ICR: The Golden Age of Creation Science

The current lack of creationist news compelled us to search the archives of the creation scientists at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom. We were looking for some of their more spectacular oldie-goldies, and we found a couple.

What we searched for were their claims from the past that there were no planets other than those in the solar system. We found one of those by ICR’s founder, Henry M. Morris (1918 – 2006). We’ve written about him several times before, e.g.: Henry Morris: the Ultimate Creationist. Together with John Whitcomb, he wrote The Genesis Flood, published in 1961. Morris is regarded as the father of the modern creation science movement.

Old Henry’s article is The Stars of Heaven. We can’t determine when it was written. It’s loaded with creationist nonsense, so we’ll give you only a couple of excerpts, with some bold font added by us for emphasis:

Man has always been intrigued and fascinated by the heavens. The scholars of antiquity, whether in Sumeria, Egypt, China, Mexico or any of the other early civilizations were well versed in the locations and orbits of all the visible stars. They had counted and catalogued and grouped them all and had pronounced the total number to be almost two thousand stars! But the Holy Scriptures were far ahead of these ancient scientists. According to the Bible, the stars were as great in number as the sands of the seashore (Genesis 22:17) and simply could not be numbered!

After discussing the Big Bang and the then-viable Steady State theory (this must be a really old article), he says:

If we limit ourselves to real, observational science, rather than indulging in philosophical speculation, we would have to say that the stars and galaxies have always been just as they are now since the time they were created. … Assuming, however, that the universe really is expanding, in accordance with the standard interpretation of the red shifts, there is still no proof that this phenomenon is part of some evolutionary process. The expansion could just as well have been initiated by an act of creation at any arbitrary position of the various galactic components of the universe.

Then he brings up an old clunker:

Any evolutionary model of the universe must conflict with one of the most fundamental laws of science, namely the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

We’re skipping most of the article, but here’s the part we really liked:

Thus the earth is unique in the solar system and, for all we know, the solar system is unique in the universe. So far as we can observe, there are not even any planets anywhere else, let alone a planet equipped to sustain biological life. … Amazing though it may seem to evolutionary naturalists, the evidence favors the conclusion that man is unique in the universe and, furthermore, that he is the apex, not of the evolutionary process, but of God’s creative purposes!

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Then we found another old ICR article, without an author or a date: The Universe Has a Center. That one is very brief so we’ll quote the whole thing. It says:

Our solar system appears to be near the center of the universe. Galaxies look the same, and are moving away from us in the same way, in all directions. The cosmic microwave background radiation comes to us very uniformly from all directions. These and other data strongly indicate we are located at a very special location by design.

Lordy, lordy. Let’s read on:

Instead of accepting the obvious, recent models of physical cosmology assume the earth is not special and that everywhere in the universe the exact same observation of receding objects would be seen. Instead of a universe with an age measured in thousands of years, this assumption leads to billions of years.

The fools! We continue:

In contrast, creation cosmologies explain the data better by starting from biblically-based axioms: the cosmos has a unique center and a boundary for its matter, beyond which there is at least some empty space; and on a cosmic scale of distances, the earth is near the center.

So there you are. As silly as creationists may seem today, when you read at some of their older writings, they look even worse.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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12 responses to “ICR: The Golden Age of Creation Science

  1. ICR proclaims

    on a cosmic scale of distances, the earth is near the center.

    Isn’t that…special!

  2. michaelfugate

    I am sure ICR uses that in their advertisements.
    Among all the graduate programs in the universe, we are somewhat near the best.

  3. “We can’t determine when it was written.”
    Given the references it must have been after 1972. That’s great, because it shows that it was creacrap from the very beginning:

    “whether or not the universe is actually expanding is still an unsettled question.”
    Penzias and Wilson, 1965. So you’re too charitable, my dear SC, when granting

    “the then-viable Steady State theory”.
    It had been refuted at least 7 years before.

  4. I’m not sure if Morris was being slick or merely befuddled in his comment on the number of visible stars from any one point on Earth. Two thousand or so is a reasonable estimate, though a little fuzzy depending on viewing conditions (probably excellent in the days before electric lights). A professional astrologer in Babylon would know that while there are a lot of stars up there, the number can’t be infinite because the visible sky is finite and the individual stars are separate. Over time, the astrologers would have some idea of how many stars can be seen at one time just from doing their work even if the exact number was only a rough estimate. But would this knowledge have reached an unlettered sheepherder in a faraway desert? All the sheepherder sees is the heavens in a nightly blaze of glory and so many stars as to be beyond counting. “As numerous as the stars in heaven” would be a useful metaphor for quantities to large to measure. Morris seems to be slipping in an unjustified assumption that everyone in the ancient world knew there were only 2000 visible stars, and makes a leap of logic to maintain that the Bible knew better with poetic metaphors equating the number of stars to uncountably large amounts.

  5. In RationalWiki.org, there s an article “Science confirms the Bible”, and it has a section on the “infinity” of stars. One thing that it mentions is the treatise of Archimedes, “The Sand Reckoner”, which shows that the number of grains of sand on all the beaches is not infinite.

  6. Doctor Stochastic

    I once asked an elderly Mexican science professor, “How many stars are there?” (Or, “¿Cuántas estrellas existen?”) He replied, “Fifty.” (Cincuenta)

  7. Doctor Stochastic

    “Sin cuenta.” (No accounting.)

  8. cnocspeireag

    Who could disagree with his statement about extra-solar planets? After all he writes ‘for all we know’ and ‘so far as we can observe’, the statements of a sceptic of his time. Of course, in context, that’s not the message he wants you to take away.

  9. “The cosmic microwave background radiation comes to us very uniformly from all directions. These and other data strongly indicate we are located at a very special location by design.” It is a trivial exercise in vector algebra to show that *any* observers will see themselves at the centre of a uniformly expanding Universe.

  10. Exactly the point, PB – every point is tne Centre of the Universe! Praise God the Creator!

  11. Dwight Decker is right. Many ancient farming civilizations, in which survival depended on knowing something about when the rainy season was coming or the Nile would flood, figured out that they could tell that by monitoring the appearance of certain stars. So star-watching became more prevalent, and they soon realized that the number of stars (that they could see) was finite.

    As was said, herding tribes did not need more exact knowledge of when seasons would change, so did not, as a rule, develop star-monitoring, and continued to think that the different stars that they saw every night were new ones, not the same ones appearing and disappearing again and again. They logically concluded that the number of stars was infinite.

    Ancient people were, in fact, capable of drawing logical conclusions from the available data, unlike most creationists. And that explains nearly all the so-called “Biblical foreknowledge” the creationsists claim.

  12. And, of course, if the stars knew so much about when the seasons were going to change, obviously other predictions could be made from their positions. Thus, astrology, or, in the case of the Maya, the stars were gods. Again, logical conclusions from the then-available data.