AIG: Your Tongue Detects Water, Therefore …

The last time we wrote about something by Avery Foley was AIG Has News for Colon Sufferers. We began that post by saying: “You know it’s a slow news day when we blog about something like this.” Well, it’s happened again.

AIG says Avery holds a masters of arts in theological studies from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, which certainly qualifies her to discuss what she just posted: Study: Tongues Can “Taste” Tasteless Water. It’s at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG) — the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo).

Most of her post is a rehash of this press release from The California Institute of Technology: Sour Taste Cells Detect Water, which says:

New research from Caltech shows that sour-sensing taste cells play an important role in detecting water on the tongue.

[…]

“The tongue can detect various key nutrient factors, called tastants— such as sodium, sugar, and amino acids—through taste,” says Oka [Yuki Oka, assistant professor of biology]. “However, how we sense water in the mouth was unknown. Many insect species are known to ‘taste’ water, so we imagined that mammals also might have a machinery in the taste system for water detection.”

[…]

Each basic taste is mediated by distinct subsets of taste cells. In order to test which taste cells respond to water, the team genetically and pharmacologically blocked the function of individual cell populations [in mice]. For example, when the salt taste receptor was blocked, salt no longer triggered activity in taste nerves, but responses to other tastes were not affected. “To our surprise, when we silenced sour taste cells, water responses were also completely blocked,” Oka says. “The results suggested that water is sensed through sour taste cells.”

You’ve got to be wondering: What in the world can a creationist like Avery do with that? She says:

These study results haven’t been replicated in humans yet. However, since insects and amphibians can detect water and since this ability has been found in mammals, it seems likely that something similar is occurring on our tongues, letting us know what we’re drinking really is water and will adequately quench our thirst.

Then, ignoring the obvious evolutionary implications, she announces, with our bold font:

The design of water is very helpful to mankind. Because water is considered tasteless, we can cook with it without affecting the flavor of our food. And, based on this new research, it appears God specifically designed mammals to “taste” water even though it’s tasteless, thus protecting us from drinking nonaqueous liquids and failing to properly quench our thirst. He’s designed our bodies to be compatible with the water he also designed for our use. What a wise Creator we serve!

After that she ends with this:

Next time you grab a glass of ice cold water or fill a pot to make dinner, stop and thank the Creator who gave us such a wonderful gift and has so fearfully and wonderfully designed our bodies.

We know, we know. You’re sitting there, stunned, and wondering what just happened. We don’t know how to describe it, but it’s a good example of creation science.

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

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35 responses to “AIG: Your Tongue Detects Water, Therefore …

  1. The design of water is very helpful to mankind. Because water is considered tasteless, we can cook with it without affecting the flavor of our food. And, based on this new research, it appears God specifically designed mammals to “taste” water even though it’s tasteless, thus protecting us from drinking nonaqueous liquids and failing to properly quench our thirst. He’s designed our bodies to be compatible with the water he also designed for our use. What a wise Creator we serve!

    I suppose it couldn’t be that mammals evolved to “taste” water.

    And Ms. Foley does a marvelous job of arguing in circles: We’re designed to use water, which was designed for our use. Wouldn’t one or the other have been enough?

  2. Is it actually “tasting” water or simply “sensing” its presence? Water without any chemicals, either naturally present or add, e.g. fluorine, etc. should not have any effect on our sense of taste. I submit that what we do taste are the contaminants present in the various water sources.

  3. Charles Deetz ;)

    Reads like a sixth grade home-schooler’s paper. AIG is scraping the bottom of the barrel or getting lazy. Sorry, but my threshold for dumb stuff is low today.

  4. Unless I missed it, the press release doesn’t specify how the water was prepared or what its pH was. Most laboratory distilled water is slightly acidic (pH less than 7.0, due mainly, I think, to dissolved CO2. And the “sour” taste receptors respond to acid, so if the water had a pH slightly below 7, they could “taste” it. And I’m not sure what that has to due with Avery’s favorite sky fairy, anyway.

  5. Derek Freyberg

    Exactly what nonaqueous liquids might we be thinking of drinking if we couldn’t taste water?

  6. Do humans and other mammals taste salty water?

  7. And why did this Creator make most of the water on the planet undrinkable?

  8. Eddie Janssen

    Drinking water in the Middle Ages could be quite dangerous.

  9. Thank the Creator who gave us such a wonderful gift and has so fearfully and wonderfully designed our bodies.

    Fearfully I guess applies to the numerous diseases such as cancer and the like that our beneficent lord has granted us. I know, I know, the fall of man from grace. Jeez, this creator really is just a regular excuse factory.

  10. And we cannot distinguish water from the dangerous DHMO (dihydrogen monoxide).

  11. Derek Freyberg asks

    Exactly what nonaqueous liquids might we be thinking of drinking if we couldn’t taste water?

    Crude petroleum and molten lava. So, as Avery Foley enjoins us to do, let us give thanks to our Creator for helping steer us away from such deleterious beverages!

    And, while I’m at it, let me go even further than Ms Foley and further thank the wonderful Intelligent Designer (Blessed be He/She &c &c) for giving us, not only tongues that can “detect water”, but indeed a entire skin that can do so–which thereby alerts us to get out of the rain…

  12. A real groaner, SC. Creationists have this uncanny knack to turn any scientific finding, including those with obvious evolutionary implications, into an argument for the a creator. Creative writing at its best! Or worst.

  13. @Scientist
    Creationism does not have any positive content. It is just a negative advertising campaign against evolutionary biology. That means that they do not have the burden of defining a position and arguing in favor of it.

  14. Derek – “Exactly what nonaqueous liquids might we be thinking of drinking if we couldn’t taste water?”

    Well, if that little scamp of a Son was around, the whole creek might be running sauvignon blanc. And you know how Dad feels about *that*. Sort of, depending on who you ask. Google images of Ellen G. White** and try to guess which side of the “nectar or curse” debate she came down on….

    ** Patroness of my childhood nightmares.

  15. At the moment (it is almost 12 midnight here), my tongue is detecting water – as about 40% by volume of a Bowmore 12 yo. My tongue is perfectly happy with the taste.

  16. @TomS
    Agreed it’s negative advertising, which gives us some fun. But, creationists and particularly their intelligent design descendants do take positions: creation 6000 years ago or a clever designer did it, and they try to defend these positions sometimes with their own “research” (e.g., DI has a “journal”) but more often by attempting to debunk scientific findings (e.g., Meyer’s books). Though we have our laughs, it’s scary that they have many followers particularly among the the politically active religious fundamentalists. For these folks, facts and reason don’t matter and that attitude carries over to other areas, including climate change. When evidence doesn’t matter, as it doesn’t for many in Washington (and elsewhere in the world), it bodes ill for the future of humanity.

  17. Actually distilled water doesn’t have a taste. Bottled water contains all kind of stuff, that may or may not justify the health claims. Foolish Foley is not even wrong.

  18. Derek Freyberg,
    In addition to the volcanic products and hydrocarbons mentioned by Mega, other non aqueous liquids might include moonshine and the other alcohols. Antifreeze apparently has a sweet taste and so dogs and human children drink significant amounts of it voluntarily.
    One wonders what purpose the magic sky fairy would have for making antifreeze consumption a positive experience.

  19. What is “it” that the “clever designer” did?
    “Designer”? There needs to be more than design in order to produce something. And if you’re talking about a supernatural designer – isn’t that contradiction? Design means taking account of the laws of nature. Or, if not, what does “design” mean?
    ” Why resort to contrivance, where power is omnipotent? Contrivance, by its very definition and nature, is the refuge of imperfection. To have recourse to expedients, implies difficulty, impediment, restraint, defect of power.” (William Paley in his “Natural Theology” – To be sure, Paley thought he had an answer to this – but what do today’s creationists have to say about this?)
    “Necessity is the mother of invention”. What necessity was there that drove God to resort to design?
    Creationists claim that similarities in the world of life are the mark of a single designer. But why should God be limited by similar design? Not to mention that there are differences to be accounted for as well as similarities.
    Without any definition of supernatural design, these, as well as many other difficulties are not accounted for by creationism.

  20. TomS says:

    What is “it” that the “clever designer” did?

    Foolish human! The designer doesn’t need to explain himself to you. Rather, you’re the one who has some explaining to do.

  21. @Dave Luckett: “my tongue is detecting water – as about 40% by volume of a Bowmore 12 yo.”
    I suspect you mean 40% alcohol by volume. 40% is an excellent level, but 60% is definitely getting into too-much territory.

  22. @The Curmudgeon
    I take that seriously.
    If someone says that they believe in God as their personal Creator and Redeemer, I have no complaint.
    My argument is rather against creationism, which says that there is a failure in evolutionary biology, and that there is alternative which offers an explanation in supernatural design. My response is “what is that alternative explanation”. If they refuse to describe their alternative, I find that lacking.
    I point out that there are difficulties in the ordinary understanding of design, if it is taken as an explanation of taxonomy and other features of life on Earth, and therefore there is a burden to describe design to address those difficulties.

  23. Ceteris Paribus

    “AIG: Your Tongue Detects Water, Therefore …”
    Whoof. – If the AIG has that tongue trick down right, there is no end to the limits they will go to make fools of their scoffers. I’m expecting the AIG to open up a new exhibit at the Creation Museum. And make a fortune selling pancakes sporting the face of Jesus.
    Jesus Pancakes!

  24. Nothing against the scientists that did the experiments and wrote the report, but it would be really fun if this was eventually discovered to be wrong. I’d just like to see AIG explain their way out of it.

    Tom B says “One wonders what purpose the magic sky fairy would have for making antifreeze consumption a positive experience.”

    Easy! Man’s sinful ways. Antifreeze was bitter and sour before the fall.

  25. Before the Fall, there was no need for bitter and sour to warn against poisons. There was no poison. What point was there for sweet, either?
    We might be wrong about the purpose of the flavors, but then that would be that we are mistaken about taste being designed.

  26. Ceteris Paribus

    Well, I can’t add anything to those comments. Talking about flavors, and anti-freeze, and sweet vs. sour and such. I’m still stuck way back there in the adventure, trying to figure out just how the Great Creator managed to arrange that frozen water should FLOAT on TOP of liquid water.
    [SC – I trust you will delete this post. And I promise not to do anything like it ever again.]

  27. ‘stop and thank the Creator who gave us such a wonderful gift and has so fearfully and wonderfully designed our bodies’. Back on my hobby-horse–33.000 diseases prove the creator is a homicidal maniac.

  28. Ceteris Paribus,
    Water is not the only solid that floats on its’ own liquid form. Silicon, arsenic, and bismuth are the ones I can immediately recall and I am certain even the most superficial google search will reveal more substances displaying the same physical property.
    So any “plan” which “managed to arrange that frozen water should FLOAT on TOP of liquid water” must include an explanation of why these other materials display the same property.
    Otherwise the field of chemistry provides excellent explanations and supporting evidence for this not uncommon physical property.

  29. TomS: “Before the Fall, there was no need for bitter and sour to warn against poisons.”

    True, but there wasn’t a need for antifreeze, either, as the combustible engine was perfectly designed and then went under information loss.

  30. There was no need for eyes, either. Eyes are used by predators to find prey, and are used by prey to detect predators.
    At least, that is how we know that eyes are designed, by their fit to the function of being a predator or the function of not being prey. If there is some function for eyes Before the Fall, then the Argument from Design is not soundly based.
    Dare I suggest that creationists do not have a consistent position?

  31. TomS: “Before the Fall, there was no need for bitter and sour to warn against poisons.”
    True, but there wasn’t a need for antifreeze, either, as the combustible engine was perfectly designed and then went under information loss.

    I think you mean the internal combustion engine. The combustible engine is usually seen in movie car-crash scenes. ;D (Engines rarely catch on fire in real car crashes.)

  32. Thanks, Eric Lipps. You are right. I suppose auto-correct, too, was perfect before the Fall and has since deteriorated.

  33. What about the mechanism for detecting and correcting DNA?
    Did that exist before the Fall?
    If it was working before the Fall, wouldn’t that be an imperfection in the DNA copying mechanism, slowing it down pointlessly?
    How about body mechanisms for defense against disease? The blood-clotting cascade?

  34. Good questions, TomS. I can’t imagine you’d ever get a Young Earth Crestionist ttoacte answer your questions, though.

    If you do, please ask if bone marrow produced white blood cells before the Fall, and if so, why?

  35. Every time I read these AIG things I am surprised. Guess I should be happy my ability to be surprised still exists after all these years. Amazing how AIG can twist things.