The origin of oil

I don’t really know why I look at the motoring section in the Saturday big paper but I’m glad I did on the 11th of August 2012. An article by Tony Davis alerted me to the joys of the Conservapedia, the ultra-conservative online counterpart designed to combat the erroneous teachings of that well-known leftist organ Wikipedia; it offers gems such as the following explanation of the true origin of fossil fuels.

Mineral oils, such as petroleum, are obtained from geological sources. The latter is not formed by decayed matter, as that contradicts the Creationist worldview, but instead during a theobaric* process. This oil existed in pristine state before the Flood, and moved during the Flood into the reservoirs where Noah emerged from the Ark, and where we now find it. Consequently much of the oil is found in the Middle East, in addition to massive deposits in Canada and Venezuela.

I am in awe of the massive and unwavering mental strength required to take this sort of stuff seriously – and interestingly, its producers are well aware that some cognitive gymnastics are necessary. John D. Mathew, coiner of ‘theobaric’, writes:

The real problem for most readers will be the mental ascent needed to reject a naturalistic explanation for the origin of oil and replacing it with a biblical one, when for so long we have only heard about naturalistic models. (‘The Origin of Oil – A Creationist Answer’, Answers Research Journal, Dec 2008)

It’s certainly hard to argue with Mathews’ contention that many people will find it difficult to reject an explanation based on hard scientific evidence in favour of one teased out of a story whose origins are lost in time. Nevertheless, the very existence of the Answers Research Journal suggests that some people are willing to give it a go; let’s hope they don’t plan on becoming geologists.

*made by God

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