Saudi Textbooks Still Teaching Hate

 Jews, Christians referred to as apes and swine

Charles Lewis, National Post Published: Thursday, July 17, 2008 

Despite a promise to remove attacks on other faiths from the public school curriculum, Saudi Arabia's state-produced textbooks still refer to Jews and Christians as apes and swine, insist that Jews conspire to take over the world and on Judgment Day "the rocks or the trees" will call out to Muslims to kill the Jews, says the Washington-based Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank.

The textbooks, used by five million students in the kingdom every year, as well as in many Saudi-funded institutions outside the country, also attack homosexuals and Muslims who do not practice a fundamentalist form of Islam. For example:

• "The punishment for homosexuality is death. The companions of the Prophet were unanimous on killing although they differed ... in the manner of killing. Some companions ... stated that a homosexual is to be burned with fire ... he should be stoned or thrown from a high place."

• "You can hardly find an example of sedition in which the Jews have not played a role."

• Zionism has achieved its aims through a variety of "destructive movements" including the Rotary Clubs and International Lions Clubs, which are "Masonic clubs based in America and they have secret agents all over the world."

One of the suggested activities for Grade 8 students is to "write a composition on the danger of imitating infidels, giving some examples of imitation among the students and then present it to his classmates."

Nina Shea, author of the report, Saudi Arabia's Curriculum of Intolerance, said the deeper problem the textbooks represent is a noxious ideology that is being exported all over the world.

"This ideology is kindling to [Osama] bin Laden's match," she said.

"It radicalizes those who are indoctrinated with it. The aim is to radicalize students to hate the West, hate non-Muslims, to hate Jews, and to say that killing is sanctioned by God.

"Saudi Arabia is making every effort to make it mainstream in the Muslim world and make it the dominant interpretation of Islam."

She said the Saudi education system is the main reason Web sites designed to recruit suicide bombers are directed so heavily at Saudi youth.

The ultra-conservative Sunni kingdom practices a form of Islam called Wahhabism, which advocates jihad.

Ms. Shea, who produced her first report on the textbooks in 2006, said Saudi Arabia agreed to make changes after pressure from the United States. The deadline is September, 2008.

"[The State Department] had to look like we're doing something in the face of this really toxic teaching," she said.

"It's so indefensible and so inexplicable that this is being disseminated. It's not even private clerics or an enemy who is disseminating this. This is our ally."

The international human rights lawyer said her latest study looked at the textbooks used in the 2007-08 school year. But she found little difference from the books studied for her first report and does not believe the Saudis will meet the September deadline.

Rather, she believes they agreed to make the changes as a "publicity ploy."

"They want to take some of the pressure off by promising to make the changes ,but they are fairly confident that the State Department will not go after them and will not even bother to open the books or translate them, which they have not done at all."

And when a new president enters the White House in January, the agreement will likely be forgotten, she said.

Ms. Shea believes Americans give Saudi Arabia an easy ride because of their country's dependence on foreign oil.

"Oil independence is really important for this reason. Because it's going to be very hard for the Saudis to change."

Officials at the Saudi embassy in Washington, D.C., declined to comment.

National Post

No votes yet

posting this one on the main SB page. Once or twice a week we can post a 'religious ' article on the main page, I think it 's ok with the moderator, especially on the weekend. - make sure you put the link for this story -During the week, watch for local media folk making posts , we don't want to post right after them , moving their post down .

just like always, will be ignored and hyjacked and devolve into an "I hate all things Christian" rant by the usual Christ haters.

I'd have to agree with Billy. I will only post religion related articles here in this group. Seculars tend to take anything posted by a professed "fanatic" Christian as arrogance and proselytizing. I, frankly am tired of defending myself because I am weak when it comes to conflict (my feelings get in the way). I post here for people that are seeking relevant knowledge and information. I believe that people who are curious or led by the Spirit know where to look if they want to find it. After all, Jesus didn't go walking into places where he wasn't wanted and preach.

Peace brother. :-)

wonder said "Seculars tend to take anything posted by a professed "fanatic" Christian as arrogance and proselytizing" .....................No, only when Christian's come off that way, or spew a version of hate disquised in "love the sinner" on controvercial topics like whether people choose to be gay or are born that way. (which, by the way, there was a great letter to the editor of the Blade recently that posted the results of a Swedish study about this very thing - a study that is being taken very seriously, and concluded with scientific evidence (genes, hormones in vitro, etc.) that a person's sexual inclination is predetermined in the womb (explained why, hormones, types) . What struck me about that letter was that it was written by a reverend of a church & he made the very excellent point that it seems cruel how some well meaning Christians demand they 'change' or not be allowed into Heaven, when in fact, they were born exactly as God made them. I'm sure that letter is available to view on the Blade website in the archives.. ) ...............

Sorry, rambled off the trail a bit............My point is that people dont presume you are overly fanatical or arrogant, unless you come off to be those things. It is not your being Christian, or your beliefs that get me riled up - I am fine with those things, and respect your beliefs, as long as you don't try to re-write science (like pretending that the earth is 6,000 years old, rather than the 65 billion years old that it's been proven to be). Or, like bishop, quote questionable scripture (that can be checked & proven not to prove his points) & make claims how the dinosaur & cave man co-existed peacefully with Biblical man (as the meat eater dinosaurs peacefully munch grass alongside Adam & Eve) - when in fact, both were extinct long before Biblical times (and cave man & dinosaurs did not co-exist either). As when bishop claimed that the Bible foresaw the invention of the television set (said something was 'molten') - stuff like that burns my britches, because it is re-writing history & science so it 'fits' better with the Christian mindset.

I am as outraged as you about the Saudi textbook preaching hate article. But didn't you recently post a thread that was fairly glowing about Muslims & Christians coming together? Their religion has not changed just because we want it to - they believe that their religion dictates to either convert or destroy infidels & non-believers. Their religion tells them it is against their God to speak against another Muslim, even if the they know that Muslim is planning a terrorist attack to kill non-believers - even if they don't agree or like what that militant Muslim is planning to do, it goes against their religion to speak against another Muslim. Perhaps that is why there isn't more of an outcry from Muslims about the militant Muslims after 911. And while I dont presume all Muslims are bad ( they are not) - I have a little trouble putting my trust in them completely, because they are supposed to want to kill off all non-believers.

I am as outraged as you about the Saudi textbook preaching hate article. But didn't you recently post a thread that was fairly glowing about Muslims & Christians coming together?

Answer: No, I did not post any such article. You don't really ever read all of my posts anyway so I'm not surprised you got that wrong.

And while I dont presume all Muslims are bad ( they are not) - I have a little trouble putting my trust in them completely, because they are supposed to want to kill off all non-believers.

Answer: Yes, I know what Muslims believe. Probably a lot more than you know, but I don't go out of my way to tell people how smart I am so plainly.

...I am fine with those things, and respect your beliefs, as long as you don't try to re-write science...

Answer: God created science. God created man. Man is trying to "uncreate" God. Also, your point is self-contradicting. Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens ....

Those are my beliefs. You don't respect them. That's your choice. I respect your choice. Just don't insult me by telling me that I am wrong and you are right. It's as simple as this - I believe in creation and you don't. I don't care if you choose not to believe. Contrary to your belief, I am not a militant bible thumping-holier-than-thou religious freak. If you took 5 minutes to get to know me or ask, you'd find that out on your own.

Have a nice day.

Saudi's STILL preaching hate....... Still. And they always will, because they stand as firm in their religious beliefs as Christians do. They aren't likely to change their beliefs or teachings - no matter how long the USA perches in the Middle East hoping to invoke a good change, no matter how many Christian missionaries try to help evoke a change - they wont' change their beliefs & teachings, because their religion is their law, dictated by Allah. And they aren't at all concerned about whether they are being Politically Correct or not. They only care about following their beliefs so they get into their version of Heaven. It may be 2008 in most of the world, but in places like Iraq, it is still the 8th century, and they aren't interested in moving foreward or becoming 'enlightened'.

thank you mrs obvious for reiterating my point.

wonder said
" am as outraged as you about the Saudi textbook preaching hate article. But didn't you recently post a thread that was fairly glowing about Muslims & Christians coming together?

Answer: No, I did not post any such article. You don't really ever read all of my posts anyway so I'm not surprised you got that wrong.

And while I dont presume all Muslims are bad ( they are not) - I have a little trouble putting my trust in them completely, because they are supposed to want to kill off all non-believers.

Answer: Yes, I know what Muslims believe. Probably a lot more than you know, but I don't go out of my way to tell people how smart I am so plainly."
wow - such attitude & anger. My comments were never intended to offend you - I agreed with you for the most part. My question was an honest question, because I thought you'd posted something like that, but wasn't sure, couldnt remember - but even if you had posted it, I was not being critical about it.

Contrary to what you may think, I do read the articles you post - sometimes twice. Most people probably know more about the Muslim faith than I do - but I am really puzzled that you accuse me of showing off my 'smartness' - when in fact, I am usually the first to admit that I'm not very smart or knowledgable at all - about anything. I kind of learn as I go, and realize with each day, just how very little I do know about anything. You do not seem to be as 'tolerant' of other people as you lead people to believe - that is, the ones who may disagree with you about something, or question something you've said. Good facade though, I believed it until now.

"My comments were never intended to offend you". Then you got some splainin to do Lucy. Re-read your original comment ...sounds kind of accusatory or antagonistic to me.   

It implies that you are referring to me.  That's how it comes off.  After all, you have been calling me a fanatic.


I have read (and re-read) all the comments I posted on this thread, am puzzled. Honestly, what exactly did I say that (as you called it) - "...sounds kind of accusatory or antagonistic to me. " You posted this topic on the main page (which implies it is open for discussion and somebody may disagree with something you say), rather than in a religious group (where everybody will agree with your comments). I had no gripe with the topic - I agreed with your thoughts about it. But there was a comment about being cautious about posting religious topics on the main page because, as how billy put it - "just like always, will be ignored and hyjacked and devolve into an "I hate all things Christian" rant by the usual Christ haters." Billy leaped to the presumption, that given the topic - wouldnt have happened had he not verbalized his presumption. Then, you rushed in to agree with him by saying " I'd have to agree with Billy. I will only post religion related articles here in this group. Seculars tend to take anything posted by a professed "fanatic" Christian as arrogance and proselytizing.".

I did take issue with those comments, because I am not a Christian hater, and attempted to illustrate with examples of what irks me - specific things, but not your religion. it's never been your Christianity, whether you believe me or not. You & I had disagreed before, on whether being gay is a choise or not - and I found it interesting that it was a Christian reverend of a local church who wrote about that very solid study that proves that people's sexual inclination is formed in the womb. A Christian REVEREND said that, published in the Blade recently - so don't shoot the messenger (me) for repeating it here. You're free to believe what you like, but I have to agree with that reverend, that it's pretty cruel to expect gays to change or go to hell, if they are indeed, born that way - made by God. Maybe that's something to think about, is all I meant by posting his comments. I mean, if a Christian reverend thinks it's something to re-think, then perhaps it needs re-thinking. But I never blasted you, or looked down on you because you're Christian. Just remember that everytime you call somebody a Christian hater because they disagree with one of your beliefs, that also makes you a hater, by being very intolerant of other's beliefs.
Then you said
"Answer: God created science. God created man. Man is trying to "uncreate" God. Also, your point is self-contradicting. Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens .... Those are my beliefs. You don't respect them"

I repeat - I do respect that you are a Christian. The only time I take issue with ANY religion is when they twist & re-write history & proven science so it fits into their belief system better. You quoted a scripture that is supposed to justify how Christians claim that the earth is only 6,000 years old, when in fact, it's been proven (in many ways, proof that can be touched, examined) that it is 65 billion years old. Believe what you want - but don't expect to be able to toss out a scripture that explains it all away, when it does not. But again, I repeat - it is NOT your religion that gets "picked on" here - it is when any person makes claims that contradict proven history & science that will get challenged. I've had plenty of my comments challenged on this forum - I know that somebody will be quick to call me out if I am wrong, or demand proof or documentation. But I didnt throw a hissy fit & call them haters if they disgreed with me.

I've said this before,, if you dont want a discussion (that may disagree with you), then dont post it on the main board, but rather in the religious group. Judging by the first couple of comments posted on this topic, it sounds like somebody has complained to chris about this already - it was NOT me that complained. I have no problems at all with you posting religious topics. Most I do read - some I may agree with, maybe only in parts, sometimes not at all. If people are interested enough, they can join the group to read them (I have). If you post them on the main page, then you have to expect that sometimes somebody is going to disagree or challenge your comments. But just because we or I disagree or challenge your comments, does not mean we disrespect your religion, or your right to your beliefs - only that we disagree. I really resent being called a Christian hater everytime I have a difference of opinion. That;'s hate, just colored a different color.

And I have never called you a fanatic - not you, personally. I only used the word "fanatic" to describe the religious types that do proselytize, who do judge others or gets angry or upset with anybody who has their own beliefs that differ from theirs. I tend to think of fanatics as being more theatrical & dramatic, way beyond what I've read on these boards. But the angry judgemental attitudes whenever the subject of gayness being a choise, or the earth's age comes up, comes pretty close I think. The key word there, is "I think". You are free to think what you like.

wonder, you seemed pretty quick to leap to the conclusion that I was singling you out & being arrogant (about showing off my smarts? - many people would laugh at the very idea of that pertaining me) - when in fact, I was not. This is a public discussion forum - and the public generally tends to include many different opinons, ideas, beliefs. Why the outrage? Don't take it so personally if somebody disagrees with you. If you don't want to hear comments that may alter from yours, then don't post them for everybody to comment on. But please, get off the soapbox & stop calling people Christian haters just because they have a different opinion.

"You posted this topic on the main page"

Once again I will explain this to you - I did not and have not posted anything on the main page related to religion. It shows on YOUR main page when you are signed in because YOU are a registered member of the GROUP NWOhio Jesus Freaks. People that are not members of the group do not and cannot see the postings of the Group NWOhio Jesus Freaks. LOOK at the list of members of that group. Let the wheels start spinning in your head and figure it out.

Sheesh! Now get off your soapbox. Man!

this post deals with hate , a fundamental problem in this world .
If a 'Christian ' group said Jews are pigs and apes , you would want to know about it.

...proven science so it fits into their belief system better. You quoted a scripture that is supposed to justify how Christians claim that the earth is only 6,000 years old, when in fact, it's been proven (in many ways, proof that can be touched, examined) that it is 65 billion years old.

Starling, It's not been proven. It's technically just a theory based on the interpretations of scientists' understanding of nature. The only way to have 100% proof is to witness something. So, until you find someone that is 65 billion years old, it's THEORY. By the way, Christians encourage and love science because it's a great way to continually discover the amazing power and greatness of our Creator God. Believers are not to cherry pick which scriptures we believe and which we don't. We are to take God at His word. If He says He created the Earth as we know it, then I have to believe it. If He says He created all the life on this planet and had Adam name them all, then I have to believe it. Our faith is in His Word. We either believe it all or none. Some people make the argument that there are so many old rules and laws in the Old Testament that don't make sense anymore (like Kosher foods for example). That's where studying the culture at that time is important. I could go on for pages and pages here but it's really something you have to want to know so I won't bore you.

I cannot PROVE my belief either. That's why it's called FAITH. Have you seen the movie "Contact" with Jodie Foster? She is an astrophysicist who experiences contact with alien life but cannot prove it and is publicly labeled a fraud. Her friend (played by Matthew McConaughey) is a Christian preacher who has had spiritual experiences with God, but of course cannot prove it. She basically thinks he's a nut until her experience which she also cannot prove.

I never ever stated I ever wanted to impose my faith or beliefs on anyone. I wish to share them because they have enriched my life so much, but impose? No. But at the same time I do not want our society to tell me that my good morals that are proven to help keep society safe and good should be outlawed or put second to the growing lack of morality that is taking over our country. There are many people out there calling themselves Christians that do want to impose their religion in schools and government. They are misguided. I also want to point out that those freaks that have been protesting funerals of soldiers and holding signs saying "God hates Fags" are NOT Christians. They may say they are, but trust me, they are not. The only thing that God really hates is when He is misrepresented or accused of being someone He is not.

I quote bible scriptures because I believe in them and I share them to show you why I say what I say. You don't have to believe them, just know where I'm coming from.

Lastly, I didn't come out and say you are a Christian hater. Your posts speak for themselves. And I have never called you a fanatic - not you, personally. Yes, you have - here:

I wish I had more time to talk, but I have to get back to work. I've already spent too much time on this while at work. That's not good.

Ok, I'm back again because I have some more questions about some of the things you said.

starling02 said: But the angry judgemental attitudes whenever the subject of gayness being a choise, or the earth's age comes up, comes pretty close I think. The key word there, is "I think". You are free to think what you like.

1. Why do you claim that I get angry when someone has a different opinion? The truth is that I get angry when someone accuses me of saying things I didn't say and implying that I'm some kind of ignorant fanatic. Did I ever post a comment about gay being a choice? Even if I did (which I don't think I did), why would that be judgmental?

2. Why would statements about the Earth's age be so upsetting to you as to consider someone a fanatic? Why should you care if someone believes that? I don't care or compare people to fanaticism for their belief in a 65 billion year old Earth.
I don't like it that it's portrayed constantly on tv (Discovery, National Geographic, etc) and in textbooks that it's fact that the Earth is 65 billion years old and that all life as we know it evolved from some accidental mixture of chemicals. There's nothing I can do about that but try to keep peoples' minds open to the alternate possibilities. (Personally, I like believing there's more to our existence than the short time we are here).

wonder - I was wrong about the earth's age - it is 4.5 billion years old. And this hasn't been 'guessed' about, it's been proven, as shown in the articles below. Before you dismiss this entirely without reading it, please check out the article below that was taken from a site that discusses the subject for Creationists. I am not posting this to debate it, but rather because I found it facinating - we can maybe both learn something from it. (you said you like to keep an open mind, and this the bottom article is from a religous site).
(the article is quite long, but this is the gist...

Modern geologists and geophysicists consider the age of the Earth to be around 4.54 billion years (4.54×109 years).[1] This age has been determined by radiometric age dating of meteorite material[2] and is consistent with the ages of the oldest-known terrestrial and lunar samples.

Following the scientific revolution and the development of radiometric age dating, measurements of lead in uranium-rich minerals showed that some were in excess of a billion years old.[3] The oldest such minerals analysed to date – small crystals of zircon from the Jack Hills of Western Australia – are at least 4.404 billion years old.[4] Comparing the mass and luminosity of the Sun to the multitudes of other stars, it appears that the solar system cannot be much older than those rocks. Ca-Al-rich inclusions (inclusions rich in calcium and aluminium) – the oldest known solid constituents within meteorites that are formed within the solar system – are 4.567 billion years old,[5] giving an age for the solar system and an upper limit for the age of the Earth.


How Old Is the Earth?
By Merle Hertzler

Last night, light arrived at your house from the distant stars. It must have taken a long time for that light to reach your house, for the stars are very far away, and light travels at only 186,000 miles per second. Scientists tell us it would have taken billions of years for the light to have made that journey from the distant stars. If the light did indeed come from those stars, then the light left those stars billions of years ago. And if the light was traveling for billions of years, than the stars must be very old, and the universe is very old.

Some people will object to this conclusion, and will tell me the universe is only 6000 years old, based on a literal interpretation of the Bible. But if the universe and the stars are only 6000 years old, and light appears to have taken billions of years to make that journey, how did that light manage to reach the earth?

Creationists have made several attempts to explain this problem. Some have questioned that the universe is really that big. If the stars are closer to us than scientists claim, then the light would have had time to reach earth in 6000 years.

So how can scientists be so sure the stars are far away? Good question. Let's look at one measurement that was made. On February 23, 1987, a supernova, which is a vast star explosion, was observed. It was known as SN 1987A. About eight months after the explosion was observed, reflections from the explosion were seen in a distant gas cloud ring that circled the supernova. The ring can be seen as an orange circle in the photo above. The reason the reflected light was delayed eight months was that it took time for the light to travel from the supernova to the distant gas clouds and then to reflect from there back to earth. (See illustration below.) And so we can conclude that it took about eight months--or 0.66 years-- to journey from the supernova to the gas ring. Knowing the time it took to reach the ring, and knowing the speed of light, we can calculate the distance to the ring. Knowing this distance, and measuring the angle between the supernova and the reflection as seen from the earth, we can use simple trigonometry to calculate the distance of the supernova from the earth. Astronomers have calculated that the distance is so large that it took light 169,000 years to make that journey.

So if you think the universe is 6000 years old, how is it that we can see this supernova and the reflected light? The light had to travel for 169,000 years to reach earth. It must have left the supernova long before the traditional date of Creation, 4000 BC. Can you see how most of us conclude the universe is more than 6000 years old?

Some will suggest that God made the universe complete with a beam of light from the stars to the earth. The actual light that arrives here would have never left the stars, but would have been created midway. It would be like a truckload of Florida oranges that made it to Vermont in 1 hour because the truck and the oranges aboard had been created out of nothing 20 miles away from Vermont. But if this had happened, then the truck does not have oranges from Florida onboard. It would be carrying oranges that had been created enroute. Similarly, if the light was created enroute, the light would not have actually come from the stars.

There is a big problem with this view. We are not merely seeing a simple beam of light. We see events such as this supernova explosion in the light that arrives. Did these explosions really occur? If the light was created part way between the star and the earth in such a way that it looked like an explosion, then it seems that the creator was deceptive. For to create light that looks like an elaborate explosion, when no such explosion really happened, would be deceitful. If the creator was deceptive, would he blame us for being fooled by the deception he made?

SN 1987A Links

Additional photos can be found at Space Telescope Science Institute . (offsite)

For more information on the distance calculation, see SN 1987A and the Antiquity of the Universe by Todd Greene. (offsite)

If we were to assume that the Bible was God's perfect revelation, but that the light from the stars was deceiving us, how could we trust such a God's written revelation? For if God's physical evidence is deceptive, could not the written evidence also be deceptive?

Suppose that God had deliberately faked the light of an explosion that had never happened. If he did this, how would we know anything about the universe? Once we postulate that an all-powerful, deceptive God is manipulating the data, we could know nothing. Such a God could be fooling us in everything we observe. We may think lightning is made of electricity, but if a deceitful God is in charge, maybe his is only fooling us. We may think the laws of physics apply, but a deceitful God could be manipulating the data. So if God is all-powerful, and is deceitfully manipulating the data, we would know nothing.

If we rule out a deceitful God, than it seems that the distant star light has been traveling for millions of years.

Did light manage to get here in less than 6000 years because it used to travel faster? This is an old Creationist claim, which has been thoroughly refuted [1 ]. In this case, however, even a faster speed of light would not help. Light from the supernova took 8 months to reach the outer ring. Suppose light was traveling ten times as fast when it started its journey. Then the light would have gone ten times further during that 8 months it took to reach the cloud ring, and the ring would be ten times bigger than we have calculated. This would mean that the triangle in the illustration above is ten times as big, and the distance to earth is ten times as far. This only makes the problem worse! Now the light would need to travel much further to get to earth. So even if the light had started out faster, it would not resolve the problem for believers in a 6000-year-old earth.

So the light we see in the photo above simply could not have made it to earth if the universe is less than 169,000 years old. Something is wrong with the 6000-year time frame.

I use SN 1987A as an example because it was in a galaxy that was close enough that we could photograph it. We can see that other supernovas are occurring much further away. The light that arrives from the most distant stars would have taken billions of years to reach earth. And yet we see it. Can you reach any other conclusion but that the universe is billions of years old?

Let us pause for a minute to address a concern that may be on your heart at this point. The conclusion of an old earth will not be easy for many Christians to reach. You have a high regard for the findings of true scientific observation and reason, but you also trust the Bible. And your Bible seems to indicate that the universe is thousands of years old, not billions. And so you are faced with a conflict. One solution would be to just ignore the physical observations of the universe. Another solution would be to just ignore the Bible. Neither of those is satisfactory to you. There are some other options. Either you could modify your observations of starlight so that it is compatible with your interpretation of the Bible, or you could modify your interpretation of the Bible so that it is compatible with the physical observations. We have tried to modify our observations of the universe to match a 6000-year-old earth, and failed. So the natural question for many Christians to ask next is, "Can the Bible be interpreted to be compatible with an old universe."

Many Christians have found that the Bible can indeed be interpreted that way. For instance, Norman Geisler, one of the foremost Evangelical apologists, writes:

One of the biggest problems for the young earth view is in astronomy. We can see light from stars that took 15 billion years to get here. To say that God created them with the appearance of age does not satisfy the question of how their light reached us. We have watched star explosions that happened billions of years ago, but if the universe is not billions of years old, then we are seeing light from stars that never existed because they would have died before Creation. Why would God deceive us with the evidence? The old earth view seems to fit the evidence better and causes no problem with the Bible.[2]

Evangelical Old-Earthers (all offsite)

Age of the Earth Hugh Ross's site shows why many Evangelicals believe in an old earth.

Notable Christians Open to an Old Earth Interpretation, a list of Christians who are open to an old earth, complete with quotes.

Four Views of the Biblical Creation Account . Some ways to make the Genesis account fit with the observations of the universe.

Affiliation of Christian Geologists Christian geologists who believe in an old earth.

Notice that this quote does not come from a godless, atheist infidel. No, it comes from a leading Evangelical authority. He finds that an old earth causes no problem with the Bible. And many leading Evangelical scholars have been publicly open to an old-earth view, including Lee Strobel, John Ankerberg, Pat Robertson, William Lane Craig, Hugh Ross, Hank Hannegraff, and Francis Schaeffer. (See sidebar)

There are several ways in which the Bible can be interpreted to be compatible with an old universe. One of the most popular is to assume that each "day" in Genesis actually represents a long period of time. Other options have been proposed. If your interpretation of the Bible is making it difficult to accept the obvious conclusion from nature, you may want to look at some of the links in the sidebar before you proceed.

Moving on, not only do we find that the stars are old, but we can see that the earth is old. All around the world we find many layers of underground fossils and sediments. Where did all of these fossils come from? Glenn Morton, a former young-earth Creationist writer, has written a description of the fossil record as it appears in North Dakota. He describes the 3-mile thick fossil record, which includes animal fossils, burrows, shark teeth, coal, and fecal pellets (click here to see it offsite). Where did all of these layers come from? How is it that we find animal fossils, teeth, and fecal pellets spread throughout the record? It is difficult to escape the conclusion that all of these are the remains of real animals that were buried. But if animals have been buried 3 miles deep, and other animals have been buried on top of them, and still others on top of them up through all 3 miles of sediment, one must surely conclude that it took a long time for all of those layers to accumulate.

Let's look at another example of the details found in the fossil record. Specimen Ridge in Yellowstone Park is a 2000-foot high wall of rock that includes the petrified remains of 18 forests, each one growing on sediments that were deposited on the forest layer below it. [3] Now think about that. A forest grew and was covered up in a catastrophic volcano and landslide. The soil weathered until it became fit for plant life to grow again. Another forest grew. Some time later it too was wiped out in another catastrophe. The process repeated until at least 18 forests grew and were wiped out. Surely it takes a long time for one forest to be covered, for the soil to weather, and for another forest to grow above it, only to be covered up again. Do you not agree that the bottom of this ridge--down below those 18 fossilized forests--is very old?

How can young-earth believers explain the fossil record? Some have tried to say that God created all of these layers at the beginning of the world. But is that logical? Are we really to believe that the fossil bones of dinosaurs and buried forests were put into the rocks at the creation of the world? That would mean that those dinosaur fossils did not come from real animals. Is it possible that God just buried all of those fake fossils down there? That doesn't seem likely. Could God be so deceptive? And you do not believe in a deceptive God, do you? So you must conclude that the fossils are real, and that the rocks in which dinosaur fossils were found were formed after those dinosaurs had lived and died. So many rocks down there could not have been formed during a one-week creation, but were formed later, after the dinosaurs they cover had died.

Now the same reasoning that makes me think that the dinosaurs were real, also convinces me that the fish and trilobite fossils found far below the dinosaur fossils are also the real remains of real animals that once lived. And so these rocks must also have been formed long after the origin of the earth. These fossils simply could not have existed in the earth from the beginning. They must have been created later, and they must have taken some time to form.

Flood Links

Problems with a Global Flood . By Mark Isaak. Learn why scientists do not take flood-geology seriously. (offsite)

The Geologic Column and its Implications for the Flood by Glenn Morton. Find out what is below the surface of the earth. (offsite)

Was There a Worldwide Flood? In this formal debate, I show the problems with belief in a global flood (offsite)

The Impossible Voyage of Noah's Ark, by Robert Moore (offsite)

Some young-earth creationists have tried to argue that the bulk of the fossil record was formed during Noah's flood, a view known as flood-geology. I had read such books as a teenager, and was convinced that they described the way the fossil record was formed. Years later, I would find that the problems with this view are insurmountable. For instance, in the middle of the Grand Canyon we find a buried sand dune, which was made of wind-blown sand. Now flood geologists claim that the rock layers in the Grand Canyon were created during Noah's flood. But if those rock layers were formed during the flood, why do we see buried sand dunes in the midst of the deposits? Something is wrong here. Surely there were no winds blowing sand around under the flood waters. How then is this dune in the middle of the deposits? If this dune occurred before the flood, how can you explain all of the fossil-bearing layers below it? And if the dune occurred after the flood, how can you explain all of the layers above it? Where did they come from? So a global flood does not explain the fossil record.

And what about the cave systems, footprints, and animal burrows that we find throughout the fossil record? How can these things be created during a raging flood? Animals would not be walking around leaving footprints if a raging flood was going on above them, would they? And how can a cave possibly get created in the middle of a raging flood? So it seems to me that the flood cannot explain the fossil record. The layers of rock must have been formed over a very long period of time.

How old is the earth? Surprisingly, modern science has been able to answer that question to a high degree of accuracy. A technique known as radiometric dating is used to find the age of the rock layers. These dates are based on the knowledge that some elements in rocks decay to form other elements. We know how fast they decay. Thus, if we know what the original concentrations of the elements in a rock were, and know what the concentrations are today, and if we can establish that there were no outside disturbances that interfered with the process, we can calculate the age of a rock. That sounds like a lot of unknowns. Young-earth Creationists love to point them out as if scientists had never thought about them. They are wrong. Scientists have dealt with these problems, and have found solutions.

This gets a little technical here--skip this paragraph if I lose you-- but I think we should take a brief look at Rb-Sr isochrons. This was the clincher for me. I had once argued that the earth is young, but when I learned about isochrons, I soon changed my mind. Scientists use isochrons to calculate the original composition of certain elements in a rock, and to show that contamination has not affected the result. Does that sound like magic? It isn't. It turns out that the element rubidium-87 (Rb-87) in rock decays to form strontium-87 (Sr-87) at a known rate. The more Rb-87 in a rock, the faster Sr-87 accumulates. So if we know the concentration of Rb-87 of any sample, we will know the rate at which the Sr-87 concentration increases with time. And knowing this rate of change, we can calculate back to any time in the past and determine what the Sr-87 concentration would have been. Rocks also have another form of strontium, Sr-86, which stays constant with time. Scientists measure the amount of Sr-87 in a rock by looking at the Sr-87/Sr-86 ratio. As Sr-87 accumulates, the Sr-87/ Sr-86 ratio increases. What does this tell us? One sample doesn't tell us much. Let's look at another sample from a different location on the same formation where there is more Rb-87. This point will experience a faster change in its Sr-87/Sr-86 ratio because there is more Rb-87 to decay. Again, we can calculate this ratio back through time. In a valid sample, we will find that, at some point in the distant past, both samples had the same Sr-87 /Sr-86 ratio. Scientists can repeat the process for a number of samples on a valid rock formation, and all will show that they had nearly the same Sr-87/Sr-86 ratio at that point in the past (see graph below). This is interesting. For, in rock formations that come from a single flow of lava, the strontium comes from one source, and would indeed have had the same Sr-87/Sr-86 ratio throughout when the rock layer was formed. The most obvious reason for the correlation of these ratios is that this is the point when the lava that created this formation was flowing, with strontium from one source spread throughout the lava. So this must be the date of the lava flow. This procedure yields ages of many millions of years. [4] What other explanation is there? Could God have scattered these elements in the rocks at different concentrations, using a different Sr-87/Sr-86 ratio at each point depending on the local Rb-87 content, so that it looks like the rocks existed through millions of years of decay? Wouldn't that be deceptive?

We have looked at only one method of dating rocks. There are more than 40 radiometric dating methods. Scientists usually do more than one test on a rock formation, and find excellent correlation between the dates found. With so many different methods--each based on different principles--and with each arriving at the same answer, isn't that strong evidence that the dates found are correct?

Even if you do not understand the concepts, there are thousands of scientists that do. And there is a scientific consensus that radiometric dating is valid, and that these rocks are many millions of years old.

It is important to understand that there are animal fossils under these rocks. Now you agree with me that these fossils were formed from the remains of animals, don't you? And you surely must agree that the rocks on top of those animal fossils must have been deposited after those animals had lived. So the rocks on top of the fossils--the rocks that we evaluate with radiometric dating--could not have been formed when the earth was first formed. They must have been formed later. If we were to suggest that God deliberately manipulated the elements to change the apparent date, it would mean that he did it when the volcano that formed those rocks erupted many years after the earth began. Did God manipulate the data hundreds of times throughout the ages as these various rocks solidified? I cannot imagine God doing that, can you? Surely he would not be bothered with deliberately manipulating the data every time a volcano erupts.

The Age of the Earth

For a good overview of radiometric dating, see Radiometric Dating: A Christian Perspective by Roger Wiens. (offsite)

See Occam's Razor by Francis Heylighen to learn about keeping it simple. (offsite)

How do scientists know that the earth is old?

I can only come to one of two conclusions. Either those rocks are many millions of years old, or God used extremely elaborate means to make the rocks look old. The deception would be so subtle that nobody could have possibly been fooled by it until scientists had reached the modern understanding of radioactivity. Could God have deliberately faked all of these components of all of these rocks, just so we would arrive at the wrong answer when we tried to date them years later? That doesn't seem likely to me. If we rule out deliberate deception, I am left with believing that the rocks are old.

Some have proposed that these rocks are not the work of God, but of the devil. Okay, suppose that a volcano erupts in Hawaii. Do a host of demons swarm over the lava to manipulate the elements and make it look old? Science cannot seem to detect such demons. Besides, if demons are doing that, shouldn't the rocks from recent volcanoes date to millions of years old? Rocks from recent volcanoes do not yield old ages when tested. Have the demons forgotten to manipulate the elements? Okay, we could postulate that these demons worked only in the distant past. But then I need to ask why there is so much volcanic rock down there if the earth is 6000 years old. Yes, we could postulate that another swarm of underground demons was down there causing volcanoes. Then I would ask why we find no mammals or people in the older layers. Again, we could postulate yet another host of demons, who chased all of the mammals away from the early volcanoes. We could continue to postulate yet another demon for every problem with this hypothesis. Do you see how throwing all of these demonic entities into the solution makes it all implausible? Every time we add yet another demon to fix a flaw in the theory, the whole theory becomes less likely. William of Occam discovered long ago that simple explanations are usually more likely to be true than explanations that require multiple ad hoc explanations. Once we start multiplying entities--once we add one demon after another to explain each detail--we could prove anything. We could state, for instance, that the earth was flat, and could propose a different demon for every evidence to the contrary. If that is acceptable, no idea could then be proven false. We would know nothing. So scientists look for the simplest explanations, the ones that do not need multiple ad hoc assumptions.

The simplest explanation is that the rocks look old because they are old.

How old is the earth? Rocks on the earth have been dated as old as 4 billion years. Many meteorites have been dated, and we consistently find an age of about 4.5 billion years. Evidence indicates that the meteorites and the earth were formed at about the same time, about 4.5 billion years ago.

Perhaps you are not into the study of radioactive elements and exponential decay. How about counting? You can certainly do that. If you were to cut down a tree and count 100 rings, you would know that this tree was 100 years old. We can do a very similar thing with the polar ice caps. The ice builds up another thin layer every year. People have drilled down through the ice and counted the layers. They find more than 50,000 distinct layers before they begin to fade together. Doesn't that prove that the earth is more than 6000 years old?

Young Earth Claims

The Institute for Creation Research (ICR) is the granddaddy of the young-earth creation movement. (offsite)

Young-earth claims have been examined by science and found wanting. See The Age of the Earth by Chris Stassen and Young-Earth Arguments: A Second Look by Glenn Morton (both offsite).

Years ago, organizations like the ICR had convinced me that the earth was young. They used arguments that sounded good when I heard only one side. They told me, for instance, that the earth's magnetic field was decreasing. They said that the magnetic field must have started out strong several thousand years ago, and decreased since then. That sounded convincing to me. Since I, who knew little about the earth's magnetic field, was convinced by their argument, did that prove that the argument was correct? Of course not. The real test of a scientific proposal is not the ability to convince the general public, but the ability to convince those that understand the relevant data. Those that understood recognized that the claim for a constantly decreasing magnetic field was false, for it did not account for all of the components of the earth's magnetic field, and did not recognize the evidence that the magnetic field has been fluctuating throughout earth history. Those who understood the earth's magnetic field were not convinced with this young-earth argument. You may hear arguments from the young-earth crowd that sound impressive. Please understand that scientific-sounding arguments that convince the general public do not prove a concept is true. An idea should be considered scientific only if it stands up when those who understand the science involved analyze it and accept it. That is the real test.

I conclude that the universe is very old. We can see distant starlight. We can dig up old fossils and date rocks to billions of years. And a lot can happen in a billion years.

wonder, I apologise - I didn't realize that the posts show up because I joined the group. My mistake.
That comment I posted with the definition of 'fanatic', was just that - a definition, that I wondered if perhaps you & a couple other posters may come close to the fine line, because it seems most of the topics you post are religious in nature. A snippet from my comment was - "according to Winston Churchill, "A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject". By either description the fanatic displays very strict standards and little tolerance.
I never asked or expected you to prove your faith, and I've never said that you impose your faith on others - you have not. You did say "We either believe it all or none.." I do understand that the Old Testement has kind of been tossed aside for the kinder, gentler God of the New Testement (I do not mean that to be disrespectful - but the Old T God endorsed & ordered mass murders, human sacrifice, infantcide, etc.). But isn't that kind of like 'cherry picking'? Isn't there a scripture that says women aren't allowed to speak back to a man? I think there's a lot of scriptures that get ignored because they don't apply today - but it's kind of still cherry picking isn't it? I am not asking this to be difficult - it's something I've always puzzled about. I remember when I was a kid and Catholics weren't allowed to eat meat on Friday - but now they do. But they are against birth control of any kind - although I know of many Catholics who use birth control. That type of thing.

Earths' age - yes, it has been largely scientifically proven - by thousands of scientists, using a wide variety of highly technical tests. It is not just a 'theory'. The same can be said about Sue the dinosaur (I know a born-again Christian man who insists that carbon dating doesnt' exist, that scientists made it up to fool the masses.)
Species Tyrannosaurus rex
Age between 67 and 65.5 million years
Place discovered Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, South Dakota
Date discovered 1990
Discovered by Susan Hendrickson
The Iceman (facinating read - not a caveman)
Born fl. c.3300 BC
near the present village of Feldthurns (Velturno), north of Bolzano, Italy
Died fl. c.3300 BC (aged about 45)
Schnalstal glacier, Ötztal Alps, near Hauslabjoch on the border between Austria and Italy
Cause of death Victim of a crime or ritual sacrifice
Other names Frozen Fritz; Similaun Man
Height 1.65 m (5.4 ft)
Weight 50 kg (110 lb/7.9 st)
Known for Oldest natural mummy of a Chalcolithic (Copper Age) European man
I need to apologise to you further - for some reason I thought you'd posted on the thread below, but I was wrong. I don't really have any good reason for why it irks me when people claim that people choose to be gay - I only know a couple of gays, not a lot of up close & personal experience, and I'm not an expert on homosexuality. I do know the misery those young guys went through as teens, denying their inclinations, living a lie for fear of losing the love of family & friends. One is a good friend of my daughter - just a sweet guy, who's learned to love & accept himself in spite of the haters. Anyway, the thread below was a claim that Exodus was the 'cure' for gayness, and claimed a high success rate (it had a poor success rate). When I read through the 'rule book' of Exodus, it broke my heart that parents could treat their kids this way - kids who would rather hang themselves in a closet than risk losing the love of their parents. Some users here who insist that gayness is a choise - it seems like judging to me - when, if there is a God, it should be he who judges. A bit of a ramble here -but again, I apologise. You weren't one that insisted that if gays didn't 'change', they were doomed to hell. I should have thought before I leaped to the conclusion you felt that way.

Lastly, I do understand that a person believes on faith - and by doing so, they also accept all facets of the Bible - without question. That includes all scriptures I would think - Old & New Testament. I would never expect somebody to stop believing, nor do I want to imply that I disrespect them for what they believe. Two of my closest friends are deeply religious - and I hestitate to say that again here, because when I did one other time, I was called a racist, people said that by me saying that, it was no better than if I'd said I had some black friends. My point in mentioning it at all (then & now), is simply to show that these two friends have dealt with my questions, we've bantered things about plenty over the last 30 years - and nobody's toes ever felt stepped on or felt insulted or put down. There is nothing I could ever say that could shake their faith & I would never try. They know I am not religious & have doubts, and probably humor my questions as best as they can. We've had some good laughs over the years about it. Only here on SB it seems like walking in a landmine whenever religion is discussed. Anyway, I'm sorry I got you confused with somebody else.

to 300 - 400 words . Some of your copy and pasting is very long and hard to read. Just an observation. This has been an interesting exchange to read. Also , I do question the Bible when I read it. Not one part of it has been disproven that I can find.

I apologise for the very long post (I said it was long) - I know long comments can be annoying to read, sometimes I ramble (trying to get better). In this case, I thought all of it was worth the read - couldn't figure out what the 'best' part was to do it briefly. I also realize that some things I say get taken in ways I don't intend (something I'm learning). What may come across to some as attacking somebody's faith is usually just me asking questions, challenging somebody's point of view maybe because I disgree with them. I'm really not trying to piss people off, and am sorry if I stepped on toes.

Star, I hope you will put as much time into reading and studying what some other scientists have found to back up everything in the bible. Yes, many of them are Christians, some are Jewish, some are just open-minded. The point is, true science is the never ending search for truth. New discoveries are made everyday. Some of them have even changed long standing beliefs.

I will not copy/paste it here but I could give you some names and references that you can use to go look up and google for yourself. I will do that if you are interested. Just say the word.

I should mention though that some of the things I've learned about biblical historical facts I've only learned within maybe the past few years. I've been a Christian all my life (I'm 45). I too used to believe that the Earth was millions of years old and that if there really was a "Noah's flood", it was only a flood that affected the known world at Noah's time, not the entire planet. I didn't discover or learn my present beliefs overnight. I have spent years searching out truth. I'm not saying I've spent hours pouring over textbooks or anything, but I've kept an open mind and sought out information from various sources. I prayed to God for wisdom and understanding. He always meets you when you seek Him with a humble spirit.

Anyway, please let me know if you are interested in looking at some other information that is available that can "prove" or back up what's in the bible as it relates to historical events or places. Note: I cannot provide you with proof of God. That is an extremely personal experience between you and Him. Just know that He is waiting for you if you ever want to talk to Him. He loves ALL His children, and just wants us to love Him back.

Religious police ban pet sales to protect women
Agence France-Presse
Thursday, July 31, 2008

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (Agence France-Presse) | Saudi Arabia's religious police have announced a ban on selling pet cats and dogs or exercising them in public in the Saudi capital because of men using them as a means of making passes at women, an official said Wednesday.

Othman al-Othman, head of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice in Riyadh, known as the Muttawa, told the Saudi edition of al-Hayat newspaper that the commission has started enforcing an old religious edict.

He said the commission was implementing a decision taken a month ago by the acting governor of the capital, Prince Sattam bin Abdul Aziz, adding that it follows an old edict issued by the supreme council of Saudi scholars.

The reason behind reinforcing the edict now was a rising fashion among some men using pets in public "to make passes on women and disturb families," he said, without giving more details.

Mr. al-Othman said the commission has instructed its offices in the capital to tell pet shops "to stop selling cats and dogs."

The 5,000-strong religious police oversees the adherence to Wahhabism - a strict version of Sunni Islam, which also forces women to cover themselves from head to toe when in public, and bans them from driving.

Meanwhile a Saudi appeals court has upheld a jail and flogging verdict against a biochemist and his female student whose research contact was ruled to be a front for a telephone affair that led her to divorce her husband, Reuters news agency reported.

The biochemist, Khalid Zahrani, said Wednesday that he found out this week from the court offices that three judges had approved the verdict.

He was sentenced last year to eight months in prison and 600 lashes and his student to four months in prison and 350 lashes for establishing a telephone relationship that the court said led her to divorce her husband.

The man said the only recourse left to him was the Supreme Judicial Council, a court of cassation that only views cases if requested by the king. He also hopes for intervention from the government's Human Rights Commission.

The hospital where the biochemist worked in al-Baha in the southwest of the kingdom put him in charge of the master's degree research the student was doing at King Abdul-Aziz University in Jidda in 2002.

The woman obtained a divorce seven months after she was married in 2004. Her husband then raised the court case, saying the supervisor's telephone calls led to the breakup.

Rights groups and Saudi reformers have criticized what they say is an arbitrary justice system, based on uncodified Islamic Shariah law, unsuited to the needs of a country of 25 million people. There are less than 1,000 judges, all of them religious scholars

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