So, I’m doing homework right now, which is why I haven’t posted all week. The ICR, on the other hand, evidently does not get anything analogous to homework, as evidenced by their continuing-as-usual-on-a-week-after-an-aaf-publication over the same period.
Indeed, they’ve gone and launched themselves a vimeo channel, called That’s a Fact. Christine Dao introduces it like so:
The show is aimed at delivering fascinating facts about science, the Bible, and more in an entertaining manner—in two minutes or less.
The first episode in the series, “Measuring Billions,” shows just how big the number one billion is, from how many trips around the world one billion frequent flier miles will get you to how long it would take someone to count from one to one billion. (Hint: a little over one billion minutes have passed since the time Jesus walked the earth!)
New episodes will appear each month, and viewers can share these fun videos with friends via social media networks like Facebook and Twitter.
Interestingly, they’ve disabled embedding – *sigh* – but I can still link you to them, and comment on them. If Measuring Billions (“That’s ‘billions’ with a ‘B'”) is anything like the rest of them, this should be a piece of cake.
[EDIT: You now can embed the videos. Here you go:
You may want to take it off HD – it’s not really worth it…]
The video opens with the makers demonstrating that they can do (very) basic arithmetic – in this case, calculating how many thousand-‘A’ “pieces of paper” – they look suspiciously like Office for Mac documents – you would need to have a billion ‘A’s. I’ll let you calculate that one for yourself. Then, how many 853-seater Airbus A380s would you need to fly a billion people? How many Shanghais do you need to get a billion people? And, as Dao mentions, how far you could get on a billion airmiles, and how long it would take to count that high, at one number per second. All this in glorious HD.
You’ve seen these kind of videos before, I’m sure. If you’re interested in random facts being chucked at you, there are better videos to watch. If it’s maths you’re after, go to Wolfram|Alpha (go there anyway). Interestingly, they never mention quantities bigger than a billion – for example, the population of the world or the US national debt (which is mentioned a number of times in the comments).
59 seconds in we get to the meat:
[M]any believe that the planet Earth is not just one, but over four billion years old. But if the Earth is billions of years old then how could scientists have detected Carbon-14 in diamonds deep in the earth, an element that only lasts thousands of years. And if the Earth is billions of years old then the Earth’s magnetic field should have long ago depleted its energy, but we still live on a very lively planet. If you think about it, a one billion year old planet doesn’t match the scientific data, but more importantly one billion can not even come close to describing how big our creator is.
- No, a one billion year old planet doesn’t match the scientific data – that’s why we think it’s four billion years old. That’s a fact for you.
- Surely I’ve mentioned the Carbon-14 argument somewhere? Ah, well – the point with that one is that 14C decays not to zero, but to a background level caused by the creation of the isotope from other radioactive decay in the rock. Hence diamonds having detectable quantities of the stuff. This background level would translate – if you were silly enough to try to date such a thing, as creationists have been known to do – to an age of around fifty thousand years, although that’s a totally meaningless number.
- The silly old magnetic field argument was thoroughly debunked by Dr Robbins in his Does Earth’s Decaying Magnetic Field Mean it Was Created 6000 Years Ago? so there really isn’t much to say…
- It could be argued that neither a billion planck lengths nor a billion kilometres “come close to describing how big” a matchstick is – what’s their point, exactly?
Anyway, that was fun, wasn’t it? There’ll be more, apparently. I’ll go back to
Frozen Synapse homework now. I’ll be back on Friday to tell you how the neutrino thing affects creationist research, and many other vital pieces of information. Stay tuned!
You can follow the ICR on twitter at @ICRMedia. You can follow me at @petercsc. I have no idea why you would want to do either.
If you came here after a video and didn’t want to watch the ICR’s one, here’s one to placate your burning hunger. Having seen it before is no reason not to do it again…
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If you’re an ok video editor you should make youtube channel. I feel like this kinda stuff would go well with the “youtube atheist community”.
Alas, it it less that I’m not a good video editor and more that I’m just pretty terrible outside a text-based medium.