Category Archives: Intelligent Design

Bruce Chapman Defends James Tour

Yesterday we wrote about James Tour: Creationist Organic Chemist. It’s probably just a coincidence, but today the guy is being defended by none other than Bruce Chapman, whom we affectionately call “Chappy.” He’s the founder and president of the Discovery Institute.

Chappy’s position makes him Lord High Keeper of the Discoveroids’ Wedge strategy, and the ultimate leader of all cdesign proponentsists. Therefore, when Chappy speaks, creationists pay attention — and so do we.

Actually, he may not be the Discoveroids’ president any longer. As we reported five months ago in What’s Happening to Bruce Chapman?, their most recently-filed tax return says he’s no longer president. But he’s still their chairman, so he’s still a big deal.

Chappy’s latest contribution to the Discoveroids’ creationist blog is Detective Columbo of Chemistry: “I Don’t Understand Evolution”. He says, with bold font added by us:

In the spirit of Peter Falk’s classic TV character Detective Columbo, whose method was to apologize for a lack of comprehension until he finally solved the mystery, a renowned chemist says he doesn’t “understand” evolution. What he means, he subsequently makes clear, is that Darwin’s theory doesn’t make sense to him.

We saw a few episodes of that show. Columbo pretended to be dense, but he always solved the crime. Clever beginning, Chappy. Now let’s get to it:

Dr. James Tour of Rice University, regarded as one of America’s fifty top scientists, is quoted by Christian News about his innocent-sounding discussions with fellow scientists in private.

You remember. Jimmy Tour says he has top secret conversations with other brilliant scientists, and they all whisper that they don’t understand the origin of life. We’re supposed to believe that it’s something they’re afraid to reveal in public. Let’s read on:

Tour signed Discovery’s Scientific Dissent from Darwinism years ago when the National Center for Science Education asserted that only a handful of scientists doubt Darwin’s theory. Our list of dissenters started at 100, then grew to 800. At that point we stopped inviting people to sign it because their names on the list were used by Darwinists to persecute them professionally. Some lost their jobs.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! They stopped at 800 because their creationists were being persecuted! We’re supposed to believe they could have had tens of thousands of names by now, but the Darwinist bullies intimidated everyone. It couldn’t be that some of them lost their jobs because … well, we don’t need to spell out the problems a creationist might encounter in the academic world. It would be the same if someone signed a statement that he didn’t accept the solar system.

Chappy continues:

However, Tour doesn’t seem to have been hurt.

True. That goes for Michael Behe too. Tenure means something. But Chappy is staying with his Darwinist bully scenario as the reason they “closed” their list at 800. His final paragraph says:

Is that possibly because chemists are more open-minded than biologists? Or is the dirty little secret about Darwinism — that it has more public advocates in science than private believers — becoming more apparent?

Well, Chappy, if the “dirty little secret” is out, then you don’t have to be afraid to open up your Scientific Dissent from Darwinism for more signatures. Of all the scientists who are out there — over 120,000 just in the American Association for the Advancement of Science — show us how many you can get. Or is 800 the best you can do?

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

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Creationist Wisdom #484: Biblical Law

Today’s letter-to-the-editor was written by a man who really understands things and who doesn’t hesitate to share his wisdom. His letter appears in the MetroWest Daily News of Framingham, Massachusetts, and it’s titled A disregard for biblical law. There’s a comments section at the end, showing only one comment at the moment.

Because today’s writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. His first name is Milton. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

It is apparent, regarding the homosexual lifestyle, you and your frequent columnist Eugene Robinson disregard the moral law from the God of the Bible. Could it be that the secular humanism you display in your editorials and columns deny the existence of such a One?

A provocative beginning! But we don’t think or write about the subject of Milton’s concern. Does he get around to creationism? Yes, he does — in the next sentence:

Acceptance of Darwinism, that a complex, biochemical, electromagnetic marvel as the human body could have come into existence by chance, is a delusion.

The human body is an “electromagnetic marvel”? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! And what does “acceptance of Darwinism” have to do with homosexuality? Let’s read on:

Sir Fred Hoyle computed the probability of one living cell occurring by chance on the earth as comparable to a whirlwind passing through a junkyard to produce a Boeing 747. A Darwinian atheist, he postulated the living cell of intelligent-design origin came from outer space!

We know all about Hoyle’s junkyard tornado. But we don’t see any connection to homosexuality. Milton’s letter continues:

In the 19th century the stated benefit of Darwinism was marginalization of the Creation account and removal of the biblical standard of sexual morality.

That was the “stated benefit of Darwinism”? Wow — it’s a free love cult! Whoopie! Here’s more:

God established marriage between a man and woman for procreation, blessed the marriage of Moses to an Ethiopian woman, condemns sodomy (homosexuality) as an abomination and destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of it.

And that means what to us? Milton explains it:

All nations that ignore Him go down to the grave. But if we humble ourselves, seek His face and turn from our wicked ways, He promises to forgive our sins and heal our land. Isn’t the ballot box an appropriate starting place?

Good advice! The next time you get your electromagnetic carcass into a ballot box, check the “No” boxes for Darwinism and homosexuality. And don’t forget to check the “Yes” box for God. Milton’s last sentence is a bit of a puzzlement:

And read Washington’s First Inaugural Address: The colonies won independence getting, after seeking, God’s help.

We’ve read it. You can read it too: Washington’s First Inaugural Address. Washington said lots of vaguely Deistic things, like:

No People can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the Affairs of men more than the People of the United States. Every step, by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.

Washington was a splendid product of the Enlightenment, and he obviously read Adam Smith (The Wealth of Nations was published in 1776.) His use of Smith’s “invisible hand” phrase in a deistic context is a nice rhetorical flourish. But whether Washington would agree with anything today’s letter-writer says is a question we’ll leave to you, dear reader.

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

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AIG Can Solve the Ebola Problem

Not long ago we wrote Hey, Creationists: What About Ebola?, in which we said:

Creationists claim to know the reason for all things. Although they have no idea how to cure someone suffering from Ebola, and no way to develop a vaccine (they leave such things to godless scientists), creationists should at least be able to explain why Ebola exists.

Our patience has been rewarded. We now have an Ebola essay from the creation scientists at Answers in Genesis (AIG), the on-line ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia. The title is Where Did Ebola Come From?, written by Andrew Fabich. AIG provides some information about him here: Contributors. He’s an assistant professor of microbiology at Liberty University.

Skipping over some introductory paragraphs describing Ebola, Fabich then gets to the good stuff. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

With the wickedness of this particular virus, people often wonder where God is amid all this death, disease, pain, and suffering. It is imperative to understand several key concepts as we approach an answer to this question.

Okay, here it comes:

First, we must understand the goodness of God. The psalmist writes [bible, bible]. We must, therefore, also be committed to the idea of God’s goodness. The idea of God’s goodness emanates from Him in the Creation Week. God uses the word good to describe the original creation six times (every day was pronounced “good” except for Day Two) and the last verse of Genesis 1 describes the original creation as “very good” after God had created man in His image. God’s goodness can sometimes be difficult to see in some created things (e.g., viruses in general, but Ebola specifically).

Fine, we’ve got the concept of goodness. Now what about Ebola? Let’s read on:

The question becomes one of whether there is any kind of good that can come from viruses.

Fabich gives a couple of examples of beneficial viruses (of which Ebola is not one), and then says:

While we can see some elements of possibly good things about viruses, it is important that we understand God is our Creator and Redeemer, not some cosmic killjoy. We read that not only did God create the world and everything in it, but that He regularly interacts with it [bible, bible]. God is not detached from His creation. The reason it is important to realize that God is the Creator is because viruses are efficient machines that quit working when one part is removed. The machine analogy strongly supports that these were intelligently designed and meet the criteria of irreducible complexity.

Oh yeah — intelligent design and irreducible complexity. Well, at least the Discoveroid jargon is a break from all the bible quotes. Is AIG adopting the Discoveroids’ version of things? No, they’re not. Get this:

Since viruses require all their parts to function and removing one part prevents them from effectively functioning, they must be designed according to the ID movement. But if these efficient viral machines (like Ebola) were designed this way, does that mean God is working to kill us all the day long? The problem with the ID movement not recognizing the God of the Bible as the Creator is that it divorces the Creator from the creation and His work of redemption.

Ah, so that’s the Discoveroids’ problem. Fabich continues:

Would a loving God create something to kill us? God forbid. If all we do is look at the efficiency of viruses, then must one conclude that they were designed to kill us according to the ID movement. The idea of having a Creator-Redeemer is important in understanding viruses because of the related idea that we live in a fallen world.

Yes! We’ve pointed out before that the Discoveroids are stuck with obvious examples of sloppy design, leaving them with no explanation for why their “theory” fails to explain such things. But the more honest bible-based creationists can always use original sin as a handy excuse. AIG has it all! Here’s more:

Knowing that we live in a fallen world, we can see that God did not design viruses to kill us. We can look in Scripture and understand that viruses (like Ebola) are simply a molecular thorn and thistle [bible, bible]. Originally, viruses most likely were part of the very good creation. Therefore, this concept of God as Creator and Redeemer correlates well with what we observe in the few good and essential viruses in light of the many viruses causing disease.

Uh huh, it correlates well. Isn’t creation science wonderful? Creationism is true, Good is good, and Ebola is our fault because we’re sinners. So what’s to be done? Fabich spends the rest of his essay praising the work of medical missionaries. He says:

Dr. Brantly and other medical missionaries have received strong criticism lately from the secular humanists for no other reason than because the missionaries are Christians. The secular humanists are envious that Christians are being portrayed well in the media. In many ways, I commend medical missionaries like Dr. Brantly who decided to take the call of God seriously and use medicine to reach people for Jesus Christ.

Ah, that’s the answer! It’s a bit like Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition. Then he explains why the Darwinists have no answer at all:

Ultimately, unlike those with a biblical worldview, the secular humanists have no clear moral basis to put themselves at risk to help the downtrodden, sick, and infirm. If we are just the product of random chance processes over time, as Darwinian evolution asserts, then why not let the sick die off so the strong will survive? However, since we are not the byproducts of random chance processes, we should conduct ourselves altogether differently.

Okay, that’s enough. The Discoveroids don’t know what’s going on and the evolutionists are happy to let Ebola victims die. Only AIG both understands Ebola and can do something about it. Where would we be without creation science?

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

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James Tour: Creationist Organic Chemist

We found this at the website of Pat Robertson’s Christian News Network (CNN). Their headline is Renowned Chemist Says Evolutionists Do Not Understand the Origin of Life.

Oh dear, a “renowned chemist” is revealing our deepest secret. Or is he just making a fool of himself? Or maybe CNN is simply getting carried away? Let’s find out. We’re told:

A prominent chemist who was recognized this year as one of the 50 most influential scientists in the world says most scientists do not understand how evolution could explain the existence of life.

Aaaargh!! To begin with, the origin of life, although it’s certainly an interesting unsolved problem, is not part of the theory of evolution, which describes the behavior and development of life after it exists. And who is this renowned scientist that CNN is touting? They say:

Dr. James Tour is a well-known professor at Rice University, specializing in chemistry, nanoengineering, and computer science. Over the last 30 years, Tour has authored over 500 research publications, and he was recognized as one of “The 50 Most Influential Scientists in the World Today” by Tour has also received awards and recognitions from the American Chemical Society, Thomson Reuters, Honda, NASA, and others.

Wikipedia has a writeup on him: James Tour. He seems to be a competent organic chemist. But it also says this:

In 2001, Tour signed the Discovery Institute’s A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism, a controversial petition which the intelligent design movement uses to promote intelligent design by attempting to cast doubt on evolution. To those who “are disconcerted or even angered that I signed a statement back in 2001″ he responded “I have been labeled as an Intelligent Design (ID) proponent. I am not. I do not know how to use science to prove intelligent design although some others might. I am sympathetic to the arguments on the matter and I find some of them intriguing, but the scientific proof is not there, in my opinion. So I prefer to be free of that ID label.”

He had also said that he felt the explanations offered by evolution are incomplete, and he found it hard to believe that nature can produce the machinery of cells through random processes. On his website, he writes that “From what I can see, microevolution is a fact” and “there is no argument regarding microevolution. The core of the debate for me, therefore, is the extrapolation of microevolution to macroevolution.”

This is bizarre. He insists that he’s not a slavish follower of the Discovery Institute’s nonsense, yet he dances the micro-macro mambo, which we described in Common Creationist Claims Confuted. He’s obviously some kind of creationist, but he follows his own path — a creationist beaker keeper.

This illustrates something we’ve said before: A creationist can be an architect, engineer, dentist, inventor, or a number of other things — even, as in this case, an organic chemist. But they function in those occupations by using knowledge, skills, methods, and technologies that are clearly non-biblical. Most importantly, their creationism — as an imagined cause or mechanism — can’t be investigated, so it never leads to anything of scientific value. Okay, let’s return to the CNN story:

In a video released in late 2012, Tour explained that he has had extensive experience studying the origin of life. “I will tell you as a scientist and a synthetic chemist,” Tour said, “if anybody should be able to understand evolution, it is me, because I make molecules for a living, and I don’t just buy a kit, and mix this and mix this, and get that. I mean, ab initio, I make molecules. I understand how hard it is to make molecules.” Despite his experiences and expertise, Tour admits that he does not understand how evolution could account for life’s existence.

He’s misusing the word “evolution,” which — as we’ve already said — doesn’t account for life’s existence. But he’s correct that nobody has yet succeeded at synthetically generating life. We’ve discussed that in The Origin of Life — Miraculous or Mundane? Then they quote Tour again:

“I don’t understand evolution, and I will confess that to you,” he says in the video.

Yeah, we can see that. CNN continues:

Is it okay for me to say, ‘I don’t understand this’? Is that all right? I know that there’s a lot of people out there that don’t understand anything about organic synthesis, but they understand evolution. I understand a lot about making molecules; I don’t understand evolution. And you would just say that, wow, I must be really unusual.”

It’s okay to say that. But what can’t be said — at least not logically — is “I don’t understand this, therefore Oogity Boogity!” Here’s more:

“Let me tell you what goes on in the back rooms of science — with National Academy members, with Nobel Prize winners,” Tour stated. “I have sat with them, and when I get them alone, not in public — because it’s a scary thing, if you say what I just said — I say, ‘Do you understand all of this, where all of this came from, and how this happens?’

The answer he inevitably receives, Tour explained, is: “no.”

Egad! The deep dark secret is out! Darwin is doomed! Well, maybe not. Skipping quite a bit, here’s another excerpt:

After recognizing that evolutionists are “collectively bewildered” by life’s origins, Tour joined nearly 900 other scientists in signing A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism, which states: “We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”

Whoopie! Here’s the stunning conclusion of the article:

If evolution cannot account for life’s existence, then how did life originate? Tour says the most reasonable answer is simple. “I believe fundamentally that God created us all,” he told the Houston Chronicle.

Okay. That’s what he believes. All he needs to do now is accomplish something of scientific value based on that belief. Nobody’s ever done it before, but maybe Jimmie Tour will be the first. We shall see.

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

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