Cain and Abel were the first humans, where did the people in the land of Nod come from, where Cain went?
  • If the floods are responsible for carving out the rock formations around the world, and if, as we know, the flood waters moved so fast they gouged out the Grand Canyon, how do they leave these rocks so precisely balanced on other rocks?
  • Define the boundary between antediluvian and flood sediments.
    • Given that the flood was massive and global, how did it manage to lay down such precise and thin layers of sediment rather than one big mixed up chunk?
  • How did the Earth survive the nuclear holocaust that would have occurred if carbon dating were wrong?
  • We're well aware that there are theories as to where the water for the flood came from - but where did it go?
  • Innumerable prehistoric catastrophes - various eruptions of Yellowstone, asteroid impacts etc - happening all at once, but not managing to kill the buggers on the ark.
  • Why did God go to the trouble of creating minutely detailed continents, planets, star systems, and galaxies which would be unappreciable to Adam and Eve's naked eyes?
  • Using only Holy Scripture as a source, how did microbes, plants, insects, birds, and freshwater fish survive the Noahic Flood?
  • Assuming that Creationism is right, prove with absolute certainty that the Universe was created by the god of the Judeo-Christian Bible, and not by Ra, Allah, Zeus, Papananugu, Thor, Quetzalcoatl, Ananse, or Jupiter. Or a combination of gods in a polytheistic pantheon.
  • What explains the high number of craters on the moon compared to the low number of craters on the Earth, when both have been exposed to the ravages of space for the same length of time - but not enough time for erosion to remove them as implied by an old Earth?
  • What important scientific or philosophical breakthroughs have been achieved through Creationism?
  • How do you explain the current diversity of life given biblical kinds and the current mutation rates?
  • By what mechanisms did God create the earth?
  • What does it mean that God created man in His image, and that He breathed to make life come to be?
  • If God created man in His image, and man has a propensity for worship, does that mean that God himself worships a higher meta-God?
  • How could day, night, morning and evening be created before there was a sun and what was the Earth orbiting in the meantime?
  • What is the role of a designer when organisms develop from egg and sperm to fully developed organisms all the time, with all the steps consistent with known scientific laws?
  • Who designed the designer?
  • Explain why virtually every fossilised land animal is now extinct if they were taken onto the Ark and why there are no fossils of modern cows, sheep, rabbits, etc. in the same strata where dinosaurs are found?
  • What was God's purpose in creating redundant organs in animals that look like evolutionary leftovers, such as hind leg bones in whales?)
  • Why do men have nipples?
  • Starlight problem
  • c.f., Evidence against a recent creation; Lower limit on the age of the universe
    • Amino acid racemization; Baptistina asteroid family; Continental drift; Coral; Cosmogenic nuclide dating; Dendrochronology; Erosion; Fission track dating; Geomagnetic reversals; Helioseismology; Human Y-chromosomal ancestry; Ice layering; Impact craters; Iron-manganese nodule growth; Lack of DNA in fossils; Length of the prehistoric day; Lunar retreat; Naica megacrystals; Nitrogen impurities in natural diamonds; Oxidizable Carbon Ratio dating; Permafrost; Petrified wood; Radioactive decay; Relativistic jets; Rock varnish; Seabed plankton layering; Sedimentary varves; Space weathering; Stalactites; Thermoluminescence dating; Weathering rinds
  • How do you explain the rate of population growth and population migration to be able to build the Pyramids and Stonehenge, and and to provide for large populations in Europe, the Middle East and China shortly after the Flood with distinct and mature languages?
  • How do you explain the existence of two creation stories with differing chronologies?
  • In light of the Flood, why are there salt beds and other deposits of water-soluble minerals?
  • Why are there many errors and virus remnants shared between the DNA of humans and chimpanzees?
  • Why do humans (and other animals) have an immune system? It's complex enough that the argument from design applies to it, but it would be useless before the Fall.

untitled topic 1[edit]

Don't forget the classic: "Did Adam have a bellybutton?" :P Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:54, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Oh yeah, and "How did they survive all the poop on the ark?"

Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 02:58, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

the ark had flush toilets. Hamster (talk) 16:42, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
So long as there aren't any PRATTs. Ark logistics could produce a full list of its own! Scarlet A.pngsshole 03:02, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes. Be best to stick one or two of the thorniest ark questions. --Brendiggg (talk) 04:09, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
That reminds me:
The Gilgamesh Epic is likely a corruption of an older document. It is so full of fanciful and unbelievable details that probably no one ever considered it true. It may have been the official Babylonian account of the Flood, but how could anyone believe a cubical Ark could have been seaworthy, or that the gods gathered like flies to receive sacrifices?
—John D. Morris, Genesis, Gilgamesh, and an Early Flood Tablet
Oh, the irony... Peter Urist for Mod!(MW) 04:19, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

"We're well aware that there are theories as to where the water for the flood came from - but where did it go?"
The Moon, duh. How do you think some of those craters came to be? Sam Tally-ho! 04:30, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Of course - Lunar bukkake! How could we have forgotten? Peter Urist for Mod!(MW) 04:34, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

I really like the idea. Still, wouldn't the responses, from esteemed colleagues like  K e n  D o l l , be along the lines of "Because God did it?" Rapier (talk) 04:36, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

"Prove with absolute certainty"[edit]

Hmmm... I have issues with the phrasing there. While I'd love to make some Take That! comments on how creationists phrase their questions, I would shy away from that sort of wording. You can't ask to "prove with absolute certainity" because we would (and do) take issues when creationists ask that sort of thing. Other than that, the suggestion itself to show that it's a specific god over any potential others is a good one, often proofs for God only support "God as a generic concept" more than anything else. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 14:15, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Appreciating minute details[edit]

I don't think this one is a particular roadblock to creationism. It does seem that if God just had Adam and Eve then it would seem pointless to create anything outside of Eden to go with it... but that's not a block, it's just a "mysterious ways" thing even if you do accept it as a waste of time. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 14:18, 5 January 2012 (UTC)


Well played atheists; although i can answer the minute details suggestion, they were there to... "proclaim how awesome god is" cause "look at all this beautiful stuff" or something like that. Answer I accept and it's the most common; and keeps in line with other reason god does stuff in the bible. --il'Dictator Mikal (talk) 15:03, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

To be fair, you may as well say "just because". Scarlet A.pngnarchist 17:06, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Rate of change in <4000 years[edit]

I think this one is a keeper so I've added it in as Q1. The "super-evolution" label is, of course, a snarky take on the subject - anyone object to using that term here? Scarlet A.pngnarchist 12:35, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Setting the target[edit]

We should be careful about addressing creationism in general rather than something specific like hydroplate theory. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 13:12, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

True. But a lot of the specifics have been formulated in response to the general questions. You can't simply say "how do you fit all the animals on Noah's Ark?" because the answer is "Baraminology". Hence why I think "where did the water go?" is a more useful question than "where did it come from?" given that hydroplate theory and the firmament have been mentioned already. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 13:26, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
I think I know where it went! During the flood, radioactive decay accelerated, and the heat of this evaporated the water into space. The Ark survived all this because it had a divine forcefield. --Tweenk (talk) 14:03, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

Biblical Morality[edit]

What about bringing in questions dealing with Lot and his daughters - both the incest and him offering them up to the crowds?

And the obvious one - why is there not a single mention of a land based dinosaur in the Bible - even pre-flood. Why is there no mention of the upheaval caused by all the post-Flood goings on, rapid continental movement etc? --PsyGremlinTala! 13:35, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

A question about Lot and his daughters really has nothing to do with creation. It's certainly a fair question in apologetics (and is one of those things that cause liberal Christians to look around the room uncomfortably(, but this is creation focused.
The dinosaurs question is a stretch -- the book of Job mentions "behemoth" and "leviathan", and some creationists argue those are dinosaurs.
The upheaval one is a fair question. MDB (talk) 13:57, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
It might instead to be fair to enquire what evidence exists that the behemoth is a dinosaur, but that could be a bit facetious. Scarlet A.pngpostate 14:03, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

The last question[edit]

I don't think the last question is a good one, especially the first part. ("By what mechanisms did God create the earth? What does it mean that God created man in His image, and that He breathed to mkae life come to be?")

Assuming you're dealing with creationists who believe in an omnipotent creator, and these questions are clearly aimed at such, said deity can create the world by willing it into existence. "Mechanisms" aren't really a meaningful question.

As for "what does it mean that God created man in His image?", that's a subject of theological debate. Liberal Christians like myself take that to mean a spiritual image -- our souls are a reflection of God, more literal minded Christians take it to mean our physical bodies are like God's. MDB (talk) 13:38, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

I agree that's not a particularly useful thing to ask. "Why would God create the world with the appearance of creation by natural accretion over millions of years" might be better. Again that's questioning God's reason, which is theological, but it's Biblical creationism, you can't not cross into theology with it. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 13:42, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Designing the designer[edit]

I think this is actually a very legit question (see "semantic stop signs" for instance for what it means as an argument), although it might be branching too far out into theology so if there are 15 decent others that address the evidence of creationism, it wouldn't have a place. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 14:57, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

simple answer, nobody. long winded answer: nobody. as a actual question it has as much merit as "how did god create the universe". the fact you're dealing with people who believe in a eternal, omnipotent god makes the entire question moot--il'Dictator Mikal (talk) 14:59, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
That's not actually an answer, though, it's no more than "do not ask this question". It's only honest to ask the next question. Scarlet A.pngmoral 15:02, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
It isn't a Good answer but considering the basic traits of the deity that Creationists follow, it's a legitimate one; god has no creator because he/it is god, who is eternal and blah blah blah. --il'Dictator Mikal (talk) 15:05, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
I was looking at Wikipedia's watchmaker analogy page at the time. I don't think we have to do all the questions here; we're just brainstorming. The question of "evidence" of creationism is an interesting one; I would say that "organisms looked designed" is one of the creationists' major "arguments". steriletalk 15:08, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
What about the one "If God created/designed stuff, what about the wasps that lay their eggs on living prey. Is God a sadist?" Not to mention the Epicurious question/statement: "If God wants to stop evil, but can't, he's not omnipotent; If he can, but won't, he's malevolent; if he can do neither, why call him a god?" --PsyGremlinSprich! 15:14, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
Hmm, would that be Epicurus or did you really mean Epicurious? Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 15:40, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
(EC) Design doesn't imply a designer unless you define "designed" as "having been made by a designer". The watchmaker analogy then becomes even less impressive that way and isn't the great feat of deduction it's made out to be. If you however take a more observation-based view of "designed" as meaning "appearance of function suitable for its environment" (which is far more applicable), then it becomes less impressive further because nature can become the designer - hence the need to refine it to "intelligent design" and the title of Dawkins' book The Blind Watchmaker. In that case, it's far more difficult to tell from a simple viewing that design implies an intelligent designer rather than an unguided natural one - indeed, a close examination disfavours an intelligent designer quite readily. Scarlet A.pngbomination 15:15, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
If we're going with design - or lack of it .- we have some ideas here--BobSpring is sprung! 15:50, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

We seem to have different "design" questions here:

  1. Who desigend God?
  2. Why would god design something "evil" like a parasitic wasp or polio?
  3. Why would god design something unnecessary like an ostrich's wing?
  4. Why would god design something imperfect such as any vestigial organ you care to name?

The first question is a different type to the other three. With regard to the last three evidence shows that things are "evil", unnecessary and imperfect as you would expect if evolution were the force driving things.--BobSpring is sprung! 17:37, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

In line with the concept of a retaliatory Gish Gallop, 2, 3 *and* 4 would be good to use. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 18:12, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
I think it would make a nice one-two-three punch. Especially as it strikes directly at design - something which they like to imagine is their best "argument".--BobSpring is sprung! 19:27, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
I'd be happy to add those three in. Scarlet A.pngtheist 12:43, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm out and about or I'd have my notes at hand - earlier this spring I did a substantial amount of research on the "illusion of design." Hume has a helpful philosophical criticism. There's a growing literature in psychology regarding the predilection of children to ascribe intentionality and agency to natural phenomena, how the predilection survives to adulthood, and some reasons for why some will fight to maintain the belief so doggedly. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 18:46, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
Nutty, are you referring to Keleman's work on teleologyical explanations? There's also some good research on teleology and essentialism in teaching evolution if you haven't seen it already. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 19:20, 25 July 2012 (UTC)


In (star)light of the Omphalos hypothesis and the anisotropic synchrony convention, I'm not sure how much of a "gotcha" the starlight problem actually is. This is perhaps one of those problems where the balance between discussing creationism and too much of a specific topic comes into play. Do we instead question the evidence for such solutions? Scarlet A.pngpostate 17:19, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

ASC is a convention; that is, you could consider light to have a different velocity in different directions, or you could not. It's not really a supportable hypothesis; you can't find evidence for a convention. It's like "proving" a frame of reference. That being said, this blog post may disprove it, although I will confess I don't get it. steriletalk 17:27, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps "are there any solutions to which there is positive evidence?" That strikes off both ASC and Omphalos pretty readily. Scarlet A.pngtheist 17:43, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Day and night without a sun[edit]

Answered - but like so many of these things it's so shitty I wouldn't actually mind including it. Scarlet A.pngpostate 17:22, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

If God's glory is lighting up the heavens why is it only 50% and not all of it? Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 18:16, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
Headdesk-headdesk-headdesk-headdesk... Scarlet A.pngtheist 18:37, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Move Suggestions to talk?[edit]

I guess it could wait, but.... steriletalk 20:03, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Living fossils[edit]

The qeustion: "Why are there no fossils of modern animals?" needs a reference to actual "living fossils" such as the coelacanth.--BobSpring is sprung! 14:43, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

I've added a quick mention, I suppose it would be dishonest to ignore those examples. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 15:04, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
It's not that it would be dishonest - the obvious creationist response would be to quote such examples.--BobSpring is sprung! 16:03, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
Though they're not quite the same thing, I added that living fossils are "the exception, not the rule" which I think covers what we'd expect. Scarlet A.pngbomination 16:15, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
I would also point out that although the modern Latimeria sp. which have been discovered are coelacanths that were thought to be extinct as a family, no fossils have been found of these particular species. So although they have attracted the tag 'living fossil' it is as much a red herring as the "if humans are descended from monkeys why are there still monkeys" argument. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 16:55, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
Expounding a bit further - if native Americans had developed their own modern civilisation without contact with the rest of the world and discovered ancient horse fossils then they would have regarded finding a zebra in Africa as a living fossil. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator
Interesting analogy. Scarlet A.pngtheist 17:07, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm no expert on palaeontology but I understand that mainstream evolution of the horse occurred in North America. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 17:10, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
A little in the Americas and a little in Europe from what WP tells me. But I think what you were saying about zebras is why "living fossil" isn't really a technical term, in fact it's not really an interesting find as evolution doesn't prohibit animals from not changing (although generally speaking this is rare). Scarlet A.pnggnostic 17:14, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

Evidence agianst a recent creation[edit]

Is there a way of generalising this into one question? Like "why is there so much evidence that says the world is much older can't cannot possibly be younger?" Scarlet A.pngmoral 16:19, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

"Nuclear holocaust" question[edit]

Here is a proposal. Note that the question does not address a possible counterargument: if the rate of decay was different, the energy released in the decay could also be different.

Why is the Earth solid despite the heat of radioactive decay?

Young Earth creationists commonly do not accept the validity or radiometric dating, because they reject uniformitarianism. Let's assume for a moment that decay rates could be significantly different in the past. We know that uranium ores contain a lot of lead, and it is evident from its isotope composition that this lead comes from the decay of uranium. If all this decay happened in a short time, the released amount of heat would be enough to vaporize the Earth. IF it happened over a longer time (a few thousands of years), the Earth would remain molten. However, we know from direct observation that the surface of the Earth is solid.

How did the Earth suddenly cool down to present-day temperatures? How did people, animals and plants survive in an environment full of red hot lava and extremely high levels radiation?

--Tweenk (talk) 22:26, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

By "the energy released in the decay could also be different" you mean the radiation type, i.e. the same energy in a non-leathal form? PeterQuasniki 2012!Flag of the United States (Pantone).svg 22:30, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
No, I mean the photons / electrons emitted as a result of radioactive decay could have had near zero energy, so the heat released during the decay could be far smaller than now.
However, I just now noticed a possible rebuttal: the low difference in energy would mean the process could be reversed. For example, uranium and thorium could be spontaneously created from their decay products and all members of the decay chain would be more or less in equilibrium. This would mean the isotopic composition of elements in any sample would be highly dependent on the history of its chemical composition, and isotopic compositions of elements on Earth would therefore be very far from uniform. But we know that, with the exception of radiogenic material, isotopic compositions are very uniform on the entire Earth, down to the level of ppm. --Tweenk (talk) 03:14, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
In other words: this potential rebuttal is actually bullshit. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 19:48, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
Pretty much. I hope what I wrote in the essay is easier to understand. --Tweenk (talk) 04:22, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

Easily answered questions[edit]

As a former creationist, I think some of the suggestions are too easy to answer.

"How could day, night, morning and evening be created before there was a sun and what was the Earth orbiting in the meantime?": The JW answer is as follows: The creation story is written from the viewpoint of Earth. In the beginning, the Earth was shrouded in dense clouds, so the Sun and the Moon would not be directly visible, but there would be a night, day, morning and evening because some diffuse light would penetrate the clouds, and its intensity would change depending on the time of day. This is similar to what happens today when there is a dense cloud cover.

"Given that the flood was massive and global, how did it manage to lay down such precise and thin layers of sediment rather than one big mixed up chunk?" - when the water stopped running, the larger, heavier grains of rock fell to the bottom and the lighter ones stayed on top. This created the layered structure. The same process is used in sedimentation tanks.

"By what mechanisms did God create the earth?" - God is not bound by natural laws, so this question is meaningless.

"Why did God go to the trouble of creating minutely detailed continents, planets, star systems, and galaxies which would be unappreciable to Adam and Eve's naked eyes?" - to progressively reveal the magnificence of His creation as human technology and science advanced.

"What was God's purpose in creating redundant organs in animals that look like evolutionary leftovers, such as hind leg bones in whales?" - this presuppposes the organs are really "leftovers". Creationists will respond by saying that since we have not discovered the function of those organs, it doesn't mean there isn't any. --Tweenk (talk) 03:34, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

As a creationist; the first is... against an understanding of genesis 1 that actually goes with the idea of literal interpretation while the second is bullshit either way. --il'Dictator Mikal (talk) 03:36, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
Viz the sedimentation, that would just make a series of heavier up to lighter particles, with a rubble pile beneath. We don't really see that, at least as far as I know. PeterQuasniki 2012!Flag of the United States (Pantone).svg 03:46, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

Suggestion: evaporitic deposits[edit]

How do they explain 'em? We're talking salt beds etc, which appear at all levels. See wp:evaporite. PeterQuasniki 2012!Flag of the United States (Pantone).svg 03:50, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

I took the liberty of adding to the suggestion list in simplified form. --Tweenk (talk) 14:25, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

Tit for tat[edit]

"Why is a fundamentally religious idea, a dogmatic belief system that fails to explain the evidence, taught in science classes?" - well, that's one of their 15 questions. Why should they then expect creationism to be taught? Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 22:10, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

Best to avoid such loaded questions. Scarlet A.pngtheist 22:12, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
I was only half serious, the question is so bad anyway, as are most of the QE15. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 22:26, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
You could say that the intervention of the supernatural is not a scientific idea, but I agree it isn't a great question. steriletalk 22:33, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

2 more for clever people to reword and a suggestion[edit]

  • Why would God create parasitic wasps, whose larvae eat paralyzed caterpillars alive? This seems an inordinately cruel thing for a deity to do.
  • Taken from an idea used in the rather good Evolving the alien - if the earth (and everything else) is created, why doesn't it look created?

Also, I was thinking, seeing how hard it is to come up with questions where the default answer is "Goddidit", what do you think about taking the idea to say PZ's blog, some other skeptics' sites, maybe Dawkins' forum (if that's back up?) --PsyGremlinHable! 13:30, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

The first one could be folded into the 1-2-3 punch discussed above about the nature of a designer: 1) evil 2) unnecessary 3) imperfect. The second one is interesting because it really strikes at the heart of the definition of "designed". If you say a designed thing must have a designer by definition (which is bollocks, of course), and then state that the Earth is "designed" because all the parts fit together, then ID works. The trouble is that this is a non-sequitur; having a designer and looking designed are two different things the way they're being used. The world looks "designed" if you stretch the definition in a certain direction, but in doing so you invalidate the "must have a designer" part. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 13:35, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
I've never understood how you are supposed to tell if something is designed or not. I mean, sure, a refrigerator I get; but a tree frog is a lot harder. steriletalk 13:28, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
That's the problem. They use designed in the sense that "it looked perfectly adapted for the environment it's in." A tree frog does it's job as a tree frog, therefore it's designed... except by that definition the fact that a puddle of water is shaped exactly for the hole that it's lying in proves that it's designed too. Scarlet A.pngmoral 13:52, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Ok. So we've got the biological "design" ones in now. Perhaps it's time to look at the cosmological. I suggest turning the "universe designed for life" creationist argument on its head to ask:
"Why is the universe so hostile to life?" We are often told that it's remarkable how the universe is "fine tuned" for life but this is just crap. We'll it's crap if you think it's "fine tuned" for our type of water-loving carbon-based life.
Just look at the universe. It's bloody big. Yet as far as we can confidently state our kind of life can only exist on a percentage so small that I couldn't write the number on this page. The universe is unbelievably hostile to our kind of life. Why would god create this enormous hostile thing? Just to put stars in the sky?--BobSpring is sprung! 19:02, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
About 1090 particles in the universe, so in principle you could write the number on this page. Though to see it, say, on a scale or a chart it'd have to be bloody big. But yeah, if the universe was designed for life it would be considerably less hostile - though I wonder if that's just a "neh neh neh!!" kind of question because in principle it only needs to be nice enough for us. It's wasteful to have such a big universe, but that's not to say it's completely ridiculous. Scarlet A.pngpathetic 19:43, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
such a universe would seem to be both pointless and absurd - if it's a creation just for us. The main question "Why is the universe hostile?" and the secondary one "Why is it so damn big?" sound good to me. --BobSpring is sprung! 20:18, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
I'll take a stab at how I'd phrase that one. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 20:21, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Cain and Abel[edit]

Yes Scarlet A.pngd hominem 12:57, 13 January 2012 (UTC)


The answer to this one goes back to the whole "kind" thing. God wouldn't need to design each individual animal but would instead take basic "kind" blueprints and reuse them. Why? Fuck knows. Scarlet A.pngmoral 15:07, 13 January 2012 (UTC)


Creationists love dinosaurs. I suspect they would like to ignore them but, as they can't, they've decided to embrace them. Any good dinosaur questions?--BobSpring is sprung! 20:28, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

We have discovered many different types of dinosaur fossils but other than a couple of mentions of large beasts - leviathan, behemoth - there is no trace of them in the Bible, certainly not enough to explain them all. Also where are the dietary restrictions in Leviticus about eating dinosaurs? Even if there is a Loch Ness monster or mokele-mbembe still living it doesn't explain where they all went if they were saved on the ark. This overlaps a bit with the extant/extinct fossil question. There are also many, many more large animals in the world than are mentioned in the bible, both living and extinct: sabre tooth cats, giant sloths, etc. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 09:46, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Al true and it does overlap somewhat with the ark question. So "Why is there no mention of them in the bible?" "Why weren't they domesticated", "Did they or, did they not, catch the ark?" -- don't know that we have a humdinger though.--BobSpring is sprung! 12:37, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
More generally: If the Bible is an historical document, why does it suck so hard at being that? Scarlet A.pngpathetic 12:39, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Or why are there two creation stories in Genesis?--BobSpring is sprung! 13:42, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Not sure if this provides a decent answer, but the writing style is amusing. Scarlet A.pngmoral 15:03, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, I guess they've got to invent some sort of answer but anyone reading through them will notice the obvious differences in the chronological order of things. But if you start from the point of view "this fairy tale is true" then you will be obliged to pull some sort of reconciliation out of the air.--BobSpring is sprung! 15:49, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Some other resources:
Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 19:10, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

Ural Mountains[edit]

Has anyone ever encountered a young Earth creationist explanation for the very existence of the Ural MountainsWikipedia? It doesn't really fit with any Flood model I've seen. Peter Monomorium antarcticum 07:50, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

In what way? Most mountains don't fit in with the flood model. The height of Everest, for instance, precludes flood waters getting up that high and conflicts with Biblical descriptions and the usual AiG narrative of it. Scarlet A.pngtheist 12:26, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
Some of the ones I've been seeing tend to start with Pangea, and have the last 200 million years of techtonic movement taking place in around 40 days. This can go some way to explainging the more recent ranges that are the result of these movements in the real world, but the Urals are the result of a much more ancient collision. And the only places I can find them mentioned on creationist websites are in that samples from them were used as part of RATE, nothing else. Peter Monomorium antarcticum 19:32, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Moving on[edit]

We seem to have stagnated here. How about questioning the whole divine revelation thing? Associated Press was not covering creation week, we only have a second hand account supposedly written down by Moses. What proof is there that what he wrote was dictated by God? Can creationist prove that the Bible is the revealed word without resorting to circular arguments? After all, one of the supposed "smart" questions to challenge evolutionists is "how do you know, where you there?" This surely applies in reverse. Just trying to get things moving here. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 10:59, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

I can get behind that as a question, but I'm wondering if that strays too far from the anti-science aspects of YEC. After all, anyone asserting that their religion is true merely needs to assert it, assert it again, and cry out that faith trumps reason a la Martin Luther. But, I'm all for asking awkward questions given the "how do you know?" gambit. Scarlet A.pngmoral 11:20, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Fossil layers[edit]

Jut an addendum to the fossils discussion, assuming all of those dinosaurs and horses and trilobites died in the flood, how come the fossils are so neatly layered? Surely a flood would drown and then deposit sediment over creatures in a random fashion, not the ordered strata which are so plainly visible at any fossil site (and which serve as an alternative source of fossil dating). VOXHUMANA 13:21, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

So, is the current incarnation of no.4 better generalised to "Why does the fossil record not match what one would expect from a flood?"? Scarlet A.pngpostate 14:47, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. FWIW there's a third point about why are there fossil sites located halfway up mountains? The only way they could have got there is if the floating bodies were left behind at the water receded (somewhat plausible due to internal gases), but there is no way that any sediment could have been deposited on top of them. VOXHUMANA 22:39, 16 June 2012 (UTC)


Another candidate: Why do oncogenes exist? Either they were created by god before the fall, in which case why would god include a genetic timebomb like that? Or if indeed they are merely the result of "post-Fall mutation", how did so many identical mutations occur in so many species (including humans) in the short space of time since then? VOXHUMANA 13:27, 16 June 2012 (UTC)


have we raised the issue about why do men have nipples, why do we get goosebumps, etc? --PsyGremlin話しなさい 14:59, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

"Because God designed us based on a common template." Scarlet A.pngpathetic 15:09, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
But I thought we were created in God's image and are totally separate from the beasts of the field? --PsyGremlin講話 15:16, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Vestigiality can a challenging discussion, because the religiously ill can always claim there is some "undiscovered" function for these alleged vestigial features. I wrote an essay that attempts to (discuss this). VOXHUMANA 22:43, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

3 and 14[edit]

I added 14 as I think the nicely ordered layers of sediment are a serious challenge to Flood Geology. However, there is potential overlap (i.e., a spot in the 15 wasted) between the two. Is it worth merging? Scarlet A.pnggnostic 00:32, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

Sexual metaphors in the Bible[edit]

Eve was not made from a 'rib', but from a penis bone (baculum). There is no specific word in ancient Hebrew for the penis bone, but the context makes it fairly clear that this is the intended meaning. The story then makes a lot more sense: it 'explains' why humans do not have a penis bone like many other mammals and why men have a perineal raphe. Relevant post --Tweenk (talk) 15:22, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

But the KJV is inerrant as given. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 16:03, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
Bearing in mind that the whole "Eve came after Adam" bit is included in the second chronology of the Creation Week. In the first, which is pretty much the one everybody knows, Adam and Eve are created together, in God's image. --Psygremlin (talk) 16:10, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
Gotta say, Tweenk, that's pretty much a bunch of bs. yes, it is slimly possible that they meant his penis bone, but highly unlikely without an adjective, like i don't know "flesh tzeilah" or "sexual tzeilah". standing alone, as it is, the far most common use is rib. Since humans were not seen as animals, i'm not sure why they would be surprised or need to account for the fact that we did not have penil bones. And how the heck does the context make it clear? "And God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man." unless you aren't being serious, and if you arne't, sorry. I can't tell. :-) Green mowse.pngGodotWhat is your fucking defense of automatic guns, again? 16:13, 25 July 2012 (UTC) (edit con)
Godot is expert at making her criticisms humiliating. Proxima Centauri (talk) 17:07, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

Below are just some points in the article Tweenk gave us. Did Godot read the link before saying it was all “bs”. If Godot read the article she should have seen the comment was serious and not a parody.

(…)It [the word for rib] usually means ‘side’. In architecture, it is used of a side-room or cell, or of rafters or ceiling beams. “The common idea in all these different meanings seems to be that of a tangent or branch extending out from a central structure or body. Given this basic sense, Adam’s tsela would seem to refer to a “limb” or “appendage” — something that jutted out from his body.” (…) This is a narrative chock full of origin-myths — tales explaining how things began: where humans came from, why snakes crawl, why people wear clothes, why women have labor pains, why marriage. But removing a rib from Adam and using it to create Eve explains nothing like this. Men don’t have one less rib than women. (…) the story is full of allusions to human sexuality (being naked and unashamed; recognizing they are naked; covering their genitals), but the rib detail does not relate to any of the sexual differences between men and women. It stands out as something of an anomaly for this reason, too. Which “Bone” Was Eve Made From?

Here’s a second source I found in Google.

Any ancient Israelite (or for that matter, any American child) would be expected to know that there is an equal (and even) number of ribs in both men and women. Moreover, ribs lack any intrinsic generative capacity. We think it is far more probable that it was Adam’s baculum that was removed in order to make Eve. That would explain why human males, of all the primates and most other mammals, did not have one. (…)When rendered into Greek, sometime in the second century BCE, the translators used the word pleura, which means “side,” and would connote a body rib (as the medical term pleura still does). This translation, enshrined in the Septuagint, the Greek Bible of the early church, fixed the meaning for most of western civilization, even though the Hebrew was not so specific. (…) “The Lord God closed up the flesh.” This detail would explain the peculiar visible sign on the penis and scrotum of human males—the raphé. What did God do with Adam’s penis bone?

Here’s a third source, the rest of this source summarises what’s already stated above.

Eve was created from one of Adam's ribs. As a consequence, men have one fewer set of ribs than women do. Claim CB381

The idea of Eve being made from Adam’s baculum deserves more respect than Godot gave it. Proxima Centauri (talk) 18:39, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

Uh huh. You are aware, I'm sure, that the arguments you are describing are largely about the centuries long debate about "side" vs. "rib?" and that the term "one of" as a conditional is used which is why "side" has been largely discounted by most scholars and linguists. I'm sure you're aware of that, right? I don't tend to take biologists all that seriously on linguistic matters, any more than i would hope none of you would take me seriously on biological matters. I'm glad you have such a thing for me, though. It's kinda hot!Green mowse.pngGodotWhat is your fucking defense of automatic guns, again? 19:48, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
You expect me to take it on your authority that the debate is as you describe it. Proxima Centauri (talk) 20:41, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
You... what? Have you ever read the article you're linking to? That's not what an appeal to authority is. You can look it up yourself if you don't believe her. Cow...Hammertime! 20:51, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
I should have linked to Ipse dixit. Cow... at least gave links. Godot just expected us to accept her word for things without further evidence. The people who wrote the quotes above certainly understood biology. I don't know one way or the other if they collaborated with experts in biblical Hebrew and Godot doesn't know either.
The links confirm that the Hebrew word tsela can have different meanings. I didn't see a consensus that tsela means rib, Google gave the link that Tweenk and I both used, Which “Bone” Was Eve Made From? came on the first page. This Christian source suggests that one whole side of Adam's body was used. To the extent that there is a consensus in favour of the traditional , "tsela=rib" interpretation that may mean no more than that most scholars of Biblical Hebrew are either Committed Christians or committed believing Jews and want to believe what their faith teaches.
I doubt if RationalWiki has the expertise to decide how to interpret the biblical story about the creation of Eve. All we can say is that there is disagreement. Proxima Centauri (talk) 16:00, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
Here's the thing, proxy. When you are confronted with a variety of possibilities, it is possible to look at them based on things like "exceptialism", Occams's razor, and simple logic to say "how likely is this possibility". Given the long (4000 year long) discourse on what was taken out of adam to form eve, and the fact that no one ever had even suggested the idea of a penal bone, there's really a good reason to say "these guys don't know their religious history". And actually we have quite a few people who are able to talk at length about the biblical story of Eve. Clearly, you are not one of them.Green mowse.pngGodotWhat is your fucking defense of automatic guns, again? 16:10, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
Of course, the skeptical empiricist in me finds it hilarious that you can generate this much text out of an event that, as close as we can get to certainty, didn't actually happen. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 00:42, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

Piece of cake[edit]

Why make Pi and other inconvenient useful numbers?

Why make a universe which has so much evidence pointing at alternative explanations?

The discussion should avoid descending into 'Same to you with knobs on', 'Same to you with knobs and overripe tomatoes', '... and' etc discourse.

Belief in deities (of whatever kind, number and gender(s)) is not incompatible with seeking a rational explanation of the universe.

Humans were made in deity (etc)'s images.

One feature of humans is curiosity/a desire to see what happens next/what is over the next hill.

Therefore deity (etc) is operating out of curiosity. (talk) 15:42, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

Suggestion: Biblical Canon[edit]

How is the Biblical Canon determined? If there is only one true unchanging god/faith shouldn't it be unified and identical across all who claims to be Christian, particularly for the Old testament? K61824ZOYG I edit like Kenservative! 17:21, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

The Biblical God says nothing about the Bible, seeing as it was put together from various books long after the events it covers. SophieWilder 18:27, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
Yes, it's all a heap of bollocks. From what we know of ancient scriptures, many books were omitted from the canon. And why should the writings of Paul have such a high importance? I guess that the stock reply is that the Bible is the revealed Word of God and written by those who were divinely inspired. Trying to rationally counter that argument is akin to herding cats. I don't think that this is a great point for Questioning Creationism as omitted texts might, or might not, have been divinely inspired. When it comes to creationism however, Genesis is everything and all canons include this. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you.Moderator 03:12, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

Further suggestion[edit]

Just a thought, as I know this is up to 15 but perhaps could use some editing, merging and swapping, but here's one I've just realised has never really been answered by a creationist (to the best of my knowledge) but is integral to their core claims. Simply: what makes macroevolution impossible?

Thing is, they just declare it to be so because they don't accept evidence that it is. Which is fair enough, we haven't "seen" a dog evolve into a cat, but the thing is, there's no physical reason given by anything within biology that says it cannot occur over enough time. No reason at all. So combined with this and the fossil and genetic evidence for higher order changes over a greater period of time, the conclusion that "macro" evolution occurs is reasonable. So why is it impossible for creationists? Scarlet A.pngsshole 22:43, 8 July 2013 (UTC)

Verifying the Bible[edit]

I added the section that it is difficult to verify that the Bible is the word of God. Not sure if I should put it in "How do you know" or "What if Bible is a hoax" though. If anyone see it fits one place better than other move it as you see fit. K61824"6+18=24" 03:04, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

There are 'many, many, contradictions (In Job God chillaxes with his sons, and in the New Testament Jesus is both God's only begotten son and also has siblings) and duplications (the two creation stories, various of the proverbs etc) in the Bible' - consistent with it being the collected works of many people over a long period of time; there are also many so-called apocryphal books (consistent with 'we will have a portable/pocket/best of volume to carry around with us, and the other books can be for those who are really interested in the subject'). The various books may well have been inspired by God - or God wrote them and is 'slightly confused.' (talk) 17:47, 12 January 2017 (UTC)