Monthly Archives: January 2012

Indiana Creationism Bill Passes in Senate

The bizzrre, anti-science bill we last wrote about here: Indiana Creationism Bill Is Amended has just passed in the Senate. The vote was yeas 28 and nays 22. You can check the bill’s status here: Status of Senate Bill 0089.

The text of the bill, as amended, can be seen here: SENATE BILL No. 89. It adds a new section to an existing statute. The new provision says:

Sec. 18. The governing body of a school corporation may offer instruction on various theories of the origin of life. The curriculum for the course must include theories from multiple religions, which may include, but is not limited to, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Scientology.

The bill now goes to the Indiana House, where it’s being sponsored by Jeff Thompson and co-sponsored by Eric Turner.

This legislative session is scheduled to adjourn on 14 March. At the rate things are moving, we shouldn’t have long to wait for results. Let’s watch what happens.

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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ICR: Unanswered Questions Prove Creationism

This is another goodie about creation science from the granddaddy of all creationist outfits — the Institute for Creation Research (ICR). They’re the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom.

Their latest essay is Basic Questions Remain for the Secular Scientist, and it illustrates another foundational principle of creation science:

Ignorance of X is evidence of Y.

In other words, if something isn’t yet fully understood, then the answer must be … Oogity Boogity! We can see this principle at work today in ICR’s marvelous article. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

As we proceed into the 21st century, secular scientists are still attempting to eke out a purely material explanation for the origin of the universe and life on this planet. They will not succeed.

A bold prediction! What else do they have for us? Here it comes:

New Scientist magazine is a popular British publication for scientist and layman alike. In July 2011, it asked “Why does the universe exist at all?” and “Why is there something rather than nothing?” Biblical explanations are not tolerated, of course, which leads evolutionists to suggest unsatisfying alternatives such as “perhaps the big bang was just nothingness doing what comes naturally.”

The article they’re talking about is probably this: Existence special: Cosmic mysteries, human questions. Biblical explanations are not tolerated? Maybe they’re not even suggested. Creationism was incorporated into scripture at the time of the Babylonian empire, and it’s generally understood that science has made some progress since then. Let’s read on:

But the supposed Big Bang itself has a host of problems. In fact, the most basic of all scientific laws — the law of cause and effect (no effect can be greater than its cause) — becomes so much rubbish if the cosmos is the product of chaos, appearing and then evolving by chance.

The “law of cause and effect”? Why weren’t we taught that one? We continue:

Not only that, but what is the universe made of? Secular science doesn’t know: “Trouble is, we still haven’t a clue what most of the stuff is made from.” [Alleged quote from somewhere.]

Presumably, creation scientists know what the universe is made of. Maybe one day they’ll tell us. Here’s more:

Attempted explanations of organic life springing from inorganic non-life (abiogenesis) fare no better. Currently, evolutionists envision a primeval molecule called an RNA (ribonucleic acid) replictor that somehow assembled itself in Darwin’s “primordial soup.” But there is no geologic evidence for this soup or for how such reactive nucleotides could begin to accumulate and organize themselves.

Egad! We never realized there was no geologic evidence for the primordial soup. That puts us at a tremendous disadvantage, compared to established creation teachings like the Garden of Eden and Noah’s Ark. Moving along:

As scientists’ knowledge of cellular complexity continues to escalate, some evolutionists see it as increasingly unrealistic that such an entity arose spontaneously. Is it any wonder they conveniently bypass sophisticated bio-chemical challenges of spontaneous abiogenesis by simply saying it was “something like a cell right from the start”? Problem solved!

No competent scientist says the first cell “arose spontaneously” (whatever that means), but let’s not get into that. Another excerpt:

Nevertheless, evolutionists as a whole are confident they have the right idea: [ICR gives a quote from a scientist predicting that life will soon be created in the lab].

In response to that, ICR says:

Don’t hold your breath — good science says otherwise. Life only comes from life.

That’s another scientific law we were never taught. And now we come to the end:

The wonderful message of creation is not one of chance, time, and natural processes, but one of purpose and plan from the mind of the Creator Himself.

So there you are. As long as anything remains unknown, the creationists will claim that they were right along.

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Indiana Creationism Bill Is Amended

Update, Tuesday evening, 31 Jan: The Indiana Senate just passed the bill with a 28-22 vote. Now it goes to the House. See Indiana Creationism Bill Passes in Senate.

The whacked out creationism bill we last wrote about here: Indiana Creationism Bill Moves Forward has just been amended.

The original bill, which passed the Senate’s Education Committee by an 8-2 vote, said this:

The governing body of a school corporation may require the teaching of various theories concerning the origin of life, including creation science, within the school corporation.

The amendment (by Senator Simpson) can be located at this page of the legislature’s website. By following this link we see the proposed amendment, which says:

I move that Senate Bill 89 be amended to read as follows:

Page 1, delete lines 4 through 5 and insert “offer instruction on various theories of the origin of life. The curriculum for the course must include theories from multiple religions, which may include, but is not limited to, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Scientology.”

We don’t see a marked-up version showing the end result, but looking at the original bill, Senate Bill 0089, we think the effect of the amendment is this (deleted language is struck through, and the new language is in bold):

The governing body of a school corporation may require the teaching of various theories concerning the origin of life, including creation science, within the school corporation offer instruction on various theories of the origin of life. The curriculum for the course must include theories from multiple religions, which may include, but is not limited to, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Scientology.

If we’re reading the effect of the amendment correctly, this bizarre curriculum change won’t be mandatory unless a school teaches “theories of the origin of life” — which the Senate thinks means evolution. If that’s taught, then the curriculum must also include “theories” from multiple religions, an exotic mix that will surely include creation science. In their supreme ignorance, the Senate’s Education Committee doesn’t know the meaning of evolution or theory. What they’ve crafted is basically an “equal time” law, which has already been declared unconstitutional (see Edwards v. Aguillard). But this bill is designed to assure less than equal time for evolution.

In an attempt to “cure” their original crazy bill, which has generated a storm of criticism, the legislative geniuses in the Indiana Senate have gone from mandatory creation science (which is crazy enough) to that plus creation myths from several other religions, including Scientology. They imagine that by tossing in stuff like Hinduism, their abominable bill can’t be criticized for promoting Christianity. It’s equal opportunity creationism.

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Mouse to Elephant in 24 Million Generations

The creationists will be screaming about this one. At the website of the largest university in Australia, Monash University in Melbourne, we found this press release: Mouse to elephant? Just wait 24 million generations. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Scientists have for the first time measured how fast large-scale evolution can occur in mammals, showing it takes 24 million generations for a mouse-sized animal to evolve to the size of an elephant.

Research published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA (PNAS) describes increases and decreases in mammal size following the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

We went to the PNAS website, but we can’t locate the paper. It’ll turn up later. [Addendum: here it is: The maximum rate of mammal evolution.] Let’s continue with the press release:

Dr Evans, an evolutionary biologist and Australian Research Fellow, said the study was unique because most previous work had focused on microevolution, the small changes that occur within a species.

“Instead we concentrated on large-scale changes in body size. We can now show that it took at least 24 million generations to make the proverbial mouse-to-elephant size change – a massive change, but also a very long time,” Dr Evans said. “A less dramatic change, such as rabbit-sized to elephant-sized, takes 10 million generations.”

We rarely see a genuine biologist use the word “microevolution.” Let’s read on:

The paper looked at 28 different groups of mammals, including elephants, primates and whales, from various continents and ocean basins over the past 70 million years. Size change was tracked in generations rather than years to allow meaningful comparison between species with differing life spans.

Even so, you know the creationists will be going crazy over the required time spans. One more excerpt:

“The huge difference in rates for getting smaller and getting bigger is really astounding – we certainly never expected it could happen so fast!” Dr Evans said.

Many miniature animals, such as the pygmy mammoth, dwarf hippo and ‘hobbit’ hominids lived on islands, helping to explain the size reduction. “When you do get smaller, you need less food and can reproduce faster, which are real advantages on small islands,” Dr Evans said.

Without the published paper, we can’t determine how this study was conducted, but that will soon be available. Meanwhile, let’s sit back and watch the inevitable fireworks from the usual websites.

See also: ICR: Mouse to Elephant Evolution Is Fallacious
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Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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