ICR Rejoices — Proxima B Isn’t a Habitable Planet

This was recently reported at PhysOrg: Proxima Centauri’s no good, very bad day. They say:

A team of astronomers led by Carnegie’s Meredith MacGregor and Alycia Weinberger detected a massive stellar flare — an energetic explosion of radiation — from the closest star to our own Sun, Proxima Centauri, which occurred last March. … At peak luminosity it was 10 times brighter than our Sun’s largest flares when observed at similar wavelengths. … The flare increased Proxima Centauri’s brightness by 1,000 times over 10 seconds.


“It’s likely that Proxima b was blasted by high energy radiation during this flare,” MacGregor explained, adding that it was already known that Proxima Centauri experienced regular, although smaller, x-ray flares. “Over the billions of years since Proxima b formed, flares like this one could have evaporated any atmosphere or ocean and sterilized the surface, suggesting that habitability may involve more than just being the right distance from the host star to have liquid water.”

The creationists have leaped upon this. Look what just popped up at the website of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom Their title is Stellar Superflare Reminder: Our Sun Is Special . It was written by Jake Hebert. This is ICR’s bio page on Jake. They say he received his Ph.D. in 2011 from the University of Texas and then — the same year! — he “joined ICR in 2011 as a research associate.” Jake’s entire working career has been at ICR. Here are some excerpts from his post, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Astronomers recently detected an enormous but short-lived increase in radiation from the nearby star Proxima Centauri. … Proxima Centauri is of particular interest because, excluding the sun, it is the star nearest to Earth (about 4.3 light-years away) and because an exoplanet, designated as Proxima b, has been detected orbiting the star.

Creationists are especially thrilled by this news, because it’s been previously thought that Proxima Centauri Has Planet in Habitable Zone. Jake says:

Needless to say, if our own sun were to emit such a superflare, the results on Earth would be devastating. Yet, the sun has not done this, despite the fact that evolutionary scientists have long insisted that our sun is just another mediocre, run-of-the-mill star. Despite this popular myth, secular scientists are themselves now acknowledging that our sun is special. One of the reasons for this realization is the fact that our sun does not emit monster superflares like the one just detected on Proxima Centauri.

After that he tells us:

Secular scientists have to assume that the sun’s remarkable stability is just an amazingly fortuitous coincidence, for which they credit “nature” or “luck” … .

Here comes the creationism:

But for those who acknowledge the Lord’s handiwork (Genesis 1:14-18, Psalm 19:1), neither our sun’s existence nor its remarkable stability is baffling or puzzling. Our sun exists and is stable because God designed it this way, so that Earth would be inhabitable [scripture reference]:

The rest of Jake’s post is a scripture quote. And there you have it. Just when you — you foolish evolutionist — thought there was a nearby habitable planet, it turns out that you were wrong. And the creationists have been right all along.

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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17 responses to “ICR Rejoices — Proxima B Isn’t a Habitable Planet

  1. …But…but… those good folks at ICR are relying on the word of godless amoral cannibal scientists–who are responsible for all evil and must never be trusted–for this information about Proxima B.

    And that’s just not good enough for rigourous Creationists! How do they know what happened to Proxima B? Were they there?

    And if not: is there some crowd-source funding going on to send them? I’d like to donate.

  2. You have forgotten that the 2nd law of thermodynamics makes life on Earth impossible. And the law of conservation of complex specified information.

  3. How many faces do these people have. Out of one face they say that the universe (not the Earth) was designed to make life possible. Out of another face they say that we are the only intelligent life on the billions and billions and billions of other planets in the universe? Well, which is it? Is the universe primed to make life here there and everywhere or are we “it”? I wish they would make up their minds, or at least their faces.

  4. “I wish they would make up their minds”
    When people abandon all rational thought is it even meaningful to talk about them “making up their minds”? When magic is the answer, the question doesn’t really matter (pun intended) and any excuse will suffice.

  5. But for those who acknowledge the Lord’s handiwork (Genesis 1:14-18, Psalm 19:1), neither our sun’s existence nor its remarkable stability is baffling or puzzling.

    With creationists I’m always reminded of the old parable of when all you have is a hammer the entire world looks like a nail. Why? Because their logic is always so simplistic and moronic.

  6. SteveR sounds desperate: “I wish they would make up their minds. Well, which is it?”
    Both, of course. Were creacrappers coherent and consistent they would cease to be creacrappers.

  7. But for those who acknowledge the Lord’s handiwork (Genesis 1:14-18, Psalm 19:1), neither our sun’s existence nor its remarkable stability is baffling or puzzling. Our sun exists and is stable because God designed it this way, so that Earth would be inhabitable

    If God designed one star to be stable, why aren’t all the others stable??? Isn’t the Lord God all powerful????
    Who does Jake think designed the rest of the universe? Satan????

  8. What if there had been an intelligent species with what we’d consider a great civilization on Proxima b? If so, this flare would be a galactic catastrophe — but not for creationists. Their attitude is like some other world rejoicing if they observed life on our planet destroyed by the Flood.

  9. @mnb0

  10. Our Curmudgeon considers that Creationists have an attitude

    like some other world rejoicing if they observed life on our planet destroyed by the Flood

    Wholly unlike the attitude of the Grand Ole Designer, whose heart was broken with remorse and sorrow when he sent the Flood to annihilate every living thing apart from the Noah family. Not!

    But hey. a God’s gotta do what a God’s gotta do…

  11. Well, that’s it then. Better pack up and go, science.

    Oh no, wait. How many stars were there again? 10E23 or so?

  12. Clearly, the inhabitants of Proxima B had become too sinful, and God decided to destroy them with a solar flare. From now on, any “northern lights” that appear on that planet will be harmless, and serve as a reminder that they will never be destroyed by solar flare again. Next time, It’ll WATER baby!

  13. docbill1351

    The High Principal Gr^%-)) of Prox1ma Beeta issued a Twoot:

    “Ri$e and $hine, camper$)), it’s H0T out there! Inkoming)) photon tsunami expekted 2 aRRi))e at 8895.43 GlobaL ProxaTime! Nooo bettah tim))e to gat a staRRRt on that $ummer tan! HHave a Nice DDay))”

  14. I once asked a creationist what the opposite of ‘secular science’ was. He didn’t answer me. We can assume that it is ‘Christian science’, starting from a literal reading of the Bible. But in that case science would have ground to a halt already centuries ago. Why question the perfect harmony of the heavenly realm if it would contradict the Bible?

    On top of that we would have a ‘Muslim science’, a ‘Hindu science’ etc. Sounds silly, but here in New Zealand we have people seriously demanding a ‘Maori science’ which wouldn’t contradict ancient Maori legends.

  15. Michael Fugate

    Shouldn’t this be the reply every time AiG or ICR use scriptural references against science.

    “The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
    An evil soul producing holy witness
    Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
    A goodly apple rotten at the heart.
    O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!”

    ― William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

  16. I’m curious what a preacher says when it is pointed out that there is no such proof-text. K

  17. As Draken points out, apparently creation scientists (as opposed to secular scientists) think 2/10E23 is a perfect sample size to conclude their favorite sky fairy keeps our star from frying us. Statistical analysis isn’t part of their curriculum, I guess.