ICR: Adventures in Creation Science

What goes on in the mind of a creationist? We’ll probably never know, but we can make some educated guesses based on what comes out of those malfunctioning organs. Consider the latest from the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page.

Their essay, which we regard as an adventure in creation science, was written by Nathaniel T. Jeanson, Ph.D. We’re told at the end that he is “Deputy Director for Life Sciences Research and received his Ph.D. in Cell and Developmental Biology from Harvard University.” M’god — this guy has a degree from Harvard! His essay is: Did Lions Roam the Garden of Eden?

Our first observation is that ICR’s title asks a stunningly stupid question, no different from asking if there were bedbugs in Never Never Land. But we are not deterred. Rather, we are invigorated, because our exploration of the creationist mind has now begun. Let us explore how ICR contends with this weighty question of lions in Eden. They say, with bold font added by us:

Lions look designed to kill, both inside and out. Sharp teeth and claws, a short digestive tract, powerful limbs — all these features suggest “predator,” not tame and gentle pet. Yet in the beginning, God gave “to every beast of the earth…wherein there is life” plants as food, not animal flesh (Genesis 1:30).

Let’s take a look at ICR’s data. That scripture passage says:

And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

He gave “every green herb for meat.” Does that literally mean that lions were vegetarians? Who knows? Well, ICR must know. They go on to say:

Only after man sinned [scripture reference] did human and animal death enter the world [scripture reference]. So where did today’s carnivous lions come from?

What we have so far is a completely goofy question, a reference to their “data” — an ancient text of dubious provenance and meaning — and a mystery as to the existence of today’s lions. Verily, this is a question that is worthy of a creation scientist. Let’s see how they handle it:

Since God commanded Noah to take two of every “kind” — not two of every species — on board the Ark, our modern lion species was probably not on the Ark but, rather, descended from the two cats (felids) that did board the Ark.

Ah, then the modern lion must have evolved from something on the Ark. Sure, that’s possible. There was plenty of time. Wikipedia reports that according to the Ussher chronology, the Flood was in 2348 BC. But then we’re told that’s not necessarily the answer. Let’s read on:

Could lions have existed before the Flood? God permitted predatory behavior among all potentially carnivorous animals when He instituted the Curse of Genesis 3. Furthermore, the fossils of now extinct feline carnivores indicate that ferocious-looking saber-toothed cats once inhabited this planet. Hence, lions of a different sort may very well have attacked animals in the pre-Flood world.

Jeepers — this is so confusing! Those fossils really muddle the picture. ICR continues:

How did these big cats acquire their sharp teeth? At the Curse, God probably didn’t speak sharp teeth into existence out of nothing. His acts of global creation were finished by day seven of the creation week [scripture references]. So where did the lion’s teeth come from?

How do they know those sharp teeth weren’t spoken into existence? Were they there? Well, they’re creation scientists, so we must have faith that they know what they’re talking about. Here’s more:

Traditionally, creationists have invoked several types of mechanisms to explain how the creation went from “very good” [scripture reference] to “cursed” [scripture reference] without a second creation event. For example, God may have created creatures with latent genetic information to be “switched on” only after Genesis 3, a concept similar to the “mediated design” model. [That “mediated design” expression has a footnote reference to an ICR publication.]

Why worry about mechanisms? Creationists don’t need them. And why would lions have been originally created with latent information to produce sharp teeth? Was the sin of Adam & Eve planned from the beginning? At this point we’re more confused than ever — but we’re not worried. We have no doubt that everything will soon be all cleared up. Now ICR tells us:

Alternatively, God may have created anatomical and physiological features capable of multiple purposes. Powerful jaws, now used to kill and tear flesh, may have initially been used to open fruits and plant seeds of the size and hardness of modern watermelons and coconuts. Could the lion’s teeth have been used for tearing tough plants and roots in the beginning?

We don’t know. We weren’t there! We’re counting on ICR to answer all those questions. But to our great disappointment, they don’t. They continue on for a few more paragraphs, and then end with this:

Did lions parade past Adam in the Garden, sharp teeth and all? Quite possibly, though they would have been tame and strictly herbivorous.

This is most unsatisfactory. We were expecting some answers from ICR, but instead all we get is uncertainty. So what did we learn about the functioning of the creationist mind? Well, from today’s essay we know they ask stupid questions, but then they flop around and don’t give us any answers. Phooey on them!

See also: ICR: Crocodiles and Watermelons.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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23 responses to “ICR: Adventures in Creation Science

  1. Watermelons and coconuts! THAT explains the powerful jaws and sharp claws of lions! Their instinct to bite the carotid artery of their prey was originally intended to incapacitate a terrified, struggling watermelon.

    And it totally explains why cats can’t synthesize amino acids and other nutrients that can only be obtained from a meat diet.

  2. So lions were originally vegans?

    And not two of every species, but two of each kind, kinda like some sort of cat, and they kinda evolved after the flood into carnivores. So a kind really is more of a genus, not a species? But where was the abundance of animals for them to hunt after the flood? If all the carnivores ate all the herbivores, then earth would have been quickly depopulated of animal life, no?

  3. Add to that their powers of stealth, keen hearing and eyesight all essential ingredients to a successful stalking in the watermelon patch! Best laugh I had to day and to think it was from one of those zany creationist scientists, bless their little hearts!

  4. Ceteris Paribus

    If carnivores evolved from vegetarians, then why is there still broccoli?

  5. The whole truth

    How did that fool (Nathaniel T. Jeanson) ever get a Ph.D from Harvard? What he said sounds like something from a religious book for children under the age of 5. And what “Research” is he or anyone else doing at ICR? I wouldn’t trust those deluded morons to “Research” toilet paper prices at a grocery store.

  6. How does a person graduate from Harvard and go on to write nonsense like this? It makes me sad.

  7. Our Curmudgeon ponders:

    What goes on in the mind of a creationist?

    On the evidence of this ICR article, one can only conclude the answer to be, “Vast and unfathomable Waldorfs of utter word salad.” It is manifest that this ICR waffle can’t possibly be meant to place a cogent argument for serious consideration by rational human beings.

    But, taking this article in conjunction with your recent post on Creationism, Abstinence, & Belching, it seems probable to me that writing such screeds is something cdesign proponentsists do as a libido-suppressing displacement activity, a sort of pseudo-intellectual Farting Competition they conduct amongst themselves as a variety of sexual abstinence.

  8. anevilmeme

    “What goes on inside the mind of a creationist?”

    Mass production of “not even wrong”.

  9. Rikki_Tikki_Taalik

    Curm said …

    And why would lions have been originally created with latent information to produce sharp teeth? Was the sin of Adam & Eve planned from the beginning?

    If you consider the deity you believe in to be omniscient, and I believe those at ICR do, that deity knew every action and consequence of “his plan” from speaking the universe into existence until it’s end. How could it be otherwise ? This poses a problem for the idea of an “all loving” or omnibenevolent deity. The problem of evil is a problem for a reason.

    God Is Like A Table Held On Three Legs

    I find the last panel to be a little “off note”. The reason why is that I care if my beliefs are true. I do find the alternative better if that means I can avoid wrapping my arms around untenable ideas. I have an internal integrity I’d like to maintain.

  10. Rikki_Tikki_Taalik

    *sigh* I said …

    [Doesn’t matter now.]

    I totally pooched that. What I should have said was …

    [And that is what now appears.]

    Time for bed.

    [And while you slept, the clouds parted, a Curmudgeonly Hand descended from the heavens, and everything’s better now.]

  11. Eric John Bertel their powers of stealth, keen hearing and eyesight all essential ingredients to a successful stalking in the watermelon patch!

    Just think that The Eye is so marvelously designed either to be a tool of the predator, or else to help the prey animals escape the predator. If there was no predator-prey relationship, then the whole Argument From Design of the Eye falls apart.

  12. DickVanstone

    “What goes on inside the mind of a creationist?”

    How can I peddle nonsense for more money and power?

  13. Ceteris Paribus wonders

    If carnivores evolved from vegetarians, then why is there still broccoli?

    It’s a good question–but not the killer blow you might have hoped, for the answer is readily to hand, viz.:

    The Creator, in His/Her/Its wrath over that whole apple-eating episode in the Garden of Eden, gave us sinners not only Death but–what is worse–condemned us to have limp, over-cooked broccoli forced upon us by well-meaning parents. Had there been no Original Sin, there would be no “Eat your broccoli, or no dessert for you!”

    Our Lord is a Vengeful Lord; tremble ye before Him/Her/It!!!

  14. Creationist “research” consists of looking up answers in the bible. In that light, Dr. Jeanson’s hypothesis has merit – it is, after all, every bit as sensible and logical as his source material.

    My only question is this – were the biblical stories invented before or after the invention of beer? Evidence would seem to indicate the latter.

  15. Ed asks:

    …were the biblical stories invented before or after the invention of beer? Evidence would seem to indicate the latter.

    Further evidence, which buttresses your hypothesis, may be found in
    Proverbs 31:6 (KJV), to wit:

    Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.

  16. The big cats question left unanswered is similar to the issue of dogs. I’ve heard over and over from the ID’ers about how “…..well it’s still just a dog.” in reference to the domestication and breeding isn’t proof of evolution. I’m still waiting for them to address the wolf though. In any case,Adam and Eve would have found out who could run faster had a big cat come calling.

  17. Tsk tsk, so much of your apparent contradictions are washed away with just a little thinking. First of all, ID-ers and Creationists have apparently accepted “Micro-Evolution” even if they don’t buy “Macro-Evolution”. So the lion’s “stealth abilities” or any other adaptation could obviously have happened after the Flood.

    What I don’t get is why The Fall applied to the animals in the first place. THEY didn’t sin, so why do they have to suffer all the ills of humanity?

    Maybe a Creation Scientist could answer that for me… after some research, of course.

  18. That God would punish all of humanity for the “sin” of just two people is ludicrous enough.

    That he would condemn rabbits, gazelle, and all other prey to be eaten (and all animals to die, in fact) for the “sin” of an entirely different species is just evil.

    That God may have planned it that way from the beginning, creating all animals with the seeds of corruption already present and just waiting to be switched on, really shows the moral bankruptcy of Christianity.

  19. docbill1351

    Eden must have been swarming with mayflies! Can you imagine what it must have been like? Mayflies everywhere. In your face, up your nose, buzzing around helter skelter.

    Once Eve put the kibosh on “everlasting life” the mayfly population probably dropped, well, like flies!

    After looking at all the dead flies on the ground Adam was reported to have said, “Thank God!”

  20. Hmmm. At first I was going to reply that nothing must have reproduced before the Fall – but I seem to recall a “Be Fruitfull and Multiply” command from YHWH. So how do we resolve the mayfly issue?

    Well, if I were a Creation Scientist, I’d presume that, since nothing died before the Fall, that there’d be no ecological niche for scavengers or decomposers. Flies are ecologically usefull mainly for making maggots to get rid of corpses. So my best guess is that the mayfly “micro-evolved” (after The Fall) from some useful kind of bug – such as bees or butterflies.

  21. Rikki_Tikki_Taalik

    [And while you slept, the clouds parted, a Curmudgeonly Hand descended from the heavens, and everything’s better now.]

    I vow never to learn the administration functions of WordPress software. That way I can always state, with honesty, that the Sensuous Curmudgeon works in mysterious ways.

  22. Rikki_Tikki_Taalik

    Poolio said …

    “That God would punish all of humanity for the “sin” of just two people is ludicrous enough.”

    It’s easily been a couple of hundred moons since I’ve read the bible, and I’ve even performed an online search, but it seems the bible doesn’t contain the phrase Original Sin. Ya know, kinda like the Constitution doesn’t contain the phrase Separation of Church and State ? If I’m correct on this, and I think I am, there’s no reason we can’t rename this biblical concept the Original Grudge. I mean, let’s face it. It’s what we’re really taking about here.

  23. Mark Joseph

    His essay is: Did Lions Roam the Garden of Eden?

    Our first observation is that ICR’s title asks a stunningly stupid question, no different from asking if there were bedbugs in Never Never Land.

    Ichneumon wasps in Narnia! Naked mole rats in Middle Earth! Hippogriffs on Barsoom! One-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people-eaters in Uranus! The possibilities are endless!