Creationist Revival Meeting in Australia

In the Fraser Coast Chronicle of Maryborough, Queensland, Australia we read Scientist to speak on creationism. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

A FORMER rocket scientist will argue the case against the theory of evolution at an event in Maryborough tomorrow night.

Wowie — a rocket scientist! Well, former rocket scientist. Who is this genius? The story continues:

Dr Mark Harwood, a former satellite system design engineer, now lectures for Creation Ministries International.

Impressed? Sure you are. He seems to be a fine example of the Salem Hypothesis, according to which engineering types — and that often includes computer scientists — have a tendency toward the creationist viewpoint. Here’s his bio at the Creation Ministries website: Dr Mark Harwood. It informs us:

During his university years, Mark was something of a ‘closet Christian’ because he could not understand the basis of his faith. He assumed that God must have created through the processes of evolution (theistic evolution) but that idea provided no meaningful basis for Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross. When he was confronted on the historical truth of Genesis he realised that the early chapters of Genesis were actually true and fundamental to the Christian faith. His subsequent journey of investigation convinced him of the theological and scientific basis of the Genesis account of creation.

That must have been quite a journey. Let’s read some more about the big revival meeting:

He will present his evidence for creationism at the Maryborough Wesleyan Methodist Church from 7pm tomorrow.

Evidence — that should be exciting! One more excerpt:

Organiser Dr Ian Truscott said the controversial event helped to dispel the idea that scientists and doctors did not believe in creationism. “Most evolution writings insult creationists as being ignorant,” he said.

So, dear reader, if you find yourself on the underside of the flat Earth this weekend, get on over to the Maryborough Wesleyan Methodist Church and enjoy some of that good old fashioned, down-home, foot-stompin’, psalm-singin’, floor-rollin’, rafter-shakin’, old-time creationism.

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

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19 responses to “Creationist Revival Meeting in Australia

  1. Charles Deetz ;)

    The scientific basis? Like how there is light before there is something to generate light?

  2. His subsequent journey of investigation convinced him of the theological and scientific basis of the Genesis account of creation.

    Back in the 60s we called such investigations a “trip,” not a “journey.”

  3. Jim Thomerson

    I am fairly familiar with creationist literature and thought. Most of it is, so far as I can see, based on a mixture of ignorance, stupidity, and dishonesty. So, if we should not criticize creationists for being ignorant, what are we left with? Although I am a PhD Emeritus Professor of Biology, clearly intelligent and knowledgable, don’t you know, I would not get up before an audience and expose my ignorance of rocket science.

  4. Jim Thomerson says: ” I would not get up before an audience and expose my ignorance of rocket science.”

    Trust me, there’s nothing to it. I expose my ignorance here every day.

  5. >“Most evolution writings insult creationists as being ignorant,”

    Most? No, that just the science blogger types.

  6. Colin Milroy

    I have to admit that I had never heard of the Salem Hypothesis before and was very disturbed, on behalf of my profession, to learn of it,…I’m at a bit of a loss as to how the following claim in the Wiki article can be made though:

    “it has been speculated that engineering predisposes people to a creation science view.”

    Isn’t it more likely that Creationists looking for an interesting career path would be more likely to enter Mech, Civil or EE disciplines because their grounding in the biological and possibly chemical sciences is poor at best due to their beliefs?

    Signed,
    An evolution supporting Electrical Engineer

  7. Colin Milroy asks: “Isn’t it more likely that Creationists looking for an interesting career path would be more likely to enter Mech, Civil or EE disciplines because …”

    I don’t pretend to practice psychology, so all I can do is offer a guess that engineers, by profession, naturally think of designing things. The sciences tend to think in terms of “How does this happen?” That’s probably way too much of a generalization.

  8. Colin Milroy asks: “Isn’t it more likely that Creationists looking for an interesting career path would be more likely to enter Mech, Civil or EE disciplines because …”

    It’s definitely a case where correlation is not causation.

    Does anyone know if Engineers are under-represented on the Steve List? That would be a different way to look at the Salem Hypothesis.

  9. @Curmudgeon:

    You say “flat earth” apparently tongue-in-cheek, but don’t mention what “kind” of creationism he’s peddling. I’m betting not Flat-Earthism, but is it Geocentric YEC? Heliocentric OEC? “Don’t ask, don’t tell”?

    Before you say “it doesn’t matter,” yes, I know in one sense ot does not; “creationism” is first and foremost about a paranoid obsession with evolution, and a need to misrepresent it whatever the cost. But I’m always interested when evolution-deniers make claims that are inconsistent with those made by other evolution-deniers, or whether they avoid that the only way they can (the ID scam).

  10. @TA: It’d be nice if the Steve List were available in a spreadsheet format to make gathering such information possible. If I were a decent regex programmer, I could probably do it from the NCSE web page. Alas, I’m not. Still, there are a fair amount of engineers listed. What proportion relative to everyone else? No idea.

    @Colin: I give the whole Salem Hypothesis a “Meh” and a shrug. I’m an electrical engineer, too. I’m also not a terrorist (engineers are supposed to be more prone to terroristic tendencies, too). I think the worst thing that can be said about me is that I know fewer Monty Python quotes than Tomato Addict. Though some day…

  11. Ceteris Paribus

    TA asks: “Does anyone know if Engineers are under-represented on the Steve List? That would be a different way to look at the Salem Hypothesis.”

    At the NCSE site here are the qualifications to be on the list:

    To see if you qualify, just answer these simple questions:

    Are you named Steve, Stephen, Steven, Esteban, Etienne, or Stephanie?
    Do you have a Ph.D. in biology, geology, paleontology, or a related scientific field?
    Do you want the kind of success in life you always thought was reserved for the “other Steves”?

    If you answered yes to all three of these questions, then you have what it takes to become an NCSE Steve!

    So the answer is that engineers are not under represented on the Steve list, the NCSE doesn’t even allow for them to sign.

    And with good reason – most engineering work is done by people seeking to find THE answer to a question.

    If you are the kind of person who searches for an approximate answer that you are quite willing to see thrown under the bus the next day, then you would instead pursue an actual science degree.

  12. “He will present his evidence for creationism at the Maryborough Wesleyan Methodist Church …”

    Always in front of the choir, never at a science conference, and of course they’ll welcome him with open arms. Same tactic the dishonesty institute uses, talk to the rubes at their churches and biblical “colleges.”

  13. Gary: “I think the worst thing that can be said about me is that I know fewer Monty Python quotes than Tomato Addict.”

    What can I say? Every Village needs an Idiot.

    Ceteris Paribus: “… engineers are not under represented on the Steve list, the NCSE doesn’t even allow for them to sign.”

    At a glance, there are several dozen.

  14. @Ceteris: Yes, there are many engineers listed. “Engineer” is a rather wide net (I’d say “big tent” but that would probably get me banned, or require me to perform the “Spam” skit with TA where I get to play the lady behind the counter and TA is one of the Vikings, but I digress.) They appear to either be engineers working in the chemical or biochemical field (natch), or they’re engineers really doing physics work. Still, while I don’t have hard numbers, we’re well represented on the Steve’s List.

  15. Ceteris Paribus

    @Gary and @TA: Yes, some of the Steves are stretching their qualifications. In fact it turns out that I know two registered NCSE “Steves”, one of which is a psych professor; the other, a Stephanie, is a fully legitimate biology prof. And I also know a geophysics prof who started professional life as a registered mechanical engineer but moved on into real science, but fails the necessary Steve/Stephanie name criterion for the list.

    In the FAQ section of the NCSE’s Steve list, here is what they say about the academic qualification:

    Are all of the Steves biologists? Are they all scientists? Are they all Ph.D.s?
    About two thirds are biologists (when we last counted, at any rate). (There are, unsurprisingly, few biologists to be found on the creationist lists.) Most are scientists; there are a few borderline cases (economists, philosophers, psychiatrists, science educators, medical researchers, computer scientists, and so forth). Nearly all are Ph.D.s; there are a few M.D.s and Ed.D.s.

    (Update as of April 13, 2012: David H. Bailey counted again in April 2012. On his blog he writes, “As of April 2012, the NCSE list had 1202 names, compared with 840 on the Discovery Institute list. If we count only those persons on these two lists who had a Ph.D. degree and/or professional position in a core field closely related to evolution (Anatomy, Anthropology, Biochemistry, Biology, Biophysics, Botany, Ecology, Entomology, Genetics, Geology, Geophysics, Microbiology, Neurophysiology, Paleontology, Physiology or Zoology), who thus are particularly well-qualified to make such a declaration, then 708 (58.9%) of the names on the NCSE list were so qualified, compared with only 258 (30.7%) of the Discovery Institute list, according to a detailed check performed by the present author.”

    On Bailey’s blog he further notes that since the DI list is not limited to the approximate 1% of the population who are named “Steve”, the numbers of fully scientific Steves on the two lists would be 708 for the NCSE, and 2 for the DI list.

    But wait – there’s more from Monty Python!

    M: Look, I CAME HERE FOR AN ARGUMENT, I’m not going to just stand…!!
    Q: OH, oh I’m sorry, but this is abuse.
    M: Oh, I see, well, that explains it.
    Q: Ah yes, you want room 12A, Just along the corridor.
    M: Oh, Thank you very much. Sorry.
    Q: Not at all.
    M: Thank You.
    (Under his breath) Stupid git!!

  16. Ceteris Paribus

    I should have provided the link to David Bailey’s page re the Steve list. Here it is:

    http://www.sciencemeetsreligion.org/blog/2012/04/dont-many-scientists-question-evolution-2/

    and back to Python for something entirely different:

    M: I came here for a good argument.
    A: No you didn’t; no, you came here for an argument.
    M: An argument isn’t just contradiction.
    A: It can be.
    M: No it can’t. An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.
    A: No it isn’t.

  17. @CP: :-)

    Gary“… or <a href="http://youtu.be/anwy2MPT5RE"require me to perform the “Spam” skit with TA where I get to play the lady behind the counter and TA is one of the Vikings …”

    Wait a minute before clicking the link, I need to grab my helmet first.

  18. Troglodyte “I know nothing”

    M: No it can’t. An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.
    A: No it isn’t.
    I saw John Cleese from “faulty towers” do the above skit. It’s hilarious funny

  19. According to my Friday afternoon tally there are 44 Engineers on the list, but it was a little hard to distinguish what to call some people. I tried to count just those with an engineering degree, but I wondered if things like Metallurgy/Physics should be counted too. I came up with 16 EE/CS, 3 Biomedical Engineers, 7 CE, and 18 Others.

    44 out of ~1200 is ~3.7%, but given the non-random restrictions on the list it’s not useful I can’t make any claim that is less than expected.