AIG: The Mystery of Penguins

Creationists are forever telling us that evolution is false because there is no evidence of transitional species. Not only do they claim that there are no transitionals in the fossil record, they also say there no living transitionals. Each of the created “kinds” is and always has been unique and unchangeable.

Those claims are easy to debunk. Regarding fossils, we always link to Wikipedia’s List of transitional fossils. And there’s no shortage of living transitionals either, such as walking catfish, gliding mammals like flying squirrels, flying mammals like bats, semi-aquatic mammals like seals and sea lions, and aquatic birds like penguins.

Oblivious to the irony involved, there’s a whole article on penguins at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else.

Their headline is Penguins — Perplexing and Proficient! It was written by Laura Allnutt, about whom we know nothing. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

January 20 is Penguin Awareness Day. [What?] The penguin is a common favorite among both children and adults, bird lovers, and cartoonists. Here are some fun facts about a fun bird on Penguin Awareness Day:

Here comes “fun fact” number one:

1. They’re an Evolutionary “Mystery” [Hee hee!] Penguins are one of the most mysterious bird species to evolutionary biologists. What other bird was built specifically for — not flying — but deep-sea swimming? Unlike other birds, penguin wings are designed for flying through water, not air, as it escapes predators and hunts for krill and other seafood. Evolutionists have a hard time explaining such a creature, especially since there is no agreed-upon ancestor. … They ponder whether penguins descended from flying birds or if their ancestors were already non-flyers — and why would a flying bird lose the ability to fly only to gain the ability to swim?

To a creationist, everything is a mystery — until they consult the bible which explains that everything is a miracle. However, despite AIG’s befuddlement, penguins aren’t much of a mystery. According to the Wikipedia article on Penguins, quite a lot is known about their evolution.

Most of Laura’s other “fun facts” aren’t that much fun — until we come to number six:

6. Evidence of God’s Creativity and Pleasure: There’s no more mystery to our modern-day penguins than there is to any other bird we see. God created penguins on Day 5 of creation week when he created birds of the air and fish of the sea. Penguins show God’s creativity and diversity in design. He created them with a large gene pool to diversify and the ability to adapt to new environments following the flood.

That explains so much! Laura finishes her post with this:

God delights in his creation and called all of it “good” in the beginning. We can still delight in his handiwork today and enjoy his fun, flightless penguins!

So there you are, dear reader. Now you know all there is to know about penguins.

Copyright © 2019. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Creationist Wisdom #933: Lots of Evidence

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Mountain Mail of Salida, Colorado. It’s titled Why God matters, and the newspaper has a comments feature.

Unless the letter-writer is a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name — but today we’ve got a preacher. It’s John Myers, pastor of the Temple Baptist Church in Salida. We’ll give you a few excerpts from the rev’s letter (it’s a column, actually), with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]. Here we go!

There seems to be an increasing movement in our world to reject the idea of a sovereign God, specifically, to reject the idea of the God of the Bible, Yahweh. … I tend to think the discussion and the consideration of the reality or the nonreality of a sovereign God is paramount to how we live our lives. Even “why” we live our lives the way we do. I’ve come to believe that answering that question of “is there a God?” instructs everything else in my life.

Okay, that’s the big question. The rev says:

Ultimately as I sought out the truth of this matter in my life, I kept coming to the conclusion that there had to be a sovereign God, and even more convinced that it is the God of the Bible. Perhaps one of the strongest arguments that I had to wrestle with came from science and the belief that all that there is exists as a result of the development over billions and billions of years from a single cell.

Ah yes, the theory that the whole universe developed from a single cell over billions and billions of years. The rev explains why he rejects that:

But the development and advancement of scientific tools and instruments continue to allow us to see deeper and deeper into the material world and see more accurately how things are constructed. We are discovering that the complexity of all matter is so great that to develop to this current point would require time frames that fly in the face of current theories. In other words, the more we look at creation the more it points to a creator. Just way too much engineering and design in all things and how they work together.

Good thinking! He continues:

The greater argument that I struggled with was “if there is no God, then what is the origin of morality? That is, where do right and wrong come from?” I had difficulty understanding why it wasn’t “every man for himself” or to put it in Darwinian terms, natural selection – survival of the fittest.

Your Curmudgeon has given that some thought, and we’re satisfied that there can be A Secular Source of Morality. The rev thinks otherwise. He says:

This finally began to occur to me that there must be a being outside and greater than myself that is the creator of all things material and moral. I have found that the best description and understanding of such a being is found in the Bible. In this book is a description of a sovereign creator God that has created the universe as well as the moral principles by which we are called to obey.

And he has proof, which he gives us at the end of his letter:

As a Christian I am called to live by faith but God’s chosen to give me and everyone else obvious evidence for his existence. The evidence is plain to see, it is his very creation around us, the very operation of the universe is so engineered to sustain our life … The fact that I have a conscience and the ability to understand the difference between right and wrong. We also have the capacity to help others when it’s not to our advantage. All of this points to a sovereign God. And I’m convinced that God really does matter.

So there you are, dear reader. You’ve seen the rev’s evidence. Impressive, huh?

Copyright © 2019. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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A Debating Lesson from Ken Ham

Did you know that in addition to his other splendid qualities, Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else — is also an unbeatable debater?

It’s true. Look what he just posted at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), his creationist ministry: Get Equipped to “Answer a Fool”. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Proverbs 26:4–5 reads: “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.” This verse may seem like a contradiction when you first read it. But like most alleged Bible contradictions, the “contradiction” quickly disappears with further thought.

Here comes Hambo’s analysis:

So what does it mean to answer and not answer a fool according to his folly? Well, let’s start by noting that the Bible isn’t engaging in name calling by using the term fool. [That’s nice.] It refers to someone who has rejected God’s truth and thus given up the foundation necessary for knowledge. This is an irrational or foolish position. And we aren’t to answer a fool according to this folly.

According to Hambo, anyone who isn’t a creationist is a fool. He explains further:

If a fool wants to set the terms of the argument by saying the Bible isn’t true or miracles can’t happen, we reject those terms because they are foolish terms. [Right!] We don’t embrace an unbeliever’s starting point lest we become like him. But we are to answer fools according to their folly by exposing the foolishness of their arguments, to keep them from becoming wise in their own eyes and thinking there is no answer to their argument.

Isn’t this great? He continues:

We [he means AIG] generally address atheistic and naturalistic arguments — “folly” — from a presuppositional approach. That means we expose the underlying worldview and faulty thinking behind other belief systems, showing how they’re really stealing from a biblical worldview (which is the only worldview that has an ultimate basis for logic, morality, uniformity of nature, etc.) in order to argue against it. We temporarily use their terms to reflect their position back to them to show them their folly.

Thus, Hambo reveals that you, dear reader, are a fool! Let’s read on:

You can learn more about the Don’t Answer/Answer strategy in this article by Dr. Jason Lisle: “Fool-Proof Apologetics.”

That post is dated 01 April 2008. (Yes, April first.) We didn’t blog about it, but several months later we wrote about another of Jason’s posts claiming that the bible is the foundation of logic — see Creationism and Logic.

The rest of Hambo’s post is a promotion of his up-coming conference on atheism. We’ve written about that before so we’ll leave him here. And what did we learn, dear reader? Speaking only for our Curmudgeonly self, we learned that we were right when we wrote Debating Creationists is Dumber Than Creationism.

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Super Blood Wolf Moon — Aaaargh!!

This is a big crisis for us. A major omen will appear in the heavens this weekend, and the two websites we rely upon the most are both down. Well, NASA’s website is functioning, but it’s barely being updated because of the government funding shutdown. And then there’s WorldNetDaily, one of the wildest creationist sites in existence and a great source for end-of-the-world predictions. For some reason, their website is totally shut down.

So we turn to National Geographic. Their headline is How to see the last ‘blood moon’ eclipse of the decade. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

In a few nights, sky-watchers across the Americas will have a front-row seat to a rare cosmic event, as three lunar phenomena converge to give rise to what some people are calling a super blood wolf moon. [What?] While that may sound like a song straight out of a 1970s rock opera, it’s actually a term for a type of total lunar eclipse.

They explain:

During totality, the full moon does not disappear entirely and instead turns a rusty shade of red, earning it the moniker “blood moon.” This lunar eclipse happens to coincide with the wolf moon, the traditional name for the January full moon. What’s more, the moon on January 20 will be unusually close to Earth and so will be slightly bigger and brighter, making it a so-called supermoon.

Ooooooooooooh! That sounds ominous. National Geographic says:

Total lunar eclipses … happen only during a full moon, and only when the sun, Earth, and moon are precisely aligned so that the darkest part of our planet’s shadow completely blankets the lunar disk. This usually happens twice a year, on average, and each total eclipse can be seen from only one hemisphere of Earth.

The last total eclipse of the moon occurred on July 27, 2018, and was visible across Africa and parts of Asia. This year’s total eclipse will be the first to be seen in its entirety in North America in nearly three and half years. Americans missing this one will have to wait until May 26, 2021, to get their next chance at viewing a blood moon.

They also tell us:

Why is it also a super wolf moon? According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, Native Americans and colonial Europeans dubbed the January full moon the wolf moon, because wolves in the region would purportedly start howling in hunger due to midwinter paucity. This month’s wolf moon eclipse is even more special because the lunar disk will appear to be slightly larger than usual. The moon will be at perigee — its closest point to Earth — just 59 minutes before the height of the eclipse. This will make the lunar disk appear 13 percent larger and about 16 percent brighter than the average full moon.

Hey — did you notice what they didn’t tell us? Perhaps they’re trying to avoid a panic, or maybe it’s just bad editing, but they don’t give the date for this event. No problem. Your Curmudgeon knows how to Google. Assuming you’re in the Western Hemisphere, it’ll be this Sunday night, 20 January, and because there’s a midnight involved, it extends into early Monday, 21 January.

So now what? Our advice, as always when end-of-the-world events occur, is this: 1. Stay indoors and avoid looking outside. 2. If you have a basement or storm cellar, get into it and don’t come out until daylight. Otherwise, crawl under the bed and stay there. 3. Turn off all electrical appliances, lights, computers, etc. Don’t even use a flashlight. 4. If you have a hoodie, wear it and don’t take it off all night. 5. Avoid all carnal temptations, because at such times one is especially susceptible to the Devil’s influence.

If you remain pure in body and mind, you might survive. If not, we bid you farewell and close with this:

Thats all folks

Copyright © 2019. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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