You’re going to be hearing about this for a long time, so get used to it. We learned about it from one of our clandestine operatives, code-named “Blue Grass.”
The amazing headline is Creationist discovers new planet using data from Kepler spacecraft. It appears at the website of The Christian Times, which has a comments section. They describe themselves like this:
The mission of The Christian Times is to report on Christian-related news and events nationwide and worldwide. … We affirm the divine inspiration, truthfulness and authority of both Old and New Testament Scriptures in their entirety as the only written word of God, without error in all that it affirms, and the only infallible rule of faith and practice.
Let’s find out what The Christian Times reveals. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
A Christian astrophysicist in Texas has discovered a new planet seven times bigger than Earth while analyzing data from the Kepler spacecraft. Dr. Jason Lisle, the director of physical sciences at the Dallas-based Institute for Creation Research, announced the discovery in May after he analyzed a measurable drop in the brightness of the host star KPLR 7826659, during a period in which the planet crossed in front of the star.
Jason Lisle discovered a planet? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! As you all know, he’s the creationist astrophysicist who used to be employed by Answers in Genesis (AIG), ol’ Hambo’s online ministry. For reasons which have never been explained, Jason left AIG a few years ago to go to the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom.
Our last post about him was: Jason Lisle’s Extra-Solar Planet Predictions. That was almost a month ago, and he may have already known about his planetary discovery at the time. The Christian Times says:
The Kepler spacecraft, launched in 2009 for the purpose of researching stars and exoplanets in the Milky Way, records the brightness of 145,000 stars using a photometer and transmits the data back to Earth. Lisle explained that thousands of planets have been discovered orbiting stars by analyzing the data from the spacecraft.
Yes, and as far as we know, creationists played no part in the design or implementation of Kepler, and certainly not in the conception of its mission. But somehow, Jason used their data to find a planet. The Christian Times tells us:
KPLR 7826659 had already been marked as a “potential candidate” in the Kepler archives, but nothing has been published to confirm that there is a planet orbiting the celestial body. “That’s what made this one very exciting for me as I’m apparently the first to confirm that there is a real planet orbiting that star,” Lisle stated.
Ah, now we understand. The Kepler data is being made available to everyone at this website: Discover new planets orbiting other stars in our galaxy! Amateurs — and even creationists like Jason — are encouraged to view the data to look for likely planets. Over 12,000 people have signed up to give it a try, and Jason appears to be one of them. They’re given a quick tutorial and are then asked to plow through data on thousands of stars recently observed. PhysOrg had a story six weeks ago about another amateur discovery: Exoplanet discovery by an amateur astronomer shows the power of citizen science.
The Christian Times news story continues:
Lisle noted that the newly discovered planet is almost as large as Jupiter, and yet, it orbits quite close to its star, which he says runs “contrary to secular expectations, but perfectly consistent with the diversity that the Lord has built into His universe.”
“Contrary to secular expectations”? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! There are a few more paragraphs, but they contain no actual news, so this is where we leave The Christian Times. Now we wait for the inevitable babbling from creationist news sites about how Jason used the bible to find a new planet, thus proving its perfect accuracy in all scientific matters. This is going to be fun!
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