An Ark-Load of Laughs from ICR

This is one of the best from the creation scientists at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom. It’s titled Belief in Creation Declines, written by Brian Thomas. He’s described at the end of his articles as “Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.” Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

The 2017 Gallup poll found that only 37 percent of Americans hold creationist views of human origins, down from 46 percent in 2012. This trend may reflect a change in generations, as younger Americans who are convinced of human evolution replace their more Bible-minded forebears.

He’s talking about the poll we wrote about back in May — see 2017 Gallup Poll on Evolution. Regarding those results, he tells us:

Tom Krattenmaker from Yale Divinity School noted in USA Today that although more Americans believe in human evolution, they still identify as Christians. He wrote,

[Brian quotes Krattenmaker:] These tea leaves tell us that more people are refusing the all-or-nothing choice between faith and science and opting instead for a third way: Acceptance of the overwhelming scientific evidence for evolution while seeing a divine role in the process.

The Discoveroids also wrote about Krattenmaker’s comments, and declared that his “third way” was actually intelligent design — see Klinghoffer: Intelligent Design Is Theistic Evolution. But Brian says:

This third way leads nowhere, since by definition evolution excludes the divine.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Having dismissed the concept of intelligent design, Brian tells us:

This perception of a divide between faith and science uses deceptive definitions of key terms.

The remaining paragraphs of Brian’s post are several brain-twisting re-definitions of well-understood terms, perverted to accommodate creationism. We can only give you a sampling of the delights that await you when you read it all for yourself. Here it comes:

Many evolutionists like Krattenmaker define faith as believing as true that which has little or no supporting evidence. They assert that evidence demands our origins from apes and not Adam, while overlooking the fact that faith in evolution biased the way researchers interpreted that “evidence.” Biblical faith is quite different. It calls on people to trust Christ because of, not in spite of, the “many infallible proofs” that He left for us to discover in Scripture.

Now that you know what faith is, and that it’s The Truth, we’ll proceed to Brian’s next linguistic delight:

Evolutionists also often misunderstand the meaning of science. They equate science with evolution. Real science investigates repeatable, ongoing processes and answers present-day questions like “What causes gravity?” The kind of evolution that supposedly transformed apes into men does not happen today, so it inhabits the past. Evolution is not science at all.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Let’s read on:

And those few scientific observations that do reach into the past completely rule out evolution. For example, fossils show stable life forms and no undisputed evolutionary transitions.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! See Wikipedia’s ever-growing List of transitional fossils. Brian continues:

Also, continual buildup of DNA mutations in every generation limits populations to time spans far shorter than what evolution requires.

What??? Another excerpt:

The core disagreement is about history. Science cannot determine history, despite secular scientists’ confident claims about what they never witnessed, let alone measured.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! See The Lessons of Tiktaalik. And now we come to the end:

The supposedly “overwhelming scientific evidence for evolution” is a total sham, just like the false choice between “faith” and “science.” If this next generation could just taste the basics of faith, science, and creation, instead of getting fed an evolution-only diet, then surely many more would side with Genesis — the Words of the One who created mankind.

Well, dear reader, our title promised you an ark-load of laughs, and we think we kept our promise. Unfortunately, ICR’s drooling readers take their stuff seriously. Nothing to be done about it — except laugh.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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20 responses to “An Ark-Load of Laughs from ICR

  1. Thomas: “Biblical faith is quite different. It calls on people to trust Christ because of, not in spite of, the “many infallible proofs” that He left for us to discover in Scripture.”

    I wonder how he squares his definition of faith with that of the Apostle Paul:

    “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. . . . Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” (Heb 11:1, 3)

  2. Christine Janis

    “For example, fossils show stable life forms and no undisputed evolutionary transitions.”

    He’s correct. There’s no transitional form that creationists haven’t flat out denied, let alone disputed.

  3. 1) I beg to differ from the eminent SC n describing the creationist prose as “brain twisting”. It is just a melange of simple logical fallacies and word games.

    2) I note that this essay takes a different stance than presuppositionalism.

  4. Random, it’s because there are about four different words that get translated “faith,” and they choose a passage that uses the definition that’s most helpful to them to win whatever argument they happen to find themselves in. It’s rather disingenuous, especially when you realize that most of the people who do it have the education and training to know that they’re being misleading.

    In the text, sometimes faith is blind trust, sometimes it’s taking a person (or God) at their word that they’ll do what they say, sometimes it’s remaining true to a cause or principle in the face of opposition. A bit confusing, although context almost always helps.

    (Rather amusingly, in the example you cite there, faith is NOT blind trust, but rather taking someone at their word, shading into remaining true to a cause as the writer moves into the rest of the passage. Again, you need to read in context to catch that.)

    In response to this article, there is a startling amount of disingenuousness at play here – ICR was always one of the sillier and more deceptive creationist organizations (I have copies of a few of their more risible children’s books), but this is just a cut above their usual deceit.

  5. @dweller42

    Oh, okay.

    Thanks — I did not know that.

    Kind of like biblical “love”, I suppose?

  6. “Real science investigates repeatable, ongoing processes”
    Like radiometry, also dismissed by Not so Bright Bryan?

  7. Charles Deetz ;)

    Science cannot prove history? A little Last Thursday-ism anyone?

  8. It’s worse than you think! The “infallible proofs” of Acts 1:3 relate specifically to purported eye-witness accounts of Jesus; nothing to do with Genesis.

    Curmudgeon, what’s the earliest example you know of the argument “Science is about repeatable observations, therefore evolution is not science”?

  9. Paul Braterman asks:

    Curmudgeon, what’s the earliest example you know of the argument “Science is about repeatable observations, therefore evolution is not science”?

    I’m sure that old Henry Morris said it, because almost all creationist arguments come from him, but I haven’t looked for any links. Whether it was original with him or he was just repeating what some earlier creationist said, I don’t know.

  10. Most of the anti-evolutionist arguments go back to the 19th century, if not earlier. In the early 19th century, a lot of people followed Francis Bacon’s ideas about induction. Unfortunately, that is still followed by some teachers even today.

  11. Whitcombe and Morris it is! The Genesis Flood, Preface to the Six Printing ,p. xxvi: Science (meaning “knowledge”) necessarily can deal only with present processes, which can be measured and evaluated at the present time;the “scientific method” by definition involves experimental reproducibility. Thus, extrapolation of present processes into the prehistoric past or into the eschatological future is not really science. Such extrapolation necessarily involves assumptions and presuppositions and is therefore basically a philosophy, or even a faith. The assumption of uniformity is one such assumption that can be made, but it is not the only one, and there is no way of proving that it is the correct one.”

    A glorious collection of fallacies, which continue to echo.

  12. Random – not a bad comparison.

    Paul Braterman, as I understand it, the argument is:
    Jesus existed and never lied.
    Jesus talked about seven days of creation.
    Therefore, there were seven days of creation.

    You aren’t supposed to notice that Jesus talked about a whole LOT of stuff that was regarded as mythic and legendary even at the time he was speaking.

  13. Nor are you supposed to notice that Jesus himself never talked about 6- or 7-day creation, despite Ken Ham’s best efforts to make it look like he did: https://answersingenesis.org/days-of-creation/did-jesus-say-he-created-in-six-literal-days/

  14. I note the sneaky slight of hand with which ‘there are no transitional fossils’ changed to the more careful ‘no undisputed evolutionary transitions’.

    But this is of course from the brainchild of Henry ‘there are no extrasolar planets’ Morris. (He was slightly more careful in his wording but he sounded deeply convinced anyway).

  15. It is rather heartening to notice that if the US belief in classical creationism keeps dropping as fast as it did between 2012 and 2017, this will be a fringe view held by only 10 % of the population a mere fifteen years from now.

    The glory days of this particular brand of crankery may seem to be over. It had its half-century after the publication of The Genesis Flood in 1961, and it was always more about the American culture wars than about science. But now the incoming generation won’t buy it. Information is so much more easily available these days, and it has long been said that the Internet is where religions go to die. Ham, with his museum and theme park, perhaps represents a loud death rattle rather than some kind of breakthrough.

    Here is an interesting article, already almost two years old, but seemingly just as relevant now: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2015/11/polls_americans_believe_in_evolution_less_in_creationism.1.html

  16. How many people believe that Elvis is alive?

  17. hnohf, the cross-pollination between being a creationist and being pro-segregation, and later pro-abortion really can’t be over-emphasized. It’s just another wedge issue designed to make the evangelical Christian feel that much more separate from “the world.”

  18. “Also, continual buildup of DNA mutations in every generation limits populations to time spans far shorter than what evolution requires.

    What???”

    I have heard some creationists talk about VSDMs: Very Slightly Deleterious Mutations, the buildup of which would slowly make a species unfit. I don’t know if this is even a real phrase or abbreviation used by geneticists.

  19. Eric Lipps

    Brian continues:
    Also, continual buildup of DNA mutations in every generation limits populations to time spans far shorter than what evolution requires.

    Pushing aside the lettuce in this particular dish of word salad, one seems to see a tomato slice of argument that mutations are all harmful and so cannot contribute anything positive for natural selection to favor. Since this is demonstrably not true and not even all creationists believe it (though they reject the idea that mutations can lead to new “kinds,” whatever those are), it can be dismissed as gibberish. The tomato was spoiled before the salad was tossed.

    The core disagreement is about history. Science cannot determine history, despite secular scientists’ confident claims about what they never witnessed, let alone measured.

    Hmmm. Then there can never be scientific proof of the Genesis creation story, which after all creationists claim is real history.

  20. There are the Presuppositionalists who say that the Bible is the proof of the validity of reasoning. The Bible is not in need of proof. Secular reason is what is in need of proof, and the only source of that is the Bible.