Ken Ham: Abortion, Homosexuality, & Evolution

Once again, we harken to the wisdom of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia, famed for his creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG) and for the mind-boggling Creation Museum.

Ol’ Hambo’s newest article is titled More Than Half of Americans Believe the Bible Is Inaccurate. That sounds like good news to us, but ol’ Hambo is aghast. Here’s what he says, with some bold font added by us for emphasis, and Hambo’s links omitted:

When Christians see alarming numbers of Americans openly — even enthusiastically — embracing completely anti-biblical teachings such as abortion, homosexual behavior, and evolution, they wonder how our culture (and the church) has gotten so far from its biblical foundation.

Isn’t that sweet? Hambo is horrified that people embrace abortion, homosexual behavior, and evolution. Well, your Curmudgeon sees how the game is played, so now it’s our turn. We’re alarmed to see people embracing anti-Enlightenment teachings like science-denial and creationism — along with their inevitable consequences such as theocracy, despotism, incest, bestiality, pedophilia, necrophilia, coprophilia, sadism, and cannibalism. That’s what happens when our culture strays from its Enlightenment foundation.

Wasn’t that fun? Let’s see what else Hambo has for us. He talks about a recent survey “to take the temperature of America’s theological health,” and he says:

According to the survey, the majority of Americans (53%) don’t believe that heaven and hell are real places and almost half think that there are many different ways to heaven. Also, less than half of the participants believe that God authored the Bible and over half (57%) don’t think the Bible is always accurate. Consequently, only half of Americans (49%) think the Bible has authority in our lives.

Hambo is horrified and he declares:

Sadly, our once-Christian nation has drifted far from its roots. Few people actually understand solid, biblical theology and biblical illiteracy is rampant throughout our country.

That’s not good for ticket sales at the Creation Museum. Let’s read on:

How people view the Bible has a direct effect on how they behave, what they believe, and what kind of theology they hold to. If the Bible is full of errors and isn’t 100% true, then why do we have to obey its doctrine? Why should we start our thinking in all areas with God’s Word?

Yeah. And why would anyone buy a lifetime pass to Hambo’s planned replica of Noah’s Ark? He continues:

That’s why it’s so important that we teach this next generation to stand on the authority of the Word of God in its entirety — from beginning to end! We have found that a major reason for our young people leaving is because many in the church have neglected God’s Word in Genesis. … After all, if you cannot trust God’s Word in Genesis, then why trust what it says throughout the rest of Scripture?

Good question! Here’s more:

Genesis is foundational to the rest of Scripture. Every major doctrine of Scripture finds its basis in the history of Genesis. Why is marriage for one man and one woman? Why do we wear clothes? Why is salvation only able to come through Jesus? All of these, and many more, are based out of Genesis 1–11. The history of Genesis is foundational to the rest of the Bible. If you compromise in Genesis, then it opens the door for more compromise throughout Scripture.

[*Curmudgeon rips off his clothes*] One more excerpt:

Observational science has confirmed the Bible’s history over and over again. We can trust the Bible, from the very first verse, and that’s why we can trust the morality, theology, and ultimately, the gospel message found in the Bible.

We have only one question: If Hambo’s view of things is so true, and if science confirms it, why don’t the public opinion polls show a growing trend in his favor, rather than the other way around?

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Discovery Institute: Still Fighting Junk DNA

We were recently discussing the importance of junk DNA to the Discovery Institute. They insist that our genome is perfectly designed, without flaws, and every little scrap of it is designed to be functional.

The first time we wrote about this was back in 2008: Discovery Institute: Astounding Stupidity. We discussed a bold declaration by Casey Luskin — our favorite creationist — who said:

[I]ntelligent agents design objects for a purpose, and therefore intelligent design predicts that biological structures will have function.

But if it’s true, as research continues to demonstrate, that most of our genome serves no purpose (see this from a few months ago: Hey Casey! Our Genome Is Mostly Junk) then what does that say about the craftsmanship — or existence — of the Discoveroids’ intelligent designer? They claim that the whole universe was created and fine-tuned just for us; but if our genome is mostly a pile of junk that was accumulated as a result of evolution, then their transcendent designer — blessed be he! — is revealed to be a bungling incompetent, if he exists at all.

To the rational mind, the Discoveroids’ “theory” is decisively disproved by junk DNA. This is not to say that junk DNA proves evolution — that depends on all of the accumulated evidence — but junk DNA’s existence makes the very concept of an intelligent designer a non-starter. So the Discoveroids keep trying to stay alive by battling against junk DNA. It’s a losing battle — indeed, it’s one they’ve already lost — but it fun to watch them keep trying.

Their latest effort, just posted at their creationist blog, is Protracted Unrest Between ENCODE Researchers and Junk-DNA Advocates Goes On. BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Now we’re “junk-DNA advocates.” Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

[T]he battle between ENCODE researchers and junk-DNA holdouts goes on. Our ongoing coverage of the hostilities left off with the latter sending over their latest salvo. Now, ENCODE is back. Confident that genomes are not mostly junk, they have set their latest contender in the ring: a mouse.

You know about ENCODE, described by Wikipedia as a project that “aims to identify all functional elements in the human genome.” There is great controversy over what is meant by “functional.” New research challenges the ENCODE results — see How much of your DNA is functional?

Anyway, what’s this “mouse” business the Discoveroids are babbling about? The ENCODE project has been sequencing the DNA of mice, and they have four papers in Nature. The links are in the Discoveroid post. The ENCODE people are arguing that even if huge chunks of DNA aren’t conserved from one species to another (other researchers use conservation as an indicator of meaningful function), they’re not necessarily junk. The Discoveroids offer this quote, which we haven’t verified:

Evolutionary conservation of primary sequence is typically considered synonymous with conserved function, but this finding suggests that this concept should be reinterpreted, because insertions of retrotransposon elements in new genomic regions are not conserved between species.

This is rather arcane. The Discoveroids, eager for anything that argues against junk, say:

Undoubtedly these findings will lead to a great deal of excited discussion about what they mean for evolution or for intelligent design, but the same basic principle applies to Mouse ENCODE that applied to Human ENCODE: much of what Darwinian evolutionists had dismissed as junk appears functional.

They’ll grasp at anything that might preserve the reputation of their designer. This is how they end the post:

As the junk-DNA advocates try to explain away the new findings, we look forward to evaluating this flood of new data from a design perspective.

No doubt the Discoveroids’ evaluation will be of incredible significance. Meanwhile, as we’ve said before, even if the genome were a flawlessly lean, mean, coding machine — which it obviously isn’t — it still wouldn’t be evidence of intelligent design. It would merely be another instance of William Paley’s 1802 watchmaker analogy.

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Creationist Wisdom #494: Teach Both Faiths

This is your lucky day, dear reader. We have a second letter-to-the-editor for you. This one appears in the Peninsula Clarion of Kenai, Alaska. It’s titled Creationism should be part of curriculum. There’s a comments section at the end with only one comment so far.

Today’s writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, so we won’t use his (or her) full name. The writer’s first name is somewhat notable — Jubilee. Excerpts from Jubilee’s letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

In today’s public schools, children are daily being taught that the theory of evolution is fact when in reality, evolution is an unproven theory. Science professors and teachers, in contrast to the way they present evolution, depict creationism as a faith-based view.

Aaaargh!! All theories are unproven, albeit strongly supported by the available evidence. And as for creationism — well, you know. Okay, it’s rather obvious what we’re dealing with, so relax and enjoy the rest of it. Jubilee says:

What students are not being taught is that both evolutionism and creationism are faith-based, and neither can be proven by science.

Evolutionism? Why the double suffix? Does that put the theory in grave danger? Two can play that game. [*Curmudgeon digs into his sack of suffixes*] How about calling creationism creationism-ish-ness? Yeah, we like that. Let’s read on:

By definition, science is the study of the universe based on observations. It is impossible to observe evolution or creation since both would have had to occur in the past. Therefore, neither can be proven by science, and both fall into the realm of matters that are accepted by faith.

We’ve seen that before. But the past leaves clues and it can be known — see The Lessons of Tiktaalik. Jubilee continues:

Even many evolutionists know and admit that their theory is completely based on faith. Noted evolutionary scientists have stated that “The idea of an evolution rests on pure belief” and that “In explaining evolution we do not have one iota of fact.” Perhaps this quote from Dr. George Wald, a biology professor at the University at Harvard, is the most striking:

We won’t bother with Jubilee’s Wald “quote.” It’s totally debunked as #57 in TalkOrigins’s Quote Mine Project. There’s not much left of Jubilee’s letter. This is the last of it:

If creationism is not allowed in public schools because it is faith-based, neither should evolutionism be allowed in public schools, for it is also faith-based. Since evolutionists can impose their beliefs on students, why can’t creationists teach theirs?

Great letter, Jubilee! You’re a fantastic advocate of creationism-ish-ness.

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Creationist Wisdom #493: Evolutionists Are Fools!

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the High Point Enterprise of High Point, North Carolina. The letter is titled Evolution theory is lacking in facts. There’s a comments section at the end, but no one has commented yet.

We don’t disclose a letter-writer’s full name unless he’s a politician, preacher, or other public figure. There’s no problem this time because the writer is some kind of preacher. His name is Ray Alcon, and this is his website:The Discipleship Ministry of Ray Alcon. Excerpts from the rev’s letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

After reading Mark Venable’s guest column, “Evolution is a fact,” in The High Point Enterprise Nov. 11, I’m convinced that evolutionists live in a world of make-believe and delusion.

That’s probably a reference to this: Our worldview or not, evolution is physical reality, written by a biology professor at Appalachian State University. Back to the rev’s letter:

There isn’t one single and scientific fact that established evolution as true. The fact is evolution has never been, nor ever will be, observed. The fact is the second law of thermodynamics destroys the possibility of evolution. The fact is there has never been and never will be an intermediate evolutionary form found in the fossil record.

Lordy, lordy. That is one gigantic ark-load of reality-denial. Let’s read on:

The fact is fossils found of plants or animals look just like their same species today.

Has the rev convinced you yet? Don’t worry, there’s lots more. He continues:

The fact is there are not millions of Christians today that believe in evolution. There may be millions who claim to be Christians who believe the big lie. The word “Christian” means “Christlike,” and Christ never did nor ever will deny His creation.

Get that? The rev says no true Christian could accept evolution. We don’t pretend to have the rev’s expertise, but we once wrote about some scripture that suggests the contrary — see Is Evolution in the Bible? (Part 2). Here’s more from the rev:

I can claim to be the queen of England, but that doesn’t make me her. The fact is that God was the only one present at His creation; so I’ll take his word for what happened.

Someone actually is the queen, so the rev’s claim to be that person could be tested. But his claim about who was present during the creation described in Genesis isn’t even about reality. Another excerpt:

The fact is after decades of brainwashing in our educational system, the majority of people still don’t believe evolution to be true, according to a recent poll.

Ah yes, using popular opinion to verify science. And now we come to the end:

The fact is that evolutionists cling to their belief because they don’t want to be answerable to anyone but themselves. God gives a good description of them in Romans 1: 21-25.

That collection of verses contains this, which creationists often cite: “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,” Beware, dear reader, the rev is talking about you.

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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