AIG Reports Duane Gish Has Died

The website of Answers in Genesis (AIG) reports: Creation Debater Dr. Duane Gish Passes Away. They say:

Dr. Duane T. Gish, one of the great defenders of the Bible’s accuracy and best-known for the 300-plus debates he conducted with evolutionists since the 1970s, passed away Tuesday in California at the age of 92. We will pay tribute to this great scientist and apologist later today on this website.

Here’s Wikipedia’s article on the man: Duane Gish. AIG also says:

Dr. Gish (PhD in biochemistry, U.C. Berkeley) was the Senior Vice-President Emeritus of ICR [the Institute for Creation Research] and the author of the creationist classic Evolution: The Fossils Say No. He was also a veteran of WWII. Dr. Gish was a dear friend to many at AiG, including the three co-founders who worked with him at ICR almost 20 years ago.

We checked the ICR website, but they don’t have anything posted about this. That will surely come.

Your Curmudgeon won’t have much to say about Gish — not at a time like this. He’ll be remembered as an influential creationist.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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32 responses to “AIG Reports Duane Gish Has Died

  1. You are to be commended SC for being both thoughtful and thinking. Your restraint is diametric to the screed published when Hitchens died – check this out as an example: http://christwire.org/2011/12/christopher-hitchens-is-dead-praise-the-lord/

  2. Douglas E commends me for my restraint. The example was set by NCSE back in 2006: Henry Morris dies.

  3. Oops – picked a bad example in the Christwire article – I think that this one is real, and not satire: http://stonethepreacher.com/2011/12/15/now-he-knows-christopher-hitchens-dead-at-62.html and many others enthused what a surprise hell must have been for him.

  4. The NCSE obit is first class.

  5. Restraint? OK, but only until I think of something really good.

  6. anevilmeme

    How can one earn a PhD and learn nothing?

    (Yeah that was showing restraint)

  7. I’m going to paraphrase David Bellavia when he talked about the death of John Murtha.

    I had as much respect for Duane Gish in life as the roadkill I pass on the road. But the man has died and all debate ends at the coroner’s toe tag. My respects to the Gish family.

  8. docbill1351

    The Gish Gallop, unlike the Harlem Shake or Psy, will live on.

  9. doodlebugger

    doc, that was fairly restrained I must say.

  10. The Gish Gallop — wonder if he’s using it on St. Peter to get past the Pearly Gates?

    Rest in peace, Dr. Gish.

  11. What I remember about Gish is that he was fond of saying that evolution violated the second law of thermodynamics. This is one of the “big lies” propagated by the creationists. So was he just continuing the lying or just stupid (even if he had a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Cal-Berkeley?

  12. anevilmeme said:
    How can one earn a PhD and learn nothing?

    Just be a warm body in the class, do the labs, either hide your intentions, find a friendly creationist advisor, or attend a churchie school, publish your one and only credible work in science (unless it’s a churchie school), hang your diploma on the wall, and then do a complete 180.

  13. But, the Gish Gallop contines.

  14. To paraphrase Bette Davis, when she learned that Joan Crawford was dead:

    “Just because someone is dead doesn’t mean they were nice.”

  15. I own two of his books. Dinosaurs by Design, a book for kids, includes his infamous misinformation about the chemical processes used by the bombardier beetle to squirt caustic chemicals. He had been corrected on this point many times.

    Gish taught the kiddies that the same chemical process (which doesn’t cause fire or explosions) caused explosive fire to shoot from dinosaurs when they breathe, which inspired stories of fire-breathing dragons.

    There’s an artists’ rendition of his idea: a fire-breathing parasaurolophus (! vegetarian) in that book. Pictures here. Here Stupid Dinosaur Lies rips into the text. A drawing of a a knight in armor fighting a baryonyx on all fours (they’re bipedal and can’t pronate their wrists) had three major anatomical errors to make it look like a dragon. That book was heavy on the “dinosaurs are still alive today” kick. Nazi U-boat sees an unnamed monster blown from the ocean.

    I also own “Have You Been Brainwashed?”, a hand-sized comic book. Each page was small, yet at least two claims per page were egregiously false: essentially every fact-claim in the book was false.

  16. docbill1351

    Rest in Peace, Dwane. I harbor no ill will to the guy. He was the mold from which all creationists were cast. An American Hero.

    Quite different from the Tooters who are beyond redemption and whose passing I will not mourn. Yeah, I’m talking about you, Luskin!

    The old boys like Gish and Armstrong were sincere in their convictions unlike the politically motivated gits who now occupy the Disco Tute who are only in it for the money.

  17. doodlebugger

    Wait! Doc! There’s money in creationism?
    If my brain lithifies into cement and I lose any sense of morality, drift into a parallel dimension and become a shameless liar I can make money?
    Naaaaah…

  18. Tomato Addict “Restraint? OK, but only until I think of something really good.”

    Still waiting, TA. You haven’t forgotten about your friends, have you? I just heard from Gary — he’s got a fresh can of Mountain Dew at the ready, with a sheet of Saran Wrap over his keyboard.

  19. Realist1948

    anevilmeme wrote “How can one earn a PhD and learn nothing?”.
    Although it's too late to ask Duane that question, we could ask Jason Lisle.
    As you may know, Jason allegedly has a PhD in Astrophysics, but has some rather bizarre interpretations of what he supposedly learned. We've had some discussions of Jason before.

  20. RSG wrote:

    I just heard from Gary — he’s got a fresh can of Mountain Dew at the ready, with a sheet of Saran Wrap over his keyboard.

    Weeeellll, actually (and I know this is going to disappoint both you and especially TA), I’m no longer drinking Mt Dew. Actually, I’m no longer drinking soda. When my waistline got to a certain point, I said, “Okay. That’s enough.” Don’t get me wrong. I’m dying for a can right now! But so far I’ve now gone a week and a half without one. You might consider this insider trading, but if you have shares in Pepsi, sell now!

  21. Gish stated that there existed a protein (unnamed) which was more similar between humans and bullfrogs, than between humans and apes. Evolutionists took years trying to get him to cite that claim to a scientific reference, or to admit it was wrong.

    The story of many creationist fabrications regarding genetic or protein comparisons, and the years-long attempts by evolutionists to get them to admit they lied, is told in detail here and more briefly here.

    Shortly afterwards, at the 1984 National Bible-Science Conference,
    [Robert] Schadewald again confronted Gish. This time Gish responded by saying that because of that _Origins Research_ letter he was not responsible to provide any documentation (Schadewald had used “ungentlemanly language in print,” i.e. the words “lie” and “charlatan”). When asked who is responsible for documenting those proteins, Gish said that it was up to Schadewald and Curtis (i.e. “You want to know the sources for my claims? YOU go look it up!”).

    An example of Gish arguing in print with evolutionists is this set of back-and-forth letters. Note that Gish says things like Archaeopteryx has “a skull totally bird-like.” Yeah, full of reptilian teeth and with the spine connected at the back, not underneath. Real bird-like.

    Here is an analysis of Gish promoting fraudulent information about the discovery of Java Man, and modern skeletons allegedly found “in the same strata”– Gish’s infamous claims about Wadjak Man.

    If historians paid attention to creationism, it might take 100 years to unpack all the falsehoods.

  22. Sorry guys, been busy … and now this news from Gary? My life has lost it’s meaning. ;-)

  23. @Gary, think of your savings!

    Expenditures for:
    Mt. Dew = $0.00
    Other soda = $0.00
    Keyboards = $0.00
    Saran Wrap = $0.00
    ENT visits to remove foreign fluids from sinuses = $0.00.

  24. Realist1948

    Diogenes wrote: Gish stated that there existed a protein (unnamed) which was more similar between humans and bullfrogs, than between humans and apes. Evolutionists took years trying to get him to cite that claim to a scientific reference, or to admit it was wrong.

    Here’s a possible source for similarity between these two species, penned by the late Hoyt Axton:

    Jeremiah was a bull frog
    Was a good friend of mine
    I never understood a single word he said
    But I helped him drink his wine

    Hoyt also wrote (God damn) The Pusher.
    See, ya’ gotta know your Rock n Roll history!

  25. The NCSE has a great posting on Gish. The concluding paragraph is reproduced below:

    *****
    He was certainly a lively debater, whose style involved a rapid delivery of arguments on widely varying topics; his debate style was dubbed the “Gish Gallop” by NCSE’s executive director Eugenie C. Scott in 1994. But scientists quickly concluded — in the words of Karl Fezer, writing (PDF) in 1993 — that “Gish will say, with rhetorical flourish and dramatic emphasis, whatever he thinks will serve to maintain, in the minds of his uncritical followers, his image as a knowledgeable ‘creation scientist.’ An essential component is to lard his remarks with technical detail; whether that detail is accurate or relevant or based on unambiguous evidence is of no concern. When confronted with evidence of his own error, he resorts to diversionary tactics and outright denial.”
    *****

    The essential component in bold is still in use today by the denizens of the Disco Tute especially. The Tooters are forever inflating their credentials, creating jargon they toss about freely but never define, and citing their own useless work as if it magically bolsters their arguments.

    However, unlike the cowardly Tooters, in his day Gish was out there on the front line pushing creation science in public, taking questions, slings and arrows. At least he was out there or in my view way, way, way out there.

  26. Based on Gish’s career, we conclude:

    We must fact-check his headstone for accuracy. Every line on it.

  27. Robert J. Schadewald writes on Gish’s style: “…In particular, creationists seem enamored of the Karroo Formation in Africa, which is estimated to contain the remains of 800 billion vertebrate animals (see Whitcomb and Morris, p. 160; Gish, p. 61). As pseudoscientists, creationists dare not test this major hypothesis that all of the fossilized animals died in the Flood.

    Robert E. Sloan, a paleontologist at the University of Minnesota, has studied the Karroo Formation. He told me that the animals fossilized there range from the size of a small lizard to the size of a cow, with the average animal perhaps the size of a fox. A minute’s work with a calculator shows that, if the 800 billion animals in the Karroo Formation could be resurrected, there would be 21 of them for every acre of land on earth. Suppose we assume (conservatively, I think) that the Karroo Formation contains 1% of the vertebrate fossils on earth. Then when the Flood began there must have been at least 2100 living animals per acre, ranging from tiny shrews to immense dinosaurs. To a noncreationist mind, that seems a bit crowded.

    I sprang this argument on Duane Gish during a joint appearance on WHO Radio in Des Moines, Iowa, on October 21st, 1980. Gish did the only thing he could: he stonewalled by challenging my figures, in essence calling me a liar. I didn’t have a calculator with me, but I duplicated the calculation with pencil and paper and hit him with it again. His reply? Creationists can’t answer everything. It’s been estimated that there are 100 billion billion herring in the sea. How did I account for that?! Later, I tried this number on a calculator and discovered that it amounts to about 27,000 herring per square foot of ocean surface. I concluded (a) that all of the herring are red, and (b) that they were created ex nihilo by Duane Gish on the evening of October 21st, 1980. – [Six Flood Arguments Creationists Can't Answer. © 1982 by Robert J. Schadewald. Reprinted from Creation/Evolution IX (1982).]

  28. longshadow

    SC, spell check your headline! (Dwane vs. Duane.)

  29. RSG writes …

    Expenditures for:
    Mt. Dew = $0.00
    Other soda = $0.00
    Keyboards = $0.00
    Saran Wrap = $0.00
    ENT visits to remove foreign fluids from sinuses = $0.00.

    ER visit to remove the meatball TA just snorted up his nose when RSG sprang this on him = $2000

  30. longshadow says: “SC, spell check your headline! (Dwane vs. Duane.)”

    How embarrassing! I must have been overcome with grief. All fixed now, but Google will probably go bonkers.

  31. TA said:

    ER visit to remove the meatball TA just snorted up his nose when RSG sprang this on him = $2000

    - Chiropractic visit to recover from convulsions of laughter from both RSGs and TAs posts = $350.

    Hmmm. Not saving as much money as I thought. But I’m loving it!

  32. TA: “ER visit to remove the meatball TA just snorted up his nose when RSG sprang this on him = $2000″
    Gary: “- Chiropractic visit to recover from convulsions of laughter from both RSGs and TAs posts = $350.”

    Sorry about that, guys. My checks are in the email. Hope you both recover soon.