Of Bosons and Coprolites

Each morning is an adventure at the CITADEL — the fabled Curmudgeonly Institute for Tactics, Advocacy, and Defense of the Enlightenment Legacy — the secret global nerve center for monitoring events throughout the Creosphere which threaten the values of Western Civilization. It’s where your Curmudgeon is headquartered in his luxurious underground control room.

Things are especially difficult during the second half of each calendar year. Most state legislative sessions have been concluded, so we rarely have to monitor the attempts of fools to mandate idiocy in their public schools. What remains for us to monitor are a few court cases, and then we track the ravings at various creationist websites. We know that despite the apparent lack of activity, they’re always hatching new schemes to bring down our civilization. So what did we learn this morning?

There are two items that you may find of interest. The first is at the website of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the granddaddy of all creationist outfits — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom. Their article is The Higgs Boson: A Blow to Christianity?

It’s written by Jake Hebert, Ph.D. At the end of the article we’re told that: “Dr. Hebert is Research Associate at the Institute for Creation Research.” After clicking around, we found that ICR has a biography page for him: Dr. Leo (Jake) Hebert III. He got his doctorate in 2011 and then joined ICR to work on the study of climates before and after Noah’s Flood — a worthy endeavor.

Hey — here’s a page listing all of the ICR Scientists. It also mentions Jason Lisle, recently recruited from ol’ Hambo’s Answers in Genesis, who is now ICR’s Director of Research. For reasons not yet apparent, ICR is beefing up their credentials. It’s difficult to imagine what they’re up to, but it’s safe to predict that it won’t amount to anything.

Okay, okay — we know you’re wondering what Jake Herbert thinks the Higgs means for Christianity. Others are wondering what it means for the Mayan end-time prophesy, or the latest 30-day weight-loss diet, but ICR has their own worries. Here are some excerpts from Jake’s article, with bold font added by us:

Scientists from Europe’s CERN research center presented evidence last week for a particle that is likely the Higgs boson, the last remaining elementary particle predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics.

[...]

Physicists had confirmed the existence for all the elementary particles of the Standard Model except one — the Higgs boson. Its discovery, if confirmed, would be a triumph for the Standard Model.

Yes, we know. What could any of that mean to ICR? Jake explains:

Given the pro-evolution bias of much of the media, it is not surprising that this discovery is being hyped as a blow to Christianity. The Higgs boson is “another nail in the coffin of religion,” said one University of Cambridge professor, although it is interesting that well-known professing atheist and theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking lost one hundred dollars betting that the Higgs boson would not be found.

There are footnotes to articles in the media that presumably are sources for that paragraph, but we haven’t checked them. The next paragraph describes statements by other scientists about whether the Higgs explains the cause of the Big Bang. After another paragraph or so, Jake concludes that their explanations are “unconvincing.”

That’s the whole article. Having read it, we have no idea what possible “blow to Christianity” Jake is talking about, any more than whether finding the Higgs is a blow to opera or baseball. Such is creation research at ICR.

But there’s one other article we encountered this morning, at the website of Fox News: Fossilized human feces hints at long-lost, 13,500-year-old West Coast culture. It says:

Fossilized human feces and other evidence from a West Coast cave demonstrates the existence of a long-lost, 13,500-year-old American culture, scientists said Thursday. The fossilized feces, known to researchers as a coprolite, from the Paisley Caves in Oregon has turned assumptions about the history of the Americas on its ear.

On its ear? Not the most apt metaphor, but let’s read on:

Coprolites are as good as a human skeleton,” Dr. Thomas Stafford, Jr. of Stafford Research Laboratories said during a briefing for science journalists. This particular one left him stunned.

Archaeologists and paleontologists had long thought that a culture called Clovis once inhabited New Mexico, basing that belief on evidence from arrowheads and spear points carved in a certain way. Clovis was long regarded as the New World’s first inhabitants. Stafford believes the newfound coprolite suggests that the Oregon cave dwellers who lived here so long ago and the other, pre-historic humans at Clovis were “contemporaneous and parallel” — a finding that rewrites history in North America.

That coprolite should be of far greater concern to creation scientists than the Higgs boson, because it means that humans were producing such things long before the world was created only 6,000 years ago. ICR is focusing on the wrong particle.

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

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11 responses to “Of Bosons and Coprolites

  1. Charles Deetz ;)

    Jake hasn’t learned to lie yet. It is an otherwise good article, I’ll even give him the conclusion, while biased, isn’t lame. Unlike the headline or bolded quote, which I’m guessing was added by an ‘editor’.

  2. docbill1351

    ICR offers an unaccredited “Masters of Christian Education” for the shockingly low price of $14,800. Yes, in two short years you can be $14,800 poorer and $14,800 dumber with no prospects of a job.

    The good news is that you can check out ICR with Google street view. There it is in a warehouse section of Dallas. I wonder what they do in there all day? Or, maybe not.

    They seem to have eliminated their “science” education degree since their application for certification was shot down by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; and later that decision was upheld by the courts. Could be they’re trying to pad out their staff to look more sciency.

    I can see the job ad:

    Wanted – science PhD
    Must be delusional.
    Sociopathic tendencies not considered a pre-existing condition.
    Ethics and conscience optional.

  3. Nice superposition there Curmy, a Bozonic field or a massive coprolite.

  4. GaryB says: “Nice superposition there Curmy”

    It’s my Time Cube training that permits me to see patterns where others see only chaos.

  5. Retired Prof

    No doubt Dr. Leo (Jake) Hebert III has already begun climatological studies to demonstrate a sharp increase in the generation and/or uptake of C14 after the Genesis flood that will make it necessary to completely revise all carbon dating. He will show that those coprolites were extruded before the flood, back when plants took up hardly any radioactive carbon at all. He will explain that the reason the coprolites have so little now is that they never had it in the first place, not that it has decayed.

    Then the question Hebert will need to address when he makes his historical scientific claim will be, “How do you know? Were you there?”

  6. docbill1351

    Here’s a nice summary of ICR in Texas by my good friend Steve Schafersman. (Yes, I do know everybody.)

    In the end, ICR sued THECB for “viewpoint discrimination” and violations of “free speech” and “academic freedom.” The court documents submitted by ICR were worse than you can imagine: multiple fonts, misspellings, fragmented sentences, poor grammar, twisted logic, lies and lies by omission. Of course, the case was thrown out.

  7. Pete Moulton

    docbill, I like your employment specifications, but might suggest one slight alteration:

    Wanted – science PhD
    Must be delusional.
    Sociopathic tendencies not considered a pre-existing condition mandatory.
    Ethics and conscience optional.

    A bit more accurate, don’t you agree?

  8. docbill1351

    There was an interesting exchange on the Luskin website. They actually allowed comments, heavily moderated, of course, but one pitiful little snark slipped through noting that the article in discussion “added to the positive argument for “intelligent design” (creationism)” which, of course, it didn’t and Casey came unglued! He jumped the track of his Gerbil exercise wheel and ranted on and on about it. It was a little comment and Casey blew his top, albeit a small top.

    So, maybe our Gerb is feeling the strain of being a professional sociopath and knowing in his heart of hearts that he’s a bad person. It must weigh one down, even a professional liar.

  9. docbill1351 says: “Casey came unglued!”

    Fortunately, no one ever criticizes me, so I can’t imagine what it would be like.

  10. Whenever I see Clovis artifacts referred to as evidence for the first inhabitants of the New World, I always write it off as unfortunate misspeak,
    similar to saying ‘theory’ where ‘hypothesis’ or ‘guess’ is apt. Clovis is perhaps the first gathering of humans on the America’s that may be defined as a civilization, but it is impossible for it to be the origin point for human habitation on these two continents. Humans did not transplant from Asia directly to New Mexico. They migrated across the Bering land bridge, and ranged outward from it.

  11. Retired Prof

    RWO, as I understand the usage, the place name “Clovis” is merely used for the spearpoint design, found in widely scattered places in North America and named for the place where the first examples happened to be discovered.

    By the way, examples of a different design, the western stemmed projectile point, have recently been dated slightly earlier than the earliest Clovis points. Apparently people with two different cultures took two separate routes from Beringea into North America.