De-Compressing Creationism - A Thought Experiment
If, for the moment, we accept the Creationist argument that our scientific observations regarding the age of the Earth are off by a scale of about 1:750,000 (6,000 years versus 4.5 billion), then it logically follows that our method should be proportionally ‘off’ by about the same amount. We should be able to recalculate our findings accordingly and, on paper, this should match up our findings to be closer to the Creationist claims. I am basing these calculations on an ending point of 8/1/2014 at 8:00 AM (the date that I originally wrote this article).
So, for instance, the claim is that the Earth was created on or around 4,000 BCE, compared to the scientific view of the Earth forming about 4.5 billion years ago. We will now synchronize our Scientific chronology to this timetable and see what happens. Just for contrast, according to Science, in 4000 BCE the wooden plow is being used in central Europe. Agriculture has spread to what today is Britain and Ireland. Some agricultural hubs have come into being in southern Scandinavia. It is hypothesized that in the Eurasian steppes, horses have begun to be domesticated.
Scientific findings indicate that life appears on Earth about 1 billion years later (3.5 billion years ago). Adjusting for our scale, that places life appearing 4,666.67 years ago, around 2652 BCE. By contrast, archeology places Pharaoh Djoser’s rule in Egypt at this time. The Mesoamerican peoples are planting and domesticating corn.
Scientists believe that Photosynthetic life forms starting appearing about 2 billion years ago. Using our ratio for the calculation, this places the event around 652 BCE. Historians place the Babylonian Revolt against the Assyrians at around this time. First evidence of the production of wine appears.
According to the scientific community, the Paleozoic Era started about 540 million years ago. Adjusted with our handy ratio, this would place the event around 1294 CE. Historians place the end of the Srivijaya Empire in Indonesia at around this time. The undermining of Scottish rule by England is well underway. Some early versions of the Robin Hood story may have been circulating by this time.
Reptiles appear, according to Scientific estimates, around 323 million years ago. Plugged into our calculator, this equals about 1583 CE. Smallpox and typhus are wiping out natives of South and Central America in the wake of Spanish conquest.
The Dinosaurs nearly all disappear during a mass extinction event calculated to have occurred about 65 million years ago. Using our handy-dandy scale, we find this event to have taken place in the year 1928 CE. Mussolini is abolishing the electoral system of Italy, and the 54th Kentucky Derby is underway.
Scientists estimate that modern humans arose about 100,000 years ago, depending on your definition of ‘modern human’. Calculating with our scale and being as generous as possible, this places the rise of the human race at June 11, 2014 CE. The human race arose on a Wednesday, likely while I was at work.
According to 'archeologists', the first Egyptian settlers arrived at the Nile Valley around 3500 BCE. Using our calculations to match the Biblical time scale, the ‘adjusted’ date is actually July 29, 2014. A new Dilbert comic strip was released on dilbert.com. It was okay.
Our best guess for the approximate beginning of the Babylonian Empire is about 605 BCE. Once we apply our ‘God-Glasses’ and recalculate to account for the obvious discrepancy, we arrive at July 31, 2014 at 1:23 AM. I was developing a website for my contracting job and my wife was arriving home from her job.
This just gets more and more ridiculous. The Roman Empire fell at 2:01 PM on the same day. 13 hours later, Galileo published his great work. America declared independence at 7:14 AM, about 3 and a half hours later. Finally, 23 minutes after that, I was born. According to the scale proposed by Creationists, if applied in this way, I was born at 7:37 AM, 23 minutes before I started these calculations.
Obviously this over-simplifies the discrepancy, but it makes for a very interesting thought experiment, and it makes you wonder at what arbitrary point in human history they will now claim the discrepancy ‘starts’, and I’ll be very curious to see how they justify that. Do our dating methods work accurately all the way back to 2000 BCE and then we lose complete control? I’m happy to narrow down my discrepancy ratio if we have an arbitrary date at which the discrepancy begins/ends.
Of course, this also doesn't even touch on the Creation account itself, but that might have to wait for a future article...