ICR: Water Canopy, Pioneer Anomaly, & Uranus

Each time we find a new article about “creation science” we say: “This is a really strange one,” but we’ve come to realize that they’re all strange. Still, this one is especially so.

We found it at the website of the granddaddy of all creationist outfits, the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom. It’s titled: Water Near Edge of Universe Bolsters Creation Cosmology. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us. It begins with this:

A tremendous cloud of water vapor envelops a quasar in distant space, according to new reports.

That’s true. Here’s a recent article discussing it: Caltech-Led Astronomers Discover the Largest and Most Distant Reservoir of Water Yet. We read about it but we didn’t think it was relevant to this blog’s usual subject matter. But then, we don’t think like a creationist. Let’s read on to see what the creation scientists at ICR have to tell us:

Where did the water come from? A straightforward understanding of the biblical account of creation provides a possible answer and suggests that this may be the first of more such discoveries.

Genesis 1:6 says that on Day Two of the creation week, “God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” Thus, according to the testimony of the only One who was there at the time, a great gulf or “firmament” divided one body of water from another. Genesis 1:8 states that “God called the firmament Heaven.”

Aaaargh!! But wait — it gets better:

Space.com reported, “Scientists think water vapor was present even in the early universe. So finding this old cloud of the stuff doesn’t come as a shock.”

Here’s the article they’re quoting from: Astronomers Find Largest, Oldest Mass of Water in Universe. The Caltech article says much the same thing. We continue with ICR’s creationist analysis:

But many creation scientists would not be at all surprised to find water that far out — and even farther — on the basis of a straightforward examination of what the Bible suggests is the structure of the universe.

Aaaargh!! Here’s more from ICR, and this is where the fun really starts:

In fact, the Pioneer anomaly, an unexplained slowing of the Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 spacecraft on their way out of the solar system, is already well-explained by the overwhelming mass of a proposed sphere of water above the heavens.

Aaaargh!! The Pioneer anomaly is a very small deviation from the predicted acceleration of the Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 spacecraft after they passed about 20 astronomical units on their way out of the Solar System (one AU is the radius of the Earth’s orbit). Hey, 20 AUs is the average distance of Uranus from the sun! Uranus — O happy day! — we get to blog about Uranus!

Some of the best minds in the world have puzzled over the Pioneer anomaly. Some have even proposed exotic re-definitions of the law of gravity. But no one suspected the celestial water canopy described in Genesis. Creationists had the explanation all along!

Well, not so fast. Let’s think about this. The water detected around the quasar (but not the Pioneer probes) is about 12 billion lightyears away from us. The creation scientists at ICR think that water seen 12 billion lightyears away is somehow related to whatever is slowing down the Pioneer probes. Well, why not? The quasar and the Pioneer probes are far away, and there’s water out there. Makes sense, right?

But how does 12 billion lightyears — the distance to that quasar — compare to 20 AUs? We need to be using the same units. How many lightyears are there in 20 AUs — the distance from the sun to Uranus? There are about 63,240 AUs in only one lightyear, so figure it out and then judge the ICR hypothesis for yourself. Another way to think of it is that light travels one AU (the distance from earth to the sun) in a tad more than 8 minutes. The light from that quasar took 12 billion years to get here.

By the way, the Pioneer anomaly may well be resolved: NASA Releases New Pioneer Anomaly Analysis. Amazingly, Genesis isn’t part of the solution.

Anyway, let’s give the ICR creation scientists credit for their efforts. You gotta hand it to them — they’re always trying their best, but somehow they never seem to score. Why is that?

Copyright © 2011. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

15 responses to “ICR: Water Canopy, Pioneer Anomaly, & Uranus

  1. That just proves that things which are supposedly at billions of light-years are really not so far away. Well within the distance that light can travel in 6000 years.

  2. TomS says:

    That just proves that things which are supposedly at billions of light-years are really not so far away.

    It’s amazing what a creationist can learn from a probe to Uranus.

  3. The firmament seems to have sprung a leak, since there is water everywhere, even around quasars.

    Come to think of it, I don’t recall reading about quasars in Genesis. Curious oversight, don’t you think?

  4. Silly – willfully dumb and scientifically illiterate, but ultimately just plain old silly, which is their least offensive mode. I know it’s all harmful in the long run, but I still vastly prefer the merely ignorant tone to some of their other modes – like obstructionist, puritanical, medieval, revisionist, militant, intolerant, hysterical, anti-intellectual, etc…

  5. magpie61 says: “Silly – willfully dumb and scientifically illiterate, but ultimately just plain old silly”

    You just don’t understand. The Pioneer probes have smashed into a great body of water that begins at the orbit of Uranus and extends all the way to the farthest quasar. It’s so obvious! The amazing thing is that Uranus is somehow able to keep orbiting right through all that water. Yet it does.

  6. but… wouldn’t water cause serious distortion to things like telescopes?

  7. Caleb says: “but… wouldn’t water cause serious distortion to things like telescopes?”

    Of course! It would slow down the speed of light and make the universe appear older than it really is. Creationism is true! Repent!

  8. Maybe this has already been said. But this article really reinforces how lazy creationists are. They never do any of their own research; instead, they simply spin information from real science to fit their agenda.
    Since they’re not doing any research of their own, why do they need several million $$$ a year?

  9. Since they’re not doing any research of their own, why do they need several million $$$ a year?

    Ah, the crux. I think “need” is probably the wrong word. The real question is, why do they get any – at all? You’ll have to consult P.T. Barnum for the answer. (The more I read this stuff, the more I’m convinced it’s just a racket. Gary brings up a good point. They are making money, aren’t they?)

  10. “But many creation scientists would not be at all surprised to find water that far out — and even farther — on the basis of a straightforward examination of what the Bible suggests is the structure of the universe.”

    “Many” creation scientists? How many creation scientists would it take to make many creation scientists? How many is “many”? Are there enough so-called “creation scientists” to make many of them?

  11. Pete Moulton

    Well, Deklane, however many of them there are, it’s still too many.

  12. @magpie61:The more I read this stuff, the more I’m convinced it’s just a racket.

    Ya think? Write books that pay you instead of peer-reviewed scholarship that you have to pay for to see in print. Do no real work, but recycle the same disinformation and misinformation, and once in a while comment on a current event with a creationist slant. You will make hell of a lot more money doing that, then teaching freshman at a small state university, or working as a postdoc at a national lab even.

    The second biggest reason I’m not tempted to join the dark side, is that a simple Google search of my name would probably make it impossible–they’d either find my opinions, or they’d think I was a Costa Rican boxer..

  13. @GH:
    I’m sure at least some of these monkeys sincerely believe this stuff. The rest are out-and-out charlatans, just in it for the money. I can’t decide which is more depressing…

  14. magpie61: “I’m sure at least some of these monkeys sincerely believe this stuff.”

    And you read minds how? One can never be sure what any evolution-denier believes, but I would guess that most of the the rank and file (those “on the street”) sincerely believe their fairy tales, but have no clue about whether because of evidence or in spite of it. Most aren’t even aware that it comes in mutually contradictory versions.

    As for the career activists and their more “educated” sock puppets, the ones who peddle YEC or OEC directly might either be closet Omphalos creationists or severely possessed by Morton’s Demon. As for the ID peddlers, it would not surprise me one bit if they all privately accepted evolution. As that article clearly shows, there’s a middle position between honest belief and lying for the money. As anyone who has told fairy tales to children knows.

  15. aturingtest

    “…straightforward examination of what the Bible suggests ” appears to be the extent of what they consider research. I don’t think creation “scientists” would be surprised at any evidence that they can interpret to fit that model of science.