At one point, I would have thought that Pat Robertson of the Trinity Broadcast Network was a perfect example of a mind befuddled by willful ignorance. But Robertson publicly criticized Ken Ham of AnswersInGenesis for being “deaf, dumb, and blind”, because Ham doesn’t believe there was a Mesozoic era. Ham believes that dinosaurs once lived with people just a few thousand years ago. But Ham in-turn also publicly criticized Kent Hovind of Creation Science Ministries for the same sort of unrealistic stupidity. This was because Hovind believes dinosaurs are still alive today, and he’s not talking about birds! So it seems that the only way to be even less reasonable or rational than Kent Hovind is if you’re such an extreme science denialist that you don’t believe dinosaurs ever existed at all.
Recently one young woman has gotten a lot of attention as the admin of an organization called CADministries or ‘Christians Against Dinosaurs’. As unbelievable as it may seem, they profess that the concept of dinosaurs was invented by Sir Richard Owen back in the 1842, but that the first fossils of dinosaurs didn’t exist until 1854, and that every fossil ‘found’ since then was actually manufactured by paleontologists, using adhesive spackle and random bits of rocky rubble. They say every dinosaur we ever heard of was created this way, and that each fossil is worth a million dollars to whatever paleontologist can sculpt one together. Yes, we’re talking about yet another impossibly cohesive centuries-old secret global conspiracy at every level – allied against belief in the Bible god.
Now, it’s hard for me to believe that anyone could be that stupid, and I’ve debated Ray Comfort! So I’m inclined to suspect that this whole organization is a joke, and that the admin is a poe. But if she is, she’s persistent, and the joke isn’t funny. She’s already been banned from Mumsnet, a website dedicated to parenting, because she complained that teaching children about dinosaurs is a lie that causes them to act like monsters. Even ChristianityToday.com warns about how CADministries is trying to impede or disrupt childrens’ education.
Remarkably, Kristen Auclair, the self-described admin of Christians Against Dinosaurs, has agreed to an hour-long live interview on a special episode of the Ra-Men podcast. She will have a discussion with myself and Rachel Nanon Brown, who used to do the science segments when we were both on Dogma Debate. I told Ms Auclair that I was a geoscience major, that I’ve been to fossil digs and worked in the paleo lab at the University of Texas, preparing and examining fossils I found myself. I told her my daughter worked in the Dallas Museum of Natural History, and that my former co-host, Rachel is a paleontologist working at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. So we all have direct hands-on experience to know that nothing Auclair says in any of her videos is even close to true. I told her I wouldn’t try to convince the audience of that. They already know. So we’re going to prove it to her.
Tune in and see how we do.
57 thoughts on “Christians Against Dinosaurs”
I’d say I already feel sorry for her – but I tend not to carry a great deal of sympathy for people who choose to be stupid.
So I’ll be tuning in with some beer and snacks, because shadenfreude.
I can’t wait to watch this … my 10-year old son feels sorry for her.
wow !!! how delusional can people be…. is the girl in the second video the one your going to interview?
how can i watch this and when ?? how do you keep your composure when talking to these kinds of people?
the sad part is that there are many many just like them…. keep up the good work.
Let’s also not ignore the fact that, for this conspiracy to be real, every one of Owen’s numerous comments revealing himself to be a religious zealot of the highest(?) order would have to be a lie.
Seriously, crazy people. Since you’re making this crap up whole cloth, can you at least be bothered to pay lip service to internal consistency?
First thought: Please don’t give crazy any more attention.
Second thought: Wait a minute, a lot of ex-Christians will say that they deconverted because of creationist arguments, due to how creationism clearly contradicts everything we know about anything. Have fun. : )
Also a note about irrationality of conspiracy theories: they are irrational by their nature because they posit a gigantic “house of cards”, which are less likely to remain stable the larger they become. Actual conspiracies involve small handfuls of people and small deceptions, and yet they are *STILL* frequently exposed without a single conspiracy theory ever being strung together by armchair detectives. But conspiracy theories like this one require countless THOUSANDS of people from all over the world, all working together to create the greatest house of cards ever known, without a single slip up or shred of evidence ever emerging.
Believing something like this is like buying a lottery ticked and believing it will be a winner; it’s irrational because probabilistically speaking, the chance of this being the true result is extremely close to zero. The alternative is far more likely. The word “rational” comes from the word “ratio”, and it means that you proportion your level of confidence to the level of evidence. If your confidence is so close to 100% that you call it a “belief” and yet the evidence is closer to 0% likelihood, you are being irrational by the definition of that word.
Why not? It often makes the more fuzzy, liberal theists take a look at their own faith and say, “Wait, which of us is more in keeping with what my holy book says?” It can help to shake a few out of the remainder of their brainwashing, so why not?
Oh, and then your second thought contradicts your first, indicating your stream of consciousness, while you were thinking about this moron. I should really read to the end of a comment before replying to it, huh?
I often come back with something similar, whenever I get some idiot who feeds me the line about me believing whatever the government tells me, and thinking that no one in government ever conspires to do anything illegal.
No, I think governments and corporations are capable of doing all sorts of shady crap. It’s just your slapped-together monstrosity that you’re undeservedly designating with the word theory, and others like it, which are preposterous.
On that subject, why do conspiracy theorists ignore the massive corporations, except for pharmaceutical companies (who are probably in league with the dreaded FDA)? I’m sure that a lot more conspiracy-worthy stuff goes on in corporate board rooms than what originates in governmental offices. Why do we never hear about the conspiracies orchestrated by the gun lobby, for example?
Back on the subject of this lady, though …
How did they get freaking Carl Baugh on board with this conspiracy? He does insane shit with the fossils he finds, after he gets them out of the ground, but he’s been involved with the excavation of a few big fossils, too. You’d think that if anyone had a motivation to blow this whole thing wide open, it would be him.
If even Carl Baugh thought it was a little too insane to go as far as you have with your anti-evolutionary claims, you’re on pretty freaking thin ice.
Because Cletus likes him some boom-sticks. That’s why.
That’s more or less what I was going for, yes. You often get a bit of bias with these sorts of things. There’s a reason that a lot more liberals than conservatives became 9/11 Truthers, since W was in office at the time.
A lot more liberals than conservatives became Truthers? Yeah, going to need a citation for that
A lot of the big names that got media attention for it are liberals or centrists, at any rate. Rosie O’Donnell comes to mind. Edward Current was a Truther for a little while. It would be more accurate to say that it seems to skew liberal. That’s more what I was thinking of. I guess the centrists would probably block it from being any kind of actual majority.
I never heard a word in support of the Truther movement from Faux News and the conservative talking-heads. Hell, why would they want to distract from the big, evil-Muslim-threat narrative? Libertarians seemed to join the movement in numbers, though, since they have enough nuts to supply just about any cause. Hard to get solid numbers on them, though.
Also, I meant that to specifically apply to “became 9/11 Truthers,” for whatever duration … not those who still are. I was a little unclear there. A whole bunch of people snapped out of it, after a few months, when they realized that the whole thing was insane.
I think we’re getting into a quibble over what counts as a Truther. I’ve only ever heard the term used to describe people who think that the government was actually behind 9/11 (the plane was really a missile, super-thermite in the walls, etc). And there were plenty of conservatives who jumped on the “the government knew about it and didn’t stop it” bandwagon, they just blamed Clinton instead of W.
Could be a definitional thing, yeah. Hell, I could almost get behind the “George W. Bush was told about it, but he didn’t take it seriously,” thing, although the narrative gets a bit over-the-top, at times. You know how the polarized nature of the current US political climate is screwing over everything, right now. Add to that the questionable nature of anything that comes through the intelligence services, since there’s so much disinformation going back and forth.
I just don’t see the point of taking any particular position on that lesser speculation, even if we knew enough to have a position about it. Hell, could you even call it a conspiracy theory? Even if it was true, the most it would rate is incompetence, and I don’t even know that I would call it that.
The polarization thing is particularly problematic. I’m expecting the federal government to get fuck-all done, for the next two years, since the Republican congress will barely send any bills to Obama’s desk that don’t include an abortion-restriction rider, or something else that they know he can’t sign. It’s going to be two solid years of poison pills, if they can actually get the infighting between the mainline and extremist wings of their party to work together. I just hope that the mushball-middle voters are paying the tiniest bit of attention and notice which party is being obstructionist … to itself, almost.
Experience indicates that Republicans will successfully convince their supporters that it’s all the fault of the Democrats. I mean, they successfully bamboozled people into thinking that the No Child Left Behind Act was designed to support public education rather than gut it.
Well sure, the exclusive Faux News watchers will continue voting straight-ticket Republican, no matter what happens. I have no illusions about being able to reach enough of them for it to be worth the effort. I’m only thinking about the swing-voters.
Offer to take her out to an actual paleontological dig, where actual dinosaurs fossils are currently being found. Tell her she will have a chance to find one for herself. Watch her squirm to get out of it. Profit.
But don’t show her what goes on in the tent way at the back of the dig site, where they don’t allow the cameras to go.
Someone who’s too stupid to turn a smart phone 90 degrees to do a video can hardly be seen as credible.
That’s one of those indicators, yeah. It doesn’t mean anything, by itself, but it’s usually accompanied by a lot of other wrong things.
Best joke I’ve heard all day.
Just watched the podcast.You could just hear the wind whistling between her ears.You threw much more at her then she could process and perhaps here less may have been better.
That can be an issue, yeah. Too much remedial work that needs to be done, which will never be done.
Not that we’re ever likely to be able to reach someone like her. About the only likely, positive outcome is to make her look like a total fool to the people on the fence. We can try to help move them more in our direction.
I mean it’s possible that someone like her can turn her thinking around completely, but it’s so unlikely that you don’t make it any kind of objective.
please point me towards the recording of the “interview” with this airhead…
It’s on the main page at http://www.thera-men.com, using the Spreaker widget on the right-hand side.
thanks Narf, but that is “evidence of jesus” podcast … i’m looking for this one… >>>> Remarkably, Kristen Auclair, the self-described admin of Christians Against Dinosaurs, has agreed to an hour-long live interview on a special episode of the Ra-Men podcast. i hunted around and haven’t found this one…. ??
Oh, I thought that was the title of the new one. I’m still on the backlog of episodes. Should be up soon, in that slot, I imagine. Give it a day or two.
Appears to be up on youtube.
Unless he has a namesake working for the competition, you should describe him as “Pat Robertson of the Christian Broadcasting Network” – Trinity BN has an interestingly scandalous history, but you can’t blame them for Pat.
She ‘believes’ this idea as a way to signal membership in her new-found community. If she *really* believed that all Dinosaur fossils were constructed by scientists, then the answer to Aron’s last question is easy. “Of course finding an actual bone is evidence that a creature existed. But all those dinosaur bones are constructs of rock and plaster.”
So, you think she’s doing this as an attention con, then will shift off to a more reasonable position after she gets enough attention?
No, she has this new community that she loves, she wants to fit in, so she is agreeing with their dogma. She might be able to convince herself that she believes it, but she doesn’t *act* like she believes it. The belief doesn’t inform her thoughts on questions. My response really is the obvious one if she actually believed what she claims to. She even said it in another context.
Oh, I thought she might have been a founding member of this group or something.
Sort of like some Southern Baptists I’ve known, who accepted everything that their preacher tells them … until I actually got down into specifics and discovered that they really only accept probably half of what he says, beyond the non-negotiable Christian dogma about the divinity of Jesus. When it comes to real-world stuff, they tossed out most of what he said as not applying to them, somehow.
They’d agree to everything as a package but reject most of that package by line-item, essentially. Is that anything like what you were getting at?
Not really. My point is a bit like Dennet’s belief in belief; she may have convinced herself that she believes. She has memorized the sentences that make up the belief, but can’t connect them to a new question because there is no understanding of the consequences that follow from that belief. You can see this when she tries repeating three times almost exactly the same words to Aron’s rephrasing of his questions. When that fails, she gives up.
Ah. Scroll to the bottom and check the “read and accept” box? Could be, yeah.
Let me comment on the video with Aronra and Kristen.
To start, let me add this disclaimer. On the facts, Aronra is completely right, and Kristen doesn’t know what she’s talking about. I have no complaints about the technical accuracy of Aronra’s statements.
However, Aronra, if you ever read this, you have some problems in debates and discussions like this one. This isn’t the first time you’ve had these problems. You talk past the other person, and the other person talks past you. You seemingly don’t try to understand their position, or you do badly. I presume your major purpose for doing videos like this is to educate the audience, but I don’t feel educated at all when I watch two people just talk past each other. I don’t understand her position or reasoning any better. I don’t understand the facts of the dispute any better because you didn’t properly address them. I had to quite halfway through because I wasn’t getting anything out of it, and I don’t think most people would either.
Let me focus on the specific problem of the first half of the video. I don’t know offhand how else to address the general problem you have in discssions like this.
The major problem of the first half was this: It was painfully obvious to everyone (except seemingly Aronra and Kristen) that there was a confusion over how incomplete are incomplete skeletons. On Kristen’s side, regarding the bones that scientists had before the creation of the word “dinosaur”, she had a mental picture of the bones as just a random assortment of bones which could be made to fit any crazy hypothesis, including the a new crazy unsubstantiated hypothesis of incredibly big lizards which were radically different from all known existing animals. Whereas, the facts of the matter are that the bones available were not just some random collection which could be made to fit a chicken or an elephant. I understand this Aronra, but Kristen did not, and I think most of your intended audience did not either.
Aronra, you needed to explain this difference, and help the audience visualize the difference, and understand the difference. You need to emphasize that these bones could not be made to fit chickens, elephants, etc. This needed to be done very early in the disagreement. (I don’t know if you managed to do it later in the video because I gave up half-way.) (It also would have been nice for Kristen to do this herself, but she seemed just as clueless as you Aronra regarding the details of the confusion. Again, clueless w.r.t. the confusion. You Aronra are brilliant and have a great understanding of the actual facts, and she does not.)
While watching the video, I immediately thought of the following line of questioning to make this very apparent:
Kristen, let me ask you this. Hypothetically, suppose that a decade before the creation of the word “dinosaur”, two people made independent, legitimate finds of actual, real fossilized skeletons of T Rex, except that the first was missing one bone in one finger, and the second was missing one bone in one toe. Would you consider that enough justification for coining the word “dinosaur”? [If Kristen answered no, then the proper thing is to clarify this, and if Kristen persists, then declare that Kristen is a dishonest scumbag and end the discussion.] Ok, now what if those two skeletons were missing the skull, but otherwise complete? Ok, now what if those two skeletons were only half of the animal, say the lower half, pelvis and legs? Are you seeing a pattern yet?
I also would have appreciated if you could have asked the following simple questions first, and gotten simple answers first, because I think that would have colored the rest of the conversation.
Q- What is the age of the Earth?
Q- Are any fossils real? At least for some fossils, do you accept that fossils are rocks, and that these rocks are the “remains” of real, former living creatures made out of flesh just like you and me?
I also would have loved for you to press her on the point that she believes that at least a hundred seemingly independent paleontologists from across the world, over at least 100 years, seemingly with little to no affiliation whatsoever, would conspire together to creation the fiction of dinosaur fossils.
Also, I would love if you presented the real numbers of how many say 80% complete dinosaur fossils we have, plus the number of people in the field who together discovered all of these fossils, plus a number of the organizations and countries of these discoverers, and a brief description of the details of this distribution over time. All of this to impress on Kristen and the audience how big this purported conspiracy must be. All to make this purported conspiracy seem ridiculous.
I think Aron is much better at debating and discussing things with people who aren’t total idiots and the intended audience has some semblance of an education. In his radio debate with Ray Comfort, Aron says something to the effect of “Your one strength, Ray, is that you pretend to not understand simple things.” He’s totally right; it’s far more difficult to be thorough when your opponent feigns (or, in the very unfortunate cases, actually has) ignorance to the point where being adequately thorough is hampered by time constraints.
I’ll also agree that Aron tends not to be Socratic during debates, or at least not frequently so. I’m a bit less critical because I’m very cynical when it comes to actually affecting people who are on the level of Kristen Auclair.
I think Aronra is brilliant, but he gets caught up on technical points which IMHO most of his intended audience won’t get, rather than focusing on real important points of confusion, and half of the time he doesn’t sufficiently explain the technical point of contention either. I happen to understand what’s going on because I’m educated on the topic, but that also means that I’m not part of the intended audience.
Aronra might do well in a debate with an informed honest intelligent opponent. However, there is no such thing on the creationist side.
I sat through the entire video.
Aron, you have far more patience than I could ever muster.
its is unreal how composed you remained during that podcast. i looked into her more and found this http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=dac_1424638062
it is frighting, and my guess is she will end up teaching grade school kids at some xian school, then fight her way on to the local school board and start another push to alter text books to support her view, which she did a worse then lame job of defending during your show.
CAD is a hoax (as you rightly suspected). Here’s some shopped stuff from an early CAD spokesperson’s Photobucket, placed in context of last October’s Michele Bachmann caper.
The object of the satire is “a curse on both your houses,” that is, both Fundamentalists and also those who would view such foolishness with alarm, an inviting target group, which some hasty reactions to the Bachmann meme showed lies close to the surface. (Some have also suggested that no tears are shed by the producers of the upcoming Jurassic World film.)
I did wonder about that acronym, when I first saw the name of the group. I dunno. I’ve seen organizations with other silly acronyms, like NOM. Let me go read that blog post and see what they have to say.
Narf check out this link and following comments.
after seeing how she just hung up on Aron i felt she understood at that point how silly she sounds and that facts will crush any of her views….. but it looks like she did really lose her job over it and the attention it drew.
I took a brief look at the CAD site again, before I had to run somewhere. Assuming that protest picture was on the site like that guy says … yeah, CAD is an over-the-top joke. Nice one. Heh.
I recall her saying that she *quit* her job, not that she lost it.
An update to the blog article: The original “Dinosuar demonstration” pic was taken at a local protest in Cornwall in February 2011, and has been featured on the protesters’ Facebook page all along.
I had you’re same thought about this being a poe. When the guy in the first video just straight up said dinosaurs are a myth, but dragons and the Lochness monster, that’s not a myth! That’s real! I just can’t believe this guy is serious
She’s got lovely tits. What was she saying? Hey, why should the religious nut jobs be the only ones to enjoy the luxury of vacuous meaningless comments?
And we’re pretty certain, at this point, that she’s a rationalist — possibly a nonbeliever — with a twisted sense of humor. That plus nice tits, yes.
When you out-crazy Kent Hovind and Ken Ham, you need to re-think your life.
When you out-crazy Kent Hovind and Ken Ham, you need to re-think your life.
Of course, we all know that Grendel (from Beowulf) was really a T-Rex.
Fire-breathing T-Rex! Roar! Scary! 😀
Yep, Grendel was a T-Rex. And Beowulf wrestled him and won. That is a manly man.