ICR: Plants Are Not Alive

The creation scientists at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) have produced another winner. This one is by Henry Morris III, the son of ICR founder Henry Morris. Henry III is carrying on the family business as ICR’s Chief Executive Officer.

The title of Henry’s article comes from the movie exclamation of Dr. Frankenstein: It’s Alive!, and that’s our clue that Henry is trying to be cute with his title. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Poor old Dr. Frankenstein stitched together bits and pieces of various “fresh” human parts in hope that he could energize them with the terrible force bound up in lightning flashes during a thunderstorm. We know now that such an effort is silly, but less than a hundred years ago those concepts were the staple of theories that attempted to find a natural explanation for how life got started. The Bible simply states that the One who is Life created life.

Nice contrast. Frankenstein’s theory vs. the bible. Isn’t creationism fun? Henry continues:

But how can we recognize life? What is the difference between botany and zoology? What makes the cell in a petunia different from the cell in a platypus?

The difference, according to Henry, is that plants aren’t alive. Why this is worth an article doesn’t become known until the end, and even then it’s ambiguous because this is a terribly disorganized piece of writing, but we’ll do our best to guide you through. Henry mentions a Hebrew word that the bible uses for life, but not for plants, and then he says:

Plants are indeed marvelous, beautiful, complex, and able to reproduce “after their kind,” but they are designed by the Creator to be a source of energy to maintain life. Plants are food — they are not alive.

If that’s not enough proof, he has even more from scripture:

[O]ne of the descriptive terms that the Creator applied to living creatures was “movement.” The Hebrew word is ramas, used 17 times in the Old Testament — never about plants or vegetation of any kind. Living things move.

Wow — plants don’t move! But wait, there’s more:

And living things eat plants! Plants do not travel from one location to another, except on the backs of animals, blown on the wind, or transported by men. They are “rooted.” They do not have the power of ramas. Living things have the ability to move independently, but plants do not.

Isn’t this astonishing news, dear reader? But who cares if Henry’s definition of life excludes plants? Stay with us, he’ll get around to it. Let’s read on:

“For the life of the flesh is in the blood,” God announces in Leviticus 17:11. The Mosaic law was centered on blood sacrifice, requiring the “shedding of blood” by killing (executing) an innocent animal for a temporary substitutionary atonement (covering) of the sins committed. Blood is the life source of all living things.

Life requires blood. Blood! Then Henry mentions that plants don’t have a soul. No soul! Now, having scientifically established that plants aren’t alive, he’s ready to attack evolution:

Evolutionary dogma insists that everything that exists is connected to the basic elements of the universe. Evolutionists claim that life is connected through a “common ancestor” in the distant eons — through the first cell that became enabled to reproduce itself by the random interplay of atoms. According to that definition, “life” is anything that can reproduce. Thus, everything that grows on our planet is our brother, and humanity is nothing more than a highly evolved arrangement of organic chemicals.

Henry ain’t no kin to no plant! He continues:

The challenge comes within Christian scholarship. Groups such as BioLogos and a growing list of Christian schools and universities have bought into the terrible lie that plants are just as much alive as humanity — that we “kill” plants before we eat them. While that idea may seem innocuous (after all, we do kill animals before we eat them), the implications and applications are enormous!

Enormous! Uh … what implications? Here it comes, omitting the Genesis references:

If we do indeed “kill” (take the life of) plants as we consume them, then God Himself authorized that killing. He specifically designed plants as food and drew a strong distinction between food and the “life” of everything else. If God authorized the “killing” of plants, then God designed death into the very essence of the creation — and pronounced it all “very good”.

The writing is so clumsy it’s never specifically mentioned, but what Henry’s getting at is ICR’s belief that there was no death before Adam & Eve sinned — even though they (and dinosaurs) were happily munching on plants. Moving along:

Here’s the heresy: If God designed death into creation, then death is as “good” as all other factors — and the atheistic evolutionary doctrine is right. Death is the “good” force that brings about the ultimate “fittest” in our universe. Death, therefore, is not “the wages of sin,” and our Lord Jesus’ death was not necessary for salvation — it was just the wasted effort of a deluded martyr.

See? It’s all about death, which is Adam & Eve’s fault. Plants don’t die, even though Adam & Eve ate them before that apple, because plants aren’t alive (no blood, etc.). Therefore evolution is false and Genesis is true. And if you’re running around like Dr. Frankenstein yelling “It’s alive!” then you, dear reader, are headed for the Lake of Fire. That’s hinted at in Henry’s final paragraph:

These teachings cannot be harmonized. Either the Bible is Truth (capitalization intended) or it is Error. The choice is clear. The message is clear. The effect is eternal!

But remember, none of this makes sense if plants are alive. Once you abandon that heresy, the rest follows.

Copyright © 2012. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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33 responses to “ICR: Plants Are Not Alive

  1. What an idiot! If plants are not alive, then what’s the sense of watering and feeding them? If they have no blood and can’t move, then how does he explain leghemoglobin and the Venus fly traps and other types of carnivorous plants that move when they catch and eat insect prey? Also plants do die. If they’re not alive then what does he call withering which is what plants do when they die. What about the verses in the Bible that tells of plants withering and dying in comparison with humanity? Can’t believe what a dumb idiot claim this is. It’s no different than his father’s idiot claims, indeed.

  2. And what about animals that can move but have no blood, such as sea anemones?

  3. Wow. Just . . . wow.

    I’ve only found this site recently, being a recovering creationists, and I didn’t realize just how deep the crazy goes.

  4. Charles Deetz ;)

    That he feels compelled to make such arguments shows how much they have painted themselves in a corner. Isn’t it enough to accept that the ‘killing’ of plants is just something so conceptually different than killing of animals and be done with it?

    Such stupidity, and there are a lot bigger issues with the Bible he needs to explain.

  5. Doctor Stochastic

    If he thinks plant’s cannot move, perhaps he’s insufficiently familiar with kudzu. (Not to mention slime molds or coral.)

  6. retiredsciguy

    Total. Absolute. Denial.

    I wonder if David Rives is going to pick up on this idea. That would be an interesting video. Pretty tough sell to anyone who has weeded a garden! If ICR keeps making statements like this, they are going to lose whatever followers they may have had.

    Keep on writin’, Henry!

  7. Yeah, I read the Morris insanity this morning. He can spend his time explaining how plants are not alive to the Midwest farmers who are losing their crop yields to the droughts.

  8. I used to think a “creationist” was simply someone who’s not up-to-speed with 19th Century science. It seems that definition was way too charitable. This pushes them back eons, practically into the Stone Age. And these are the people who presume to dictate what our children are taught in school?

    I’m getting ill. Where are my leeches?

  9. johnpieret says: “And what about animals that can move but have no blood, such as sea anemones?”

    And sponges that neither move nor have blood.

  10. Perhaps if Henry thinks that his god gave him all the plants to eat how does he explain Deadly Nightshade etc.
    Also he should watch “the Life of Plants” featuring David Attenborough and watch plants move.
    Is there no depths creationists won’t plumb to force their god into our lives?

  11. Anonymous writes: “Wow. Just . . . wow.”

    Yeah. We feel it too.

  12. “plants don’t have a soul”

    No need for Jesus to have cursed that fig tree, then.

  13. It’s not just evolutionists who are now the enemies of creationism. They just made enemies of the 4-H club.

    It’s not just plants– Kent “jailbird” Hovind also argued that insects aren’t alive, either. They’re just complex self-replicating machines. No scientists could ever prove an insect is alive.

    As far as plants not being alive because they don’t “move”, as all of us here are aware, plants are constantly moving. Carnivorous plants close when they sense the presence of an animal victim. Flowers open and close because they can sense and follow the sun.

    Even a “simple” vine will crawl up a pole, and when it reaches the end of the pole, it will spin round and round (in slow motion) looking for another pole or tree to creep up. (See the movie “Microcosmos.”) Maybe I shouldn’t say “looking”, but it is sensing.

    And as far as the idea that plants are different from animals because they are rooted in one place, of course algae are not rooted, and many animals are sessile and anchored in one place.

    As Darwin himself pointed out, barnacles are crustaceans. Should we say lobsters are alive but their fellow crustaceans, the barnacles, are not alive?

    And coral is not a plant, either. Corals and jellyfish are both cnidarians. Should we say that jellyfish are alive, but their relatives, the corals, are not alive?

    And sea lilies (crinoids) are not really lilies, you idiots.

    Rubble had the right idea: the ICR idiots should go tell the farmers in the Midwest that their crops can’t die, because they were never really alive.

  14. So stupid it burns

  15. The Henry Morris essay is even more ignorant than it would first appear. A better movie monster here would be Dracula. One reason why I have trouble enjoying vampire fiction is that it requires one accept the antiquated notion that life of a creature is its blood. In fact this is in the Bible and this is the thread of logic to which Morris is appealing. (And why Jehovah’s witnesses don’t do blood transfusions.) Another issue, discovered by Galvani, is that dead animals can be made to move with normal everyday and not the least bit alive electricity. Yet another metaphysical balloon popped and found to be filled with nothing but hot air.

  16. Just the title made me literally LOL.

    I’d like to see one of them say that under oath in a court of law.

    Yeah, that will persuade people they are on the ball and keeping those evil Darwinist scientists honest, challenging their ridiculous claims and stuff. Plants are not alive, But those miraculous cells the Intelligent Designer(s) created are. Or not. Got it.

  17. Anyone who thinks plants aren’t alive has gone way too far along the downward spiral of stupid… or worse!

  18. Whatever Henry was smoking when he wrote that was seriously crappy weed .. He should call that dealer and get a refund.
    Cheech and Chong eloquently describe the results of too much bad weed Henry. ” I used to be all messed up on drugs. Now, I’m all messed up on the Lord”.
    Hey! If plants don’t have a soul, that must explain why there was so much potato salad at all those church picnics when I was a kid”
    “Wacky Weed Potato Salad”
    I see a new ICR cookbook recipe here.:)

  19. Morris should re-read his New Testament – in the words of Jesus:
    I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. John 12:24, NIV
    (Not that it is entirely accurate to say that the seed dies!)

  20. Poe’s Law is in full effect, if I didn’t know this came from ICR I’d swear I was reading the Onion.

  21. Picture of a plant not moving.

  22. If plants don’t got no soul then how come there’s Soul Food? Don’t make no sense to this old southern boy! Collard greens with bacon, fried okra, hushpuppies, cheesy grits, candied yams, red beans and rice, corn bread and black eyed peas. Monday’s fried chicken (save the bones) became Wednesday’s gumbo (don’t y’all choke on a bone!)

    And if we need further proof then what do they call the base ingredients for a lot of Southern dishes: onion, celery and green pepper?

    That’s right, y’all, The Trinity!

    OK, so imma gonna put my swamp critter accent back in the closet and get back to bidness.

    Which is to note that this is the same ICR that attempted to gain accreditation to offer a Masters of Science Education here in Texas. They nearly succeeded, too, having flown under the radar during the preliminary examination. However, once the ICR was detected there was a flurry of activity from professors and help from the NCSE to inform the board that the ICR was a fly-by-night creationist “ministry,” aka flim-flam outfit and the jig was up. ICR then did what all proper creationists do, they sued the board for blah blah first amendment blah blah viewpoint blah blah. Seriously, you have never seen such a mish-mash of fonts, bad grammar and just plain “RonGs” in one place short of a Hamilton or Becker brief.

    They lost.

    As reported in part in the Wall Street Journal 6/23/2010:

    That claim was dismissed by Sparks in an opinion that criticized the Institute’s arguments as incoherent. At one point he writes that he will address the group’s concerns “to the extent [he] is able to understand them.” At another, he describes the group’s filings as “overly verbose, disjointed, incoherent, maundering and full of irrelevant information.”


  23. Where’s Audrey II when you need her? 😉

  24. I have proof that plants are in fact, alive!


  25. DocBill “disjointed, incoherent, irreleveant information”.

    I’m wondering if Morris had the same bad weed back then that he was smoking when he wrote the plants are not alive article referenced here..
    If so he must have bought a few pounds back then. He got totally burned by that dealer.If he could send some of the weed to KapoopleFlinger out in Seattle, the ‘Tute could have some really interesting Monday morning staff meetings with coffee and brownies.

  26. That would make for an interesting Turing-type test: could you tell the difference between KapoopleFlinger on drugs and KapoopleFlinger off drugs. Which is real and which is Memorex?

  27. So plants aren’t alive, huh? Too bad venus flytraps aren’t the size of cars. I’d like to toss his intellectually braindead body into one then watch him slowly digest as he screams, “This thing isn’t alive! It really isn’t! Aaaaghuaaahhh!!!!

  28. I don’t think you appreciate how revolutionary this theory is! ICR has just said that they don’t oppose abortion before the sixth week. That’s when blood first forms, so before that there isn’t anything to kill, right? Mmm…unintended consequences…

  29. inquisitiveraven

    Of course, his jabber about death being built into the system if plants are a alive ignores the fact that eating fruit and leaves doesn’t necessarily kill the plant. Plants produce fruit for as a means of spreading their seeds. They aren’t harmed by the fruit being eaten. Leaves, well, it’s possible to remove individual leaves and eat them without causing significant harm to the main plant. They will recover and produce more leaves.

  30. I was consumed by a black hole this past month, but miraculously have reappeared. Thanks to the Tomato Addict for the heads up on this post – stunning. The most amazing thing is that Morris has a viable enterprise and a supportive constituency.

  31. Oh yeah. Curmie, I used your post as a springboard into my own. I hope you don’t mind?

  32. Tomato Addict says: “I used your post as a springboard into my own.”

    Nicely done.