Talk:Earth/Archive 1

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U. S. Customary units

I don't know what Conservapedia's policy on units and dimensions is, but taking the lead from the "American" spelling policy, I have used U. S. Customary units rather than SI ("metric system") units throughout this article.

But please discuss, as SI units are more appropriate for scientific articles. Dpbsmith 19:54, 28 February 2007 (EST)

To be blunt, using miles to describe distances in space is almost painful. However, it might make sense if the audience is mainly American to use both, maybe with a slash, or put the English unit in parentheses or brackets. JoshuaZ 20:41, 28 February 2007 (EST)
Why is measuring space in the paces of a Roman soldier any more painful that measuring it in terms of two scratches in a platinum-iridium bar at Bureau Internationale de Poids et Mesures? (Yesyesyes I know it's really the distance light travels in 1/299142857.142857 seconds...)
If inches, slugs, and poundals are good enough for the NASA Mars Climate Orbiter, they're good enough for me! Dpbsmith 22:06, 28 February 2007 (EST)
(Note for people who don't get my nerdy joke... either because it's obscure or because it's not actually funny... slugs and poundals are now-very-rarely-used English-based units of mass and force that were once taught to, maybe even used by engineers. The NASA Mars Climate Orbiter was an expensive space probe that crashed on Mars because some of the computer subsystems in it used U. S. Customary units and others used metric units and the software didn't convert properly... or something like that... Dpbsmith 05:50, 1 March 2007 (EST))
Well, it creates cognitivie dissonance when one talks about science using other units. It is somewhat similar to using SI to talk about halachah rather than using things like the Ke'Zayit (ok, maybe not the best analogy, since everyone agrees on the conversion from SI to English). As for the Mars Climate Orbiter, you do know that that was just the FNORD Illuminati coverup for what really happened to it FNORD ? Joking aside, giving it in English units only just makes headaches for citation issues and forces people to make more conversions when trying to actually use the data. JoshuaZ 22:19, 28 February 2007 (EST)

I've started a discussion of the metric and "English" question... the Conservapedia Commandments talk page.

I'd like to know how people want to handle units and dimensions in scientific articles. Dpbsmith 05:46, 1 March 2007 (EST)

Explanation of the "trivia"

I don't object to removing the trivia about "mostly harmless." That was the previous prank content. (I never would have inserted it in a general article about the Earth that I was writing from scratch). I want to explain why I left it in.

  • I like to "moderate, not obliterate." If someone is trying to make a point that I disagree with, but that is valid in the sense of being a widely held point of view, I may tone down overstatement or remove clearly inaccurate factual material or label it as opinion, but I try not to remove it entirely and I try to be sure that a reader will still understand what point was being made. In this case, I was trying to transmute prank content into valid content, rather than remove it.
  • For the benefit of lurking pranksters, I wanted to show that Conservapedia was aware of what they were up to. Dpbsmith 06:51, 1 March 2007 (EST)


I am going to similarly object to the protection of this article. Furthermore, you've added in what seems to be an unnecessary point. Since the original article didn't discuss formation issues, it seems to me that you added it in just so you could put the quote in. JoshuaZ 14:48, 1 March 2007 (EST)

I do not think protection was necessary here. The article was not van<i />dalised. Joshua simply edited out what he felt was an irrelevant sentence. I am unblocking this article, but before you edit it further, please discuss the changes you plan to make here. ~ SharonS 15:11, 1 March 2007 (EST)

Protection against evolutionist suppression of material - namely JoshuaZ

I protected this page. User:JoshuaZ, who I believe is a vociferous evolutionist who supresses young Earth creationist material, edited out my material which stated the following: In addition, most scientists also believe believe that the earth formed by natural processes instead of being supernaturally created. However, as one scientist recently noted, “... most every prediction by theorists about planetary formation has been wrong.” [1] I believe this material was reasonable to include and only an unreasonable person would delete it. Conservative 15:00, 1 March 2007 (EST)conservative

  • I don't know if protection is necessary against a single user, but due to the contentious nature of this subject, perhaps it would be best if it were protected so that potential edits would have to be discussed first. Ashens 21:58 1 March 2007 (EST)

Age of the Earth

I feel that the term "most scientists" is less accurate than "evolutionists" since the first term does not make clear just who believes that the Earth is billions of years old while the second does. The term "evolutionists" also makes it clear just why they believe--in order to make it so there is enough time for macroevolution to happen. Finally, I think the term "most scientists" is biased against creation scientists. Science is not supposed to be a popularity contest, though evolutionists cannot seem to remember that. Ashens 20:49 1 March 2007 (EST)

  • I see the issue with "most scientists" but I strongly disagree with the characterization "evolutionists." The "modern synthesis" or "Neodarwinism" of the 1950s (associated with George Gaylord Simpson) was partly about bringing the paleontologists on board. Before that time, paleontologists as a group were by no means convinced of Darwinian evolution. However, they certainly were in agreement with geologists about the geological time scale and the general age of the Earth. Dpbsmith 21:28, 1 March 2007 (EST)
  • Agreeing with Dpb, while someone who accepts biological evolution will almost certainly accept the age of the earth, they are not intrinsically connected either through science or theology. For example, Hugh Ross of Reasons to Believe minsitries (a prominent Old Earth Creationist ministry) accepts that the earth 4.5 x 10^9 years old but does not accept biological evolution. JoshuaZ 21:37, 1 March 2007 (EST)
    • I don't think that bringing Hugh Ross helps your case. He clearly doesn't have Biblical reasons for believing the Earth to be billions of years old, he's simply compromising the clear meaning of Genesis, much like theistic evolutionists (though he obviously doesn't compromise as much as they do). Ashens 21:56 1 March 2007 (EST)
      • Whether or not Ross has a biblical basis isn't relevant to the point- accepting evolution is not the same as accepting the age of the earth, and we shouldn't confuse the two (I would incidentally agree that from a purely textual position I find Ross's position to be hard to defend), Also, commenting on "most scientists" actually science is decided by consensus in so far as what opinion has the most people in a given field matters, not in so far as whether they are right in some absolute sense but in so far as it indicates what most of the people who have studied the matter have come to that conclusion. Therefore, unless one spends a massive amount of time studying the matter, one should generally presume that the majority of expert is correct. I'm not arguing that it always is, or even that it is in this case, merely that it is a reasonable presumption in science and that is therefore relevant. (To use an example that may drive it home, if there are 1000 qualified scientists who say Xthe Sun and 1 who says ~X, when deciding policy, we generally presume that the 1000 are likely to be correct about X and will only prepare as a minor eventuallity for ~X). JoshuaZ 22:21, 1 March 2007 (EST)
  • Many young Earth creationist organizations love to quote Barr on that quote, but I don't think Barr was even a Christian from what I've read. I'm not quite comfortable with it being here, particularly because many people who are scientifically convinced that the Earth is old (as I am) may see this and become convinced that Christianity cannot be true. I don't want that. MountainDew 17:32, 12 March 2007 (EDT)

Questionable passage

The passage "The fact that the Earth is the perfect distance away from the Sun is taken by many Christians to be evidence of God's existence." is arguing that the anthropomorphic principle is attributed to a higher power. While there is a website that makes this argument, it does not mean that many Christians believe it. The continued debate about the existence of water and possibly ancient life on Mars also undermines this argument. If one was to look at the projected life of the Sun, in about 5 billion years from now it will become a red giant at which time places like Titan may sit in the goldilocks zone for the Sun. --Mtur 22:23, 7 March 2007 (EST)

I changed it to acount for your complaint. --BenjaminS 22:27, 7 March 2007 (EST)

Yeah, and it might be better said as "many theists" instead of "many Christians," as I'm pretty sure other religious groups have noticed the distance thing as well. Also, I'm not sure it's exactly accurate to say that the Earth's distance is the reason it's suitable for life, while Venus's closeness and Mars's distance are the reason they're unsuitable. There are also atmospheric properties that account for this--Mars' atmosphere is very thin, so it keeps less heat, while Venus' is thich and heavy, so it keeps much more. It doesn't undermine the argument, but it's reasonable to include it.--John 22:31, 7 March 2007 (EST)

I am new to Conservapedia, but am having trouble matching up your Commandments with the lack of evidence in most of the articles. For one, the comment referenced above reading "The fact that the Earth is the perfect distance away from the Sun..." I checked this reference and it's clearly religious propaganda with no kind of reference or proof for this statement. Just because someone out there publishes something on a website does not make it worthy of "quoting". Most of the articles I've seen on this site have literally NO FACTUAL INFORMATION to back them up. Yet your so-called Commandments require this. From what I can tell, no one here has the right to be critical of Wikipedia... I can understand differing perspectives, but most articles on this site are way off base. And there's the fact that this entire site forgets the fact that America is just one piece of an enormous pie, and Christianity is not the only religion. -- Belaboo, 13 March 2007

Sun orbiting the Earth

Come on people, it clearly states in the bible that the Earth is in a fixed position and the Sun orbits around it. Are you people serious about countering anti-Christian bias, or not? RonaldReagan 17:36, 14 March 2007 (EDT)

Where, pray tell, does it "clearly state" that at all? All the passages cited in the article are clearly to be taken as figurative/poetic. Consider the verse from 1 Chronicles 16. It's part of a psalm/song of praise. Look at verse 33: "Then the trees of the forest will sing." Does that mean the Bible clearly states that trees actually sing? Of course not! It's figurative/poetic. The same goes for the other 3 passages. They are all obviously figurative/poetic in nature and do not state anything about the Sun orbiting the Earth. Jinxmchue 02:56, 5 August 2007 (EDT)
  • Uhhh, do understand you replied to a post almost five months old, and the maker of it was blocked for trolling less than 24 hours after making it, right? --şŷŝôρ-₮KṢρёаќǃ 03:20, 5 August 2007 (EDT)
Well, in any case, maybe it'll help future trolls avoid the same mistake. Jinxmchue 01:09, 20 August 2007 (EDT)

Earth image

I thought this encyclopedia was supposed to give the American point of view its rightful place. Then why are we barely visible in the pic? Even the moon gets better placement than the USA, lol. Reggie

America takes up 1.9% of the earths surface. Why is that more important than the other 98.1% Rellik 19:34, 1 March 2008 (EST)

Creationist Bias

I changed this passage:

"Followers in Young Earth creationsim believe in a different set of facts about the Earth. The Bible states in Genesis that the entire earth was formed in six days. Young Earth creationists believe, as Biblical chronology suggests, that the Earth was formed in 4004 B.C. Mainstream scientific journals discriminate against this point of view, and do not allow for their publication, dispite large amounts of evidence backing this theorey.

Some Young Earth Creationists, because they are biblical literalists also dispute the shape of the earth, and the idea that the Earth Rotates around the Sun.[1]"

To try and eliminate the Creationist bias, since it says "Followers in Young Earth creationsim believe in a different set of facts about the Earth." However, there are no sources given (and non in existance) that shows them following facts. They follow beliefs to support their religion, but not facts. It should be changed to "Followers in Young Earth creationsim have a different set of opinions about the Earth."


"Mainstream scientific journals discriminate against this point of view, and do not allow for their publication, dispite large amounts of evidence backing this theorey."

Sounds like scientific journals are attacking Creationism, while they are just following the most common scientific point of view. Also, many spelling errors. If you remove the bias it should read more like "Mainstream scientific journals argue against this point of view, and do not allow for their publication, despite biblical sources backing up this theory, because they follow scientific evidence." If you don't remove the bias (which I do not agree with), at least write it like this: "Mainstream scientific journals discriminate against this point of view, and do not allow for their publication, despite large amounts of evidence backing this theory."

Not sure what to do about this:

"Some Young Earth Creationists, because they are biblical literalists also dispute the shape of the earth, and the idea that the Earth Rotates around the Sun.[1]"

But it's been proven that the Earth is round and rotates around the sun.

Oh right, forgot to add, the whole point of this was that I made changes and they were removed, therefore adding bias back into the article. --ALFa 18:14, 15 March 2007 (EDT)

ALFa--the article is balanced now. There is a pro-evolution/science earth section and a section on biblical literalism. The science section does not need to be weakened by Bible verses and vica versa (no pun intended!) Both claim to be right, and both offer conflicting opinions. This is the way a fair encyclopedia should deal with these claims. If you don't like Young Earth your free to look at the evidence and make that judgement :)--CWilson 18:18, 15 March 2007 (EDT)

Well in my opinion, neither should be offered as fact, but as seperate opinions, but if that's how you like it, then that's up to you. Please fix the bad spelling though. ;) --ALFa 18:35, 15 March 2007 (EDT)

My edits and Orlenzia's comments

On my talk page, Orlenzia wrote:

As for the Earth article you have changed, without discussion, a consensus document worked on by many editors in the site. If you do this you must first submit your changes or ideas on the talk page, rather than unilaterally deciding to do this. I'm putting it back to the old version again. If you wish to discuss how to make the article better I'd be happy to see you at the talk page.

I'll make several points in response:

  • It is not necessary to discuss every change before making changes. I made a number of changes, including copyediting, etc. Surely you don't expect me to discuss every such change? In any case, it seems as though you've kept most of my changes, except for the creationist stuff.
  • As far as the creationist information concerned, I can see no specific discussion on the information that I removed, so it is misleading at best to say that there was consensus.
  • One of the claims that I removed (about the shape of the Earth) was blatantly false. It claimed that some creationists believe that the Earth is flat and has corners, and cited in support an anticreationist source that did not claim that creationists teach that, but that in is opinion, that is what the Bible teaches.
  • I also reworded the bit about geocentricism, because it read as though the Bible does teach geocentricism, instead of simply explaining that some people believe this.

Unless good reason is offered as to why my edits were incorrect, I will be reinstating them.

Philip J. Rayment 23:42, 3 April 2007 (EDT)

Hey Philip. These are good points, and I think you made some good edits. I just remember that there was a lot of frackas about this page on various personal talk pages, and it seemed the old version was a good compromise between YECs and Evolutionists. There were those who felt that the YEC stuff was garbage, and those who thought the science stuff shouldn't be included. It was decided that the Bible would be summarized and the science explained in seperate sections. This seems like a good idea, since both sides get to express their point of view. I'm personally Old Earth creationist, but I think that if YECs want to say the Earth is 6000 years old b/c of a series of "begats" then they should also acknowledge that the Bible teaches geocentricism and Flat Earth (because it really clearly does, although of course that was the normal view when it was written so you can take it as a reflection of the difficulty in literal interpretation) and some of the YECs wanted it there too because it does reflect what the Bible literally says and, surprisingly, what some people still believe. In any case, I think its good for both sides to see the cited sources and biblical passages supporting each of these ideas so they can decide for themselves, and also there will be less further controversy. I had to reregister here so I didn't remember seeing you, much less as a SYSOP, so I thought you were POVing the page! Sorry. What is it you wanted to change, exactly? I think as it is the page does a good job reflecting the Bible and the YEC position (which I am sympathetic to, but obviously you can't take EVERYTHING in the Bible 100% literal.) Anyways, I thought to avoid further fights it was best to let YEC editors have their way with their section. I've thought about adding an OEC section, but don't know what I'd say. I usually just fix errors and such. Maybe this would make a good addition to the article? I just didn't want to start the Earth debate again. It seems like planetary bodies (Earth, Moon) and dinosaurs (and t-rex) are big sources of contention on the site. Orlenzia

YECs don't say that the Earth is 6,000 years old solely on the basis of the chronogenealogies (although they are pretty good evidence in themselves). The case for the Bible teaching geocentricism and a flat Earth is much weaker (if you can make a case at all), so there is no comparison there. And no Christian, to my knowledge, recognised as a scientist or biblical scholar believes that the Bible teaches a flat Earth. A few believe that it teaches geocentricism. And I disagree that a flat Earth was the normal view when it was written. Have a look at Flat Earth. As for not seeing me, I am fairly new, and have just been made a sysop, so your confusion was understandable. As was mine in seeing that you had made only two edits when you appeared to drastically change two articles; if I'd realised that you'd been around longer, I might have taken a closer look before warning you.
To answer your question, what I want changed is the creation view section, back to what I made it.
Philip J. Rayment 22:44, 4 April 2007 (EDT)

No worries. Nobody on this site trusts anyone else :(. When the argument first came up I thought along the same lines as you, but then I read one of the cited articles: [2] and it changed my mind. That is why I think this should stay. The article is really interesting. You should check it out. Very well cited. The conclusion:
"From their geographical and historical context, one would expect the ancient Hebrews to have a flat-earth cosmology. Indeed, from the very beginning, ultra-orthodox Christians have been flat-earthers, arguing that to believe otherwise is to deny the literal truth of the Bible. The flat-earth implications of the Bible were rediscovered and popularized by English-speaking Christians in the mid-19th century. Liberal scriptural scholars later derived the same view. Thus, students with remarkably disparate points of view independently concluded that the ancient Hebrews had a flat-earth cosmology, often deriving this view from scripture alone. Their conclusions were dramatically confirmed by the rediscovery of 1 Enoch."
Ironically, it was one of the YECs on this site who insisted on the section being in because it was literal Bible, and then one of the liberals agreed because he thought it put YEC in perspective. My motives are more along the lines of practicality (it seemed agreeable at the time, there haven't been any edits for a while before now) and also because, although I love the Bible, I think it is important to understand that some parts of it, such as these passages and ones on slavery, etc. suggest that the Bible is also a product of the times in many ways, and excessive literalism can be a double edged sword. Are you YEC? A literalist? I'd urge you to read the paper and think about it before changing the article back. But that's just my opinion. Is there any reason you have to disagree with the citation? Any contradictory evidence or citations?Orlenzia

Belief vs. fact

One does not "believe" in a fact. Ask any first-year philospphy student - something can be a fact ("this computer is beige") or it can be a belief ("G-d exists" or "The Yankees are the best baseball team ever") , but it can't be both.

One does believe in facts. I believe (because I can see it with my own eyes) that my computer is beige. I also believe (because of the overwhelming evidence) that God exists. Both are facts. Whether or not the Yankees are the best baseball team ever (without defining something measurable, like winning the most games) is an opinion. But you can believe in both opinions and facts. See my comments on this here Philip J. Rayment 20:38, 13 April 2007 (EDT)
Personally I prefer the use of "think" over "believe" for things one considers to be facts (or logical - I think that the pythagorean theorem is correct). In either case, of course, one can be wrong. As far as you (Philip J.) using "believe" where some might prefer "think", I think that as long as you're not altering their words, you are well within the bounds of reasonable usage. Although, once they say "think", you should honor their usage when referring to them. Oh, and what I'm talking about isn't quite the same as the heading. I'm not talking rhetorical uses, where people bandy about "belief", "fact", and "think" to pejorize others viewpoints. To look at what I'm saying another way, if you say "I know that the Creation described in Genesis is a fact", one should then refer to your position using those words. Human 13:59, 20 April 2007 (EDT)
I tend to use "think" as more of a synonym for an opinion, but you are correct that "think" can be a synonym of "believe". I accept in principle your point about honouring the other person's usage, and I think that I do when I'm directly replying to them, but I won't always be able to recall what a particular person prefers in other cases. Philip J. Rayment 20:33, 20 April 2007 (EDT)
Is it actually a fact to say "my computer is beige?" Under a different colored light (either artificial or a different colored star), the computer wouldn't be beige anymore. The "fact" that the computer is beige has changed, thus making it no longer a fact since facts never change. Jinxmchue 03:03, 5 August 2007 (EDT)
Yes, it is a fact to say "my computer is beige". Any statement assumes a context of some sort, and the context of describing the colour of something assumes that it is being described in the presence of white light. You have only demonstrated the "fact" to be incorrect by changing an unstated assumption of the original claim, but the original claim, in the context in which it was intended, is still correct, and thus "factual". Philip J. Rayment 10:06, 5 August 2007 (EDT)

Is someone gonna remove the "the Earth is actually flat part"? I mean, it's funny and all, but, come on...

Middle Man (A user who's been on several transatlantic flights...)

It's not actually saying that the Earth is flat, but that a number of Christians have and do believe that. I disagree, and have tried removing it once before, and intend to return when I get time to explain more clearly why it should come out. Philip J. Rayment 20:33, 20 April 2007 (EDT)