Monday, February 17, 2014

So you think you can debate a creationist?

Bill Nye made it look pretty easy against Ken Ham in their recent debate.  It was so lopsided that people like Pat Robertson are throwing in the towel.

But in my view this is giving a lot of skeptics the wrong idea.  They think disposing of creationist arguments is easy.  It's not.  Take it from me.  I've watched a lot of debates where smart skeptics have gotten their clocks cleaned.  What we are dealing with in this case is a Christian that performed unusually poorly.

Watching Ken Ham you'd think young earth creationists have never heard of ice cores.  Not true.  They've heard of them.  And they have some spin prepared to rebut the argument.  Why Ken Ham didn't unleash it I have no idea.  Bob Dutko would have.  I watched the debate with some young earth Christian friends.  They were likewise dumbfounded that Ham just would not engage Nye's arguments or put forward arguments that challenge the standard scientific view.

What I did over the following couple of days is recorded the Bob Dutko show.  Dutko was likewise disappointed in Ham and wondered why he didn't make better arguments, and of course he proceeded to do so.  Take a look at these and ask yourself if you'd be able to respond on the spot if you were at the podium.

Also, just so it's clear, I'm not saying these are persuasive.  I'm just presenting them as Dutko stated them.  Some are a bit silly on the surface, some maybe don't even make sense.  But some require you to do a little bit of work to figure out, and it may not be possible if you were actually in a discussion with a young earth creationist.  But this is the kind of thing skeptics are usually presented with in a debate, and often they are just not ready.  I was honestly expecting that Nye wouldn't be ready.  But we never found out because Ham really didn't do much except point to the bible.

By the way, these are kind of my notes and so it's not always great grammatically.  I did try to clean it up somewhat.

Rebuttals to Nye

Ice cores do not prove the earth is old.  The gap between layers gets more narrow as you go deeper due to pressure, and after just a few dozen you can no longer see the layers because they are bunched together.  Maybe a few hundred rings can be actually counted.  Scientists extrapolate for the remainder, just assuming that the pace continues throughout.  Christian geologists say an ice age occurred a few thousand years ago and deposited the bulk of the ice that remains.  Technically neither side knows for sure.

Tree rings are not actually counted to millions of years.  The oldest living trees don’t have rings counted.  They assume it by using carbon dating.  They find dead wood in the area and carbon date it.  Based on that age they look at how many rings the dead wood have.  Then they carbon date the live tree.  Then extrapolate forward.  Since a dead tree has a certain age similar to old tree, somehow use ratio of C14 in the live tree and figure out age of live tree.  All based on carbon dating of other trees in the area.  Carbon dating has other problems previously discussed.

If you could count 8700 rings, a young earth creationist scientist guy says many trees, especially bristle cone pines, can produce more than one ring per year, sometimes up to 5.

Why no trail of kangaroo fossils from middle east to Australia?  They could have been transported by boats because of trade.  An ice age causes sea levels to fall.  There are lots of islands between China and Australia.  A little reduction in sea levels and now they can cross.  Ice age ends and their trapped in Australia.

Why no fossils?  Because fossilization is rare.  There are no buffalo fossils for instance in the US.

Nye says 11 new species a day are needed if everything evolved from just a few thousand species that started at the ark.  But this is not a big deal because insects and fruit flies reproduce so fast that it’s not surprising that 11 new ones could emerge daily.  This is nowhere close to a problem when you consider how many insects there are in the world.  And this includes bacteria.  How many new strains of bacteria emerge daily?  Not a big deal.

Nye asks why we don't have Grand Canyon's all over the world due to the flood.  Because the Grand Canyon was formed because of its unique conditions, water bursting through an earthen damn.  Ground was already muddy and dirty.  There’s one in Texas that had been carved in 3 days.

You say it was carved by a river.  But for billions of years there have been rivers all over the world, so why haven’t other rivers produced more grand canyons?

Nye claims that fossils follow evolutionary pattern in the layering.  You never, ever find a fossil in layer that is not supposed to be in.

But this is blatantly false. Ham should have brought up polystrate fossils, which span different layers.  The bottom of tree in rock 50 million years older than the top.  Can’t be due to tectonic movement as evolutionists claim because there no indication of shattered rock where trees are pushed through.  Rock was soft, trees went through, no shattering.  In California a whale skeleton was found 45 degree angle, tail is in rock that is millions of years different from the head of the whale.

Bottom layer of grand canyon dated to 1.1 billion years old, then the top layer was dated to 2.6 billion years old, why is the Grand Canyon upside down?

How come none of the layers have gopher holes, rabbit holes, river beds, a single crater from anything, a single erosion line.  No caves.

Here’s a creationist prediction, if there was a flood and mud deposits, then we predict that the lines separating layers would be smooth and there would be no rabbit holes, gopher holes, river beds, caves, etc.

The layers in rock sometimes come to a V, yet they don’t appear shattered, as if they move easily.  Why aren’t they shattered if it was solid rock.

4500 years is plenty of time for the development of all the different types of cats.  Just 100 years back we have less than half of the amount of breeds of dogs that we have today.  3000 years ago there were only 10 total breeds of dogs according to evolutionists.

In Uzbekistan hoof prints of horses dated to the time of the dinosaurs (reported in Pravda).

Edwin McKee geological survey professional has hoof prints in Grand Canyon prior to when they should exist per evolution.  100 million years old.  Geological Survery Professional Paper 1173 p93-96.

Whale, elephant, horse, and other fossils plus crude hunting tools found in phosphate beds in SC.  Also dinosaur bones found in the same place.  Edward Noland in his remarks on fossils from the Ashley Phosphate Beds proceedings of the National Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia in 1876 pages 80 and 81.

Grand Canyon, Venezuela, and Cashmere and Guyana have spores of ferns and pollen from flowering plants in Cambrian rock.  Nature Volume 210 April 16th 1966 p292 to 294.

Petrified trees in Arizona’s petrified forest contain fossilized nests of bees and cocoons of wasps.  Supposed to be 220 million years old, but bees and flowering plants shouldn’t have evolved until 100 million years later.  Steven Haciodas, evolutionary paleobiologist with US Geological Survey, in personal communication of his May 27, 1995.  Reported in Discover Magazine in February issue 1998 p76 to p83.

Pollinating insects and fossil flies with long well developed tubes for sucking nectar from flowers are found in deposits dated 25 million years before flowers are supposed to have been evolved.  “Science” Vol 280 April 3, 1998 p85 to 88.

Desert Magazine February 1975 p36 to 39 human bones found in 100 million year old cretaceous strata.  JP Marwhit of the University of Utah supervised excavation.  He caught flak and later retracted his statements.  Years later C14 dating showed the bones were about 200 years old.  The have been dismissed it as an Indian burial, though Marwhit said they were in situ originally.

Regarding Tiktaalik, artists renderings take too much license.  The actual bones lacked hind legs.  Only the top half exists.  Below that was just fragments.  So they fill in the gaps as though the entire skeleton was found then sell the idea that it’s a fish with legs.  Not much different from coelacanth today.

Arguments for a young earth.

C14 dating is good for only about 100K years ago.  Why do we find dinosaur bones that still have plenty of C14?  Aug 10 1990 fossilized dinosaur bones atkanthasauras and allasours dated at 3 different laboratories, including Arizona, everyone came back with ages in the thousands of years.  How do you explain that if it’s 65 million  years old?

How do you explain fresh dinosaur bones unfossilized?  Journal of Paleontology reference NW Alaska dinosaur bones “unfosslized” that “felt like old cow bones.’  Kyle Davies wrote about it.  Referenced in “Journal of Paleontology” 1986-1987 edition, No 1, Vol 61 p 198-200.

“Science” Dec 24 1993 bones of duck billed dinosaur found in Montana with fresh bones, not fossilized, p20-23.

1985 Geological Society of America Volume 17 p548.  More fresh dinosaur bones.

Coal, diamonds, why do they have C14?  Why don’t the ocean floors have enough mud.  Russel Humphries (nuclear physicist) says it should be filled with miles of mud, but it doesn’t have much (the amount consistent with an earth only a few thousand years old).

What about the lack of sodium in the ocean?  There is not enough for the earth to be billions of years old.  What about the decay of magnetic field?  Rate of decay means it would have been too strong in the past.

Radioactive elements produce helium, but we only have a few thousand years worth of Helium.  Atmosphere should have more Helium if it’s billions of years old.

Human population growth.  For all of human recorded history known growth rate for humans is some value.  Applying that value if you go back a mere 40K years you would have to have more humans than there are atoms in the Milky Way galaxy.  If you use the ark timeline it works out perfectly to 6 billion.


Jonathan said...


Nice breakdown of some of the arguments.

What I find interesting to consider the segmentation of the audience who watched the Ham and Nye debate. In my extended family alone, I've got family that falls into each of these camps below. Also, some wild stabs at the percentage of Christians who were watching or somewhat following the debate.

Young Earthers - The Casual Observer 40%

I'd be curious how many Christians who watched Ham vs Nye would feel that Ham represented their view, or at least that Ham did a good job of defending their position. I would suspect there is a decent swath of Christians whose exposure to the topic would consist of "when I read the Bible, it says the earth is young, I've heard a sermon from my Pastor, therefore to believe in the Bible is to believe in a young earth". I'd guess (again, a wild guess) that roughly half in this camp though Ham did ok, and half thought he did quite poor.

Young Earthers - Moderate to High Reading On the Topic - 20%

Here you've got people who have heard some sermons on the Young Earth, have read one or a few books that made a compelling argument. You've also got people like Bob Dutko and others who have done a lot of study on the topic.

Finally - I think you might or might not be aware of this Jon, there is one sliver of this group that people like Ravi Zacharias fall into. They basically say "look, the science doesn't match up with the Theology, but I'm going with the Theology, but will not try and explain away or spin the science". I actually find this form the most intellectually honest, and coherent position of the young earth group.

Old Earth Creation - 28%

People who agree with mainstream science on the age of the earth and universe, but disagree with evolution. This is my pastor's view - he's done a lot of study and has some very interesting explanations on aligning the Bible with an old earth (I don't agree, but respect his intellectual honesty). He feels that young earthers are burying their head in the sand.

Old Earth Theistic Evolution - 10%

Lastly you have those who believe in an old earth, and evolution, while at the same time believe in the sacredness of the Bible. This view holds that the Bible is not in conflict with science, and that many parts of the Bible are historical, but the book of Genesis isn't so much. You could say people like Augustine fell into this camp, a lot of European Christians, Catholicism? etc. If you look at Christianity as a whole around the world, I believe that a majority of Christians today actually fall into this camp, but for different reasons.

You've got the largely American Theistic Evolutionist (like myself) who at one time believed possibly even in a young earth, but then moved away as they became more aware of the science. People like Francis Collins, head of the human genome project fall into this category.

Then on the European side, you have Christians who never really took Genesis literally to begin with, so it's no big deal to accept both mainstream science and the Bible.

Evolution + The Bible is a Nice Book So I'll Call Myself a Christian Maybe? 2%

Ok, I'm showing my bias here - there's also a group who might call themselves Christian, but don't take the Bible as literal in any way. Historical Jesus folks, Bart Erhman, etc.

Chad said...

I am not sure what camp I 'officially' reside according to PC, but I have always believed that both sides are right. The earth is 6 billion years old or whatever and yes God created it is what I believe.

To create this earth and all the little pieces that need to work in perfect harmony would absolutely take more than 6 human days - I am convinced that it took God millions or billions of years to make all the pieces to the puzzle work so I am not shocked at all - frankly I have no idea why Religious leaders just don't come out and say - we have no idea how long a God day is during creation so it is not only plausible, it is likely that the earth is billion of years old.

For me the issue that perplexes me the most is why not believe? It seems to me that the consequences of being wrong in this situation creates the worst possible outcome for a human soul that they can ever make. If I happen to be wrong then upon my death - things go black - end. If I am right then I get re-united with other love ones, have an opportunity to live on, will get to see my kids again when they pass on and the list goes on and on The cost during my human years is very small overall - I have to believe, I need to be saved and I need to try and follow the righteous path - which on its own merits is a good thing for humanity.

On the opposite end - well you die, the non believer is turned away from heaven or worse sent to hell for eternity. Then if they are right - again they pass away and it goes black.

To me that is one hell of risk to take to be wrong with absolutely no upside to being right.

Jon said...

I personally think the view that God created it all and it's billions of years old, I think that's pretty reasonable. I don't agree, but it does mean that you can accept the science, and to me science is a really great method, like the best there is, when it comes to knowing things. Not perfect, but there's no better alternative, so when you aren't aligned with the science I think you are on shaky ground.

Chad, I'll tell you why that argument you make, which is called Pascal's Wager, doesn't make sense to me. Why should we think that if it turned out I'm wrong God will be furious and need me to burn in hell for all eternity? That's just bizarre. What kind of a God is so petty and insecure that he needs everyone to acknowledge his existence and maybe worship him by telling him how great he is? I just don't buy it. If it turns out I'm wrong I just assume God is not so insecure, not so immature, and basically more just.

So if that's true I'll die and God will say "Well Jon, as you can see you were wrong. Eat some humble pie and go say high to your Dad, he's probably going to say I told you so. Learn from this experience, maybe question your methods." I'll be happy to admit I'm wrong, and I'll have no choice.

Sure, the Bible says that God is petty and insecure, but we don't have to believe the Bible. Heck, I'm more inclined to think God would be more angry with me if I honestly disbelieved in him and yet faked like I did just to go with the flow. So maybe believing in him even though your gut tells you he's not there, maybe that's the real risk. In which case you should just be true to yourself, not believe in God just because you fear the consequences described by the character God in the Bible.

Chad said...

My faith is on solid ground personally - I did not mean that my faith was based on a best case scenario if that is what your implying. I was simply stating that if your someone on the fence then my suggestion is/was to absolutely error on the side of belief. I couldn't imagine a day without speaking to the Lord or believing in the Lord and believing in heaven.

As far as your second paragraph I am not understanding your point. Are you suggesting that God's words/laws can be compromised or that they are wrong? The Bible is pretty clear (throughout the entire Bible) about what happens to the non believers. Not to get too heavy here - but your a really smart guy, someone capable of being a soldier for the Lord and your openly denouncing him. Not just privately, but publicly and your influencing people around you as well and you believe that he's going to slap you on the hand and let you in? I am sorry my friend, but I do not see that happening. Your making your choice right now and I got a feeling that your Judgement Day may not go so well sir - but that is what I believe through the Bible.

With that said - I know that my day of judgement is going to be a rough one and I may not have a lot of jewels in my crown (or any), I most likely will be living outside the city of golds walls, but I am saved - I believe in the Lord and because the Bible tells me so - I will enter the kingdom of heaven.

Jon said...

What I'm saying is you say the choice is between atheism and belief in the God of the bible. Why not atheism and a God that isn't as insecure as the God of the bible. Meaning maybe the real God doesn't need everyone to say how great he is. In that case I'm fine. Or maybe the choice is atheism and the God of the Quran. Now we're both screwed. The God of Mitt Romney. Once again we're both screwed. See, you just assume that it's atheism or the bible God, but there's many conceptions of God, some of which mean that you are screwed if you believe in the kind of God you do.

And I really find this vengeful God you subscribe to to be inconceivable. If there is a God he's probably just and mature, not like the character you think of who gets angry when people don't acknowledge him and praise him.

What if on judgment day God asks you why you told others that he was a big baby that needed to be worshiped, or that he was cruel enough to torture people for eternity merely because they weren't convinced he was there? What if God is mad at you for saying that he really advocated killing entire populations, including baby boys, saving the virgin girls as sex slaves as described at Numbers chapter 31. We both could be in trouble for being wrong. Sure, if I'm wrong and God is vengeful and petty I'm in big trouble, but if you're wrong and God is just and loving maybe you'll be in trouble for spreading falsehoods about him. Personally I doubt that though because if God is real he understands the cultural pressure that leads people to go with the flow.

Chad said...

So you do believe in God, but only if He is your kind of God. The words written in Red are pretty clear - the road map of do's, don't and consequences of our actions on physical earth are right there.

Your arguments are sounding very familiar to other topics - you want God/the Bible to change to fit the way you choose to live and believe. No consequences for you and if God takes the very actions he says he will take if you do not follow some fairly simple rules - will then that's not a God you want anyhow? Just like the Constitution - instead of following it, you want to tear it apart - destroy it if necessary to fit the narrative because it doesn't fit your arguement/point of view.

That's how the fall of something great, true and honest starts - challenge the foundation and find the fringe who will help tear at the fabric until there is enough in the party to move the middle point then to move it again and again until God has to be removed from every conversation. Gays good and God is bad, Aborting Children is a choice not a responsibility, Its the next guys problem, and the best one - its not you it is society's fault! Hell you even fell for it - "because if God is real he understands the cultural pressures ... "?

Here is a little secret - its not supposed to be easy. Breaking News - life ... It's hard work, it requires a high level of personal responsibility and discipline, it requires a person to be strong, to make the difficult choices to follow rules set down by God.

To respond to that last sentence - to some degree your probably right - if God has sent other Disciples to right the new words in Red for us to follow they would never make it through the scrutiny and so we have no idea what the 2014 version of God might be. I happen to believe that he is showing His vision through the new wave (and old school) preachers - Many churches have changed with the times and are 'hip' but the message it remains the same. God may very well have upgraded the Kindom of Heaven with HDTV's and Ford's, but here is the thing - the foundational principals still apply - the basic rules and regulations put on paper for us humans to follow to get into Heaven remain the exact same. We can have a discussion about individual sins that in 2014 may slide because of advancements in this world, but the bread and butter foundational stuff laid out by God still remains the same today.

Jon said...

You're definitely not understanding what I'm saying.

Chad said...

Sorry - I am trying. I'll go direct then. You believe there is no God - we spontaneously combusted and when we die we become dust. Okay then - if that is the case then why would you care about anybody else? Why worry about Global Warming - why not make oooodles of money to live it up in the short 70-80 years we are on earth?

Your a consistent contradiction - if we only get this one life then why are you worried about the poor? If you really believe that is the case then you should be 100% concerned only for your family - making sure they have the resources to survive after your gone right?

Chad said...

With no belief in eternity in an after life it makes no sense not to either crush every person to make as much to enjoy as much of this life as you can or to say screw it and go off the grid and live your life out as you want - why give a shit about the poor in PR then?

Jon said...

In my view our behavior is a result of our evolution and I think we are naturally predisposed to care not just about ourselves, but about others as well. And I think the reason we have this trait is because it provided a selective advantage. Our species flourished because of our concern for each other. Not just our own children, who we fell the strongest concern for, but also for the widow down the street or the unemployed man with a family.

I think the flip side, what Ayn Rand acolytes point to as being their preferred ideology, that of selfishness, is very unnatural and has to be kind of drilled into people. We naturally prefer to create a system that takes care of that widow even though she's not related to me and I don't know her. That's what I think is natural. But for selfish reasons a lot of people tell us we shouldn't care. Yet we do. So why do I care? I think it's in my genes.

This is all very much unrelated to the earlier point I was trying to make. You say we should wager on God rather than atheism because the choice is between the God of the bible, who will send you to hell if you don't believe in him, and atheism. I say that's not the only option. God might have a personality that is quite different from what the Bible describes. It's possible, right?

Chad said...

I already touched on that point - the Bible - the words written in Red outline what I believe God will do. Has there been changes in His philosophy - how the hell would anyone know that for sure, but I M not going to test it during my only human life experience is my thought.

You obviously know little about Ayn Rand.

If I may - if everyone took care of themselves first then took care of their family second then there would by little to no need for you to steal money out of my paycheck to send to an unknown person whom I have no ability to help change their ways. I care about people who do all they can to take of themselves - if they fall short and need a hand up - we'll be there to give to our neighbor or friend to help them get back on their feet.

I love helping - even those who choose not to help themselves - I just despise being FORCED to help and not even having the opportunity to change their bad choices.

Chad said...

Besides my friend, no matter what changes God Might of or has made the one thing I am certain of is that a person who does not believe in the Lord will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Especially someone who fully understands the choice they are making.

Change of pace - a real bad day for your Global Warming Man Made Movement yesterday huh? Kind of a big deal and ironically he touches the very points I brought up about carbon levels far before man. You've been duped to support a money making machine for a select few on the Left while wasting valuable resources along the way.

Chad said...

Then another blow when the CBO report came out about 1 million jobs to be lost due to a minimum wage hike - I think we had that conversation on Facebook. So for the only 3% affected (thanks to our brother setting me straight there) by the hike for the positive - a whopping 1 million will lose their job which is what I basically said would happen and you said oh no - no evidence of that.

Your live in your academic bubble, but in the real working world a hike will result in layoffs and less hiring which the CBO just confirmed.

Jon said...

Well, we had a long discussion about force last time. My view is that you don't object to force that helps the rich, but do object to force that helps the poor. But I don't want to re-hash that.

The difference between you and me on God is I'm just not so certain I know what he thinks, if he's there. Sure, the Bible says this and that, but maybe the Bible was just written by men that thought they knew what God likes, as you seem to.

The global warming thing to me is not a big deal. It's 99.99% of scientists in my corner. Because there are a small handful that disagree your going to see this kind of thing for a while, occasionally a person moving away from the overwhelming consensus and towards your view. This will get trumpeted about because of the money influence of certain people that deny the science, like the Koch brothers. When you say what many billionaires want to hear, sure, you'll get publicity. The many more that continue to convert in the other direction just don't get the same coverage.

The CBO thing I will grant you though, that's a good piece of evidence that goes against my opinions. So you're right to point that out. This is a credible source, not like Heritage or AEI who are so often pointed to. I'm not convinced CBO is right because my understanding is that many studies have been done, particularly examining state and county borders where the minimum wage varies and they are unable to to see a correlation with unemployment. I assume CBO is aware of that. I think they are balancing the losses due to higher costs for employers with gains from increased demand now that workers have more in their pocket. This is the key issue in my opinion. So it's probably a serious study that deserves to be considered.

Chad said...

Your right - I fully believe in the words that Jesus spoke while on this earth that were written down and put in the Bible - absolutely.

I object to the notion that I support force by the wealthy because that is untrue. Some things are what they are because of a variety of reasons, but I don't openly support the rich's monopoly or use of force - our difference is that I don't hate them and I don't want to tax them back to the stone age for their success however it may have come. My feeling/solution has always been to unplug gov't or to make sure level rules apply to increase competition to naturally reduce the ability for the ultra rich to make a million dollars without getting out of bed. When I see that a CEO of a company makes $9 million a year - I see a competition opportunity and wonder why there are not 10 more of those companies starting ASAP with a $9 million cost structure advantage and the answer is gov't regs, rules and the ultra rich lobbyist keeping new blood from entering the market to compete and I am fully against that sir. Our differences are not defined in the way you defined them. I am a make and your a take is the best way I can explain our differences on that front.

On GW - I am little confused to be honest. Someone who thrives on evidence, factual evidence is not willing to accept -- the Co-Founder and an Ecologist no less -- that the predictive models were designed by the very people selling us the bill of goods in the first place?

Read what this man is saying - the Co-Founder - a man of the Eco system is saying here.

"There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years. If there were such a proof it would be written down for all to see. No actual proof, as it is understood in science, exists.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states: “It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.”

“Extremely likely” is not a scientific term but rather a judgment, as in a court of law. The IPCC defines “extremely likely” as a “95-100% probability”. But upon further examination it is clear that these numbers are not the result of any mathematical calculation or statistical analysis. They have been “invented” as a construct within the IPCC report to express “expert judgment”, as determined by the IPCC contributors.

These judgments are based, almost entirely, on the results of sophisticated computer models designed to predict the future of global climate. As noted by many observers, including Dr. Freeman Dyson of the Princeton Institute for Advanced Studies, a computer model is not a crystal ball. We may think it sophisticated, but we cannot predict the future with a computer model any more than we can make predictions with crystal balls, throwing bones, or by appealing to the Gods."

There is more brilliance of course, but he is right Jon - computer models that have failed 95% of the time so far (previous post) and are even more wrong this year.

So wrong in fact that now - the scientist are saying that Global Cooling is on its way and again - caused by man when up until now we were set to catch on fire.

I am a little taken aback that your not interested in the truth - in fact based analysis in this case.

The CBO report only scratches the surface IMO.

Jon said...

I argued that you support force, but for the rich. You didn't agree, but here's where we had that discussion before.

On GW, science is not what one scientist says. It's what the community of scientists say. If it was what one scientist says then we'd never reach conclusions, because you never have total unanimity. We're only at 99.9% at this point, which is of course enough uncertainty for Koch money.

He says "extremely likely" is not a scientific term? That's very strange. All of science is inductive reasoning, which means it's all about probabilities. Gravitation is what we've observed, so we say it's likely that if you drop the object it will fall.

CBO says raising the minimum wage would cause high job losses, but here's a list of 600 economists that say it wouldn't.

Here's a link to a report that does a meta study on many different studies that evaluated the effect of rising minimum wage on employment and concludes there is no discernible effect. Again, CBO is credible so it's a strike against my view, but there's good reason to disagree.

Chad said...

So your not bothered by the fact the very people who want to prove that man made global warming exists also created, gathered the select data for and designed the computer models that BTW have been off 95% of the time.

Similar to the Democratic Party or the mob - you have a collective group basically voting themselves money and your surprised at the result? Global Warming needs to be real for scientist - it has to be so you have a smart group of people who look for, find and then compute data strictly to prove the already predetermined result. Well it is what it is - your a flag flying member not interested in the truth.

Jon said...

One thing I keep hearing about is that there are gaps in the arctic weather station network. When you correct for this the warming trend is right in line with the IPCC predictions. I think I posted this link before.

I just think it's very important to trust scientists in subjects like this. What they keep saying is that yes, the media focuses on the short term trends, and so this kind of thing that you point to gets a lot of play, but with VERY few exceptions they are telling us that the overall conclusions are right.

It's like you look at the waves coming in and you say there's no tide coming in because the last 9 waves were short of the 10th wave. Focusing on an extremely short window is an error, according to the scientists. One individual defecting doesn't change that.

Chad said...

I am very curious to find out how many of the 600 economists you referenced ever ran a business? I see a whole lot of academia on that list and not many/if any Entrepreneurs.

I see that idiot Weisskopf from UM on the list - not surprised. That guy has never created a single job, never wrote a paycheck, never built anything in his entire life and is not only allowed to talk about economics, but teach it a major university - sad.

Well I will put your 600 academic non business running group of so called higher thinkers against my list of producers/business people and entrepreneurs - Lock Joint Tube, James Steel & Tube, Century Tube, Heat Transfer Tubular Products, T&B Tube, Woodsage Industries, Lacay Fabrication, American Manufacturing and or course Phillips Metals Inc.

I work with these companies nearly everyday - they are the producers who help pay those academic supposed higher thinkers huge salaries to tell us it won't hurt, but all of us are preparing for layoffs, cut hours and pulling back on raises/bonuses for current employees waiting for this next great move.

Manufacturing is trying our damndest to pull American out of its own ass and all we get is slapped with new stupid rules, regs and laws to slow us down, but hey its a great idea right so says those 600 really smart people.

Chad said...

JC - I am not looking at the short term. Why the talking points? I am the one who is saying look at the carbon levels/temps before man - look at them during medieval times when they were a lot hotter than now so I don't know what your saying there. Mother nature is going to do her thing - we are but a spec of dust in her eye.

Jon said...

You're citing the CBO report. Did the authors of that report start a business? How many of them are entrepreneurs?

Though entrepreneurs aren't people who necessarily understand macro economics. There's no reason they should understand the effects of overall increases in minimum wage on overall demand. Entrepreneurs know their product, their customers, their costs. That's a totally different area of expertise.

You are pointing to the range of 1998 to today when you say the models haven't been predictive. Take a look at the chart labeled "21 year modeling hiatus". This tight window doesn't inform us of the long term trend.

Jon said...

Sorry, forgot the link.

Chad said...

The CBO just offers a score - they have very little skin in the game that is why I referenced them.

To the point - when a policy is brought to the table who would be better to offer feedback? Someone who has been brainwashed in the Liberal education system, nose deep in a book or the guys who actually hire, who create jobs is the point Jon.

It's great that they know Macro Economics on PAPER which 99% of them will never apply to real life business, but who better to know the result or the predictive models of some policy than those of us doing the hiring?

Not the rich guys I am talking about the blue collar companies - they will be happy to let you know exactly what a policy decision will do - these ****tards in Washington should be visiting the companies I listed plus all the other small, medium size business and do a cause/effect model - if it kills 1 single job then that policy should scrapped immediately.

The opposite is actually what should be happening - the minimum wage should be lowered or eliminated here in America. The youth would thank you for it - no company is going to hire a 16 year old to sweep floor for whatever the min is going to per hour so your killing their opportunity to get the much needed work experiences, your putting more burden on mom/dad earner cause Johnny can't get a job to pay for gas and your raising unemployment - good idea.

Chad said...

Here is my professor of Economics - listen to a guy that has done it and why your ideas don't work.

Jon said...

See, you're not really being fair. When you quote economists that support your view even though they haven't started businesses that's fine, but when I quote economists that support my view and they don't run a business suddenly they aren't qualified because they don't run a business. Shouldn't sauce for the goose be sauce for the gander?

Erin Burnett made a couple of great points in that interview, and O'Leary simply didn't respond on substance. He says government needs to get out of the way, but she says government has been involved and it's structure things in ways that make the 1% rich. Why not reorganize it so government policies help everyone?

He seems to have this delusion that the government isn't helping the rich. Let's see, educating people so that they can work as engineers and lawyers? That's a lot of public support. Interstate system. Law enforcement. Enforcement of regulations that allow things like a stock market to exist. I've talked about government funded technological advancement like computers, the internet, lasers, satellite communications, commercial aviation. There's all kinds of government intervention that helps the rich. We're just saying government involvement should help everyone, not just the rich.

He lies and says the rich pay 38% in taxes while the middle class pay 12%. Standard lie from right wingers who know very well that they are talking about one tax and one tax only, the federal income tax, and ignoring the many other federal taxes that lead to a situation where the poor and middle class pay a HIGHER % than the rich. These people have to lie to justify their views. That tells you something.

Finally she says that the rich have had all the things they've been asking for. Minimum wage has technically been falling for a long time when you consider inflation. No increase for many years. Regulations have been stripped away from the financial sector. Taxes historically are incredibly low on the rich. All the things conservatives pretend make things prosper. Yet most of America is struggling, a recent banking collapse and state bail out (publicly funded) thanks to the government "getting out of the way". Wages declining, people in a more and more precarious financial situation. Sure, good for the rich, but not for most of society. He just offers boilerplate nonsense in reply, never really addressing the argument. The only reason anyone would think he puts on a good show here is he just gets more time to talk. On points he just doesn't say anything.

Chad said...

I don't know - I think he yielded when she said that the Über rich doesn't pay 38% - he acknowledged it as do I. But similarly to my thoughts - so what. I mean they pay millions to accountants and lawyers to hide all that money from gov't - essentially the Gov't gets the money just from a different source - the employed. It's also recognition that no matter what Gov't tries to do - the Über rich are either smarter or hirer smarter people than Gov't ideas which will always be the case - meanwhile your hurting the 'rich' that are not the filthy wealthy because they pay way more than 38% when adding all taxes - Hannity has proven many times over that he pays about 58% of his earning to taxes when adding it all up.

BTW O'Leary is a practicing Capitalist - he's not a fake - he's been there, owns the T'shirt and everyone else is just watching the re-runs. He would be an EXCELLENT guy to head the jobs panel - someone with battle scars and the deep understanding of what the 20 millions small businesses need. He is also a big proponent do competition leveling the playing field and pulling down the top 1% naturally through the market.

Your view is to walk in and take from the Über rich - no reason just because they make or earn more is also not substance. As a true capitalist you accept that there will be winners, losers and those with more and others with less, but always the opportunity to find a new, taller hill to conquer.

Once again we must agree to disagree about Gov't 'improvements'. First it takes people from the private market to make the things you claim Gov't invented. Second with unlimited resources I say so what - if Gov't hired 4 private companies with a specific goal to create the computer for instance - winner takes the pot of gold - my bet which is almost a guarantee would be that computers would have been invented faster, would have been more efficient quicker and the cost would have been lower, but we'll never know now will we. But what we do know is that when computers where no longer a secret - when the private market got a hold of the technology - it went places never thought of by gov't.

Gov't has fallen victim (and I think you will agree) of watching great ideas with only the best of intentions at heart being barriers to the many for the few. The Über rich has always been two steps ahead and now laws simply create a bigger gap - an out of control gap.

I don't have the answers, but I think it would wise to talk to the job creators before making one more law - we need unemployment to get back to under 4 percent and we need small businesses to be 30 million strong. The Über rich will get more than their share for sure, but get people back to work and the democrats have no idea how to do that.

Jon said...

I don't know - I think he yielded when she said that the Über rich doesn't pay 38% - he acknowledged it as do I.

She didn't correct him and he didn't yield. Again, this is standard lies from the rich. They don't want jobs for people. Why would they? They want more money. More profits. They'll do whatever it takes, including lie.

It's also recognition that no matter what Gov't tries to do - the Über rich are either smarter or hirer smarter people than Gov't ideas which will always be the case

The rich pay lobbyists to write tax code that hides little nuggets that only they know about, and then they go in there and exploit them. The problem is that the rich rig the rules so government works for them only, not everyone else. You can just give up, or you can work to try and create a more just society, one where they don't get secret tax breaks because they have enough money to buy them. They should pay in the same way the poor and middle class do.

Hannity has proven many times over that he pays about 58% of his earning to taxes when adding it all up.

No, Hannity has not done that. He's not proven anything. He makes claims, but he doesn't really put the facts on the table so we can examine them. It's like these Koch front groups saying people are worse off under Obama Care. When we ask them to give us the literal numbers they won't do it because OVERALL these people are better off.

He would be an EXCELLENT guy to head the jobs pane

Capitalists are not interested in creating jobs. That's not their goal. In fact they generally try to eliminate as much jobs as possible, because that means more profits. That's the goal. Put him in charge and he'll get very rich, but we won't have jobs. Actually that's exactly what's happening right now since people like him are in charge.

Your view is to walk in and take from the Über rich - no reason just because they make or earn more is also not substance.

I give reasons all the time. Number 1, it's good for the economy. We see that in historical US growth rates. Take a look at this story about the IMF, bastion of neoliberal economics, which is the preferred policies of the rich. They're saying yes, taxing the rich and redistribution is just plain good for an economy.

The point on computers is that the free market was always there. Anybody could have developed computers without government meddling in the market, that is taking tax dollars and hiring people to do the work. It didn't happen, for good reason. Too expensive, too long term, something investors generally aren't interested in. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs got the rewards of that public subsidy. And maybe they deserve a lot of that wealth, but they'd be nothing without the public sector doing the heavy lifting. That's why they should give back.

Chad said...

Your right about the true capitalist and God Bless that. Of course their plan is to make as much money as they can and as a by product jobs are created. In order to sell a million widgets to make $2 per widget for themselves they need an entire infrastructure.

The beauty that your not and may never see is that once that widget has been made - a pipeline developed - with proper competition the top person on the pyramid will not be able to make $2 per via competition. Jobs are created by virtue of greed/money and that is great news for us all.

Capitalism is a beautiful thing - raw and hurtful at times, but it gives us all the freedom to exercise its beauty. Those who do not wish to stick their neck out to advance should worship the true capitalist so that they may always have an opportunity to live a great life on the vision of others.

Sure Jon - if we take 50% from the Uber rich - we re-distribute that starting from the ground up it would temporarily be a good thing - your probably right. Here is the undeniable thing though - it did not take any discipline nor hard work to achieve that - free money so we have taught those people absolutely nothing. They would pay off a few bills, buy a new car, a tv some booze maybe, but 95% would not invest, would not start a new company - they would be the exact same opposite evil except when that money is all gone guess what - and you know I am right and your going to hate this - all the money will simply make its way right back into the pockets of the very people you took it from x number of months ago.

We do not have a stable of entrepreneurs being held down by the rich - those people find a way to be successful. We have lazy, entitlement class of people that by in large do not have the discipline or skills to parlay that money into anything. Just like what happened in the housing market - open up lending to allow a larger group of people to get a loan - in theory great idea. Except again - they handed out loans (money) to people who did not deserve those loans - they did not earn that right and it failed miserably while - while lining the pockets of the ultra rich even further.

None of your plans will work until the people your trying to help develop discipline and hard work skills - which if they do they will not need the money my friend.

That is why your argument will always fail - no matter what model, business genius article says - people are lazy and the recipient class will always grow when allowed to grow.

Jon said...

You're right that jobs are created when capital is used to start businesses, but my point is it's not the end goal. The capitalist generally wants to reduce labor expenses. So if you want to improve the employment situation and you put someone in charge that generally wants to reduce labor expense, what kind of result do you expect? Generally captialists are getting what they want. Reduced labor expenses. The share of revenue going to labor is constantly declining, currently at the lowest levels we've seen in over 60 years.

Here is the undeniable thing though - it did not take any discipline nor hard work to achieve that - free money so we have taught those people absolutely nothing.

What exactly are you hoping to see pregnant women learn? Or single mothers that must leave their kids at home alone while they go to Burger King? With a mother that can stay home and raise them, giving them a better chance of being productive members of society, they can in the future contribute positively rather than being a drain, maybe end up in prison, which is an enormous expense (the one area of public housing that hasn't been neglected in the US recently is prison). These are cycles that build, which we can break if we aren't like Puritans, gaining some sort of sick pleasure from watching the suffering of the poor as if it was their just punishment for having been born into the wrong family.

all the money will simply make its way right back into the pockets of the very people you took it from x number of months ago.

So what are you complaining about then? If it goes back to the rich then there's no harm done. At least it had a chance to pass through the hands of a poor man, and he was able to buy himself and his children dinner as a result.

Except again - they handed out loans (money) to people who did not deserve those loans - they did not earn that right and it failed miserably while - while lining the pockets of the ultra rich even further.

And you know who got bailed out, right? The rich. They had to have their bonuses, and they got them, with tax payer support. You pretend these people are better because they aren't lazy, but lazy is better when you are working to crash an economy or working to obtain taxpayer bail out. We should prefer that these people were lazy because then at least they aren't wrecking our economy.

None of your plans will work until the people your trying to help develop discipline and hard work skills - which if they do they will not need the money my friend.

It's not easy to develop new skills when your job at Burger King is barely enough to get food on the table and your kids are getting terrible grades because you can't be home to help them, so all your free time is an effort to get their grades up to a C level. What I'm saying is the rich, who benefit from taxpayer gifts more than the poor, give back so the poor can go to school instead of flip burgers. Basically the same kind of life our parents had, and that we had to a lesser degree. For our parents college was basically free. For us it was worse because the conservative assault on taxes and funding of universities was underway. Today it's much worse. People were given support via taxation before, and they had a good life as a result. Since then conservatives have gotten what they wanted. Low taxes, cutting funding of universities, reduced regulations, freeing up the financial sector. Your methods are what have been dominating since Reagan. That's why it's so much worse today than it needs to be.

Jonathan said...

What exactly are you hoping to see pregnant women learn? Or single mothers that must leave their kids at home alone while they go to Burger King? With a mother that can stay home and raise them, giving them a better chance of being productive members of society, they can in the future contribute positively rather than being a drain, maybe end up in prison, which is an enormous expense (the one area of public housing that hasn't been neglected in the US recently is prison). These are cycles that build, which we can break if we aren't like Puritans, gaining some sort of sick pleasure from watching the suffering of the poor as if it was their just punishment for having been born into the wrong family.

Come on Jon, you know the Puritan ethic does not gain some sick pleasure by watching suffering. Your issue is that you see capitalist exacerbating the problems which they then say the poor must work through, and that's a fair critique, but you are avoiding the fundamental issue of the value of trying to fight through one's situation to make things better. You assume that the poor are trying - I say that for the most part, none of us are trying to do more than the status quo. That's not a capitalist stance, that's an entrepreneurial one.

If it were true that a large bulk of the population were honestly trying all they could to better their situation, and it's just the capitalist trying to keep them down, then you would not have results like the Georgia land lottery where a huge financial windfall had no real meaningful positive impact to the descendents of the recipients. What is your explanation for this?

I'm not saying that money never has an immediate positive impact on the poor in the US - the negative income tax has been a huge success in incentivizing the poor to work more, and reap more benefits, not be punished by abruptly losing their food stamps, low income housing etc, at a certain threshold.

The best explanation that fits the data available is that it takes both an incentive to break through poverty, and the intentional actions to make a meaningful change in one's life in order to move out of poverty. You acknowledge the former, but ignore the latter.

Jonathan said...

Regarding the affordability of school, sure - it would be nice if it was more affordable, but the real crime here isn't that it cost too much money, it's that schools and society are telling young kids that they have no other viable choice. Even when it was less expensive, you could still double major in philosophy and classical music, come out with a huge debt, and have no viable way to pay back the debt. So is the issue the fact that the student is saddled with a huge debt and they should be able to get out of it, or is it more systemic in that schools are often times an accreditation business to give you a title but not equip you for being a productive member of society?

Granted, technical degrees can provide useful skills, but often schools provide a false choice - get a degree or flip burgers. My goal is to teach my children the skills in sales, entrepreurship, and business so that they can both tailor their life in a way they can make a living doing what they enjoy and are good at, and also, for the times when things fall through, they know how to go to the hardware store, buy a bucket of paint, and go paint some houses, or otherwise do what it takes to survive in any situation - not be running with resume in hand to interview after interview hoping and praying some company or business will hire them.

Chad said...

Why is that person pregnant? No education, no discipline and pregnant - well you've answered your own question there.

Yes - I worked at McDonalds for 2 years Jon. It installed pride in self, offered training, offered an opportunity to advance then lead - skills I use today - absolutely huge.

There is the lie you tell yourself - they might pay for a meal or two, but they lack the personal reaponsibilty to make their lives better is the point. You teach them nothing except to hold their hand out in a different direction because the truly motivated are not in that position - thanks for making my point.

The rich get bailouts because they pay 75% plus of the income taxes without so much as a thank you. Hell yeah they are going to be sure to protect heat they got - they pay 75% plus and don't even get the courtesy of being asked what do you think. Gov't is the enemy because people like ou made I that way - I look for every single possible way to avoid paying taxes because Gov't is no good - imagine if I had unlimited resources - I'd pay nothing.

Jon said...

Come on Jon, you know the Puritan ethic does not gain some sick pleasure by watching suffering.

I don't know that at all. Look at Chad below blaming the poor. Why are they pregnant? No discipline. So wouldn't that mean that their suffering is their just reward for lack of discipline? I think there is a measure of pleasure Chad gets from that, like the pleasure you get when a violent criminal is punished. It's justice. Their suffering is exactly what teaches them to develop, so it's a good thing that some enjoy seeing.

The best explanation that fits the data available is that it takes both an incentive to break through poverty, and the intentional actions to make a meaningful change in one's life in order to move out of poverty. You acknowledge the former, but ignore the latter.

I don't ignore the latter. See here for instance.

I do agree with you on schooling in that it's not necesarily something you need to perform a function well in a job, but unfortunately it is signaling for those that seek to hire. That's one problem. An additional problem though is what I'm saying. These days without the degree you aren't considered for a lot of opportunities AND (thanks to Republican taxation preferences) you are now buried in debt. Sure, you can say that it was POSSIBLE in the past to have a lot of debt. Maybe. But I never really heard of that. I don't really know of people of that age group, like our parents, that managed to accumulate that much student loan debt. It wasn't much of an actual problem. What we have now is exactly what Chad and tea party types have wanted. Radically reduced public assistance for funding higher education, and that has translated directly to increased tuition and loans. These incredible student loans are a direct result of Republican policy preferences. Those that are rich today benefited from gifts of the past and yet today refuse to help those in the next generation.

Chad said...

It certainly isn't enjoyment John, it is a human tragedy.

Its funny that I have to be responsible for not only my family, but somehow other peoples kids/families, but when I point to the exact problem - when I lay blame where it belongs than I am somehow the monster?

My wife and I chose to stop at 2 children - we wanted more, but unfortunately we understood the responsibility of having children and then had to build up finances to support those children - you know personal responsibility. It took us longer to do that because well we are being taxed to pay for the irresponsible. That extra time stopped us from having a 3rd child because of age. Meanwhile you want me to have sympathy for the single mom who has not developed any skills, who didn't exercise any personal responsibility and popped out a couple kids? You want me to sympathize when she then has to go to work to pay for her decisions? I am okay with being the monster because at least I am telling the truth - at least I am talking about the real problem.

Imagine what would happen to poverty if a person was fined and or forced to pay for the child that they decided to bring into this world - a permanent tax to pay all of us back for whatever they could not pay for back when the child was born? That is the covenant most of us make anyhow so what do you suppose would happen then Jon? You have a child you can't pay for - you then get snipped so you can't do that anymore - what do you think what happen then? That is easy to predict what would happen -- a shrinking population of people that routinely make bad decisions and repeat those bad decisions at the expense of others.

Education falls under the same umbrella Jon - it is not a human right to have access to education at an affordable price. Making education free would simply create another void - if everyone has a free 4 year degree - 310 million citizens it does not create any more jobs - any more openings. So you have a BA from U of M - graduate 1,100,100 from the top your still going flip burgers because there would be a limited amount of jobs in the field of study.

Education should receive very little gov't money - it should cost exactly what it costs and those Universities who's students find success/make a lot of money should be allowed to charge more. It is simply the cost of getting into the game of making money - Colleges/Universities are ran like a Fraternity and Sorority - they are not places of higher education. They sell the 'experience' which normally promotes high levels of alcohol consumption, unneeded classes, stretched over 4 years of time all to make and charge more money. Take away all the gov't cash and watch them get thin - eliminate the BS classes and that will make better professors, better path to graduation, create more competition for kids to attend their schools.

Student loan debt is just the cost of potentially getting a job is all.

Chad said...

How about this then Jon - so this is all about so called Social Responsibility - not about really tackling the problem at the root, but a social so called connection I have with some unknown poor person.

So why not assign 2 or 3 earners with 1 non earner - in person - we pay their bills, we know their name, where they live, we help them make financial decision and life decisions and those decisions are tied to our bank accounts? The power of not being held responsible, but yet getting money is pretty large. Make it a neighbor or someone around the corner you can check in on - lets make it real.

That is a way to make some serious change - my recipient would be held responsible, would need to grow, would have rules that they would need to live by.

Now that is an idea right there. That way if you can turn your recipient into a productive citizen you no longer have to pay for someone else - win/win.

Examinator said...

Nice one guys,However not all of Jon's facts are complete. Especially about tree rings . Dendrochronology is usually generally used to compare known species' patterns of rings from known ages.
C14 analysis is based on the known (statistical) rate at which the ion is absorbed into a once living test sample.
It gives a range of probabilities.
Not precision.
Ice cores also measure the isotopic content of the Ice to determine the age. Again it is a complex analysis with a lot more involved. My point is that it is way too simplistic for many of the generalities mentioned.
Also one should examine the growth rings in things like Stromatilites.
It is possible via chemical analysis to show these could have only existed in conditions that were consistent with the hot ball earth and cooling etc i.e. many hundreds of millions of years ago.
The 'intelligent designists' are over simplifying the basic physics/ cumulated scientific dovetailing of facts.
Righties tend to see life , creation in wantonly overly simplistic discrete bubble terms of either or absolutes.

The reality is that such micro analysis is more emotionally/epigenetic (faith) based that scientific (objective).
As such discussions with Chad etc. on the rational science involved is a waste of time his is a belief based on a self referential collection of books written for and in another time and circumstances. He simply can't/ won't argue the science.

Glenn said...

I know I'm very late to the party, but I only found this blog because of the references to "fresh dinosaur bones unfossilized".

I've looked into two of the three references, and both of them clearly say that the bones are fossils.

Here is the first one:

And here is the second one:

Having a little trouble finding the third one ...

Glenn said...

It appears the third link refers to the same bones in the Davies 1987 paper.