Creationists and Atlantis
Creationists and Atlantis are not regular bedfellows, so I was rather intrigued when I first encountered the work of James Nienhuis. He is a self-confessed ‘young earth’ creationist, who claims that the last Ice Age ended around 1500 BC. He is quite happy to accept that Plato wrote of a real ancient civilisation albeit within his chosen timeframe.
Creationists are currently expanding their assault on science with attempts to have the teaching of global warming banned(a). Consequently, it was another surprise to find that Bodie Hodge, a writer with The Museum of Creation in Kentucky and its propaganda wing Answers in Genesis(b), ventured to accept the existence of Plato’s Atlantis. Professor P.Z. Myers was similarly surprised and responded accordingly(c). Hodge ignores Plato’s date for the destruction of Atlantis and instead opts for a period between 1818 BC and 600 BC. To even include the latter date seems like rather careless research as it would mean that Atlantis sank during Solon’s lifetime. Hodge also considers the Greek ‘gods’, Atlas, Poseidon and Cronos as real people!
Although this is not the place for a debate on creationism, I must point out that there are conservative Christians who also accept scientific evidence and advocate a biblical chronology based on fact(d). While young earth creationists nitpick over minor problems that have been found with all dating methods, they fail to explain the overwhelming evidence provided by radiocarbon dating, dendrochronology, varves, ice cores and corals, ALL of which consistently tell the same story of a very ancient earth.
So far, it appears that creationists have little to add to the Atlantis debate, or indeed much else.
Although I am personally opposed to the idea of divine creation, I am not prepared to ignore evidence. Consequently, when I read of a US scientist, Mark Armitage, being fired because he offered evidence that seemed to cast doubt on evolution(e), I was interested. He discovered soft tissue in a triceratops horn and since soft tissue is not meant to survive more than a few thousand years, let alone 65 million of them, Armitage claimed that this undermined Darwinian evolution and by extension supported creationism! Some interesting background information on Armitage and his claim is also available online(f).
>“The university says it settled for $399,500 to avoid a protracted legal battle, but some scientists say the outcome has implications for how scientists critique creationist colleagues going forward…….but if Northridge employees had known about the deep-pocket legal groups that were committed to pursuing Armitage’s case, they would have handled themselves very differently from the get-go”(h). It would appear that Armitage won his case because of religious discrimination rather than his scientific conclusions.<
The latest evolutionary claim is that humans parted from apes earlier than previously thought and that this separation may have taken place in the Mediterranean region(g).