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I am a politically-progressive, ethically-herbivorous anthropoid pursuing a paleontology education in the Los Angeles Basin. I am largely nocturnal, have rarely been photographed, and cannot thrive in captivity.
Showing posts with label Sedimentary Rocks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sedimentary Rocks. Show all posts

22 April 2011

Creationism: Not Just For Christians!

It's probably not a surprise to anyone that there are creationists in all three of the major monotheistic religions, though Jewish ones are hard to come by. Muslim creationists, not so much, especially in Turkey. But I, for one, was surprised recently to discover that the evil meme's tentacles have a reach much farther than I thought.

In a recent Facebook dispute/discussion, I was informed that someone named Michael Tsarion, a possessor of "ultimate truth," is (allegedly) a vegan. This, we were told, was a boon to the animal rights & vegan community, because he is a wise man. But after spending a few hours enthralled by Tsarion's woo, I had to conclude, "with friends like these..."

Tsarion appears to be a booming franchise (though it's hard for me to independently verify, as a Google search on him turns up mostly sympathetic or critical sites, not analytical ones), and sells the standard New Age mumbo-jumbo boiler plate. His videos are all over the web, and he talks a lot about the "truth" about Atlantis and the hidden meaning of ancient religious texts, 2012, etc. You know the drill. He works in aliens and genetic manipulation, too. That's where it gets interesting, because the guy, despite rejecting Christianity, is a full-fledged creationist, and apparently of the Young Earth variety.

Tsarion's book Atlantis, Alien Visitation and Genetic Manipulation, contains a bizarre narrative in which our solar system was colonized 50,000 years ago by two warring alien races. The first race, retreating from the second, used a fictional, (mostly) water-world called Tiamat between the orbit of Mars and Jupiter as a decoy, and then secretly settled on Earth. When their enemies arrived, they destroyed this water-world and its
vast saline waters entered into the Earth’s atmosphere causing the first of two massive prehistoric deluges and tribulations that mankind would experience. It is thought that the alien invaders took full advantage of this predicament and moved in to bring about colonization. They met no resistance from the disoriented and weakened inhabitants of the Earth who believed their visitors were powerful gods.
Take that, Judeo-Christian-Muslims! Tsarion sees your Great Flood, and raises you another one!

This, Tsarion seems to think, is the origin of Earth's oceans, or at least most of them. Too bad for him, the marine sedimentary record stretches back 3.8 billion years. And what's more, there's no geological evidence of a worldwide, catastrophic flood, let alone two of them.

He also thinks the remnants of this fictional planet between Mars and Jupiter became the asteroid belt. Bad news, Mike: the asteroids were never a planet to begin with. In fact, there's not even enough mass there to build a body the size of our moon.

Appendix B of his book is full of references from geology and evolution deniers, quote-mined references from legit scientists, and a bit of absolute bunk... just like his evil Christian opponents' works!

If this guy is a vegan, I sincerely hope he never opens his mouth about it, or tries to become a prominent figure in the AR-vegan community. We've got a hard enough time as it is gaining cultural legitimacy. Tsarion could, all by himself, destroy what little progress we've made with his ridiculous babble.

If you're in the mood for some high comedy reading and have a couple of hours to kill, though, check him out. Don't forget the popcorn.

19 April 2011

Neighborhood Geology

One of the benefits of living in Earthquake Country is that, every now and then, when you least expect it, you stumble across some amazing geology. I was out running in my new neighborhood today, and rounded a corner to discover this spectacular outcrop of recumbent folding:
 
It's hard to tell what kind of rock it is from a distance, but I'm determined to get closer, with hand-lens and rock-hammers in tow.There's a lot of history to be seen here!