Creationist Wisdom — Example 61

ONCE again we’ve been dumpster diving in the “News” section at Answers in Genesis (AIG), one of the major sources of creationist wisdom. They have a regular item they call “A weekly feature examining news from the biblical viewpoint.”

This week, the third item in News to Note, August 15, 2009 is their creationist spin on this from the BBC: New exoplanet orbits ‘backwards’. The BBC story is rather straightforward, saying:

Astronomers have discovered the first planet that orbits in the opposite direction to the spin of its star. Planets form out of the same swirling gas cloud that creates a star, so they are expected to orbit in the same direction that the star rotates.

The new planet is thought to have been flung into its “retrograde” orbit by a close encounter with either another planet or with a passing star.

Okay. Very interesting. They also quote Professor Hellier, from Keele University in Staffordshire, UK, who speculates about the possible cause of such an orbit. He’s the co-author of an article submitted to Astrophysical Journal about the discovery.

We know — you’re wondering what is there in this to attract the attention of the creationists at AIG. You’ll see, after you read some excerpts from the AIG article. There’s no author indicated, so we attribute such items to Ken Ham, the creationist entrepreneur of the entire AIG operation. With bold font added by us, here’s what the creationist genius says about this discovery:

In our solar system, Earth and the other planets — as well as planetoids and asteroids — orbit the sun in the same direction that the sun spins. In a sense, it’s as if the entire solar system were fixed on one rotating disc, all moving in unison (except that the planets orbit at different speeds). Those who accept stellar evolution (and the big bang) see this behavior as a legacy of each solar system’s origin from a single gas cloud.

Clumsily written, and there’s no connection between any of this and the big bang, but let’s read on:

As astronomers have begun to detect exoplanets (those that lie outside our own solar system), the direction of orbit of about a dozen has been determined. For all but one, the planets orbit in the same direction as their parent star. But planet WASP-17b is a nonconformist, it seems: the gas giant rotates retrograde (in opposite direction) from its parent star.

Ham then discusses the astronomer’s near-collision speculation, and dismisses it, saying:

In fact, the retrograde orbit would seem to falsify evolutionists’ hypothesis on planetary formation — if it weren’t for the rescuing devices of planetary collisions and near-misses. The astronomers speculate that a close encounter with another planet or a passing star could have reversed the planet’s orbit.

Right! The “evolutionists’ hypothesis” is falsified! It was never worth much anyway, because — in case you had forgotten — creationists claim the past is unknowable, except via scripture.

Then Ham discloses his own thinking on the matter:

While those possibilities are theoretically plausible, they effectively allow the planetary formation hypothesis to escape scrutiny: any aberrations, however strange, can be chalked up to unobservable collisions and near-collisions.

The writing is ghastly, but here’s what Ham is saying: Astronomers (“evolutionists” to Ham) have a theory that planets coalesce out of the same spinning gas cloud from which their star is formed. Thus all planets should orbit in the same direction that their star spins. But — here’s the serpent in the garden — if any planet is ever found to be going in the “wrong” direction, then the “evolutionist” theory collapses, because — says Ham — there can’t be any anomalous situations, not even even if they have a natural explanation.

Here’s more from AIG:

In our own solar system, for example, Venus rotates in exactly the opposite direction as Earth and the other planets.

That’s true. It orbits in the same direction as the other planets, but its rotational direction is an oddity. And — get this! — Venus wasn’t mentioned in the BBC article. Maybe Ham actually knew something! Moving along:

While creationists can understand such uniqueness as the result of design, evolutionists can postulate whatever collisions would be (hypothetically) necessary to create the anomalies.

Ah yes, the one-size-fits-all “explanation” — Oogity Boogity! Now we understand everything perfectly. The creation science theory is that no matter what we find — the Designer did it. There are no anomalies!

Here’s the end:

Both worldviews have their interpretations, but some stretch the facts more than others.

Right you are, Hambo! Those nasty evolutionists really like to stretch the facts. Now that you’ve convinced us that all astronomers are fools, why not take a break from your exhausting creationist research? Relax a bit. Go climb into your dinosaur saddle and take a ride.

Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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6 responses to “Creationist Wisdom — Example 61

  1. “-here’s the serpent in the garden-”

    I’m stealing that phrase.


  2. Go ahead. It’s not something I originated.

  3. I thought he was going to say it was some kind of a “Devil planet” or something like that.

  4. Gabriel Hanna

    It’s the auxiliary hypothesis problem that they’re getting at. That is philosophically respectable.

    The way they are using it, though, they need to reject ALL science, and here they are doing that with astronomy.

    Calculations and simulations show that a near collision can change a planet’s rotation (same effect as tides).

    Biology is just their first target, ladies and gentlemen. Next one is physics, hence my self-interest in the discussion.

  5. Biology is just their first target, ladies and gentlemen. Next one is physics, hence my self-interest in the discussion.

    “Gravity is a theory in crisis — teach the ‘Intelligent Falling’ alternative!”

  6. I thought so too, 386.

    They probably watched this docudrama