Creation Science in the Petroleum Industry

In the first week of this humble blog we posted Debating Creationists: The Big Lie. As an introduction to our topic today, we must quote a bit of what we said there:

Even if all biologists were in the clutches of evolution’s vile, atheist conspiracy, presumably bribed by their academic paychecks and research grants, there’s no reason for profit-seeking corporations to cripple themselves by sticking with a “fraud” like evolution — not when there’s an allegedly better theory around. The free enterprise system isn’t interested in ideology — only what works. Business executives and their shareholders are results-oriented, and if there’s a legal way to use knowledge to earn profits, they’ll do it. But somehow, despite the incentives to stay ahead of the competition, flood geologists aren’t recruited by the mining or oil industries, creation scientists aren’t hired as researchers for the biotech industry or pharmaceutical firms, and — this is trivial, but true — specialists in Noah’s Ark aren’t in demand by naval architects.

Isn’t it amazing that these industries, which are profit-oriented and thus non-ideological, which employ tens of thousands of scientists in the fields of biology, geology, etc., never specifically recruit creationists and don’t waste their time or their shareholders’ money doing “creation science”?

That’s enough. You get the idea. Now why did we start with that? It’s because — and this is a rarity — we must confess that we made an error. One of our clandestine operatives tipped us off to this article at the NPR website: Drilling For Oil, Based On The Bible: Do Oil And Religion Mix? It’s a great story. You’ll want to read it all, so we’ll just give you a few snippets, with a bit of bold font added for emphasis:

Zion Oil & Gas, based in Dallas, is a publicly traded company that believes it is commanded by the Bible to search for oil in Israel, both to help the Holy Land and make money for investors. The 22 employees of Zion Oil in Texas and Israel, and many of its 30,000 investors, believe the company is on a mission from God.

Holy moly! This is an example of what said didn’t exist. How could we have been so wrong? Let’s read on:

God creates this. He provides the money and the place where to drill. Now why we haven’t got the oil yet, I don’t know. I have never drilled one oil well I didn’t expect to find oil,” says John Brown, Zion founder & CEO.

He’s a hulking, 73-year-old evangelical Christian who went to Israel, had a religious experience, came back and sold his business in Michigan, then started Zion with no prior experience in the oil industry.

Ah, now we understand our error. We neglected to consider the possibility of a self-employed creationist attempting to compete in those industries where we said creationists were never hired. But perhaps you will forgive your Curmudgeon. Who could have anticipated such a thing? Anyway, Mr. Brown says he hasn’t struck oil yet. We’re shocked — shocked! The NPR story continues:

Zion has so far drilled four wells in Israel, all of them dry holes, which is disappointing because in recent years wildcatters struck a huge natural gas field off the coast of Israel.

We’re not told whether those wildcatters were using geology or scripture. Oh wait — yes we are told — about another company:

Moreover, an Israeli oil company, Givot Olam, which is also using the Old Testament as its inspiration, has discovered oil onshore in commercial quantities.

Aaaargh!! What’s going on here? We had to look for their website — it’s here: Givot Olam Oil Ltd. Their “About” page says:

Givot Olam’s activities are carried out by an experienced multi-disciplinary team consisting of petroleum scientists, oil exploration professionals, accountants and managers. This team engages in intensive technical study of the geology of Israel and surrounding countries, the planning of the Company’s exploration and production activities, and the execution of its ongoing drilling and production operations.

That, and the rest of the information they provide, looks normal to us. They don’t mention scripture or creation science. As we said in our earlier post, if there ever had been a successful industrial accomplishment based on creation science, the usual websites would be trumpeting it to the world. Instead, all the creationists have is Zion Oil, and all they have for their efforts is dry holes. Hey, get this:

Zion’s motto is “geology confirming theology.” Brown believes the Book of Deuteronomy alludes to an Israeli oil bonanza.

[…]

Never mind that three Old Testament scholars consulted for this report say the ancient Hebrew word in Deuteronomy is olive oil, not petroleum. Zion is undeterred in its mission.

One last excerpt:

Zion Oil is listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange. Since going public in 2000, the company has burned through $130 million. According to Morningstar, Zion’s stock has lost 90 percent of its value in the past five years.

Sounds like a great investment — if you have faith. But it would be prudent to play it safe and diversify your portfolio with some of ol’ Hambo’s Ark bonds. Then you’ll be set for life.

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

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19 responses to “Creation Science in the Petroleum Industry

  1. Alex Shuffell

    Sometimes it can be nice when people conform to stereotypes.

  2. Having recently retired as the chief geophysicist of an international oil and gas exploration company, I’ve seen exploration projects from all over the world. The projects were the result of geological and geophysical work done by teams from small independent companies up to large international major companies and national oil and gas companies from every continent (except Antarctica, of course).

    I have never, ever seen a professional oil and gas exploration project put together using anything close to “creation science” or “Flood geology”. Any attempt by a creationist to do so would be met with utter contempt and get the ridicule it deserves.

    Creation “scientists” are charlatans and fools deluded beyond hope. They deserve no professional respect, and no time in the board room of any competent company.

    And yet, here we are at the dawn of the twenty-first century electing creationists to school boards. It’s like electing an illiterate to the board of a publishing company. The mind boggles.

  3. waldteufel says:

    Creation “scientists” are charlatans and fools deluded beyond hope. They deserve no professional respect, and no time in the board room of any competent company.

    But when Zion Oil hits the biggest gusher in the Middle East, you’re going to look very foolish.

  4. Why do I have this picture of John Belushi and Dan Akyroyd in black suits and shades when I hear Zion is on “a mission from God”?

  5. Givot Olam Ltd’s. web page has a gallery, and among the photos is what is probably a geologist or paleontologist looking through a microscope. You can just about bet your last bippy that he’s not peering at a scrap of scripture.

  6. Eons ago I and a creationist co-worker attended a research seminar given by one of our biostratigraphers. It was on nanoforams of the Ordovician and how they were used to plot channel changes in the Gulf of Mexico (or something like that).

    I commented afterwards that it was a pretty cool talk and my creationist buddy just smiled that oh-so-familiar condescending Christian too-bad-for-you smile and chuckled, “Millions of years. What an idiot. He actually believes in millions of years.” When I pointed out that our salaries were based on “millions of years” leading us to oil reserves, he simply shrugged it off as the “Lord acting in mysterious ways.” And that was it.

    Even the science in front of his eyes was nothing more than a “mystery” and he really didn’t care about the science, just that he pulled a paycheck every two weeks.

  7. Obviously they are trying to employ divining rods to find oil, which are clearly only useful for finding water, sometimes. But what they could do is contact Stephen Meyer who claims he worked for an oil company. Surely Meyer has direct connections with the Intelligent Designer who can point the way to oil.

  8. On the topic of creationists drilling dry wells, the creationists themselves admitted that years ago.

    Ronald Numbers writes:

    For years the Reconstructionists applauded the efforts of [John] Whitcomb and [Henry] Morris. In the early 1960’s [reconstructionist Rousas J.] Rushdoony himself had brokered the publication of The Genesis Flood, and his economist son-in-law, Gary North (b.1942), a major voice in the movement, credited Whitcomb and Morris with having written “the most important book in the revival of the six-day creation view of Genesis.” By the late 1980’s, however, North was sharply criticizing the scientific creationists for building their arguments on the “shaky pillar” of the second law of thermodynamics. In emphasizing the fall of Adam, he argued, they had negelected the resurrection of Christ, which falsified the principle of entropy. Though North granted science little role in constructing a creationist apologetic, he expected creationism to yield tangible technological benefits. “If six-day creationism could be used to locate oil and mineral deposits less expensively than the methodology of evolutionism does, we would begin to see the abandonment of evolutionism,” he wrote wistfully. “What we need is for evolutionism to start drilling more dry holes than we do.” [Gary North, “Is the World Running Down?”, pp.x–xv (entropy and oil.) Cited in Ronald Numbers, The Creationists, 2006, p. 346-7]

  9. Diogenes, your archives are amazing.

  10. There is something mildly satisfying in a schadenfreude sort of way when wilful stupidity becomes its own punishment. Still, the sad part about it is that it’s unlikely any of Zion Oil & Gas’s 30,000 investors will ever make the connection between the company’s ethos and its ongoing failure.

  11. DavidK………apparently, Meyers held a position related to seismic interpretation briefly at Atlantic Richfield. Needless to say, AAPG and SEG do not publish creation “science” articles on oil exploration.

  12. Re: Meyer at ARCO.

    Meyer held an entry level position for 18 months before he buggered off to study creationism. Meyer got hired in 1981 during the Great Hiring rush where we (I worked for an oil company) were hiring anybody we could get. Meyer would have been dumped into a training program with no real responsibilities during that time. With only a BS (and full of BS) Meyer would have been constrained to technician-level work. Either he was cut loose during a subsequent downturn in 1983, or he realized he didn’t have a chance against the MS and PhD employees being hired, or he simply didn’t have the chops. I suspect the latter: not very smart, lazy and all hat – no cattle. ARCO didn’t tolerate idiots for very long.

  13. I hope you all didn´t take my Meyer comment too seriously. I don´t imagine he added anything worthwhile to the company that employed him. Rather he simply added his time to his inflated resume to make him look scientific.

  14. Yep, that’s exactly it, DK. Just like Luskin has been a butcher, baker AND candlestick maker. Recall recently during the Texas book flap that Luskin was billed as a “science education expert.”

  15. Lewis Thomasonn

    Zion Oil stock price varies in price from $0.00 to $0.01 as of 29 November.

  16. docbill1351, quoting his creationist co-worker: “Millions of years. What an idiot. He actually believes in millions of years.”

    I would have replied “At least half of self-described creationists fully accept the millions of years. Do you think they’re idiots too?” His reaction might not have been any different, but it might have forced him to be a less sloppy with the pot shots the next time.

  17. Curm: Diogenes, your archives are amazing.

    As are yours.

  18. Zion Oil stock price varies in price from $0.00 to $0.01 as of 29 November.

    Anybody wanna buy a creationist oil exploration company?

    Hey Curm, you should do a creationist challenge on: What creationist object or artifact would you most like to own?

    Remember a couple of years ago when evolutionists tried to buy the rights to the faux documentary Expelled? I’m crushed we couldn’t get it.

    But what I’d really pay hard money for is Ken Ham’s Adam and Eve mannequins in the Creation Museum. What naughty things we could do with those… they’ll be up for auction soon when AIG goes belly up.

  19. Diogenes, I don’t want anything that man may have touched.