Birthday of earth


They drank a blue-green concoction called Noah's Floodwaters Punch. They ate a Flat Earth Cake, a gentle poke at the Bible's description of the planet's shape. They listened to scientific talks about the age of the Earth.

The occasion was Earth's Birthday, a satire on the belief held by some creationists that the Earth was created on Oct. 23, 4004 B.C., an idea attributed to the 17th-century Anglican Archbishop James Ussher.

But what the people were really celebrating Sunday was science itself. "Our goal is to promote science and reason," said Jenni Acosta, executive director of the group that organized the event, the Austin chapter of the Center for Inquiry, a nonprofit organization based in Amherst, N.Y., with branches worldwide.

"For all practical purposes, this is the year 2007," said Prof. Dee, "but I'm not talking about the mundane realities of life." He argued that the use of a "misleadingly small number like 2007" subconsciously reinforces "the natural egocentricity of our species." More appropriate, he said, would be a year that takes into account the beginning of humankind or the age of the planet.

"We simply do not pay much attention to those humans and humanoids who lived before our time," he said.…

The group's legislative committee works in support of proposals that promote sound science education and works against those that undermine the separation of church and state, said Jeff Brooks,


—Austin Statesman Oct 22, 2007