Creative Challenge #41: Creationist Conference

Before we present our latest challenge, we need to give you some background. At the website of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) they have this announcement: Media Invited to NASA’s Kepler Science Conference. Here are some excerpts:

NASA invites members of the media to attend the fourth Kepler Science Conference to be held June 19-23. The weeklong science conference will take place at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley.

Scientists from around the world will gather to discuss the latest findings and discoveries from the analysis of observations made by the Kepler space telescope. Kepler detects planets by measuring the miniscule change in brightness of a star caused when a planet passes in front of it, called a transit.

Launched in 2009, Kepler has identified more than 5,000 planet candidates. Of these, more than 2,500 have been verified as bona fide planets, including a dozen that are less than twice the size of Earth and reside in the habitable zone of their host star. The habitable zone is the range of distance from a star where liquid water could pool on the surface of a rocky planet.

Here’s more information from Wikipedia on the Kepler space observatory, and this is NASA’s page for it: Kepler and K2.

Okay, that’s the background. Now for the challenge. Imagine a creationist conference on the latest creationism discoveries. All the characters we know are there — Hambo, the Discoveroids, Jason Lisle, Kent Hovind, Ray Comfort, etc. What would they announce? The discovery of Noah’s Ark? The Precambrian rabbit? A fossil dinosaur with a human in its stomach?

The form of today’s challenge is that you must tell us, with reasonable brevity:

What discovery could creationists announce that would make creationism credible?

You know the rules: You may enter the contest as many times as you wish, but you must avoid profanity, vulgarity, childish anatomical analogies, etc. Also, avoid slanderous statements about individuals. Feel free to comment on the entries submitted by others — with praise, criticism, or whatever — but you must do so tastefully.

There may not be a winner of this contest, but if there is, your Curmudgeon will decide, and whenever we get around to it we’ll announce who the winner is. There is no tangible prize — as always in life’s great challenges, the accomplishment is its own reward. We now throw open the comments section, dear reader. Go for it!

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33 responses to “Creative Challenge #41: Creationist Conference

  1. Eddie Janssen

    They found the remains of the city of Bedrock complete with the grave and remains of Fred and Wilma Flinstone whose faithful dinosaur Dino was buried together with them.
    To the joy of Ray Comfort the archeologists found remains of miraculously preserved bananas in between the bones of Dino.

  2. A limestone node which, when broken up, revealed an intact, hibernating Casey Luskin.

    That wouldn’t actually prove Creationism, but damn! I’d be impressed by that!

  3. But, but, but as far as I know the creationists have never made any discoveries, and I suspect the probability they ever will is indistinguishable from 0. So I can’t, even with some good Scotch to fuel my imagination, come up with any discovery they might make, let alone one that would make creationism credible.

  4. How about:

    The Creationists, using new equipment, discover a hitherto unknown and narrow band somewhere at an extreme edge of the electromagnetic spectrum; energy in the band has the astounding property of increasing complexity in physical matter. In other words, discovery of Info-Read radiation.

    In the lab, firing a beam of Info-Read radiation at, say, a chimpanzee at once bestows upon the test subject powers of advanced ratiocination, speech, and a lust for money.

    Moreover, further work detects steady pulses of Info-R radiation striking the earth and emanating from the vicintiy of Alpha Centauri, now presumed to be the abode of The Intelligent Designer Him/Her/It/Them/Self(ves)

  5. Creationists could point to you, Megalonyx, and say: “If we evolved from apes, why does he still exist?

  6. Actually, can one doubt that the first utterance of such an enhanced, Info-Read radiated chimpanzee could be anything other than

    “Shoot! I ain’t no kin to no monkey!”

  7. Ray would be shilling his new film he has out next month.

  8. “It’s ALIVE! I have created a living man from a pile of dust.”

  9. Megalonyx: If the chimpanzee thought carefully before uttering his/her first sentence after Info-EMF, it would be “I ain’t no kin to no steekin’ human”.

  10. Creationists need to find the full monty. Beard, supernatural entity, miraculous bolts of lightning, floods, plagues of locusts, magical shamzam.
    Don McLeroy’s dream world.

  11. Michael Fugate

    Jesus’ DNA? The original 10 commandments stones? Aaron’s rod that turns into a snake? Solomon’s temple?

  12. Michael Fugate: do any creationists know whether Jesus’ DNA would be haploid? (Too bad the Shroud of Turin is a hoax! It could answer that question.)

  13. Charles Deetz ;)

    Lost scripture found that says “Yea, and I will create a banana so that it shal fit in man’s hand perfectly to be eaten. And only grown in one part of the world so man will need to create ships. And the banana shall go rotten if not eaten within three days of being brought home from the store. And Adam said ‘why?'”

  14. Ceteris Paribus

    What discovery could creationists announce that would make creationism credible?

    Personally, I don’t even care how the creationists go about announcing it. All that I demand is that the creationists take care to make sure their original Adam has the same blue eyes and blond hair as does the Standard White Jesus pictures they hand out to their Sunday school kiddies.

  15. @Charkes Deetz 😉
    How about a scripture which which says that there was micro-evolution after the Flood? Or one which says that there is a barrier to macro-evolution? Or a scripture which describes a theory of Intelligent Design – or a theory of ID, wherever the source?

    Apparently the Book of Mormon backs heliocentrism: for surely it is the earth that moveth and not the sun (Helaman 12:13–15) Why can’t the canonical scriptures mention something like that?

  16. Dave Luckett

    It’s actually an interesting question. The answers depend on what creationism entails. Does it entail that God created the species severally by miraculous means about 6000 years ago? Well, that’s four separate elements: 1) God did it 2) the species were always separate 3) they were created miraculously and fully-formed 4) this happened about 6 000 years ago.

    1) is necessary, but it is the very same as proving the existence of God. What would be credible evidence of God’s existence? I think that everyone has to make that decision for themselves, and the answers range from “practically anything would be evidence” to “nothing would be”. Consider a hard-core skeptic who saw the face of God in the sky in glory too great to be borne, heard the rolling thunder of His voice, felt the divine power of His almighty Presence as He confirmed that He created all things – would such a person believe it, or put it down to hallucination?

    2) is perhaps a little more quantifiable. Evidence that the species were always separate in their “kinds”? You’d need to see NO intermediates at all. No ring or line species. Produce just one, and the hypothesis of separate creation fails.So you’d need evidence that all that data is illusory. But that wouldn’t be enough. What would be consistent with and solely indicative of separate origins for the species? You would need a general trend of sudden appearance of all the basic clades, with all their features fully developed. That is, for example, you’d need vertebrates with a complete spinal cord and vertebrae suddenly extant WITHOUT earlier strata yielding small tubular forms with cartilage stiffening an axial nerve trunk. Good luck with that, since the latter already exist and are well-known.

    3) Is impossible. A miracle is an event that cannot be explained by any natural cause, being, as the Roman Catholic Church puts it, “beyond the order of Nature”. Proof that any event is a miracle therefore requires proof that there is NO possible natural explanation, known or unknown. This is a universal absolute negative. No universal absolute negative can be proven. (Incidentally, the RCC doesn’t pretend to prove one, either. It tries to eliminate all known natural causes for an event, and then waits for divine inspiration that it’s a miracle.)

    4) would require a new and unimpeachable dating method that would, inter alia, invalidate and explain the invalidity of all others, and which invariably returned dates of less than 6000 years.

    But perhaps we don’t need all those elements. God, yes, we need Him. I think we need sudden appearance of the clades, with no precursors or earlier structures, too. We can’t have proof of miraculous creation at all, but miraculous creation is really the core of it. Some creationists do without 6000 years as a time scale, so perhaps we can drop that.

    So (1) is moot; (2) is already falsified and (3) is impossible. (4) would only operate if insisted on.

  17. A phial of genuine elixir vitae, which the industrious toilers of the Discoveroids’ super-secret Green Screen lab have produced by rendering down a vat of live gerbils into a thick gloop, and then distilling that further into the life-giving essence predicted by their implicit doctrine of Vitalism.

    And for the demonstration of the authentic oogity-boogity powers of this elixir–for which they have registered the trade name of Pinochiolio–they place a tiny tincture on our Curmudgeon’s sorely-battered and much-patched inflatable Olivia–which is thereby magically transformed into a living, breathing female human!

    …And, pointing to our astounded Curmy, declares her first words,

    “I ain’t no bedfellow for him!”

  18. The only imaginable proof for creationism would be some kind of self-identification left by the Designer, and NOT in an old book that looks suspiciously like the mythology of Bronze Age yokels. Let the Designer leave his “I made this” notice in the one place where it cannot be faked.

    When Craig Venter made his first built-from-scratch synthetic genome and successfully made it operate in a bacteria, he inserted a code expressing the famous Feynam quote, “I cannot understand what I cannot build.” Venter converted it from the original ASCI into DNA codon base pairs.

    The fabled “intelligent designer” could have inserted similar codes in the DNA of all living beings. Heck, Yahweh (if he is the Designer) could have encoded the entire book of Genesis in our DNA, waiting to be discovered once humans finally learnt how to sequence our genetic code. It would be the ultimate discovery, demonstrating once and for all who is the true deity and what is the true religion. Even Richard Dawkins would be hard pressed to explain how the book of Genesis could be encoded in our DNA, unless the faith the Bible teaches is, indeed, the great metaphysical Truth.

    But alas, the Designer never had the bright idea to leave a “signature in the cell”, despite Stephen Meyer’s optimistic book title to that effect.

  19. hnohf is potentially the winner, because he said:

    Let the Designer leave his “I made this” notice in the one place where it cannot be faked.

    But we don’t want to discourage the rest of you.

  20. I beg to differ.
    One can be a theist and believe that God is the creator of all, and also accept all of evolutionary biology.
    One can believe that there are intelligent makers of living things and accept that there is descent with modification operating in the world of life on Earth.
    The important point that ID needs to establish is that there is an alternative to evolutionary biology which explains the variety of life. Saying that gods or intelligent designers or supernatural agencies are involved does not offer an alternative, it does not explain anything about the way that life is as it is.
    Design, as far as it has ever been described, is not enough to account for something in the natural world. It has never been told why omnipotent makers would resort to a change in the natural world, rather than making things to their pleasure in the first place.

  21. Our Curmudgeon indicates how is judgement is inclining:

    hnohf is potentially the winner

    Probably so–but only because, having read my entry, You can’t handle The TRVTH!

  22. Ceteris Paribus

    @ hnofh and Megalonyx:
    You both seem to be circling around a paradox articulated by Marshall McLuhan 50 years ago in his book “The Medium Is the Massage” . Basically, McLuhan postulated that in any technology that involves human senses, it is impossible to separate out the medium (in this case creationism) from the intended message (in this case that of the purported designer).

    So you both win! And it is the creationists, who are merely human agents, that are left wandering around in their scriptures, desperately trying to make sense out of their nonsense, who are the real losers.

  23. Eddie Janssen

    Megalonyx’ Info-Read radiation is a lot more subtle than hnohf’s “I made this”.
    I am a bit disappointed…

  24. Actually, were the winner of this competition determined by a plebescite rather than the arbitrary whim of our despotic Curmudgeon, I would myself be casting my vote for hnohf’s excellent point, viz., why would not the Intelligent Designer (Blessed be Him/Her/&c), who can craft the miraculous bacterial flagellum, not explicitly and unambiguously sign His/Her/&c handiwork?

    And more: why, instead, should the natural world bear countless hallmarks of deep time and the common descent of all living organisms–unless, of course, all those fossils are deliberate forgeries by the Intelligent Designer?

    And the conclusion, it should be clear, is that we should invert Pascal and instead place our bets on what deserves to be known as Megalonyx’ Wager, which goes as follows:

    It behooves us to eschew any belief in a supernatural Creator and lead our lives without practising any religion, on the grounds that either:

    [1] if there indeed is no supernatural Creator, then we haven’t wasted our time in meaningless fear, but (hopefully) spent it on better pursuits, or

    [2] if there is a supernatural Creator, He/She/&c manifestly went to enormous pains in order to conceal Him/Her/&c Self, and actively no more wants us to have any knowledge of Him/Her/&c than the street-artist Banksy wishes to be revealed.

    I rest my case.

  25. Ceteris Paribus directs our attention to a little-known work by Marshall McLuhan:

    “The Medium Is the Massage”

    That would be an excellent title for a volume by Kelleyanne Conway or Sean Spicer on using Twitter and Breitbart for the delicate art of massaging reality into Alternative Facts….

  26. Michael Fugate

    Is that a Swedish Massage?

  27. That is not a misspelling. See the Wikipedia article “Thw Medium is the Massage” for an explanation.

  28. But I introduced a typo. “The Medium is the Massage”

  29. @ TomS: I know 🙂

    I was bemoaning that the title was thus not available for the current crop of White House surrogates…

  30. Megalonyx says: “Actually, were the winner of this competition determined by a plebescite rather than the arbitrary whim of our despotic Curmudgeon, I would myself be casting my vote for …”

    Spoken like a yob!

  31. No true yob would ever use a word like “plebiscite.”

    Nor, by the way, would any true Scotsman–although north of the border one may encounter highly animated discussions about indyref2

  32. Eric Lipps

    What do they need? Proof–proof, I tell you!–that radiisoope dating doesn’t really work.

    About that dinosaur with the human in its stomach: that would strike me as better evidence for time travel than for creationism. At least some respected scientists suggest time travel may be possible; the only “scientists” who say the same about creationism are marginal cranks.