AIG: An Ark-Load of Creationist Rubbish

This is one of the worst we’ve seen from the creation scientists at Answers in Genesis (ol’ Hambo’s online ministry). Their new article is: Teaching Creation Is Harmful to Children?

It’s written by Terry Mortenson. He’s a “researcher for Answers in Genesis” who allegedly has “a Ph.D. in the history of geology from the University of Coventry in England and an M.Div. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago.” Today’s article is his response to a radio interview by Daniel Phelps, whom he describes as “one of Kentucky’s most vocal critics of AiG and the Creation Museum.” That may be so, and it’s understandable. Phelps graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1984 with a BS in Geology, and in 1990 with an MS in Geology. He is founder and President of the Kentucky Paleontological Society.

The radio interview which has inflamed Mortenson was aired shortly before the Nye-Ham debate. Mortenson writes, with some bold font added by us for emphasis:

As a lead-up to the Ham-Nye debate, the radio discussion encompassed the question “Is teaching creation to children harmful to them and to our society?” Of course, Mr. Phelps answered with a strong “yes!” saying that kids who are taught creation won’t be able to think correctly about science and to contribute to technological advances needed in our society.

As you can imagine, AIG doesn’t like that kind of thing, and what follows may be one of the biggest Ark-loads of creationist nonsense ever unloaded into one essay. We can’t excerpt too much of it, but we’ll give you a sampling. If you like to wallow in such material, then this is what you’ve been looking for, and you will certainly click over there to read it all. Okay, here we go:

[A]ccording to recent polls, about 45 percent of Americans say they believe in creation. Most of them are very productive contributors to society and many of those 45 percent are scientists in such fields as chemistry, physics, engineering, medicine, etc.

How many creationists are scientists? A few hundred at most. Even including engineers and physicians, it’s still less than 1,000 according to the list assembled by the Discoveroids — see A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism. Compare that to approximately 3.5 million scientists and engineers (physicians not included) working in the United States according to the National Science Foundation. See How Large is the U.S. S&E Workforce? Let’s read on:

But what is harmful to kids and to society is to brainwash children with evolution by allowing them to hear only the arguments and “evidence” supposedly proving the theory of evolution and never the scientific evidence and arguments against it. It is harmful to kids and society because evolution teaches kids that they are just animals in a world controlled by the principle of “survival of the fittest.” That means that there is no purpose or meaning to life and no moral absolutes.

Yes, we’re all just rutting around. Oook, ooook! He continues:

We are seeing today the moral catastrophe that evolutionary thinking has produced in America, Great Britain, and Western Europe that once were so powerfully and positively influenced by biblical Christianity.

Good point! We all miss the Spanish empire. Their gentle influence in the New World was exemplary. What else does Mortenson have to say? How about this:

Even though evolutionists have controlled science education in America for decades, American students have been scoring increasingly lower in science exams compared to students in many other countries. Why?

Uh, maybe we should teach more creationism, so we can catch up with all the creation scientists pouring out of Europe and Japan? Here’s more:

When kids are taught solid creation science arguments in Christian schools or at home (which happens in only a minority of Christian homes), they learn to think critically, which is good for their intellectual and academic development, and which produces good scientists and creative, industrious, morally upright workers in other sectors of the economy and culture as well.

Throwing up yet? Ah, that’s good! Moving along:

During the radio interview Mr. Phelps made the typical evolutionist accusation that creation scientists are not real scientists who do real science because they don’t publish in the secular peer-reviewed literature. This is a totally bogus and ad hominem argument.

Then he gives a list of a few creationists who work in the sciences. What he doesn’t point out is that their science work — such as it may be — has nothing to do with anything in Genesis, or anywhere else in the bible. Somehow those people are able to keep their creationism out of the lab. Another excerpt:

There are many other creation scientists with post-graduate degrees. The Creation Research Society has over 700 members with an MS or PhD in the hard sciences and working in their fields. Many of them have also published in peer-reviewed secular scientific journals, so they are certainly well qualified in their fields. But they don’t publish their research containing clear creationist implications in such journals because they will be rejected out of hand by the editors simply because they are creationists.

Woopie — seven hundred! Again, compare that to 3.5 million scientists and engineers working in the US. We exerted ourselves and did the math for you. Creationists are .0002 of the total. Impressed?

Then he drones on and on about discrimination. Yes, it’s terrible! He says:

As a result more and more important observational results are simply not being published in the journals in which one would habitually look for such results. The referees themselves, with the aid of compliant editors, have turned what was originally a helpful system into a chaotic and mostly unprincipled form of censorship.

Okay, that’s enough. Mortenson promises that there will be a second part of his article. We can’t wait!

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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31 responses to “AIG: An Ark-Load of Creationist Rubbish

  1. I know competition for biggest blowhard is tough at AIG but old Terry is right near the top!

    In that same interview Terry trotted out the “censorship” lie and Phelps challenged him to list the manuscripts and show the rejection letters. Of course, Terry couldn’t do that because we all know there aren’t any. It’s just a creationist talking point.

  2. AiG is a nest of cretins, for sure . . . and dockbill nails it with: “I know competition for biggest blowhard is tough at AIG but old Terry is right near the top!”
    Ol’ Terry is the very definition of a moron and kook. When God was passing out brains, Terry was standing behind the door, thought God said trains, and so he answered the almighty with “I don’t want any.”

  3. See the Wikipedia article on “University of Coventry” for the studies they teach.

  4. We exerted ourselves and did the math for you. Creationists are .0002 of the total.

    Actually, it’s even less than that, because presumably the members of the Creation Research Society come from all over the world, rather than just the US.

    Incidentally, the Discoveroids’ “Scientific Dissent from Darwinism” document currently (July 2013 update) has 841 signatories, again drawn from all over the world. Bearing in mind that five years earlier (August 2008) it had 761 signatories, that’s a surprisingly low total: recruitment must be going badly.

  5. VAScienceLover

    And still nothing on the Ark bond offering. And doesn’t it seem like all of the AIG articles that you’ve posted about since the supposed “deadline” are retreads of earlier articles or rehashing the same tired arguments? Methinks the situation with the bond issue is far more dire for AIG than could have possibly imagined – the $$$ generated from selling the low value bonds will extremely likely have to be refunded on March 1st – the problem is I have a hunch most if not all of it has already been spent either on the Ham-Nye “debate” or towards the operating expenses of the Creation “Museum”.

    Meanwhile, ol’ Hambo is still hoping some creationist SoCon sugar daddy is going to come to riding to the rescue at the last minute. However, the Hamster’s performance in the “debate” probably renders that outcome even more unlikely than ever. Wealthy individuals sympathetic to the creationist cause (like Ahmanson) will be more likely to fund the Discoveroids’ scam, especially since “teach the controversy” has unfortunately begun to gain some traction.

    Hambo and AIG could be in very deep doo-doo very soon.

  6. VAScienceLover speculates:

    I have a hunch most if not all of it has already been spent either on the Ham-Nye “debate” or towards the operating expenses of the Creation “Museum”.

    I doubt it. The underwriters are probably holding the money they’ve raised in some kind of escrow fund, and it will be turned over to Hambo only if the bond issue is successful.

  7. Degrees in “History of Geology” and “History of Science” or “Philosophy of Science” are code words for phony divinity school “science” courses.
    Och. Terry’s numpty.

  8. I agree that the money is in escrow. What Ham is facing is not so much a financial disaster as a personal one. He has been touting this for years now, and has staked much of his reputation on the promise that it will be built. Instead, he will have to make a very difficult statement to his followers, and admit that he misjudged the public support for a creationist theme park. He will then convert all the earlier individual purchases of stakes and planks into lifetime memberships at the museum and gift cards for use in the museum shop and online.

    Naaah, just kidding! Ham will never so honorable and responsible as admitting his error – he will find someone else to blame. Atheists, theistic evolutionists, Darwinists, liberals, the gay, Catholics, Obamacare, public school teachers, the IRS, etc. etc. etc….

  9. Here’s something odd. Coventry University didn’t come into being with that name until 1992; before that it was a polytechnic. It’s not impossible that he got his PhD there after 1992, but from the other dates on his c.v. it seems . . . anomalous. I wonder if the degree was actually from Coventry Polytechnic and he’s done a little cosmetic work?

  10. Stephen Kennedy

    I am assuming that one gets a degree in the History of Geology” when they lack the Math and Physics skills required to actually get a degree in Geology.

  11. “… world controlled by the principle of “survival of the fittest.”…
    From the tone of the paragraph the nutjobs, at the AIG and most other anti-eviluttionists, use that sentence a lot, but it don’t mean what they think it means.
    I apologize for using the word ‘think’ in the same sentence as ‘AIG’.

  12. I keep waiting for someone who is debating a creationist to point out that there is not a single successful oil or mineral exploration company in the world that uses “creation geology” or “flood geology” to find oil and gas or other products. Not one.

    There are, however, plenty of charlatans and frauds who use “creation geology” and “flood geology” to mine money from the rubes.

  13. Terry talks about the “morally bankrupt culture” that evolution is supposed to have brought?

    I’d invite him to take a look at Patrick Henry College, a xian creationist school.
    http://www.phc.edu/statement.php

    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116623/sexual-assault-patrick-henry-college-gods-harvard

  14. Rikki_Tikki_Taalik

    waldteufel said …

    “I keep waiting for someone who is debating a creationist to point out that there is not a single successful oil or mineral exploration company in the world that uses “creation geology” or “flood geology” to find oil and gas or other products. Not one.”

    In the words of Glenn Morton (ex-YEC) ..

    “In order to get closer to the data and know it better, with the hope of finding a solution, I changed subdivisions of my work in 1980. I left seismic processing and went into seismic interpretation where I would have to deal with more geologic data. My horror at what I was seeing only increased. There was a major problem; the data I was seeing at work, was not agreeing with what I had been taught as a Christian. Doubts about what I was writing and teaching began to grow. Unfortunately, my fellow young earth creationists were not willing to listen to the problems. No one could give me a model which allowed me to unite into one cloth what I believed on Sunday and what I was forced to believe by the data Monday through Friday. I was living the life of a double-minded man–believing two things.”

    [… snip appalling but predictable description of how Glenn’s intellectually dishonest YEC colleagues treated him for being intellectually honest (link below) … ]

    “But eventually, by 1994 I was through with young-earth creationISM. Nothing that young-earth creationists had taught me about geology turned out to be true. I took a poll of my ICR graduate friends who have worked in the oil industry. I asked them one question.

    “From your oil industry experience, did any fact that you were taught at ICR, which challenged current geological thinking, turn out in the long run to be true? ,”

    That is a very simple question. One man, Steve Robertson, who worked for Shell grew real silent on the phone, sighed and softly said ‘No!’ A very close friend that I had hired at Arco, after hearing the question, exclaimed, “Wait a minute. There has to be one!” But he could not name one. I can not name one. No one else could either.”

    Most of us here probably know that Glenn took his pages offline but they have been wiki’d by Barry Desborough and can be found here.

    The quotes used above are from Glenn’s Why I Left Young-Earth Creationism

    (a little preaching to the choir I know, but one must consider the onlookers yes?)

  15. Rikki_Tikki_Taalik

    @Reynold Hall

    Let’s not forget Bob Jones University’s recent firing of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) who was about to conclude a year long investigation into sexual abuse on campus and BJU’s complete failure to deal with it and instead engaged in victim blaming.

    “Bob Jones University drew praise in 2012 for proactively investigating allegations of sex abuse and whether the school responded adequately. But approximately one month before the results of the 13-month investigation were due to be published, it has fired the private firm it hired, GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment), and requested that the investigation halt and remain confidential.Bob Jones University Fires GRACE as Sex Abuse Investigation Nears Completion (Christianity Today)

    “For decades, students at Bob Jones University who sought counseling for sexual abuse were told not to report it because turning in an abuser from a fundamentalist Christian community would damage Jesus Christ. Administrators called victims liars and sinners.Christian School Faulted for Halting Abuse Study (NY Times)

  16. I stopped reading at:

    “Is teaching creation to children harmful to them and to our society?”

    …and figured (I hope incorrectly) that everyone but me, & maybe TomS, would take the bait instead of a golden opportunity. Which is:

    Teaching “creation” is wonderful. It didn’t harm me. In fact it helped turn me into a raging “Darwinist.” By 6th grade I started figuring out that it was “just stories that probably aren’t true.” And my 7th grade Catholic school teacher even said that “creation” really happened over many millions of years. She didn’t mention evolution, however, for or against.

    And therein lies the rub. If teaching “creation” (or “creationism,” ID, academic “freedom” or whatever the scam-of-the-week is) means misrepresenting evolution and censoring the refutations of those misrepresentations, it is indeed harmful. If it is done at taxpayer expense it’s also illegal. And – and everyone please memorize this! – if it’s done in a privately-funded religion class that preaches “thou shalt not bear false witness,” it may be legal, but still extremely immoral, and the ultimate hypocrisy.

  17. @Frank J Your last sentence made me think of this. Are they hinting to a pragmatic morality: “If it nobody notices any harm, then it’s OK? If the kids can grow up to get a job, why would we care?”

  18. @TomS:

    If by “they” you mean the ones who, in religion class, instead of merely teaching scripture, go out of their way to drag in evolution only to promote unreasonable doubt, I think their motives are even less noble than if they do that in science class.

    Ignore the legal issues, and think of it this way: The teacher will either (1) personally “take on faith” one of the mutually-contradictory literal interpretations of Genesis, or (2) personally accept evolution, or at least “~4 billion years of common descent with modification and possible designer intervention”, but genuinely fear that the “masses” need to believe one of those literal interpretations to behave properly. (Apologies for citing that article that you have seen many times, but as usual, I write mainly to new readers).

    In science class, where there already is “pressure” to discuss evolution and evidence, what else can they do but seize the opportunity to promote unreasonable doubt? But in religion class there’s no reason whatever to drag evolution. To actually take time away from discussing the scripture, only to spread more misconceptions of evolution, tells me that they’re at best more paranoid that if they just stick to scripture. And more likely (2) than (1).

    You may have noticed that I omitted (3): they truly believe the evidence supports their particular literal interpretation of Genesis. I did that because I’m increasingly convinced, especially after Ham’s attempt to have it both ways in his “debate,” that, of those who gives it 5 minutes’ thought – which is unavoidable with teachers – there are almost no (3)s left, regardless of how active their Morton’s Demon is.

  19. The corollary to my last comment is that most evolution-deniers “on the street,” unlike teachers and activists, have not given it 5 minutes’ thought. That is supported by the fact that the %s change radically with even slight rewording of the questions.

  20. As evidence for the corollary is that that the arguments rarely can last 5 minutes thought.

  21. TomS provided:

    In fairness, because I raised the issue, there is an essay “Regarding My Academic Training” by Terry Mortenson on “Answers in Genesis:

    That’s the biggest arkload of codswallop I’ve ever read! Notice how Terry is forced to use all his blowhardedness to inflate every credential he mentions! Oh, it’s too laughable! He was compelled to ‘splain hisself on Feb. 21 (!) because his fake “academic” story doesn’t add up! Total loon.

    Terry waxes fondly about his pitiful BA in Math, requiring something like 9 classes passed with at least a C- .

    As for Wycliffe Hall, it’s an Anglican seminary. No history department. Wikipedia notes of it:

    After monitoring by the university, senior academics at Oxford complained that the curriculum was narrow and offered students insufficient intellectual development.[7] That year the college was taken to an employment tribunal and admitted breaking the law.

    Nice little Christian rat’s nest.

    The bottom line is that Terry conducted (or more probably did not) his “studies” on his own, with no department and no credentialed supervisor. Terry writes that his alleged supervisor was not even an historian! Pathetically, Terry tries to fob off criticisms of his obviously made-up “academic” career to attacks on the academics who he claims evaluated his work.

    Like the song says, “Dead skunk in the middle of the road, stinkin’ to high heaven!”

    Full disclosure regarding Terry’s yelp that we are unfamiliar with the UK university system, I earned my PhD in chemistry at Imperial College, London, and once took a leak with Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson FRS in the Student Union bog. Now, that’s prestigious!

  22. Stephen Kennedy surmises—

    “I am assuming that one gets a degree in the ‘History of Geology’ when they lack the Math and Physics skills required to actually get a degree in Geology.”

    Sir, you owe me a new laptop. A mouthful of chicken vindaloo and basmati rice ejected by a highly energetic guffaw did for the last one.

  23. “I am assuming that one gets a degree in the ‘History of Geology’ when they lack the Math and Physics skills required to actually get a degree in Geology.”

    Actually, in Mortenson’s case one gets a “degree” in the history of geology if one’s “college” doesn’t have a Math nor Physics nor Geology nor History nor Science department but does have a printer.

  24. Coventry University does offer research degrees in:

    Applied Mathematics
    Biomedical, Sports Science, Forensics and Law
    History, International and Polltics
    \

  25. http://moralcompassblog.com/

    Another site that looks at the oh-so moral religious right, just to help refute Terry’s claims of creationist righeousness.

  26. You think Mortenson’s piece is bad. Read this http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/arj/v6/n1/light-travel-time-problem
    I’m not an astronomer, but neither am I completely ignorant of the subject. But this has been written by somebody who apparently holds a Professor Emeritus post in the subject. In terms of lunatic, it seems completely off the scale.

  27. daveygod, AIG’s lightspeed article is an oldie being re-posted, so I skipped it. I assume it’s the same stuff that we’ve discussed several times in the past, for example: Jason Lisle’s “Instant Starlight” Paper.

  28. Considering AiG is constantly re-posting old stuff, that wouldn’t surprise me.