We live in a nation that is shockingly ignorant of basic science. Yet, at the same time, some of the most ignorant people on the planet act as if they can speak for science. Take, for example, Bill Nye. Many people view him as today’s spokesperson for science, despite the fact that he displays his scientific ignorance time and time again (see here, here, here, here, and here, for example). I just ran across another example of ignorant people claiming to speak for science. It comes from the Jimmy Kimmel Live show.
It’s one of those fake public service announcements (PSAs) which attempts to demonstrate the intelligence of the people making the announcement while at the same time displaying the stupidity of those who disagree with them. This is a form of what is now called virtue signaling – the attempt to show others how virtuous you are, often by making fun of people who disagree with you. A screenshot from the fake PSA is given above. The spokesperson, “actor, director, and two-time sexiest man alive George Clooney,” is promoting an organization that attempts to educate ignorant people to give up their foolish beliefs. In the segment from which the screenshot is taken, Mr. Clooney says that your donation of $200 will “…teach ten @*!x&^ knuckle-draggers that dinosaurs existed, but not at the same time as people.”
Now, of course, anyone with a modicum of scientific knowledge should immediately see what is wrong with the graphic being shown. Those who believe that dinosaurs and people did not live at the same time cannot use carbon dating as a way of supporting their claim. Because of the relatively “short” half-life of carbon-14, carbon dating can only be used on carbon-containing items that are less than 60,000 years old. Given that the generally-accepted timescale has dinosaurs going extinct 65 million years ago and the earliest humans appearing about 200,000 years ago, “Basic F**king Carbon Dating” cannot tell us anything about whether or not humans and dinosaurs existed at the same time.
In fact, if one truly believes carbon dating, one has to believe that people and dinosaurs did, indeed, coexist. That’s because multiple dinosaur fossils have been carbon dated to between 23,000 and 41,000 years old (see here, here, and here). All of those values are well within the timeframe that the scientific consensus tells us modern humans existed.
Now, of course, those who desperately want to believe in the generally-accepted timescale will make up excuses for why you can believe most carbon dates, but not the ones done on dinosaur bones. Interestingly enough, however, at least some of those people don’t want to do further tests to see if their excuses work. But that’s not my point. To some extent, all scientists make up “just so” stories to prop up their hypotheses, so it’s understandable that those who are committed to the scientific consensus do so as well.
My point is much simpler than that. The makers of this fake PSA wanted to show that they are well-educated and intelligent because they simply accept what the High Priests of Science proclaim without investigating the evidence in any way. At the same time, they wanted to show that those who believe dinosaurs and people lived at the same time are stupid. Instead, they ended up demonstrating their own ignorance of the scientific data related to the issue. Unfortunately, because the High Priests are doing such a great job at keeping the general public ignorant of science, most people will have no idea!