Fake News: Trump official, Scaramucci, says Earth is only 5,500 yrs old.

Guest post by David Middleton

Anatomy of a fake news story.

This article appeared in Forbes last week…

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Trump’s New White House Communications Director Believes The Earth Is 5,500 Years Old

In a flurry of activity last week, Anthony Scaramucci became the White House communications director while President Trump accepted Sean Spicer’s resignation. In doing so, President Trump gave one of the biggest microphones in the world to someone who believes the Earth is 5,500 years old.

Scaramucci, one of many Wall Streeters who now influence the Trump Administration, is known for his business acumen as a salesman. Unfortunately, that does not translate into the realm of science, to which Scaramucci unfoundedly disagrees with basic conclusions of science.

In an interview on CNN in 2016 Scaramucci compared the consensus on climate change to the once held belief that the world is flat.

[…]

“You’re saying the scientific community knows, and I’m saying people have gotten things wrong throughout the 5,500-year history of our planet,” said Scaramucci in the interview.

[…]

https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2017/07/27/trumps-new-white-house-communications-director-believes-earth-5500-years-old/#1a70a92f35a0
Scaramucci never said anything about the age of the Earth in the CNN interview.  Scaramucci was responding to Chris Cuomo’s repetition of the 97% consensus lie.

 

This lie has now been repeated by Live Science...

Sorry, Scaramucci, Earth Is MUCH Older Than 5,500 Years

The CNN interview has nothing at all to do with the age of the Earth.  Scaramucci was discussing Trump’s position on climate change.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/14/politics/anthony-scaramucci-climate-change/index.html

 

Here we have a young geologist, writing for Forbes, with a Young Earth Creationist obsession, fabricating a story.  This errant misquote is now being repeated as fact-based news on multiple Internet outlets… the anatomy of a fake news story.

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256 thoughts on “Fake News: Trump official, Scaramucci, says Earth is only 5,500 yrs old.

  1. Hmmmm…I’m an armchair archaeologist and so I’m wondering if Mr. Scaramucci was referring to the written history of the Earth? That would fit in with his, “throughout the 5,500-year history of our planet” statement.

      • I’m more than willing to believe that’s exactly what he said, and CNN intentionally deleted the word from his reported interview because they knew they could make use of the omission.

      • He doesn’t need to say “recorded”. It is understood that history refers to a record. Prior to that we use the term “pre-history”. “Prehistoric behemoths roamed the ancient landscape in the dawn of time.”

      • Huh. I see what you’re saying, but can’t help wondering where the Earth’s geological history fits in with your statement about “history” vs. “Pre-history”, Steve?

      • From above: “You’re saying the scientific community knows, and I’m saying people have gotten things wrong throughout the 5,500-year history of our planet,” said Scaramucci in the interview.

        I didn’t look at any sources beyond the article because I’m too lazy, but the context appears to be “things people are saying”. He wouldn’t know anything about that from prehistory. He doesn’t appear to be invoking all of geologic time, just the time period in which people are making statements that may have left a record.

        I suppose it could have been more clear. It is very easy to make quick statements in an interview and have the words misinterpreted, even by a friendly crowd. (The old joke of the politician who said he was going to get the money from taxes. He was surprised by all of the cheering until an aide clarified that the folks heard him say he was getting the money from Texas.)

      • Anybody else noticing that about 98% of all this crap and babble takes place ONLY on “Twitter?” Most of the world does not read “Twitter,” it actually has something useful to DO. It’s time everyone stopped clicking on opinion and shit-stirring blather masquerading as “news”–actual current events, not talk about nothing!

      • Very few of the creationists’ estimates for the age of the Earth, that is, the date of the Creation, place it is recently as 5500 YBP anyway. 5500 BC is more like it.
        The general range is about 6000-10,000 years ago, although there are a few outliers.
        So this date (5500 years ago) would not even match up with basic creationism.
        And very few people raised Roman Catholic believe in a young earth.

      • @Xeno- the Snopes article redefines science to be the process of building consensus amongst heterogenous individuals. When the data is inconvenient, it is adjusted. When it is pointed out that science is not based on consensus, some wag redefines science. How much more do we have to give up to accommodate CAGW?

      • Snopes is a clearinghouse for liberal propaganda. They have zero credibility, and there ought be no pretense objectivity in what they have to say.

      • Obviously he meant human history. But name a WH communication director who likely knew how old the planet is
        believed to be. In fact, nobody really knows for sure. It’s not settled science.

  2. Yes, it seems so:

    CUOMO: You said you don’t know. I’m saying the scientific community does.

    SCARAMUCCI: But you’re saying that you do, and you’re saying the scientific community knows, and I’m saying people have gotten things wrong throughout the 5,500-year history of our planet.
    In a longer cut of the video, however, it does appear that Scaramucci said “or I should say human history” to himself as Cuomo was speaking. In a later tweet, Scaramucci said that he accepts 4.5 billion years for the age of the Earth. In a response for clarification on what Scaramucci meant by his 5,500 year comment, he provided us with the following response:

    Was referring to well-recorded human history. Cuomo understood what I was saying but the segment was ending.
    Many anthropologists and historians would agree with Scaramucci on this final point. The written historical record is generally thought to begin at around that time with advent of Sumerian cuneiform tablets, which is roughly in line with his assertion that 5,500 years referred to written human history.

      • Liberal slime-bags invented gotcha reporting, and this story is a prime example.
        Wait for someone to misspeak or to use one clumsily worded phrase and then dissect it for hidden meaning and present as proof of lack of intelligence, or whatever brand of ridicule they can attach to it. Repeat the misspoken word and the ridiculous appellations ad nauseum…lather, rinse, repeat.
        Countering such a strategy of ridicule has tied many in knots for too long.
        It is the people attaching outsized significance to a single misspoken sentence that are being ridiculous…it is they who should be singled out and mocked unmercilessly.
        Either that or completely ignored.
        Scaramucci corrected himself and moved on.
        End of story.
        Anything beyond that is just making stuff up for the purpose of making political hay.

  3. I like that “througout the 5,500 year recorded history of our planet”. Emphasis inserted.

    • Perhaps they deleted the word million. “throughout the 5,500 million year history of our planet”.

      • Forbes part time geologist/ staff writer, Trevor Nace, believes trilobites and cepholopods produced written languages at the dawn of time. —–

        Because that vindictive tool deserves to be mocked in the same and as vicious as he would dish out.

    • Honestly now, how could humans have been “getting things wrong” say only 6,000 years ago? He obviously meant in the history of organized human endeavor.

  4. Whatever! His knowledge of archeology is about as relevant as Ben Carson’s understand of Egyptology.
    Just as I’d rather have Ben Carson operate on my brain than some Egyptologist I’d rather have a white house official who understands current financial systems.
    And I’d always prefer someone used to having skin in the game than someone who has just talked about things.

  5. It looked to me like he was referring to an example of a flawed consensus as being one of many in recorded history. If he actually meant to refer to a young-Earth belief, he would not have specified 5,500 years.

    SR

    • True. But they don’t care. And they won’t give him a chance to clarify what he meant. If they mention any type of clarification at all they’ll call it “back-peddling” rather than clarifying.

      • unless you’re a liberal or democrat…..then no matter what comes out of your mouth it’s misspoke, and you can do it as many times as you want

  6. Amazing that the news really is a mass of distractions. I watched 1984 not to long ago, how relevant is ‘newspeak’ when comparing the present MSM?

  7. Scaramucci:
    ““You’re saying the scientific community knows, and I’m saying people have gotten things wrong throughout the 5,500-year history of our planet,”
    Wikipedia:
    “Some of the major changes in human culture during this time (4th millennium BC) included the beginning of the Bronze Age and the invention of writing, which played a major role in starting recorded history“(of our planet)

    Fortunately a better known figurative version of the Scaramucci ‘expletive deletive’ narrative was not used.

  8. So it appears that Scaramucci did not say the Earth is 5500 years old, but the theme will still persist. As far as history, meaning from written records, that is a reasonable estimate. As others have noted, it does not fit the Young Earth Creationist theme, but the writer probably does not care about that either.

  9. I read “1984” in the early 1960’s when at school in the UK. Our English lit. teacher was obviously not well versed in the book. He described it as a work of “Fiction” and not, as it has clearly become, a new bible.
    Where is this world going? I want to get off.

  10. Climate “science” is not the only area where beliefs trump scientific method.

    When I was young in university, I was taught that scientific method was defined as studying only that which is repeatedly observable. By definition, that limits science to studying present day physical phenomena. Numerous textbooks and professors at that time unanimously supported that definition.

    By definition, the past, because it’s no longer observable, cannot be studied by the scientific method. Fossils can be dug up, but science cannot tell when or how the fossils were deposited in the rocks. Radiometric dating depends on certain unobservable presuppositions to be true in order to be accurate. Unless the definition of science has been changed, science cannot tell the age of the earth, nor the age of the universe.

    Scientists can guess based on their beliefs. Unless the definition of science has been changed, any belief (which can properly be called “religious”) concerning origins cannot be scientific. Yet we are drilled repeatedly that a “scientific consensus” declares one belief concerning origins to be “scientific” and no true scientist can act apart from that belief.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to find that 100% of AGW “scientists” support that “scientific consensus”, and having learned that method in school, have proceeded to apply the same method to climate science as well.

    Belief has trumped scientific method.

    • That is not the definition of the scientific method.
      Where did you go to school, and when?
      You ought not perpetuate it if this is what you were told.
      This is the age of information…look up the actual definition in a few sources.

      The notion that radiometric dating is, by definition, unscientific, is itself made up BS.
      The reason you cited is basically saying that nothing is knowable that depends on making suppositions, defining axioms, or postulating certain things to be true due to their self evident nature.
      In other words…we cannot know anything.

      You use the phrase “cannot tell” several times, and the implication seems to be that this means the same thing as “prove beyond all doubt”.
      Science does not seek to prove things beyond all doubt. But that phrasing is a clumsy way to speak…it could mean anything, from “cannot say”, “have no idea”, “do not know for sure”, etc.

      Your comment, by the end, is incoherent and illogical.

    • Among other things, it sounds like you never took any course in geology or earth history or anything like that.
      The principles, and logic and reasoning…the basic arguments that are used to arrive at various conclusions about the probable age of the Earth are numerous and rigorous.
      But, properly stated, nothing is “proven”, or “a fact”, as such.
      You claim to have a ground up knowledge of what science and the scientific method consist of.
      And yet you make statements that seem unsupportable using thin or zero argument, but simply make assertions.
      Why hold back?
      Say what you mean regarding origins.

      The assertion that any belief whatsoever is the same thing as religion does not seem to leave much out.
      We can not know anything, and anything we believe is religion.
      The domain of science, of knowledge, seems to exist in a razor thin plane in your worldview.

      • Menicholas:

        You wrote, “The principles, and logic and reasoning…the basic arguments that are used to arrive at various conclusions about the probable age of the Earth are numerous and rigorous.” But are they based on repeatable observation? Are there any points within those “numerous and rigorous” that cannot be repeatedly observed? If not based on observation, then they are not science.

        You wrote, “Say what you mean regarding origins.” Properly speaking, origins cannot be studied using the scientific method. By that, I mean any belief concerning origins. My personal beliefs are irrelevant. I merely brought that up as an example of the corruption of science: that when anyone, and it doesn’t matter who, claims that his personal beliefs concerning origins is a scientific belief, that it goes against the unanimous definition of scientific method that I was taught at the state universities. This is the same corruption of science that we see among the AGW crowd.

        “Religion” encompasses all of life. Including science. Modern natural science started out as a subset of Reformation theology, specially designed to study the physical universe as a small part of total reality. It was never intended to become a religion on its own. One doesn’t need to believe in Reformation theology in order to use the tools of modern science, though he needs to agree to certain assumptions that stem from Reformation theology in order to use those tools.

        Naturalism is also a religious belief, that teaches that there is no reality outside of the physical, natural universe.

      • Richard,

        You are yet again sorely mistaken.

        “Naturalism” is not a religion, nor does science say there is no reality outside of what is observable. It just says that metaphysics and religion are outside its area of competence. Science is perforce naturalistic. It looks only for natural explanations of observed phenomena. Thinking about issues for which there is no physical evidence is beyond its ken.

        Science admits no supernatural explanations because they explain nothing. Saying “God did it!” isn’t science, any more than saying that pixies, fairies, elves of any other being for which there is no physical evidence did it.

        But that doesn’t mean people aren’t free to imagine that supernatural beings exist and may even influence the observable world, to include creating it. It’s just that there is no actual evidence to that effect, and evidence is the realm of science. The God Hypothesis isn’t scientific because it can make no testable predictions capable of being shown false. Pointing to apparent miracles is by definition outside the purview of science.

      • Gloateus: Again you confuse “natural” with “naturalism”.

        The scientific method was designed to study only the natural, physical universe. Gods, spirits, elves, Santa Claus, etc. are not natural (physical), therefore not subjects for science.

        Naturalism is an -ism, just like Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintuism, Judaism, Mohammadism, Protestantism, etc. all of which are religions. Like all religions, Naturalism is based on certain presuppositions that can neither be proven nor disproven, rather they define what is to be believed.

        You need to be careful with your terminology.

      • Richard,

        I’m not aware of a religion called naturalism, but you could well be right. There is pantheism, which could be construed as the worship of nature.

        “Naturalistic” is actually a term of art in the philosophy of science. Please read the decision in McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education for a learned discussion of natural law and naturalistic philosophy in science.

        http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/mclean-v-arkansas.html

        The US is lucky to have a legal definition of what counts as science. It should exclude Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change Alarmism.

      • Gloateus:

        You could hardly have chosen a case more deserving of scorn and mockery than this decision by Judge Overton. Seeing as he was appointed by some bloke who didn’t even know the definition to the verb “is”, it’s no surprise to see this logically challenged decision.

        Just based on the definitions of terms, this statement, “science is what is “accepted by the scientific community” and is “what scientists do.” ” is a circular argument that means nothing.

        Further he wrote (my comments in parentheses afterwards):
        “More precisely, the essential characteristics of science are:
        (1) It is guided by natural law; (The legal definition of “natural law” refers to human society, see http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Natural+Law . It doesn’t refer to science. For him to use “natural law” in a legal decision concerning science is nuts.)
        (2) It has to be explanatory by reference to nature law; (Two problems with this: what is “nature law”? What about scientifically valid observations that can’t be explained? Because they can’t be explained, does that make them not scientific?)
        (3) It is testable against the empirical world; (Yet the very belief system he was defending is not testable against the empirical world.)
        (4) Its conclusions are tentative, i.e. are not necessarily the final word; and
        (5) Its is falsifiable. (Ruse and other science witnesses). (How does one falsify repeatable observations?)

        If any scientist accepts this as a valid description of science, is his head screwed on straight?

      • Richard,

        Overton’s description of the scientific method is valid, based upon the testimony of witnesses. It is consistent with the philosophy of science.

        You are confused about repeatability and falsification. Results must be repeatable. If someone repeats and experiment or observation and gets the same result, then it is confirmed, but of course not “proven true”. It the original proponent of the hypothesis tests it and finds it falsified, that’s the end of it. If he finds it confirmed, but another scientist finds it falsified, then each worker’s efforts would have to be examined. That’s how science progresses.

        No one was able to repeat the results of “cold fusion”, so it has been considered to have been shown false.

      • Gloateus:

        Science is in trouble, and it’s not just climate science.

        At the Reformation, there was a clean break with medieval “science”. Differences included the following:

        Medieval science—it was the person, the “scientist”, who defined “science”.
        Modern science—it is the methodology that defines science, anyone who follows the methodology is a scientist doing science.

        Medieval science—theories including mathematical models are the scientific facts. They are not to be denied. Inconvenient observations that contradict theories are to be denied, ignored, swept under the run and/or explained away, unless they become so numerous that they can no longer be ignored, then the theory may be adjusted to take the observations into account, but never, never ever say that the theory is wrong.
        Modern science—observations that are repeatable are the scientific facts that can overturn theories.

        Medieval science—experts’ statements are to be deferred to as superior to personal observations.
        Modern science—personal observations if done according to methodology can overturn experts’ theories and claims.

        Medieval science—the way to do science is to study the works of the experts
        Modern science—do experiments in the lab and/or make observations in the field

        These and more are found in the book “The Bible, Protestantism, and the Rise of Natural Science” https://www.amazon.com/Bible-Protestantism-Rise-Natural-Science/dp/0521000963/ref=cm_rdp_product

        Modern science was that science inspired by the rejection of Aristotelianism and the embrace of the Reformation by scientists. Those scientists did NOT reject the Bible, rather they rejected the heresy of Roman Catholicism that was based on Aristotle’s teachings.

        Even when I learned the definition of science that I quoted from the textbook by Simpson and Beck, I realized that they gave mere lip-service to that definition of science, that definition of science that came out of the Reformation. In practice they followed a different definition. That different definition has more in common with Medieval science than it does with modern science.

        In short, Simpson and Beck were dishonest with their students, those who read their textbook. They were either dishonest, or so mentally challenged that they didn’t recognized that they did the most elementary of all logical fallacies—they contradicted themselves. Take your pick.

        Look again at the definition of science proposed by Judge Overton—it starts out like medieval science in that it’s the person, not the methodology, that defines “science”. In his five points of further definition that followed, the first two are legal nonsense, the third and fifth points are not practiced, just added to make it look good, and the fourth point depends upon what is being discussed.

        In biology, Darwinian evolution is simply declared to be “science” and anyone who doesn’t go along “can’t be a scientist”.

        In geology, the geologic ages, along with radiometric dating, are simply declared to be “science” and anyone who disagrees can just go and jump in a lake.

        In physics, Einstein relativity and quantum mechanics are simply declared to be orthodoxy, and anyone who disagrees is an unscientific old fogey. Nicola Tesla, who was an experimental physicist, took them into his lab and compared their predictions with his experimental results. They differed. In modern science, that would have been evidence against Einstein relativity and quantum mechanics, but in the crazy world of the return to medieval practices, Nicola Tesla was a crazy old fogey out of touch with scientific progress. (Pages can be written to back up this overly short paragraph.)

        In climate science, Anthony Watts, Lord Christopher Moncton, Dr. Tim Ball and others on this forum advocate the use of modern science, as against the IPCC, Michael Mann, and their ilk who practice medieval science.

        Science is in trouble.

    • Your understanding of the scientific method is wrong on its face.

      Of course past events can be observed, as well as inferred. Most sciences require making observations of past events. Geology is basically studying the history of the earth. Paleontology studies the history of past life on earth. Astronomy and cosmology study the past development of the universe.

      • “Past events can be observed.”
        No, they cannot.

        We can observe the supposed aftermath, and use logic and reason to infer or deduce what happened in the past. But without a time machine, we cannot observe those events.

        This is simply a false idea that things such as evolution, or glaciers carving the Great Lakes, are “scientifically proven.” Since there was no observation, they cannot be. This use of the term “science” is simply off-track.

        Like Columbo solving a crime, logic and reason are used. There is nothing wrong with using logic and reason to try to figure out the most defensible answer to questions such as “how did the Great Lakes form,” or “who killed whom?” Let’s just quit dressing it up as science, since we know, by our recognized definitions of science, that these questions cannot be answered by science. No observability, no falsifiability, no replicability, then no science.

        Or, please give a definition of science that includes observability, falsifiability, and replicability as perks, but not essential aspects, of science.

      • Last Democrat,

        Every time I look through a telescope at the sky, I’m looking back in time. Science can see billions of years into the past, observing the events which occurred then. There is even a small time lag when observing the sun and planets in our own system.\

        Scientists can see where a continental plate was millions of years in the past by following the progress of sea mounts and eroding islands passing over a geological hot spot.

        When a paleontologist observes changes in fossils of the same lineage over time, he or she is observing past events, such as the evolution of finger, hand and wrist bones in the ancestors of tetrapods, then the reduction of fingers from seven and eight to five in the earliest tetrapods.

        Instances abound.

        Which is not to say that science isn’t practiced when piecing together what happened in the past, as a traffic accident investigator does at the scene of a wreck, or a forensic pathologist at the scene of a crime. Some inferences are inescapable.

        This should be obvious.

    • Richard is correct.
      Those who hold the faith called Scientism, or Naturalism, do not like this reality.
      Science is a process for ascertaining knowledge. It is concerned with how the natural world works.

      Science depends upon forming a falsifiable, testable hypothesis, then making observations of that test. Also, in order to rule out being wrong, science works by expecting that these stabs at ascertaining knowledge be replicable.

      Figuring out how something in the present emerged from the past is a matter of history. This depends on reason and logic – making a plausible case, and figuring out how much the known evidence matches or does not match. Reason and logic are fine strategies for ascertaining knowledge. But, ultimately, due to limited ability to manipulate conditions, there is always, logically, the case that you could be wrong. A little wrong, or a lot wrong. The Roman Empire fell because of lead in the drinkware. The Roman Empire fell because they recruited too many non-Romans into the military. Etc. Etc.

      You can never go back and replay history. You are always carrying out the Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy: taking an evident result and applying your preferred theory.

      There is always the threat of the Alternate Explanation.

      We were all certain that life appeared form the primordial soup. Until logic was used to show the impossibility of this. some of us then became certain that life fell from Mars. Some of us have been certain that DNA came before protein chains. But some think the proteins joined up together, then somehow DNA sprang up to replicate the protein.

      A recent story at a science news site presents yet another idea: life began on dry land.

      Some analyses say that life did not spring into existence at one point, with all organisms developing from that, but that there were a handful of life origins, and thus several strains of life.

      It is fine to take what we know, by science, such as how DNA works, and how sexual reproduction works, and apply that knowledge to speculate a best case for how life arose. But we are always fitting ideas to something that has already happened, and won’t happen again. Not observable, and not replicable. Therefore, not science. It is, rather, Reason and Logic.

      Don’t tell me I don’t know what I am talking about. I have studied science and empiricism a lot. If you accuse me of being ignorant, you are simply stooping to name-calling and shaming to try to get your view to prevail.

      Tell me how I am wrong. Don’t just tell me I am wrong.

      • Here’s one example. “Richard is correct.”

        Richard is clearly not correct.
        1) “…scientific method was defined as studying only that which is repeatedly observable.” Just because you may have been told that is the definition, doesn’t mean it IS the definition. (Also, there has been plenty of time since having been given that false definition to have learned the correct one.) Either way, that statement is wrong.

        2) As is the illogical conclusion drawn from it: “By definition, that limits science to studying present day physical phenomena.” No.

        Richard is incorrect, therefore your first sentence is wrong.

        That’s the easiest example. Addressing your misconception about the extent of our knowledge about the origins of life on Earth, and the process and progress of science are much more difficult tasks. Fortunately there is an ocean of information freely available, gathered by people far smarter and more industrious than me.

        Also, why the defensive view of the term “ignorant?” You can–and should–call me ignorant about almost any subject you could name. It simply means that I don’t know anything about it. Nothing wrong with that. It is true of everyone. Ignorance is an opportunity to learn.

        WILLFUL ignorance, on the other hand, impedes human progress. It partially explains the rise of the CAGW insanity…

      • All science is the creation and testing of approximations that are accurate to a known precision in an established range. Abviously, some approximations are better than others. Some involve entirely different ways of approaching the phenomena altogether. Theories in paleontology can be tested by looking for contradictory evidence, and strengthened by finding new consistent evidence. There is a lot of evidence pointing back to life originating from single called organisms, but how those cells came to exist on earth is always going to be fairly speculative. You can look for ways it could happen, try to track down the most likely one, but, at the end of the day, it is hard to find a diffitive answer, precisely because the exact means have so little impact on anything.
        The same goes for cosmological mysteries such as Dark matter, Dark energy, and inflation.

      • The question of the origin of life is a completely separate one from that of the age of the Earth.
        And those questions are likewise separate from a definition of what constitutes science and what is the definition of the scientific method.
        On the origin of life, may seem to suppose that science has settled the issue. It has not. Far from it.
        There are many ideas, and little evidence in support of any of them.
        Many seem to believe that acceptance of various conclusions and of the validity of the scientific method in general has somehow refuted the notion of a Creator. It has not.
        No one knows how or where life began, or indeed how or where or when the Universe began, or if it even had a beginning, let alone what caused or allowed it to come into existence.
        The cosmological model of the big bang has many lines of evidence supporting a view of the cosmos as having emerged from an explosion of a virtually infinitely dense and infinitely hot primordial soup, but this is really a speculation based on an extrapolation of what we can observe with our limited tools from our little spot in it. More questions are raised than answered, and no answers exist for the “how” or he “why” or the “from what” or “from what cause”.
        (I mention but lead aside for another day criticisms of such questionable and ad hoc suppositions as “cosmic inflation”, without which the Big Bang model is in real trouble.)
        The origin of life is similarly mysterious. We do not know of even one single other example of life, and so cannot say how likely or unlikely life is to emerge from inanimate matter.
        It sure seems mighty unlikely, credulous assertions to the contrary notwithstanding.
        In both of these origins, and the attendant ideas of our understanding of them, are many suppositions.
        And suppositions are not science.
        But the age of the Earth, on the other hand, has much more in the way of evidence.
        Radiometric dating in particular has some very specific and testable and repeatable evidentiary basis behind it.
        I know otherwise intelligent people who know just about nothing of the specifics of biochemistry or paleontology and yet are dead certain that “science” has proven that life arose spontaneously on Earth.
        No such proof exists.
        Suppositions are not science.
        Science is a method determining which ideas can be verified by objective evidence, and which ideas can be shown to be objectively false.
        One way to look at the results is to see it as a way to separate out opinions from what are popularly referred to as “facts”. But, actual science has never proven anything. That is the real “fact’ of science.

        Richard is not correct, and neither is The Last Democrat (Nice name…don’t we wish!)

      • “I have studied science and empiricism a lot.”

        A lot?
        Oho…well then!
        LOL. Gimme a break!
        Your numerous patently false assertions (“We were all certain that life appeared form the primordial soup”) do not lend an aura of learned scientific acumen to your rant.

      • TheLastDemocrat: I noticed that those who called you wrong merely claimed that you’re wrong, they didn’t show why you’re wrong. They merely made assertions, not reasons.

        I first learned the scientific method from a textbook co-authored by George Gaylord Simpson and William S. Beck called “Life, an introduction to biology”, 1966. On page 14 we find, “Observation of a particular object or occurrence is the fact, the datum, from which all scientific knowledge stems and to which all scientific theories must return. It is essential to the nature of science that an observation, against which the answers to scientific questions are tested, be repeatable.” In the following pages the authors described how hypotheses and theories were derived from observations, but that no theory could be called scientific if it could not be supported by repeatable observations. I checked numerous textbooks in biology, chemistry and physics in the university library, and of those textbooks that gave a definition, they gave a unanimous agreement with this definition. I also asked other professors, and they too agreed with this definition, unanimously.

        What sort of observations are repeatable? Only those done in the present. For example, we can tell the present ratios of radioactive isotopes in a rock sample, but what were the original ratios and what events could have changed those ratios over time? Where are the observations that give answers to these questions concerning the unobservable past? How can radiometric dating be scientific, when it’s dependent on factors that are impossible today to observe? We observe fossils in rocks, but can’t observe when and how they were deposited into the rocks.

        Those who say that we are wrong about science, must then answer the question: has the definition of scientific method changed in the last half-century? If not, then their disagreement is with all textbooks of that time. If so, what is the new definition of science? Merely to make a statement that we’re wrong is a logical fallacy.

        Now, when we look at so-called “climate science”, how can it be science, when it’s dependent on theories, and not observations? Isn’t that what this whole site is about?

      • The answer to every single one of your questions is readily, freely available. If you choose not to seek out and read those answers, why ask the questions in the first place?

        I’ll even save you the effort of seeking out the information. “The Greatest Show on Earth” by Richard Dawkins has a great chapter on establishing ages of specimens.

      • Richard, I suggest that if you honestly wish to know how it can be stated with confidence that the age of certain rocks and geological formation is known to a high degree of confidence, you start with understanding the specific methods and tests that are used.
        “Together with stratigraphic principles, radiometric dating methods are used in geochronology to establish the geological time scale.[3] Among the best-known techniques are radiocarbon dating, potassium-argon dating and uranium-lead dating. By allowing the establishment of geological timescales, it provides a significant source of information about the ages of fossils and the deduced rates of evolutionary change. Radiometric dating is also used to date archaeological materials, including ancient artifacts.

        Different methods of radiometric dating vary in the timescale over which they are accurate and the materials to which they can be applied.”

        No one claims that any particular method of dating is absolutely foolproof. Indeed nothing in science is judged by such a standard.
        Inside of certain rocks are highly stable crystals call zircons. Within these zircons, the relative proportions of certain specific radioisotopes can be measured.

        “Uranium-lead radiometric dating involves using uranium-235 or uranium-238 to date a substance’s absolute age. This scheme has been refined to the point that the error margin in dates of rocks can be as low as less than two million years in two-and-a-half billion years.[14][19] An error margin of 2–5% has been achieved on younger Mesozoic rocks.[20]

        Uranium-lead dating is often performed on the mineral zircon (ZrSiO4), though it can be used on other materials, such as baddeleyite, as well as monazite (see: monazite geochronology).[21] Zircon and baddeleyite incorporate uranium atoms into their crystalline structure as substitutes for zirconium, but strongly reject lead. Zircon has a very high closure temperature, is resistant to mechanical weathering and is very chemically inert. Zircon also forms multiple crystal layers during metamorphic events, which each may record an isotopic age of the event. In situ micro-beam analysis can be achieved via laser ICP-MS or SIMS techniques.[22]

        One of its great advantages is that any sample provides two clocks, one based on uranium-235’s decay to lead-207 with a half-life of about 700 million years, and one based on uranium-238’s decay to lead-206 with a half-life of about 4.5 billion years, providing a built-in crosscheck that allows accurate determination of the age of the sample even if some of the lead has been lost. This can be seen in the concordia diagram, where the samples plot along an errorchron (straight line) which intersects the concordia curve at the age of the sample.”

        Keep in mind that multiple lines of evidence exist, beyond stratigraphy and radiometric dating, and it is the convergence of these multiple lines of evidence that give added value to the evidentiary weight of each individual part.

        Many people over many years have studied this subject in great depth. If you have information that contradicts, in some supportable way, the conclusions reached and refined over many years…you oughta write it all down and get it published and claim your Nobel prize.

        I have cited one source here, and this source lists a large number of individual references, which are link at the bottom of the page. This is a starting point, nothing else.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiometric_dating

      • Menicholas:

        What observations can you point to to indicate the original concentrations of U-235 and U-238 to each other and to lead in zircon? If you can’t point to any such observations, how can any result based on those unobservable beliefs be scientific?

        The same lack of observation exists in all radiometric dating techniques.

      • Richard,

        You make a common mistake among those who can’t be bothered to learn the science behind radiometric data.

        You don’t need to know the original amount of any isotope. It’s the ratio that matters, regardless of the original amount. All you need is enough to measure.

        It would seem that this should be obvious, but apparently isn’t.

      • TheLastDemocrat July 29, 2017 at 3:42 pm

        You are wrong. You’ve been shown why repeatedly.

        But let me comment on your antiscientific statement regarding the origin of life. “Logic and reason” have never shown the natural origin of life to be “impossible”, nor can they ever.

        Discovering the abiotic origin of life is simply a biochemical engineering problem, on which great progress has been made. We know that the organic and inorganic chemical compound constituents of life self-assemble, both on earth and in space. They arrive here in meteorites. The problem is how to keep them spontaneously polymerizing faster than they break apart, in the absence of enzymes. Many avenues of nonenzymatic polymerization have been discovered.

        I don’t know your level of scientific information, so will go into a little more detail. Amino acids, the monomers of polypeptides, ie proteins, self-assemble. Only 21 of them are used by living things, but 70 or more have been found in meteorites, in both L and D forms.

        Similarly, nucleobases, sugars and phosphate groups have been also been found in meteorites. Those three elements form the monomers of RNA, ie nucleotides. Today we know how most of the nucleobases form naturally. The simplest and most important, adenine, results just from heating hydrogen cyanide (HCN). RNA also forms short chains spontaneously under some circumstances, ie oligomers. But, as noted, the problem is getting long chains, ie polymers, to stay stable in the absence of enzymes, biological protein catalysts. However RNA can also act as an enzyme, ie ribozyme, as well as a storehouse of genetic info.

        Once formed, the RNA polymers also need to be able to split apart without protein enzymes. It’s possible that short chains of amino acids, ie peptide oligomers, might have enzymatic activity.

        Other elements of a protocell, such as a membrane and metabolic cycles, have already been shown to emerge abiotically. So it won’t be long before life can be cooked up from scratch ingredients in the lab. Experts in the field estimate from five to 20 years. Sounds like fusion research, I know. But the outstanding issues are being solved year after year.

      • Although technically should be an oligomer of RNA rather than DNA.

        As you know, the ribose sugar in DNA has one less oxygen atom than in RNA, hence its name. And RNA uses uracil rather than thymine, which is methylated uracil.

      • Gloateus:

        In a previous response, I used the term “ratios” to describe what is lacking in observations in radiometric dating. You don’t have observations of the original ratios of the various elements involved. By definition, if you don’t have observations, the study can’t be scientific.

        How many areas of “science” are now based on models and presuppositions instead of observations? It’s clear that for many “climate scientists” that’s the case. Did they learn that practice from other areas of “science”?

      • Gloateus:

        Don’t you see the problem with your answer stating “Discovering the abiotic origin of life is simply a biochemical engineering problem”? That it’s an engineering problem shows that you have an addition of information to the soup, that it’s not just random. While I don’t rule out that some day that man will be able to create a living cell, yet already the effort is turning out to be an engineering feat of great complexity. Right now, that complexity is beyond out knowledge, for we don’t know everything that goes on within a cell, even the simplest of self-replicating cells.

        Let’s take two examples: the physical record of the great Bonneville flood, and the simple doodle on a beach “John ♡ Mary”. The great Bonneville flood and its record can be explained as the simple action of water against rocks, the simple doodle “John ♡ Mary”, while physically much simpler than the record of the flood, reveals a type of complexity lacking in the flood record, namely information. That you call it an “engineering problem” shows that you are adding information, that it’s not just a random event.

        Nowhere have we observed information arising from randomness.

      • Richard,

        You simply don’t know enough about science to comment on it intelligently. Indeed, what you imagine you know is laughably wrong.

        “Ratio” means just that. It’s the ratio of one isotope to another. The concentration at the beginning doesn’t matter, as I’ve already explained. One isotope decays into another isotope or element. Why is this simple fact of physics so hard for you to grasp?

        As for the origin of life, yet again you’ve been led astray by the Satanic paid liars who have so brainwashed you.

        Information is added all the time, as genomes get bigger. When a genome duplicates, for instance, all the genetic material that previously was needed to code for proteins and for other functions, is now available to mutate freely and produce genetic innovation.

        At the origin of life, a short polymer of RNA might have coded for a single gene or no gene at all. Over time strands got longer and longer, coding for ever more genes. Then DNA evolved from RNA to take over genetic information storage, as it is more stable. DNA molecules also kept getting bigger, containing ever more genetic information, ie sequences coding for new proteins and noncoding regions controlling other life functions.

        But life started out with by modern standards short chains of RNA. Today the shortest RNA polymer with biological function is transfer RNA, which can be as small as 76 base pairs. However this is a lot more than would be minimally needed, since its arms, forming the characteristic clover leaf pattern, would have been unnecessary. Today, one arm attaches to an enzyme and the other to the ribosome, the protein factory where messenger RNA directs the assembly of proteins.

        Thus the shortest possible functional tRNA might have had fewer than 20 bp. Look at the ends of this tRNA molecule. All that would have been required in the Hadean Eon protocell would have been the end to which an amino acid attaches and anticodon end. However, the ancestor of mRNA, the information storehouse, would have been longer, coding for the whole gene, ie protein.

        https://qph.ec.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-4916b743c7aed7b84e3a035be62f7c03.webp

        As I said, there are good non-enzymatic catalysts for the formation of longer RNA polymers, to include clay.

      • “So it won’t be long before life can be cooked up from scratch ingredients in the lab. Experts in the field estimate from five to 20 years. Sounds like fusion research, I know.”

        Will assembling all of the correct molecules in the correct sequence cause those molecules to become alive?
        I have substantial doubts.
        I hate to be all skeptical but…oh, wait…no I don’t.

        When i read the first two sentences but had not gotten to the third one yet, I was already mentally composing a reply based on the fusion research…um…delay…in getting us a operating fusion power plant.
        It turns out there is apparently far more to it than the experts thought, and then thought again ten years later, and then thought again ten years later…etc…

        And in my view the amount of “far more to it” regarding life is indescribably larger than with fusion.
        I will believe it when I see it.
        Color me a very pretty shade of highly doubtful.

      • I have estimated the odds of a bunch of molecules that are in exactly the correct order and in exactly the same physical proximity and spatial arrangement spontaneously becoming alive as roughly equal to the odds of a freshly dead body, in which all the molecules are in exactly the correct order and spatial arrangement because it was just alive a few minutes ago, of that dead body spontaneously coming back to life because the molecules happened to jostle themselves back into the correct arrangements to undo the cause of death.

      • Me,

        Don’t believe me if you don’t want to, but the results of experiments have all been published and are readily accessible in the literature, as well as on Youtube.

        The two main outstanding issues are, in the first place, getting longer strands of RNA without the protein enzymes used by life today, and, next, unzipping the replicated strands. This latter problem has probably been solved by the Szostak lab, which also identifies in what environment on the early earth this would have happened. But there are other scenarios.

        The best candidate for nonenzymatic polymerization of RNA remains clay, but my lab is working on a (what I think, naturally) superior approach, which recognizes that amino acids and nucleotides would have been concentrated together from the beginning. So to speak.

        I’m less optimistic than Szostak’s five years, but more so than the most pessimistic estimates, which tend to come from the “metabolism first” school of OoL research. I’m of the replication first school, or at least simultaneous with the demonstrated abotic Krebs cycle.

        You overstimate the difficulty with forming the constituent parts from simpler compounds. Self-assembly of amino acids, nucleobases and even oligomers of RNA have been observed and reproduced in the lab. Plus, as noted, amino acids, sugars, phosphate groups, nucleobases and lipids have been found in meteorites, so we know that these reactions would have occurred on the early earth, if they happen in space.

        Thus, the gap between complex organic chemistry and life is small and getting tinier with each year. Basically, the last remaining big hurdle is getting the naturally occurring nucleotide oligomers to lengthen before they split up, without a biological enzyme. This is a far from insurmountable problem.

        My lab is working on the long shot that amino acids and nucleotides co-polymerized from the origin, while other labs are looking at mineral catalysts and RNA self-catalysis.

        My prediction splits the difference. I estimate within ten years. Or sooner if someone gives me more money.

      • “Oh great! That’ll lead to this!”

        And then this:

        See, you need a certain spark for things to really liven up…and that spark is not just some random thing that popped into existence when some molecules fell into the correct spatial arrangement.
        It is at least as unlikely as Lurch inventing the moonwalk dance.

      • Menicholas July 31, 2017 at 6:20 pm

        Clearly your calculations don’t take into account prebiotic organic chemistry.

        Oligomers, chains of monomers shorter than polymers, of both amino acids and nucleotides form spontaneously, as indeed do the monomers, ie amino acids and nucleotides. It’s just chemistry. When the constituent chemical compounds are concentrated under the right conditions, such as would have existed on the early earth or in space as the solar system was forming, amino acids and nucleobases form. It has also been discovered that nucleobases, sugars and phosphate groups also self-assemble into nucleotides under certain circumstances, such as in the pockets of liquid water within ice. Then these nucleotides further hook up to form oligomers of RNA.

        However, without biological enzymes, the oligomers don’t stay together long enough to form the polymers needed for life. But that is a small gap to be crossed, and is being worked on by great scientists, including well-funded Noble Prize winners. My lab, unfortunately, is not among the best funded.

        But, as noted, the few remaining biochemical engineering problems will be solved, and sooner than you suspect. There is nothing magical about life, wonderful though it may be. It’s an inevitable consequence of the nature of matter and of energy transfers under certain conditions. It solves energetic issues that arise in the physics of bodies in space, given the abundance of H, C, O, N, S, P, Se, K, Fe, etc in our universe, thanks to the stars.

      • Menicholas July 31, 2017 at 6:28 pm

        There are all kinds of “sparks” in space and on the early earth. Indeed, as I mentioned, life can be seen as the necessary result of the energetic systems of these environments.

      • “Don’t believe me if you don’t want to”

        Please, do not take my skepticism personally…it is not that I do not “believe ” you…it is that I do not think whatever it is you are assembling will be alive.
        Beyond that, if something that is alive can be created in a lab from inanimate matter, that is still a ways off from believing it happened by itself in a dust cloud in space or a mud puddle on Earth or wherever one might suppose it happened all by itself by random chance.
        Prove me wrong and I will gladly say I was completely wrong.

      • There is also the slight issue of a spontaneous strand of incipient genetic material somehow having the proper coding sequence for anything useful to happen, and then matter of a body plan being thus encoded, and a way to read and regulate the expression of each of these incipient codons…

      • Me,

        But seriously, the thing is that it isn’t random. Chemistry causes complex organic molecules to form, then their shapes permit further reactions among them. No magic required.

        For the benefit of readers who might not be familiar with organic chemistry, amino acids, sugars, phospate groups and nucleobases form spontaneously. You can’t stop them, given the right conditions, which we know existed on the Hadean earth and in outer space.

        The monomer of RNA is a ribose sugar attached to a phosphate group, forming the backbone of the nucleotide, with the other end of the sugar attached to a nucleobase, ie adenine, guanine, cytosine or uracil. To make an oligomer, this sugar, which has a free attachment site, further connects with another phosphate group, which is also attached to another sugar with another nucleobase on its other end. And so on. Five, six or seven such bondings occur naturally, but at the same time are subject to breaking up.

        The trick of life is to keep this bonding going for dozens of nucleotides, without the enzymes which polymerize nucleotides today. As I said, no magic required, nor is it a random collision of molecules and elements. The very nature of the molecules and elements assures that they will combine into the constituents of life.

      • Anyway, I did not know you were personally involved in this.
        I wish you luck, and also wish that if you are successful you have planned for some way to not let whatever you create out of the lab by mistake.
        Somewhat joking but not completely, this may be nearly as dangerous as creating mini black holes, or nanobots.
        One eats the Earth by mistake (oops), the other turns everything on the surface of our planet to grey paste by some miscalculation (oops again)…

      • Menicholas July 31, 2017 at 6:45 pm

        This is not in least little bit a problem. It would help to have studied molecular biology, but no matter.

        There is no magic involved in the coding for amino acids of groups of three nucleotides. Indeed the whole point of my experiments is to rely on this chemical fact.

        Complex chemical compounds have primary, secondary, tertiary and even higher structures. It’s no surprising that with 64 different three-base codons, they form tertiary structures which glom onto the 21 particular amino acids used by life, which have complementary structures.

        The more biochemistry and molecular biology you know, the less mysterious it all becomes. In the lab, the problem is keeping unwanted glommings to occur rather than getting the right ones to happen. Complex organic compounds just naturally hook up, based upon their structures, physics and chemistries.

      • “The very nature of the molecules and elements assures that they will combine into the constituents of life.”

        The constituents of life, yes, of course. Has been known for some time.
        But life is more than a collection of constituent parts, or so I believe.
        If your view is correct, life is everywhere.
        Which it may be…but I remain in need of some proof.
        In my view the complexity and the odds are being either downplayed or underestimated.

      • Menicholas July 31, 2017 at 6:49 pm

        Not to worry.

        Synthetic protocells, as would be those of the Hadean if transported to the Phanerozoic, would be so totally at the mercy of today’s highly evolved organisms that they’d be nothing but instant snacks for modern life. Their juicy package of nutrients would be immediately devoured by the countless advanced organisms out there, hungry for H, C, O, N, etc, especially when so conveniently packaged.

      • And I have studied some molecular biology, although it was not an avenue I pursued very far.
        I took biochemistry in college, did well, and have learned some stuff since then.
        Mostly though along the lines of virology and immunology though.

      • Menicholas July 31, 2017 at 6:54 pm

        Thd difficulty is not downplayed, but advances in the past 20 years have reduced the odds such that it is a virtual certainty that life will be made in the lab in the lifetimes of most reading this.

        Twenty years ago, however, OoL researchers were highly pessimistic, even the giants who originated it and had then been working on it for going on fifty years.

        Then, practically every year in this century, as more funding became available, startling advances and discoveries were made. I got involved only after it was found that RNA oligomerizes in ice and that it is both a genetic information storehouse and can act as a catalyst. Some of my colleagues are working on the possibility that it catalyzes its own polymerization, but that easy solution is now looking less likely. But still possible.

        With a tiny fraction of the resources squandered on the fantasy of catastrophic manmade global warming, we would already have made life in the lab, from scratch.

      • You are probably right about the danger, but i would not go so far as to discount any danger whatsoever.
        Oxygen and forests have existed for hundreds of millions of years, but a single match can still cause a huge amount of damage just by random chance.

      • Some deadly viruses are fairly simple as viruses go.
        I am not making a comparison, just an analogy.

      • Menicholas July 31, 2017 at 7:00 pm

        In the ’70s, I studied the great textbook “The Molecular Biology of the Gene”, but current editions of it make the original look like Newton v. Einstein. Indeed beyond Einstein, to extend the physics analogy.

        So much has been learned since the ’70s that it’s easy for me to see life in the lab in far fewer than another 40 years.

        The marvelous genetic engineering industries which we have now were barely glints in researchers’ eyes in the ’70s. The synthetic biology and directed evolution machines we now have are like Space Age miracles compared to the crude and time-consuming techniques of my youth.

      • Menicholas July 31, 2017 at 7:04 pm

        A protocell is not like a virus. The problem for a protocell would be staying together long enough to split. Viri are hard to kill, as they lack metabolism. They’re parasites invading cells.

        Really, you have to see how tenuous pure lipid membranes are to realize how totally non-threatening and vulnerable protocells would be. They could not survive in the real world. They would exist only in labs recreating the environment of the Hadean earth, where there were no modern cells, let alone multicellular organisms. Outside the lab, they’d be toast in seconds, if that long.

      • Hey, Gloateus, I have a question for you…something I have wondered about for a long time and do not recall ever getting a satisfying answer:
        Where do you suppose viruses originate?
        Have they been around for the entire history of life?
        Are new ones being created from time to time?
        Are they just an accident?
        A quirk of the machinery?
        What up wit’ dem viruses!?

      • Me,

        The origin of viruses remains a controversial subject.

        My personal opinion is that they can’t be close to the origin of life, since they have protein coats (another feature which makes them hard to kill). However, that many still use RNA for genetic info storage is an argument against this view. Also, the ribosome, the protein factories in every cell, are a bunch of tRNA with bits of protein on the outside.

        My view, for what it’s worth, is that, as parasites, they came after the rise of cellular life, but perhaps not long thereafter. In which case, they are not much younger than prokaryotes, ie originally arising over 3.5 billion years ago. Possibly well before then.

        Once there was genetic coding for protein coating, as it were, then strands of RNA and later DNA could go out on their own, free from the constraints of metabolism, ie working for a living, and become biochemical pirates and raiders. And why wouldn’t they?

        They’re the Vikings to the peaceful farmers of bacteria and archaea.

      • Menicholas July 31, 2017 at 6:40 pm

        The point of OoL research is not to “prove” doubters who favor supernatural explanations wrong, but to try to find out how prebiotic chemistry became biochemistry. There is no metaphysical or supernatural agenda, for or against.

        But the fact is that it has been known since the early 19th century that biochemistry is simply chemistry. Life is not a magical, special entity outside of natural science, but an outgrowth of organic chemistry.

        The goal of OoL research is to find plausible routes from prebiotic organic chemistry (and possibly the actual route) to biochemistry. They are very close and the gap is constantly narrowing. There is every reason to believe that the gap will soon be closed.

        Life isn’t a special spark of divine fire, but a particular complex of organic chemical reactions, followed by evolution.

        The definition of life is replication, metabolism and evolution. Soon we will be able to make in the lab protocells capable of replicating, conducting metabolism to energize that replication and of evolving through natural selection and other evolutionary processes.

        We’re close and getting closer every year.

      • Gloateus:

        Ahh, the ad hominem attack—“Satanic paid liars”—that’s a sign that you don’t have an intelligent answer. The ad hominem is always the last resort of the liberal who is losing an argument.

        In politics, that includes leftists calling their opponents “Nazis” or “Fascists”, while neglecting to state the fact that both Nazis and Fascists were branches of Marxist socialism, i.e. far left.

        Another is to take an opponant’s statement(s) out of context, then harp on the falsity of the statement(s). That’s what was done with Scaramucci. (Scaramucci stated the consensus of univeristy historians.)

        You have done the same taking out of context in my statement “original concentrations of U-235 and U-238 to each other and to lead in zircon”. The “concentrations … to each other” is another way of saying “ratio”. You take it out of context by leaving off “to each other”. And yes, you do need to know the ratios, and the only way to know them is to have observations of the original ratios.

        There’s an old saw that claims that if a million monkeys typing 24/7 on a million typewriters for a million years, will there be somewhere in that stream of randomness a Shakespearian sonnet? The answer is even if one is made, it will merely be lost as part of the stream of randomness unless there’s a filter that can recognize it, a filter which already presupposes intelligence.

        Your handwaving “explanation” leaves off a whole slew of improbable events even if gene coding RNA strings that are not negated by being parts of strings of random RNA did appear (unlikely in the first place). One thing you’ll need is self-assembling proteins without the help of a ribosome. The probability of all the necessary events to produce the first life through randomly happening events is so remote that it’s effectively zero.

        Look at the irreduceable complexity of even the simplest life: it needs to be self-contained, to be able to take in raw materials, change them to energy and building blocks for the cells, be able to expel waste materials, and to make a copy of itself. Each of those functions also has more than one step. All of that done with self-assembling proteins that don’t need a ribosome for assembly? And all of this just happening to come together at the right place at the right time with the right amounts of biochemicals out of a random soup of organic chemicals while excluding that which would tear it apart? If you can’t even do that with careful biochemical engineering, what makes you think that random processes could have done them?

        What was the pre-biotic Hadean earth like? All you have is conjecture based on belief, no observation. According to modern science, the lack of observability makes it non-science. But in the post-modern world where anything goes ………

        All of science is in trouble, and it’s not just climate science.

        I’m with Menicholas, I’ll believe it when I see it.

      • I need to close this thread. I have not been monitoring this discussion as it devolved into the origins of life. It is definitely headed in proscribed directions. So go home. Discussion over.

  11. I think he should threaten a lawsuit and get them fired.
    He’s proved that money talks.

  12. He did say “…the five thousand five hundred year history of our planet…” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pTrQb1nObE

    However, to leap from that to he’s a young-earth creationist is ridiculous. The main stream media wonder why people don’t believe what they spew anymore. It’s precisely this kind of ridiculous game of gotcha that destroys any credibility they had.

  13. Ehi (Italian exortation), guys. Don’t comment “fake news”.

    The CNN interview has nothing at all to do with the age of the Earth. Scaramucci was discussing Trump’s position on climate change.

    I saw the CNN interview and He (Scaramucci) never spoked about Earth’s age!

  14. Many creationists and young-earthers are conservative Christians; but looking at Scaramucci’s use of expletives, I don’t think he fits into that category.

    • How old do jews and muslims believe the earth is. There are more of them than christians I think

      • Just using a random source, quickly verified by another for rough agreement:

        Estimates of the numbers of Jewish people alive today anywhere on Earth are 15,500,000 at the top end.
        But this number appears to use a very limited definition of who is a Jew. Is it an ethnic group, or a religion only?

        Christians are thought to number about one in three people in the world, and have in excess of 2 billion people who so identify. Say perhaps 2.4 billion out of 7.2 million.
        This number is said to be shrinking.
        I would not bet against them in a religious war.

        Muslims are thought to number around 1.6 billion and growing.

        The wild card is that places like China appear to have been excluded from this tally, and it does not match up well with my understanding of the numbers of people in India either.
        Buddhism may well be number 2 behind Christianity, but no one knows.

        See here:

        http://www.religioustolerance.org/worldrel.htm

        [commending other mod for diligence but this subject impossible to discuss without mentions of religions and minor discussion of details, so I’m releasing~ctm]

      • There are more Christians than Jews and Muslims combined. But most Jews and Christians agree that the earth is older than 5500 years. I don’t know about the majority of Muslims.

        [commending other mod for diligence but this subject impossible to discuss without mentions of religions and minor discussion of details, so I’m releasing~ctm]

      • But at current population growth and decline rates, Islam will surpass Christianity in number of adherents late in this century.

      • Me,

        My comment is an addition to a comment still in moderation, pointing out that Xians currently outnumber J’wish and M’slim populations combined.

      • “Me,

        My comment is an addition to a comment still in moderation, pointing out that Xians currently outnumber J’wish and M’slim populations combined.”

        Funny!
        I have one saying the same thing, also in moderation.

      • And I also pointed out that one is declining in number and the other increasing…that was the point my comment. I thought maybe you could somehow see what was in moderation.

      • Anyways my question still stands without an answer. Why are christians the only ones scorned for the young earth narrative, while the other main religions also believe that earth was created as it was told in the old testament.
        Because it is politically correct to attack christians but not other religions.
        Not whining Just an observation witnessed over and over again

      • Me,

        I can’t see what’s in moderation, but deduced your comments from those which were allowed.

        Mick,

        Christians aren’t singled out. The few Jewish fundamentalists and many Muslim fundamentalists who insist that the Bible and Koran take precedence over science are all equally subjected to well-deserved ridicule. The difference is that you might be beheaded for pointing out how laughably wrong the Koran is on all matters of science.

      • Why are comments still moderation after all this time?
        Not complaining, just wondering.
        Mick, the mount of scorn heaped o various groups or individuals is generally and roughly proportional to how vocally scorn-worthy views are presented.
        If one has dumb ideas but says little about them, probably no one else will either.

      • It seems that mine and Gloateus’s comments were not cleared because they are “deep down this road on religion”, but I was just quoting numbers of members of various major religions, to clear up what was a mistaken opinion of such.
        If that is the rulin’ so be it, but this thread is at it’s core based on some assertions in the MSM of a religious nature.
        Just sayin’.

  15. Is the actual news clip not available? Surely if this was true, it would be a major Facebook item. Can one request a clip from CNN?

  16. Predates me, but let’s face it, no one has a clue.
    The sooner scientists tell people they don’t know, that will do for me. Maybe “I don’t know” is the correct answer.

      • The casual way people add the odd billion years would tend to indicate that people in general and scientists in particular don’t know. After all, what’s a few billion years, no one can prove it one way or the other. It’s all just hand waving.

      • Casual way people add the odd billion years?
        What people?
        Not geologists.
        The probable age of the Earth has been gradually refined, and is arrived at by a convergence of indirect means, but it is far from casual, far from precise and far from chiseled in stone and immune to refinement.
        In fact, geology is one of the scientific fields of study that gives every skeptic very strong reason to be wary in general of claims of truth by consensus being a valid metric of objective reality.
        In my short lifetime, the idea that continents can move around on the Earth has gone from one that was scoffed at to widely accepted as the true.
        But there were some people who “knew” this to be true a long time ago.
        Aidan, I can tell…you have a very poor understanding of the scientific method and how it operates.

        Seriously.

    • Do you suppose that the physical laws of the universe have been the same over the history of the earth?
      That physical processes took about the same amount of time to occur?
      That water flowing over rock eroded it at the same rate a long time ago as it does now.
      That lava cooled at the same rate?
      That crystals took the same amount of time to form?
      That glaciers carved into valleys the same way they do now?

      If you examine sediments and look at varves, or if you look at ice cores and see what appear to be annual layers, can it be taken as extremely likely that the oldest ones represent a year, just as the new ones do?
      No idea?
      Guess again.
      I can tell you one thing, if you do not believe in our understanding of the physical laws of nature, you are a very brave person if you ever set foot on a jet plane, or rode in an elevator to the top of a tall building.
      And you have to be crazy if you think that the person you are speaking to in another country on your cell phone is really a human being communicating at the speed of light from around the curve of the Earth by using satellites who have had the relativistic effects of their velocity and their position compensated for.

      If the stuff that science has led us to believe was hooey and hokum…none of our devices would work as they do.

      • We developed the idea of radio waves, then tested it.
        You can assemble the various parts, flip on the power supply, and reliably broadcast radio waves.

        All of that is in the present. It is a different matter to claim we know what happened 4 billion years ago. we can take what we do know, about radiation, gravity, etc., and make a best case argument, but it is not disprovable by observation, so it is outside the realm of being scientifically confirmed. Much better than hand-waving, but not science. As I noted above: logic and reason.

      • People who have an education i these sciences know what the basis for the determinations of age are.
        The question of whether radioactive decay proceeded at the same rate four billion years ago as it does today is a valid one…and perhaps someday it will be found that one or more of the four fundamental forces changes in value over time.
        It is not logical or reasonable to dismiss entire fields of scientific endeavor based on the vague notion that we do not know what happened four billion years ago. It is obvious to me, and probably to anyone else here who has studied geology and Earth history in great detail, that you do not know of what you speak.
        You redefine definitions to suite some unspoken agenda, that much is obvious.
        But that is no surprise, and nothing new.
        Democrats seem to have a penchant, and a need, to do so.
        But that does not make anything you are saying reasonable, or logical, or most importantly…true.
        You are incorrect.
        More broadly…you do not know what the hell you are talking about.

    • The age of the earth and solar system is merely a measurement. Dating the solar system by radiometric means arrives at the same conclusion as by the physics of the sun.

      The degree of precision is high. It’s not an estimate of a billion here or there, but of ten million. Is it closer to 4.54 billion or 4.55 billion years?

      Scientists are right to say that they know the age of the solar system with acceptable precision.

      The Mooch clearly was referring to human history in the strict sense of recorded documents, in writing, not to the geologic history of the planet.

    • Aidan: You have insulted scientists everywhere and have been and will continue to be chastised. Certainty is demanded in science, whether it’s real or not. “I don’t know” is totally unacceptable and acknowledging any limitations will get you vilified for life. I’m not sure why—”I don’t know” seems like a good answer. Overcertainty and insistance that one knows what one cannot know seems kind of unscientific. Yet, it’s definately demanded by those who practice science. They KNOW. Don’t you dare suggest otherwise.

      • This “precision” is mostly a fable.
        There are plenty of empirical tests where some fossil was broken, up, and different parts sent to different labs, with the labs giving wildly differing dates. <–THIS is replicable.

        Here at WUWT, I once saw a comment that, once we had moon rocks from our first trips to the moon, the rocks were divided up among many labs, so that many could benefit from the opportunity, and that the age of the moon ended up having a wildly diverse range of findings.

        This was declared, with a science journal noted as the source of the story. I ordered that journal form Ebay, and saw for myself that circa 1969 the age of the moon was guesstimated by many, and there were as many ages as there were guessers.

        "Oh, that was then, this is now. We are much better." I call bull-cocky.

        http://science.sciencemag.org/content/167/3918

      • Are you joking? You and thelastdemocrat should understand: Science welcomes correction, amplification, clarification, refinement. Because scientists did not accept the theory of plate tectonics, and then were gradually convinced by evidence, is a beautiful example of a SUCCESS of the scientific method.

        There have been all KINDS of improvements in techniques for dating the age of the Earth and the Universe. You should really go read up on the subject. It is a fascinating example of human ingenuity.

      • As always, you demonstrate utter ignorance in your statements.
        Fossils are dated by dating the layer in which they are found. There is no known method to date the fossils themselves.
        There are a number of different methods for dating layers.

      • Markw: I’m sure someone will beat me to it, but fossils themselves can absolutely be dated through various techniques. The clearest discussion I’ve come across is a chapter in Dawkins’ book “The Greatest Show on Earth.”

      • Mark,

        Fossils can also be directly dated in absolute terms both from radiometric techniques, paleomagnetism and other methods.

      • Sheri,
        Certainty is not demanded in science.
        What is required is evidence.
        When such evidence exists, there yet remain some, often many, who know nothing of it.
        Such people seem quite content in their notknowingness.
        Great.
        Good for them. Ignorance is bliss they say.
        Some of us like to know things, and so we study, and we read, and we seek to understand what is known, what the limits of such knowledge are, to learn of the certainties, the degrees of such certainly, as well as the lack thereof.
        But now we seem to be entering a time where those who choose to remain factless and ignorant wish to enforce their ignorance on others…to dispute that anything is knowable, to mock those who endeavor to ascertain knowledge, to ridicule such knowledge.
        And, here is the real kicker…to do so while pretending to know what they are talking about!
        But all the while demonstrating their ignorance by their every utterance.
        Are you even dimly aware of the psychological projection dripping from your inane and sarcastic proclamations?

      • TLD,
        I posted on WUWT about James H Morrison’s paper on disparities between the best analytical labs in the world analysing soil from the Apollo 11 moon landing.
        It was to show how people might have talked up the capabilities of their favourite labs. There were important lessons learned, then often forgotten.
        Climate research is unfortunately lacking learning from that example and others and is slack about proper estimates of error. Not all of it, some authors get it, but it is part of the tragic way that climate science has degraded all science by its poor performance. Regrettable.
        Geoff

  17. From Wikipedia: “History (from Greek ἱστορία, historia, meaning “inquiry, knowledge acquired by investigation”)[2] is the study of the past as it is described in written documents.[3][4] Events occurring before written record are considered prehistory.”

    How complicated is this?

    • Reading an entry from wikipedia is not the as the definition of the word.
      Wikipedia is not a dictionary, it is an encyclopedia, as we all know.
      Apparently you never noticed the disambiguation page, not even for the link you cited:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_(disambiguation)

      There are many usages of words such as history…or to keep it specific, many usages of the word history.
      The Earth also has a history, as do I, as does our country, etc.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_(disambiguation)

      And this:

      his-to-ry
      [his-tuh-ree, his-tree]
      noun, plural histories.
      1. the branch of knowledge dealing with past events.

      2. a continuous, systematic narrative of past events as relating to a particular people, country, period, person, etc., usually written as a chronological account; chronicle:
      a history of France; a medical history of the patient.

      3. the aggregate of past events

      4.the record of past events and times, especially in connection with the human race.

      5. a past notable for its important, unusual, or interesting events:
      a ship with a history.

      6. acts, ideas, or events that will or can shape the course of the future; immediate but significant happenings:
      Firsthand observers of our space program see history in the making.

      7. a systematic account of any set of natural phenomena without particular reference to time:

      http://www.dictionary.com/browse/history

      • Nicely stated. So you will do as I have been taught by the harassment police may happen in the modern corporate culture: Pick the definition you prefer to use to abuse the speaker, not the definition he would use? Hearing is not listening, you can impose your own interpretation to what is said. People are fired for some dubious interpretation for the meaning of the words they speak. You will notice that even your quoted list of definitions repeatedly reference writing or observations. Both of a HUMAN context. Both need to be “recorded”. Recording requires a method. That method is the written language. That written language is roughly 5500 years old.

        So what was your point? That Scaramucci did not use history as he meant to use it, and that you or the author of the ridiculous piece referenced in this post. Are were you just trying to make it complicated?

        I went back to read through your posts, pretty much pedantic:
        https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/pedantic
        didactic / pedantic. … Pedantic means “like a pedant,” someone who’s too concerned with literal accuracy or formality. It’s a negative term that implies someone is showing off book learning or trivia, especially in a tiresome way.
        ‎Personification · ‎Pensive · ‎Peculiar · ‎Petulant
        I provided this so you would not misinterpret my meaning.

      • “You will notice that even your quoted list of definitions repeatedly reference writing or observations. Both of a HUMAN context. Both need to be “recorded”. ”

        Not exactly.
        History can refer to the written record of past events…or it can simply refer to past events.

        Note number 3: the aggregate of past events.
        Or 5: a past notable for its important, unusual, or interesting events.
        Or 6: acts, ideas, or events that will or can shape the course of the future; immediate but significant happenings
        History can refer to the future too!

        I almost never choose to be pedantic about words, but there are a large number of comments that want to strongly make the point that history refers only to what is written or recorded.
        Clearly that is not the case.
        The Earth has a history, and it had one before anyone was around to study it or write it down.
        The first one: 1: the branch of knowledge dealing with past events.

        You are wrong Drake Cherry.

      • “So what was your point?”

        My point was that an encyclopedia is not a dictionary, and words have multiple meanings and common usage often refers to history as the events themselves. Nothing to do with written records.
        In short, my point was exactly what I said.
        If I had a broader point, i would have made it.
        But now I see that you have proceeded to choose to denigrate me.
        What was your point?

    • it is utterly WRONG, have we NOT written about the very beginnings of this earth????? that is WRITTEN by humans referring to the very beginning…..the earth forming from the circulating material is WRITTEN…….to claim that the word history does NOT refer to the entire past is rather silly…….

      • To claim he meant what you think he meant is rather silly. To claim you are the arbiter of the definition of prehistory is quite honestly ridiculous. Now you are making ME become pedantic. Sorry, that is Menicholas’ job. I will leave it to him to explain how you, and probably I, am wrong.

        BTW, I have read other posts noting this article should not have been posted on WUWT. After seeing the posts of Bill Taylor I must agree.

      • ty for your lame personal attack……..i looked under synonyms and found “past” my POINT is the term prehistory is saying there is something before history that is NOT in the past rather silly isnt it? pre recorded history is accurate and describes the time before humans started writing it down, but it remains in the PAST and is history that was unrecorded and much of it has since been recorded….the dinosaurs as a prime example using your definition the dinosaurs didnt exist because we were there to record seeing them, but now we SEE they did exist and have seen the proof so the history of the dinosaurs ended far more than 5500 years ago……..

      • The truth is very simple, Scaramucci misspoke…he said one thing and meant another, and he corrected himself seconds later.
        It is a nonstory.
        There is no need to make stuff up, or to go to some great length to try and prove that the word history means the past 5500 years only.
        Who does it mean that to?
        No one, except maybe a literary historian.
        If he did not misspeak, he would not have corrected himself.
        But you are defending his misspoken words tooth and nail.
        Give it a rest.
        BTW, it is pretty funny you called me pedantic after quoting the Greek spelling of a word, as if that mattered and had any bearing.
        Drake Cherry…You so funny!

  18. That’s as ignorant as believing that having one CO2 molecule in 2500 molecules of air will override all other factors, including variations in the blazing star in the sky, and cook earth to a cinder.

    • Richard

      Quote that one at the party faithful and they go off on a rant about bacteria killing us at lower concentrations. A self replicating organism, mind, Vs a beneficial, non self replicating gas. But no matter, it turns out CO2 is endowed with the properties of bacteria now.

      Who knew?

  19. The true issue here has nothing whatsoever to do with what Scaramucci thinks about science, or the age of the earth, or climate. The true issue is an issue of engineering. And, the engineering questions involve using the right procedures, the right tools, and the right equipment to …

    …properly drain a swamp.

    Now, if someone doesn’t want a dank, festering, malaria infested, steaming, fetid swamp drained (since they happen to be a parasite for whom the swamp is its natural habitat); but merely wants to appear as if they want the swamp drained (so as to fool the advocates of the drainage), then they’re going to claim that the right tools for the job are actually the wrong tools.

    Now, never having undertaken a swamp drainage before I simply cannot make a claim as to whether the Scaramucci tool is the right tool for the job.

    But, the more I see him rejected by the swamp creatures the more I’m inclined to believe that maybe he is.

    There is one thing, however, that I think transcends mere belief and enters the realm of fact. DJ Trump will either go down as one of the finest, most consequential Presidents this Nation has ever had; or, he will go down as a complete disaster.

    • If he fails it will be because of the reason you cite, Tom Judd…swamp creatures done him in.
      But I will not concede it will be a failure.
      If nothing else, he has shown many for who they are.
      Like who, one may ask”
      The Republican never Trumpers? We now see them for who they really are.
      The R’s who voted for repealing Obamacare when it did not matter and they knew it, but refuse to do so now that is does matter?
      He has revealed the insanity of entire quadrants of our society.
      He has deposed the two leading political crime families.
      The list is long.

      • same dog, different collar…worked us like fools…had us waving our little red or blue flags like it mattered

  20. Earth’s history is about 5000 years. This is why we use the word “prehistoric” when referring to periods earlier than this. (“prehistoric”, “before history”)

    • So I have a comment in moderation from 9:53, a quote from Wikipedia of the definition of history also referencing prehistory. His statement was exactly correct, history, that is defined as the written record, goes back approximately 5500 years. I didn’t know that specific time frame until I researched the same due to this fake news. The apparent beginning of writing was 3400 BC, giving 5400 years as the possible beginning of history.
      CNN and the other fake news outlets are in trouble when dealing with individuals such as Scaramucci who are so well educated.

  21. Well, obviously the author of this story believes historians were present at the formation of the earth.

    I think this is major news and everybody at the magazine should be asked questions about why they believe this, how the magazine as a whole came to this, what scientific proof they have for this, and if the magazine should be be closed down if they are in error since they have no credibility on any subject and are intentionally lying to the American people.

  22. Good thing Scaramucci didn’t opine that he didn’t think that counseling that ends in hormone therapy and major invasive surgery is necessarily the right approach to human sexuality. Then the left would be able to stand there in their very nicest B&D storm trooper hats and black garter belts and denounce him as clearly the most bat shit crazy fundamentalist they could imagine.

  23. If the climate creeps couldn’t lie about those they hate they would have nothing at all to say.

  24. Dr. gina loudon a frequent guest on fox DOES think the earth is only 6000 years old……i confronted her on that on her show a week after she came on the air in b’ham about a week later the station dropped her show…….also there is a pretty large group that do now claim the earth is flat.

      • Bill, you made the claim that it was a large number. It’s up to you to back that up, it’s not up to anyone else to prove the claims you make.

      • I have seen evidence in FB posts that there are flat earthers gaining steam, but I am not ay all convinced they it is not a form of organized trolling.
        I make no claim of the numbers, but it would not surprise me if it was tons of people (and that could be gross metric tons, short tons, tons as in vernacular usage meaning a lot of something, etc.).
        Hell, if 5% of people believe Elvis is still alive, or that UFOs stole their gonads during medical experimentation following being kidnapped by them, or that Earth is well on it’s way to becoming a scalding cauldron of sulfuric acid, and two degrees is the difference between a freezer and an oven…well…”dat Earf is flat, yo!” does not surprise me ‘t all.

      • Personally, I think flat earthers are just trolls. If they really believe that, I have no response to that. Here, for your entertainment is Flat Earth Theory – Ultra Spiritual Life episode 39 by J. P. Sears.

  25. I suggest everyone read “The Smear” authored by Sharyl Attkisson if you want to know how fake news is generated and used to attempt to discredit political opposition.

  26. the definition of history is the past……there is no such thing as “prehistory” that is claiming there is something before history that is NOT in the past makes no sense……there is a period of pre RECORDED history.

    • That really depends on what the definition of IS is. And what the definition of “history” is. See my post at 09:53 am. Unlike you I did give a reference. Wiki is not great, but I do not accept YOUR definition of history or prehistory for that matter. I will accept Wiki’s. And Scaramucci’s use IS correct.

      • i responded and hope you can grasp your claim is it didnt happen if humans wernt around to record and that is NOT part of the “history” of this earth the using the term prehistory says the stuff that happened before humans wrote it down is NOT history ………..truth add ONE word and it makes sense pre RECORDED history is sensible…prehistory is idiotic

  27. Mooch needs better climate talking points. Especially about the 97% consensus CNN tried to pull off. Climate changes, yes. CO2 a greenhouse gas, yes. AGW? Maybe but no consensus about how much because of thenattributiin problem. CAGW? Only in provably wrong models.

    • Most politicians could use better talking points on climate change. It won’t keep the MSM from vilifying and mocking them, but it might help those listening to understand the issues.

  28. And now for something completely different.

    The fundamental premise of the atmospheric greenhouse theory is that the earth is 33 C warmer with an atmosphere (288 K) than without (255 K).

    This is incorrect.

    Any object at the earth’s orbital distance in the path of the sun’s expanding photosphere of 1,368 W/m^2 will be exposed to an equivalent radiative temperature of 394 K, 121 C, 250 F.

    At 394 K the oceans boil away, the molten core floods the surface with dark magma, a steady rain of meteorites pulverizes the surface to dust. No clouds, no vegetation, no snow, no ice and a completely different albedo. The earth becomes much like the moon with a similar albedo (0.12) and a radiative equilibrium temperature of 382 K, 94 C hotter than with an atmosphere.

    The earth’s atmosphere and albedo do not keep the earth warm, they keep it cool.

      • Hugs,

        1,368 is divided by 4 to spread it equally over the ToA. Makes things simple AND WRONG!!!!

        Round, yes. Rotatous’ got squat to do with it. If you look at solar panel engineering tables and NASA actual solar incident that hits ToA ranges from 1,368 W/m^2 directly below the sun to zero at the poles

        Trenberth et al 2011jcli24 Figure 10

        This popular balance graphic and assorted variations are based on a power flux, W/m^2. A W is not energy, but energy over time, i.e. 3.4 Btu/eng h or 3.6 kJ/SI h. The 342 W/m^2 ISR is determined by spreading the average discular 1,368 W/m^2 solar irradiance/constant over the spherical ToA surface area. (1,368/4 =342) There is no consideration of the elliptical orbit (perihelion = 1,415 W/m^2 to aphelion = 1,323 W/m^2) or day or night or seasons or tropospheric thickness or energy diffusion due to oblique incidence, etc. This popular balance models the earth as a ball suspended in a hot fluid with heat/energy/power entering evenly over the entire ToA spherical surface. This is not even close to how the real earth energy balance works. Everybody uses it. Everybody should know better.

        An example of a real heat balance based on Btu/h is as follows. Basically (Incoming Solar Radiation spread over the earth’s cross sectional area, Btu/h) = (U*A*dT et. al. leaving the lit side perpendicular to the spherical surface ToA, Btu/h) + (U*A*dT et. al. leaving the dark side perpendicular to spherical surface area ToA, Btu/h) The atmosphere is just a simple HVAC/heat flow/balance/insulation problem.

        Over 3,400!! (up 1,600 since 6/9) views on my WriterBeat papers which were also sent to the ME departments of several prestigious universities (As a BSME & PE felt some affinity.) and a long list of pro/con CAGW personalities and organizations.

        NOBODY has responded explaining why my methods, calculations and conclusions in these papers are incorrect. BTW that is called SCIENCE!!

        SOMEBODY needs to step up and ‘splain my errors ‘cause if I’m correct (Q=UAdT runs the atmospheric heat engine) – that’s a BIGLY problem for RGHE.

        Step right up! Bring science.

        http://writerbeat.com/articles/14306-Greenhouse—We-don-t-need-no-stinkin-greenhouse-Warning-science-ahead-

        http://writerbeat.com/articles/15582-To-be-33C-or-not-to-be-33C

        http://writerbeat.com/articles/16255-Atmospheric-Layers-and-Thermodynamic-Ping-Pong

      • Thank you Hugs.
        A fairly glaring error in the calculation, and one which has been pointed out repeatedly.
        For what happens sans air or water, just look at the moon, although it rotates far more slowly.

      • Dividing by 4 comes from spreading the 1,368 over the entire spherical ToA. A sphere of r has 4 times the area of a disc of r. Rotation doesn’t figure into it. And this model isn’t close to reality.

        https://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2001/ast21mar_1/

        “Without thermal controls, the temperature of the orbiting Space
        Station’s Sun-facing side would soar to 250 degrees F (121 C), while
        thermometers on the dark side would plunge to minus 250 degrees F
        (-157 C). There might be a comfortable spot somewhere in the middle of
        the Station, but searching for it wouldn’t be much fun!”

        121 C plus 273 C = 394 K Ta-dahhh!!!!!

        As would anything exposed and naked, i.e w/o albedo or atmosphere, aka earth.

      • Hotscot

        To the incoming energy the earth effectively appears to be a pizza!

        To the outgoing energy the earth is a sphere.

      • Spreading the average solar irradiance power flux of 1,368 W/m^2 over the entire ToA to get 342 W/m^2 ISR as in the K-T et. al. diagrams is just totally bogus.

        Spreading it over the lit hemi-sphere to get 684 W/m^2 average is equally useless.

        Attached is a proper model of the solar irradiance impinging on horizontal 10° bands/surfaces over the lit hemi-sphere.

        Spreadsheet on request.
        Spherical cap = 2 π r h r = 6,371 km
        h = sine ϴ 6,371
        incident to horizontal surface = cosine ϴ * 1,368

        A copy of the diagram can be found in a thread on Tony’s site.

        https://realclimatescience.com/2017/07/climate-science-the-fact-and-data-free-science/

      • I confess that I am not entirely clear on exactly what it is you are saying…what your cetral theme and main conclusion of all of this is.
        And, also, I had you mixed up with someone else when i made my comment above.

      • “To the incoming energy the earth effectively appears to be a pizza!”

        As far as the energy balance of the Earth goes, I do not think it matters to the Earth what it appears like to someone far away, but rather how much energy is impinging on each place at each time, during daylight hours.

  29. Maybe he was pointing at the “science” of Holocene and Anthropocene and the Planet B of Nay…:)

    I will not be surprised that according to such “science” we may have to consider, rather sooner than later, “seriously”, a Universe” B too, no more than 6K years old……and than we will have the actual expected sink of the Universe with the multiverse theory, where all revolves around the man’s stupidity, literally…..

    That will be very interesting……..

    cheers

  30. Since Mr. Watts has left town,
    there seem to be more articles here than before.

    For a moment I thought this blog was running more
    efficiently with Mr. Watts gone … until I realized having
    more articles is not better.

    This article is one that should not have passed the editor,
    unless a $50 bill was stapled ti it.

    It appears that the “inmates” have taken over this “asylum”
    — and while the cat’s away, the mice will play …
    and any other tired old saying that fits!

    Mtr. Watts will go down in the history of science
    as one of the leaders of the eventually successful
    fight against “modern” climate science,
    where beneficial CO2 is claimed to be evil by junk scientists.

    Watt’s “The SurfaceStations.org project” effort will reserve his
    rightful place in real climate science history … even if he decides to
    spend the rest of his life on a bar stool surrounded by native girls.

    There needs to be more articles rejected here,
    to reduce the number of new articles
    and thereby increase the overall quality of the new articles.

    This article is too close to being a waste of bandwidth
    on a climate science blog, in my opinion.

    We don’t need to learn more about fake news here,
    especially using an example not concerning the climate.

    We climate change skeptics are the world’s EXPERTS on fake news!

    The “consensus” government bureaucrat climate “science” of wild guess predictions
    of the future climate, and claiming a runaway warming catastrophe has been in progress
    since 1975, has been FAKE NEWS for over 30 years !

    The coming global warming catastrophe is the ORIGINAL fake news!

    The claim that humans can predict the future climate,
    while knowing very little about what causes climate change,
    is the biggest fake news story / hoax in recorded history.

    Recorded history goes back about 5,000 to 5,500 years.

    History before that is missing because wild packs of dogs ate all the papers.

    There are older cave wall drawings, but without words they can be confusing,
    and misinterpreted. On the Ancient Aliens TV show the cave drawings always
    seem to have drawings of aliens in there somewhere!
    How do we know the cavemen didn’t do that as a prank?

    Prior to recorded history is Prehistoric.
    Prehistory is the period of human activity
    between the use of the first stone tools ~3.3 million years ago
    and the invention of writing systems,
    the earliest of which appeared ~5300 years ago.

    Climate blog for non-scientists:
    www/elOnionBloggle.Blogspot.com

    • It really is funny how upset people get whenever this site dares to publish something that they personally aren’t interested in.

    • I have noted a somewhat altered brand of trolling on this story, and a somewhat different suite of trolls.
      Meh!

  31. If he is a christian believer then I wouldn’t be surprised that he thinks the earth is only 5.500 years old.
    I read somewhere that a big % of schools in the US teach about creationism, he probably grew up in those schools.

    • You read wrong.

      It is illegal in the US for public schools to teach creationism in science classes, as a violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution, which prohibits state establishment of a religion.

      Creationism is a false religious belief, not a scientific theory, so cannot be taught in public schools. Most private schools also don’t teach creationism, and if any did, it wouldn’t be accredited.

      The legal definition of science in the US requires naturalism, ie supernatural explanations are not scientific.

      • Gloateus unwittingly reveals the truth: there is science, a process for ascertaining knowledge, and then there is naturalism, a belief system that requires you accept the tenet that there is no such thing as the supernatural, and any theory that defies that rule is heresy, and is not acceptable for contemplation.

      • Nope.

        Got it all wrong, buddy.

        Science doesn’t say that there is no such thing as the supernatural, just that it isn’t a part of science, which by definition cannot and does not look for supernatural explanations. Only natural explanations are scientific. “Naturalism” isn’t an anti-religious philosophy, but part of the scientific method.

        Why is that hard to grasp?

        That supernatural explanations aren’t scientific is the law of the land in the US, and everywhere else is key to the scientific method.

      • Gloateus: There is “natural” and “naturalism”—one refers to the physical universe, the other to a religious belief. The religious belief teaches that the physical universe is the whole, that there are no spirits or gods. Naturalism is just as religious as some branches of Buddhism that are atheistic.

        Scientific method is designed to deal with the natural (physical) universe, it has nothing to do with naturalism.

      • Whenever someone brings up the supernatural, along the lines of implying that if we do not currently have an explanation for a phenomenon, it must not exist or be possible to exist, I think of Arthur Clarke, and what he has to say about magic. It is the third of his Three Laws:

        “British science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke formulated three adages that are known as Clarke’s three laws, of which the third law is the best known and most widely cited:
        1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
        2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
        3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clarke's_three_laws

    • Scaramucci is an ivy league educated person, and Roman Catholic, and a successful trader.
      Each of which makes it unlikely to some degree that he is a miseducated person.
      Taken together they make it highly unlikely.
      But we also have his own words…he is not.
      I know of him from watching Fast Money on CNBC for years and years…he is no dummy.

    • It never ceases to amaze me how little people know about the beliefs of others.
      Yet they will continue to pontificate on such matters till the cows come home.

      • I am not one of the “little people” that you mentioned, but if I was I would be offended.
        ………
        See how easy it is to take some innocent words to stupid meanings?
        Maybe you supported the post unwittingly. Nice one. Geoff

  32. As long as the man can do something about the communication issue, and especially the leaks, he could say that the Sun is blue for all I care.

  33. This is a terrible story. If he actually said the words, “throughout the 5,500-year history of our planet” then that indicates to me he thinks the world is 5,500 years old.

    Did he say those words or not? Your article seems like it is trying to deny he said it but without actually denying he said it.

    If he said it, I think it’s indefensible, other than maybe to say he misspoke – maybe he meant to say billion. So you can’t really defend it, and you haven’t done a very good job of defending it.

    • The words do not appear in the CNN interview, as it currently exists on CNN’s website. The CNN interview is the source for the claim the he believes the Earth is 5,500 years old. This is the link to the CNN interview provided in the Forbes article…

      http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/14/politics/anthony-scaramucci-climate-change/index.html

      According to some of the comments, the longer version of the video went something like this…

      Xeno July 29, 2017 at 8:50 am
      Yes, it seems so:

      CUOMO: You said you don’t know. I’m saying the scientific community does.

      SCARAMUCCI: But you’re saying that you do, and you’re saying the scientific community knows, and I’m saying people have gotten things wrong throughout the 5,500-year history of our planet.
      In a longer cut of the video, however, it does appear that Scaramucci said “or I should say human history” to himself as Cuomo was speaking. In a later tweet, Scaramucci said that he accepts 4.5 billion years for the age of the Earth. In a response for clarification on what Scaramucci meant by his 5,500 year comment, he provided us with the following response:

      Was referring to well-recorded human history. Cuomo understood what I was saying but the segment was ending.
      Many anthropologists and historians would agree with Scaramucci on this final point. The written historical record is generally thought to begin at around that time with advent of Sumerian cuneiform tablets, which is roughly in line with his assertion that 5,500 years referred to written human history.

      The only portion of our planet’s history for which there is a record of “people have gotten things wrong” covers about 5,500 years.

      There is no rational way to claim that Scaramucci said that the Earth was 5,500 years old.

    • Ok, so you are back. Do you have any evidence to back up your assertion that a large group of people believe the world is flat?

      • why are you afraid to take a look for yourself????? demanding some link shows maybe YOU dont grasp there can be anything on earth written put on the net and linked to????

      • As always, make a stupid claim, then demand that others prove you wrong.
        Trolls are so predictable.
        Nicholas, that’s one bunch of what a dozen people. There’s over 300 million in the US.
        From the impression I’ve gotten of the various flat earth societies, they consider the whole thing a joke. Like a lot of juvenile types, they just enjoy getting a rise out of others.

      • I agree…it is a form of organized trolling, or just jokesters making light of gullible people.
        But keep in mind what is found to be the case during various “Man on the street” interviews with random passersby being asked simple questions of a factual nature.
        Even when done on the campuses of prestigious Universities, the things that people do not know, as well as the erroneous beliefs and the things most are found to be highly knowledgeable about, almost uniformly and shockingly reveal a woeful and tragic lack of general knowledge.
        Regarding specific knowledge of a technical or scientific nature…there are a lot of complete dopes wandering about.

      • Just look at how easily many have been led to believe that our ice-age having planet is in mortal danger form a slight increase in temp.
        And that the single trace gas that is the basic feedstock of the entire biosphere is actually a deadly pollutant that must be eliminated.
        How surprising is it that many of the people who know more about the latest Kardashian imbroglio than about how it is that they can breathe, may suppose that any particular fact is in error.
        The Earth being a rapidly rotating sphere is not an intuitive notion…you need to know some stuff to understand it.

  34. They should also point out that according to CNN, 5,500 years is a massive increase in the age of the planet; several times they have referred to a time period of less than 200 years as encompassing the entire history of the planet.

    “Mercury rising: India records its highest temperature ever” – May 2016

    CNN meteorologist, Chad Myers “The old highest, highest temperature ever was 122, didn’t break that but close enough, really.” Aired June 20, 2016 Oddly enough, he followed that up with “If you could feel the difference between 118 and 122, you are better than me.”, showing that 2 degrees Celsius isn’t significant.

  35. Consensus = BS = irrefutable facts = NOT science!!

    Consensus was simple observation that the sun orbits the earth – but consensus was wrong.

    Consensus was simple observation that Vulcan orbited between Mercury and the sun – but consensus was wrong.

    Consensus It was simple observation that life occurred from spontaneous generation – but consensus was wrong.

    Consensus was simple observation that the earth was expanding – but consensus was wrong.

    Consensus was simple observation that combustible objects contained phlogiston – but consensus was wrong.

    Consensus was simple observation that water filled canals existed on Mars – but consensus was wrong.

    Consensus was simple observation that light propagated through luminiferous aether – but consensus was wrong. (Thanks Al E.)

    Consensus was simple observation that people were blank slates, tabula rasa, at birth – but that consensus was wrong.

    Consensus was simple observation that people could be analyzed from their bumpy heads, phrenology – but consensus was wrong.

    Consensus was simple observation that the universe was static – but consensus was wrong.
    It’s a simple observation that Fleischmann and Pons’s cold fusion apparatus puts out more energy than it takes in – but it’s wrong.

    It’s a simple observation to point an IR instrument at the sky and measure hundreds of W/m^2 of downwelling radiation – but it’s wrong and clearly violates thermodynamics.

    If this incorrect application and interpretation of IR instrumentation is all that “proves” “downwelling” radiation, then that is bupkis.

    Guess where GHG/RGHE “consensus” theory is headed?

    http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-most-famous-scientific-theories-that-turned-out-to-be-wrong.php

  36. He was obviously defining a year to be the half-life of bismuth-208. Its being reported he consulted with Bill “Depends on the definition of is” Clinton. After all, politicians never lie do they?

  37. In one of my geophysics courses eons ago we were discussing Pangaea. A girl raised her hand and asked, “It wasn’t called Pangaea back then, was it?”

    (In that same afternoon, as we discussed continental collision and uplift, she topped that one with, “Well, if Everest is getting higher, what’s the point of climbing it?”)

  38. off topic

    this post got me really hopeful that WUWT was going to highlight contributor names in the summary and provide a brief bio.

    Turns out that was forbes right? But think about it. I often get confused who is posting when seeing the stories on the main page.

    • Good point.

      The author of the Forbes article is a young geologist, Trevor Nace. The article has a link to a brief bio.

      The author of this post, is an old geologist. I have been a geoscientist in the evil oil industry for a bit over 36 years. I have a BS in Earth Science (Geology concentration) and I minored in Mathematics.

  39. CNN’s credibility couldn’t get much worse, but it wouldn’t hurt them at all to repeat the phrase ‘geologic time’ a couple of hundred thousand times.

  40. After the 8 years of baloney that we read about Oh Bummer, I am now very skeptical of anything written about “history”.

  41. Well, technically, he is exactly right.
    The pyramids, for example, were built in right around 2500 BC, and the first parts beginning Stonehenge (UK) are also that old, as are a few buildings in Mesopotamia. So we know absolutely that the earth is more than 5500 years old right now.

    Anything earlier than that is speculation and estimates. Informed speculation and theories no doubt, but “merely” theories. 8<)

  42. FYI On my shelf is a book I used in college called “People of the Earth: An introduction to world prehistory” 9th edition, by Brian M Fagan. On page 7, in a section titled “Science,” I found this sentence: “Historical records can be used to date the past only as far back as the beginnings of writing and written records, which first appeared in Southwest Asia at about 3,000 B.C. and much later in many other parts of the world.”

  43. Even if he did believe the earth was only 5500 years old. So what. He’s the freaking Communications Director, not the science adviser.

    • Funny how they never said a single word about the whacked out ideas of the previous administration’s actual science advisor, eh Mark?
      One could fill a very long and very funny but ultimately tragic and shocking book about the crap that moron has spewed out over the past five decades.

  44. History began with the invention of writing. They don’t teach that in high school anymore? From Merriam-Webster dictionary:
    History – a branch of knowledge that records and explains past events
    And how do humans record events? Clue: Not by storytelling

    But the Flat Earth Society is a modern myth. There was never a consensus that earth is flat, at least since circa 500 BC. The ancient Pythagoreans believed the world is round. By the time of Columbus, all educated Europeans believed the world is round. The debate was never about the shape of the world. It was about the size of the world, which Columbus intentionally underestimated to get the King’s financial support for his historic voyage.

    • The flat earth is not a myth. Early Church Fathers insisted on it, because the Bible is clearly and unambiguously a flat earth document, in both Testaments, remarkably, given pagan science in Hellenistic time.

      But by about AD 400 Augustine urged that the Church abandon biblical literalism in order to propagate the faith among educated pagans. Subsequently, the Church abandoned the biblical flat earth in favor of pagan geocentrism, in which earth is spherical, but lies motionless at the center of the universe. That was close enough to the Bible for the Late Empire Church.

      • There was never a flat earth consensus. The ancients Greeks were not that dumb. The Flat Earth Society myth originated with Bugs Bunny and perpetuated by AGW alarmists

      • Gloateus: you made a statement without attribution nor evidence.

        Do we understand the universe through form, or through function?

        The ancient Greeks defined the universe through form.

        The Bible understood the universe through function, using forms as illustrations of function. It was people using Greek philosophy who bastardized the Biblical message to claim a flat earth. An example of the differences is found here:

        https://www.amazon.com/Hebrew-Thought-Compared-Greek-Thorleif/product-reviews/0393005348/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_viewopt_rvwer?ie=UTF8&filterByStar=four_star&reviewerType=all_reviews&pageNumber=1#reviews-filter-bar

        Bottom of the page.

        Modern science was invented during the Reformation as people returned to Biblical thinking. Today we’re seeing a return to medieval “science” and I see the AGW crowd as one group trying to turn the clock back to before the Reformation.

      • As far as the Flat Earth theme, Steven Jay Gould, a palentologist who also did a course in the history of science, attributed the theme to Washington Irving in a biography of Columbus. It was totally bogus, as the opponents to Columbus actually doubted his geography as to how far away the Indies were from Europe, not the shape of the earth. Gould mostly attributed the persistence of the theme as an anti-Catholic libel.

      • Richard,

        You could not possibly be more wrong.

        Sorry, but your form/function distinction is nonsense. There is no science in the Bible whatsoever. It is entirely a collection of prescientific documents, remarkably in both Testaments, given the great advances in Hellenistic science by the first century AD.

        Modern science did indeed begin during the Reformation, as you say, but not because of a return to biblical thinking. It began in AD 1543 by rejecting ancient authority, both of the Bible and Aristotle. Both the Catholic Church and Martin Luther were geocentrists, on the basis of the Bible and pagan scientists. Luther cited the same passages as the Church, such as Joshua stopping the sun and moon.

        The least little bit of research on your part would have shown that Early Church Fathers were flat-earthers, because that is clearly the case in the Bible. Both Testaments. The texts they cited are the same as those mentioned by flat earthers today. From the ESV:

        Job 38:13

        That it might take hold of the skirts of the earth, and the wicked be shaken out of it?

        Psalm 65:5

        By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness, O God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas;

        (Many other passages in Deuteronomy, the Psalms, Samuel, Nehemiah, etc. speak of the ends of the earth. The Hebrew word “ends” means “boundary” as well, and is often thus translated. http://biblehub.com/str/hebrew/7099.htm)

        Daniel 4:10-11

        The visions of my head as I lay in bed were these: I saw, and behold, a tree in the midst of the earth, and its height was great. The tree grew and became strong, and its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the end of the whole earth.

        Matthew 4:8

        Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.

        Revelation 1:7

        Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.

        Revelation 7:1

        After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, that no wind might blow on earth or sea or against any tree.

        The Early Church Fathers were indeed flat-earthers. Augustine’s own belief is a matter of debate (see below), but he did argue for not insisting on a literal interpretation of the Bible, since it hindered the propagation of the faith among educated pagans.

        Lactantius (c. AD 250 – c. 325), Christian author and adviser to Emperor Constantine, who legalized Christianity in the Roman Empire, ridiculed the notion of the Antipodes, inhabited by people “whose footsteps are higher than their heads”. After presenting some arguments he attributes to advocates for a spherical heaven and Earth, he wrote in “The Divine Institutes”:

        “But if you inquire from those who defend these marvelous fictions, why all things do not fall into that lower part of the heaven, they reply that such is the nature of things, that heavy bodies are borne to the middle, and that they are all joined together towards the middle, as we see spokes in a wheel; but that the bodies that are light, as mist, smoke, and fire, are borne away from the middle, so as to seek the heaven. I am at a loss what to say respecting those who, when they have once erred, consistently persevere in their folly, and defend one vain thing by another.”

        Athanasius the Great (c. 296/298 – 373), Church Father and Patriarch of Alexandria, argued for a flat earth, based upon scripture, in “Against the Heathen”.

        Bishop Diodorus of Tarsus (died c. 390), a leading figure in the School of Antioch and mentor of John Chrysostom, may have argued for a flat Earth; however, Diodorus’ opinion on the matter is known only from a later criticism.

        In his “Homilies Concerning the Statues”, Chrysostom (c. 349 – 407), one of the four Great Church Fathers of the Eastern Church and Archbishop of Constantinople, explicitly espoused the idea, based on scripture, that the Earth floats miraculously on the water beneath the firmament.

        Severian, Bishop of Gabala (d. 408), wrote that the Earth is flat and the sun does not pass under it in the night, but “travels through the northern parts as if hidden by a wall”. Basil of Caesarea (329–379) argued that the matter was theologically irrelevant.

        The influential theologian and philosopher Saint Augustine (354 – 430), one of the four Great Church Fathers of the Western Church, similarly objected to the “fable” of an inhabited Antipodes in his “Of the City of God”:

        “But as to the fable that there are Antipodes, that is to say, men on the opposite side of the earth, where the sun rises when it sets to us, men who walk with their feet opposite ours that is on no ground credible. And, indeed, it is not affirmed that this has been learned by historical knowledge, but by scientific conjecture, on the ground that the earth is suspended within the concavity of the sky, and that it has as much room on the one side of it as on the other: hence they say that the part that is beneath must also be inhabited. But they do not remark that, although it be supposed or scientifically demonstrated that the world is of a round and spherical form, yet it does not follow that the other side of the earth is bare of water; nor even, though it be bare, does it immediately follow that it is peopled. For Scripture, which proves the truth of its historical statements by the accomplishment of its prophecies, gives no false information; and it is too absurd to say, that some men might have taken ship and traversed the whole wide ocean, and crossed from this side of the world to the other, and that thus even the inhabitants of that distant region are descended from that one first man.”

        The view generally accepted by scholars of Augustine’s work is that he shared the pagan view that the Earth is spherical, in keeping with his general support for science in “On the Literal Interpretation of Genesis”. That consensus was challenged by noted Augustine scholar Leo Ferrari, who concluded in 2000 (“Rethinking Augustine’s Confessions, Thirty Years of Discoveries”) that:

        “(Augustine) was familiar with the Greek theory of a spherical earth, nevertheless, (following in the footsteps of his fellow North African, Lactantius), he was firmly convinced that the earth was flat, was one of the two biggest bodies in existence and that it lay at the bottom of the universe. Apparently Augustine saw this picture as more useful for scriptural exegesis than the global earth at the centre of an immense universe.”

        Ferrari’s interpretation was questioned by historian of science, Phillip Nothaft, who considers that in his scriptural commentaries Augustine was not endorsing any particular cosmological model.

        “Christian Topography” (547) by Alexandrian monk Cosmas Indicopleustes, who had traveled as far as Sri Lanka and the source of the Blue Nile, is now widely considered the most valuable geographical document of the early medieval age, although it received relatively little attention from contemporaries. In it, the author repeatedly expounds the doctrine that the universe consists of only two places, the Earth below the firmament and Heaven above it. Carefully drawing on arguments from scripture, he describes the Earth as a rectangle, 400 day’s journey long by 200 wide, surrounded by four oceans and enclosed by four massive walls which support the firmament. He contemptuously dismisses the spherical Earth theory as “pagan”.

        But by the High Middle Ages, the Roman Catholic Church had adopted the pagan Ptolemaic system (modified from Aristotle) as its official cosmology. In it, Earth was spherical, but at rest at the center of the universe, with the moon, sun, planets and fixed stars circling it on nested, concentric (almost, as Earth was slightly offset from the center) spheres.

      • Tom,

        You’re confusing two separate issues.

        That Early Church Fathers were flat-earthers is a fact.

        What Gould (and many before him) referred to was specifically the myth invented by Irving that Columbus had to convince scholars that the earth was spherical rather than flat. That Irving made that story up was evident to everyone familiar with the history of science even in the 19th century.

        The Church has by 1490 long accepted a spherical earth. It was also evident to mariners that earth is a sphere. Portuguese sailors had by then already traveled farther south than Columbus proposed to sail west.

        So the issue with scholars whose advice Isabella (and others before her) sought was not the shape of the earth but its size. Columbus both underestimated the size of the earth and the eastward extent of Asia. So the scholars were right and he was wrong. He managed to reach the Americas before running out of water.

        His crew did not fear falling off the edge of the earth. What Columbus’ crew sailors were worried about was the steadiness of the winds from the east on their outward voyage. They wondered how they could ever get back. But Columbus knew that at a higher latitude, the winds blew steadily from the west.

      • Dr. Strangelove July 29, 2017 at 9:43 pm

        Yes, there was a flat earth consensus among early Christians, based upon the Bible. Before that, there was a flat earth consensus among ancient Near Eastern peoples, and elsewhere in the world.

        At the time Greek science was beginning, Mesopotamians, Egyptians and the peoples of the Levant, like the Hebrews, all shared a similar cosmology, in which an immobile flat earth, supported by pillars, was covered by a solid dome of heaven. The stars hung from this “vault of heaven” or “firmament”, and it had openings through which the sun, moon and other bodies passed over the earth.

        In Egyptian mythology, the sun went under the earth to return to the place of his rising, but in biblical myth, it’s unclear what route he took, but he surely hurries back there.

        God walks on the firmament, personally operating the levers which control the storehouses of the rain, snow, sleet, etc. He Himself laid the foundations of the immobile earth. The Bible makes a big deal about how stable earth is, that it shall not be moved. Besides the precipitation (waters above), there are also waters below the earth, which is perhaps why the sun’s journey back to the place of his rising isn’t described in canonical books.

        The sun’s route is however in the Book of Enoch, which didn’t make it into the post-Christian Jewish OT canon (Masoretic Text), because Enoch was, like Christ, lifted straight to Heaven. The Book of Enoch was however very popular with Jesus’ Essene sect. It’s the second most common book among the Dead Sea scrolls. Before their discovery, it was known only from the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, which did adopt it as canonical, and from snippets in NT books.

      • Richard,

        Technically, the Scientific Revolution began before the Reformation, since Copernicus first formulated his theory in 1507, ten years before Luther posted his 95 Theses, but didn’t publish widely until right before his death in 1543, out of fear of the possible consequences of his heresy.

        The Reformation did however influence Copernicus’ decision to publish, since he was convinced to do so by a Lutheran student, and his book was printed in a Protestant city.

        The courage of early Lutherans, Calvinists and others to challenge the authority of the Church in religious doctrinal and theological matters was mirrored in the willingness of scientists, both Protestant (Kepler and Tycho) and Catholic (Copernicus and Galileo), to challenge the authority of the Bible and ancient pagan scientists.

      • Groateus:

        For crying out loud! The Bible is not a science textbook, rather a book about history and its implications.

        Job and Psalms are poetry, therefore use poetic licence (even modern poets do that).

        I know you believe that the sun orbits the earth. Every time you say “sun rise” and “sun set” you admit to that belief. Or are those just figures of speech that you use to be understood? And you say the Bible authors didn’t do the same?

        Daniel 4 was a dream. All sorts of wierd stuff happens in dreams, like skinny cows eating fat cows, yet remaining skinny Genesis 41:19–21.

        Revelations is a record of a vision, like a dream.

        The last of the Old Testament books was written well before the Hellenistic age.

        Luther himself was so busy dealing with the implications of the Reformation, that he didn’t look into science. But it was theologians around Luther who helped Copernicus get his book published.

        One feature of post-Biblical teaching is how quickly heresy entered the church. One of the earliest was the use of Greek philosophical categories in theology. Greek philosophicl categories and Bible are oil and water—they don’t mix. That, along with mistranslations, led to medieval wierdness.

        You won’t find flat earth in the Bible. All you have are dreams, visions, poetic pictures and figures of speech. None of those define theology.

        After the Bible, you have a whole slew of heretics, misinterpreting the Bible according to Greek philosophical precepts.

        You need to show the flat earth from the Bible in order to be credible. So far you haven’t done that.

        Since the teaching of Aquinas, the teachings of Aristotle were central to Roman Catholic theology. So when the Reformation repudiated Roman Catholic theology, it repudiated Aristotle’s teachings not only in theology, but also in science. It was not a rejection of the Bible. And the codification of the scientific method that was still taught as late as when I studied at the university, came about with the rejection of Aristotle.

      • Richard,

        The latter parts of the Bible do indeed contain more or less historical bits, but up until about 800 BC, it is mythical and legendary, not historical.

        Every passage I cited, and many I didn’t show without the least shadow of a doubt that in the Bible, the Earth is flat and covered by a solid dome. No other interpretation is possible. Nor should any other cosmology be expected, since that was the standard ancient Near Eastern concept.

        Only one of my citations is from a dream. Not that that rules it out. But you ignore all the others. Poetry counts, since it shows what was thought by leading biblical figures, such as David. The descriptions of God laying the foundations of the earth are found elsewhere in the Bible, besides Job, which in any case is not mere poetry.

        The NT passages include some very important to Christian theology, ie the temptation of Christ. There is no way that the devil could show Christ all the kingdoms of the earth from any place, no matter how high, since the spherical earth would get in its own way.

        The ends and corners of the earth aren’t figurative in the Bible. If you have any doubts, read Enoch.

        “Sunrise” is not used figuratively in the Bible, so yes, I am saying that biblical authors thought that the sun actually passes through a door or window in the firmament. Over and over again, it has the sun going over the earth in no uncertain terms. Joshua stops the sun and moon. The sun hurries back to the place of his rising. In Enoch, he’s a person wanting to keep to his appointed rounds.

        The stars are host which sings together, in danger of falling to earth from the vault of heaven, from which they hang.

        That you are unpersuaded just shows how incapable you are of admitting that the Bible has no science in it.

        Yes, there is a lot of weird stuff in the Bible, and it was meant literally by its authors.

        Yes, the last of the canonical Old Testament books was written well before the Hellenistic Age, but Hellenism was still the dominant culture in the Levant at the time Rome conquered the region.

        Luther did indeed look into science. He commented negatively on Copernicus. You are sort of correct, in that a young Protestant student did encourage Copernicus to publish, and his book was printed by a Protestant.

        You are totally wrong about Greek philosophical categories and the New Testament. Paul, other apostles and even disciples were steeped in Greek culture. Mark is modeled on Greek story telling.

        Translation has indeed been a problem. Augustine’s doctrine of original sin resulted from his never adequately learning Greek, because he hated his teacher, or Hebrew.

        Modern science owes nothing to the Bible. It was the main part of ancient authority against which modern science rebelled. Access to Greek science is what kick-started the scientific revolution. Copernicus learned to read Greek from a Byzantine refugee, who also brought pagan scientific texts with him.

        You keep getting it all wrong. Aristotle was repudiated by a Catholic, Galileo, not by Protestant reformers. Dunno how you missed the fact that Aristotle was rejected by Catholics before Protestants. Galileo did however keep Aristotle’s circular orbits, while the Protestant Kepler discovered elliptic orbits. But that discovery had nothing to do with his religion and everything to do with his access to Tycho’s detailed observations of the orbit of Mars.

        Professional liars have fed you a diet of utter garbage instead of genuine history of science.

      • Gloateus:

        That so-called “history” of the Bible that you cite is a myth invented by a bunch of anti-Semitic Germans starting in the early 19th century. They also believed in evolution. Their earliest publications were before some guy named Charles Darwin was born. There’s zero observational data to back it up.

        Your claim that the Bible teaches that the earth is “covered by a solid dome” is an example of mistranslation, to which I previously alluded, as the original Hebrew language lacks any such statement.

        The history of the devil tempting Jesus is so full of supernatural events, that the “showing all the kingdoms of the earth” is also a supernatural vision, impossible even if the earth were flat because of the distances involved. So let me add one more reason why your argument that the Bible teaches a flat earth is wrong, you take statements out of context.

        Enoch is not part of the Bible, never was. If you want to say that your interpretation is found in the Bible, you can’t cite extra-Biblical sources.

        The Bible claims to be accurate history, based on observation. That includes observing supernatural events and recognizing that they are supernatural. You need to evaluate it according to historical principles, not just reject it because it teaches a different religion than what you believe.

        Oh, so you actually believe that the sun orbits the earth every 24 hours. Who knew? Applying the same logic you apply to Biblical figures of speech to your use of figures of speech, gives us this result. Wow, I didn’t think anyone actually believed what you believe.

        Reasons why you are wrong:

        You refuse to acknowledge that the ancient Hebrews thought and used language differently than did the Greek philosophers. That’s despite research that shows the reality of this difference. That includes the New Testament.

        You take dreams and visions as being scientific descriptions.

        You take statements out of context.

        You insist that figures of speech reflect physical reality (which you refuse to apply to your own use of figures of speech).

        You cite extra-Biblical sources, claiming that they accurately describe Biblical beliefs.

        You take poetry with its fanciful language as descriptions of physical reality. So when a poet writes of his lover “Your eyes are deep pools that draw me in” — well? ……………

        Luther was quite vocal in his rejection of Aristotle, in theology. He just didn’t recognize nor think through the implications of that rejection in science. But others around him did recognize those scientific implications.

        If all scientists act as you do, or even a large percentage of scientists, no wonder science is in trouble. No wonder religious beliefs such as naturalism and the ancient myth of evolution are being touted as “science”. No wonder theories are touted as scientific facts, while observations that disprove those theories are suppressed or altered (e.g. AGW activists changing past observations to make it appear that climate warming is occurring). No wonder science is in trouble.

      • Richard,

        The reasons why I am right, along with biblical scholars, are right there in the Bible for anyone to read.

        The solid dome over the earth is not a mistranslated at all. It’s the best translation. The Hebrew word is “raqiyah”, which is onomatopoetic, similar to “racket”, meaning something pounded out, as with a copper bowl. In the Septuagint, it was translated into Greek as “stereoma”, translated by Jerome into Latin as “firmamentum”, hence English “firmament”, but also the “vault” of heaven.

        In the first (originally Mesopotamian) creation myth in Genesis (which is irreconcilably contradicted by the second, Adam and Eve story), the flat earth arises from waters on all sides, to include under and over it. There is no mention of earth being a sphere surrounded by the near-vacuum of space.

        Over this flat earth is the firmament, a solid dome upon which God walks and personally operates the levers which cause precipitation to fall from the storehouses of the rain, snow, hail, etc. From this “vault of heaven” hang the stars, which sing together as the heavenly host. The dome also has opening through which the sun and moon pass on their appointed rounds, traveling over the earth beneath the dome of heaven.

        The sun leaves his tent like a bridegroom or a strong man to run a race, passes over earth, then returns to the place of his arising. Joshua stopped both the sun and moon in their track across the sky. Ancient Hebrew coins show Yahweh riding in a chariot, like Apollo.

        The biblical cosmology is the same as the Mesopotamian and Egyptian, with a flat earth covered by a solid dome. In Job, God sits on the edge of the earth, looking down on people, who appear to him as insects.

        In the first myth, God first creates light, day and night. Then He creates the firmament, to separate the waters above from the waters below. (This was too much even for John Calvin.) God called the firmament “Heaven”. Then He gathers the waters under Heaven together and separates them from the dry land, which He calls “Earth”. Elsewhere in the Bible, we learn that the immobile foundations of the earth rest on pillars, amid the waters below it.

        Next God ordered the earth to bring forth plants. And here is one of the choicest bits, God then and only then put lights in the sky, ie the sun, moon and stars. Please tell me how there could be night and day and plants before the sun existed. Thanks.

        Next God ordered the waters to bring forth swimming creatures and, oddly, flying creatures. We know in reality that flying creatures evolved on land, not in the sea. Flying fish don’t count, since they don’t really fly. This was followed by the earth bringing forth land creatures, to include creeping things. Finally, He made man in his own image, and gave him dominion over all this nonsensically assembled creation.

        Of course in the Genesis 2 myth, the order of creation is all different. In it, God first makes a man from dust, then plants, then animals, then a woman, from the man’s rib.

        This is what the Bible plainly says in Genesis and elsewhere. No “anti-Semitic German scholars” required, but simply reading what the Bible actually says. It’s entirely consistent with the Mesopotamian and Egyptian myths from which it was copied and adapted.

        You have been lied to by professional liars, instead of reading the Bible for yourself, trying to understand what it means. Please open your eyes to reality.

      • It is understandable that they got the shape of the earth wrong back then.
        You would too, if eclipses still looked like they did thousands of years ago.
        Here is a reconstruction of one, based on ancient texts:

    • so dinosaurs are NOT part of history? there is NOTHING in the “past” before humans started writing it down? dont see why the term pre recorded history isnt accurate?

  45. Essentially this sort of daft reporting and disinformation was started in Obamas first term and reached it’s flowering in his second. Who can forget the conspiracy theories regarding his place of birth, his religion and many other things. Many right wing US politicians gleefully jumped on the bandwagon and gave these ideas credence. But now they are the subject of delusional ideas they scream false news at every opportunity. They may be right, but they forget who cultivated such behaviours in the first place.

    • How much of Obama’s hagiography is fake news?

      I worked in the field of graphics, which included scanning and OCR—Obama’s “long form birth certificate” is an amateurish fake, so false that one doesn’t need to be a detective with forensic tools to recognize signs of falseness. I could do a better job of making a fake than did that faker.

      So where was Obama born?

      Actions speak louder than words.

      Obama claimed to be a “Christian” (whatever that means) but acted like a Sunni Muslim practicing taqiyya. Any clue why people would question his words?

      We’ve been inundated with fake news for years. E.g. the ozone hole was caused by escaping freon, when it was more likely caused by massive eruptions injecting megatons of HCl and HFl into the stratosphere, along with massive amounts of H2O and CO2, e.g. Pinatubo. Those who studied organic chemistry should remember that the lighter halogen elements have such an affinity for carbon that they displace other elements to bind with the carbon, in this case releasing free radical oxygens from CO2, that then combine with ozone to make two oxygen molecules. The freon story = fake news. How much more news has turned out to be fake?

      • For those who never saw it:

        BTW, there are shorter edits for those who do not have an hour to spare.
        The upshot…the birth certificate that Obama published is an obvious forgery.
        Period

      • The ozone hole scare predates Pinatubo. It dates from the 1970s, as I well recall from debating its causes at the time.

        However as for Obama’s true beliefs, please see famous interview with Stephi and Freudian slip at one minute:

        His rabidly anti-American “Christian” church in Chicago was “Nation of Islam Lite”, for people who didn’t want to go the whole hog, so to speak.

    • Back in the 1960s, Walter Cronkite and a tiny coterie of “newsmen” were able to shape what was news, because there was no competition. History is starting to show that much of what they reported was fake, either through omission, selective reporting and sometimes outright falsehoods. The worst lie is one that is 99% truth, with the 1% falsehood that negates the 99% truth, so these people reported enough truth that the casual observer (most of the country) often couldn’t sift the falsehood from the truth.

      Today internet news sites, like WUWT, give us the other side of the story. Even among those who watch the network news know from other sources that at the very least, there’s major doubts concerning AGW, if not outright rejection. The best of the internet news sites, like cream, rise to the top, and WUWT is one of the best. I’m very thankful that this site is here.

  46. Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
    Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
    To the last syllable of recorded time;
    And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
    The way to dusty death.

    Macbeth Act v

    Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
    Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
    Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
    But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

    Sonnets 116

  47. “You’re saying the scientific community knows, and I’m saying people have gotten things wrong throughout the 5,500-year history of our planet,” said Scaramucci in the interview. [emphasis added]

    If it is people getting things they know wrong, and that is exactly what Scaramucci said, the statement is absolutely limited to recorded, human history.

    Scaramucci goes on to say that human history is 5,500 years old. It’s unclear whether he believes both or only the latter. However, written history dates back to over 5,500 years while human artifacts date back well over 10,000 years. [emphasis added]

    How about 2600 to 2800 thousand, not 10 thousand? If you restrict the range to Homo sapiens only*, it’s still 200 to 250 thousand years. Forbes’ writer’s “10 thousand” is off by an unbelievable factor, and the weaselly qualifier “well over” is no protection from that much error.

    .
    *An artificial and racist distinction, the modern human lineage is mainly from Homo sapiens, but with Neanderthal and Denisovan contributions that would push the timeline back another 100 thousand years.

    • it’s way off even if you limit the discussion to symbolic representation. Cave and rock paintings and engraving date from 40,000 years ago in Europe and possibly earlier in Africa, Asia and Australia.

      As for the first stone tools, it comes down to the definition of “human”. Genus Homo as now classified dates from about 2.7 Ma, but if usual definitions of “genus” were applied, not only Genus Australopithecus (maker of the stone tools from 3.3 Ma) would be considered “human”, but Genus Pan (chimps and bonobos) as well. Instead of human, we speak of hominin, hominid and hominoid forbears,

      But humans are genetically closer to chimps than horses are to donkeys, so should be in the same genus, let alone our even closer relatives, the australopithecines.

      • Humans are genetically close to chimps? How sure are you of that?

        In genetics (upper level biology) a central teaching is that DNA codons in all living creatures code for the same amino acids, whether talking about earth worms, trees or chimps. However, it was mentioned in class but without giving details, that some of the codons in humans code differently than in other living creatures. On a DNA level there’s a chasm between chimps and humans. A chasm that is greater than the differences between horses and donkeys.

      • Richard,

        I’m positive. Yet again, you’re wrong.

        Both in terms of coding and noncoding DNA, humans are closely related to chimps.

        As you may know, “genes” code for proteins. Noncoding DNA is still important, however.

        Naturally, with some five million years of separate evolution, certain areas of noncoding genetic material would show differences. That’s to be expected, since there are differences between chimps and humans. Certain areas of the genome are conserved, and others show rapid evolution.

        This study might be the one which you have so fundamentally misunderstood.

        http://journals.plos.org/plosgenetics/article?id=10.1371/journal.pgen.0020168

        The “Human Accelerated Regions” (HARs) just show where human evolution has sped up relative to chimp evolution. There are also areas of accelerated chimp evolution.

        Despite these HARs, we are still closer to chimps in both coding and noncoding than to any other group, to include gorillas. We do however share some blood groups with gorillas but not with chimps, due to divergence during chimp evolution that didn’t occur in human or gorilla.

      • Gloateus:

        That article doesn’t even mention codons, and amino acids only once without referencing how DNA encodes for specific amino acids. In short, that article doesn’t reference what I mentioned.

        That’s like me talking about apples, and you bring out an orange.

      • Richard,

        It is exactly what you were talking about, if your unclear statement is to mean anything at all. You just don’t know enough about molecular biology to recognize that fact. All you think you know comes from paid professional liars.

        Genes code for proteins, which are polymers of amino acids. A codon is a three-nucleobase sequence coding for a particular amino acid. The system is “degenerate”, in that the 64 possible three-nucleobase codons code for just 21 amino acids and the stop codon.

        The paper I cited is about evolution in parts of human noncoding sequences differing from those in chimps, which is apparently to what you referred. If not, please restate it in clear molecular biological terms, with references.

        As I said, both coding and noncoding parts of the chimp and human genome shows to be each others’ closest living relatives. As you’d expect, gorillas are closest to their fellow African great apes, the human and chimp group, and orangutans, ie Asian great apes, are closest to the African ape group. The great apes are closest to lesser apes, and the ape group is closest to the New World monkey clade. The group of apes and Old World monkeys is closest to New World monkeys, and the ape-monkey clade is closest to tarsiers, with whom we all share the inability to make vitamin C. The next closest clade, prosimians, ie lemurs and lorises, retain this capability.

        Genomic relatedness is reflected in shared, derived anatomical, embryological, biochemical and all other traits.

      • Me,

        Awesome graphics. Thanks.

        Some codons code for a single amino acid. Other amino acids are coded by up to six codons. Often just the first two “letters” matter, so the third can be any one of the four nucleobases. Since we’re dealing with tRNA, the fourth base is uracil rather than thymine.

        We know that human chromosome #2 resulted from the fusion of two smaller, standard great ape chromosomes, since its “centromere” is actually two fused telomeres and the real centromeres are in the arms above and below this end-on fusion. So humans have only 47 pairs of chromosomes rather than 48, as in chimps, gorillas and orangutans. This gross chromosomal mutation is associated with our bipedal gait.

      • Speaking of mutations, this breaking genetic news just in!

        The mutation for blue eyes happened only once. All blue-eyed people descend from a common ancestor who lived not that long ago. Apropos of the “5500 year” meme, this happened between just 6000 and 10,000 years ago.

        https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080130170343.htm

        “New research shows that people with blue eyes have a single, common ancestor. Scientists have tracked down a genetic mutation which took place 6,000-10,000 years ago and is the cause of the eye color of all blue-eyed humans alive on the planet today.”

        OK, it’s not breaking news. The story is from 2008. But you have to love that it’s from Blue-Eyed Control Central, Copenhagen!

  48. RNA is a wonderful molecule, pregnant with life. And capable both of catalyzing key biochemical reactions and storing genetic information. And of course adding new information in every generation.

    Out of place, but it has gotten hard to find the proper comment to which to respond.

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