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Dinosaurs, Humans and Idiots

The Los Angeles Times reports on Sarah Palin’s fundamentalist beliefs.

Palin told him that “dinosaurs and humans walked the Earth at the same time,” Munger said. When he asked her about prehistoric fossils and tracks dating back millions of years, Palin said “she had seen pictures of human footprints inside the tracks,” recalled Munger, who teaches music at the University of Alaska in Anchorage and has regularly criticized Palin in recent years on his liberal political blog, called Progressive Alaska.

The idea of a “young Earth” — that God created the Earth about 6,000 years ago, and dinosaurs and humans coexisted early on — is a popular strain of creationism.[Palin treads carefully between fundamentalist beliefs and public policy – Los Angeles Times]

This Christian practice of taking the Bible literally had serious impact on Indian history as well. Since the world was created on 23rd October 4004 BCE, somehow the Indian scriptures had to be dated to work with that. Max Müller, the German Orientalist who believed that Christianity was a true historical event and 4000 years back was an early period in the history of the world conveniently put the date of Aryan arrival to India at around 1500 BCE.

We are still stuck there even when genetic studies show evidence to the contrary.

5 Responses to Dinosaurs, Humans and Idiots

  1. Niraj October 1, 2008 at 11:43 am #

    How can any rational person believe in creationism, or its modern incarnation, intelligent design?

    Is it reason enough not to vote for McCain? I doubt it.

  2. karthik October 2, 2008 at 12:21 am #

    a fairly rightwing historian had once told me that teh Mahabharatha war took place in 3102 BC. is this also consistent with this “recent earth” theory? do you know how anyone could’ve put that date?

  3. froginthewell October 4, 2008 at 11:26 am #

    Karthik : that one has nothing to do with “recent earth”. Our purANas are at the other extreme – claiming human civilizations to be much more ancient than they are. That could be because Indians’ number system had much larger numerals.

    The date of 3102 B.C., AFAIK, was claimed by ancient astronomer Aryabhatta, who interpreted kRShNa’s covering of the sun with his cakra during the episode of jayadratha-vadha as a solar eclipse. Some right-wingers took to that dating with glee, that is all.

  4. kaafir October 4, 2008 at 7:44 pm #

    Niraj, why would you assume that this world and its inhabitants act in a rational way? That kind of assumption made by ‘rationalists’ is itself irrational and certainly not backed by data.

    For that matter, I doubt that your every waking moment and actions are 100% based on rationality.

  5. Niraj October 7, 2008 at 1:58 pm #

    Kaafir, you are right. No human being is rational all the time. I know I’m not. But then again, I’m not running for President. And the issue of religion is hardly a trivial matter.

    In the end, we can’t be rational all the time, but on an issue such as this, I believe we need someone who has a rational view of the world.

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