ICR: Ten ‘Fake Facts’ of Evolution

We found something at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the granddaddy of all creationist outfits, the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom — that is such an ark-load of Oogity Boogity it could keep us busy all day. Their headline is Toppling Ten Fake Facts That Prop Evolution.

It was written by Brian Thomas. He has previously been described at the end of his articles as “Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.” But there’s been a change. At the end of today’s article it says: “Dr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his Ph.D. in paleobiochemistry from the University of Liverpool.” Brian has a doctorate? Whoa — when did that happen?

ICR’s biographical information about him has also changed. It now says: “Brian Thomas received a master’s in biotechnology in 1999 from Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas, and a Ph.D. in paleobiochemistry in 2019 from the University of Liverpool.”

Brian has a brand new PhD in paleobiochemistry, and he’s putting it to good use on behalf of ICR. Here are some brief excerpts from his very long post, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

I’ve found that by asking thought-provoking questions about evolutionary arguments, I can help friends recognize enough weaknesses for them to think more about creation options. This article will review 10 false statements used to promote the belief that purely natural processes could accomplish what only a supernatural Creator can. Some suggested questions follow each section to help tactfully guide conversations about these origins issues.

Here comes the first “false statement”:

1. The Universe Began with a Big Bang: Many people talk about the Big Bang as if it’s a scientific fact, but it’s really a speculation. It has never been proven. Some assume that because the universe is apparently still expanding, it must be a leftover effect from an explosive origin. But even if the universe is expanding today, it doesn’t require a Big Bang beginning. God could have created it to expand not from the size of a pear but from a much larger original size.


Questions to consider: Which observable, measurable, and repeatable experiment demonstrates that the Big Bang actually occurred? What about the horizon problem and the mature distant galaxy problem? Where did all the material or energy that originally “banged” come from?

Wowie — the big bang is a bunch of Darwinist nonsense! Here comes the next “false statement”:

2. The Earth Is 4.6 Billion Years Old: Secular scientists insist Earth formed through natural processes 4.6 billion years ago, but much evidence confirms our planet’s youth. [Gasp!] At its current decay rate, for example, Earth’s magnetic field would have run down before 100,000 years. Earth’s fossils, coal, and diamonds are supposedly millions of years old, yet they all contain short-lived radiocarbon atoms that can last no more than 100,000 years.

To respond to those old clunkers, we need to visit the TalkOrigins Index to Creationist Claims. For Brian’s first point, see The earth’s magnetic field is decaying at a rate indicating that the earth must be young. For his second clunker, see Coal and oil are supposedly millions of years old. Effectively all of the carbon-14 in a sample would have decayed in that time. But carbon-14 still exists in coal, implying an age of only about 50,000 years.

Clutching his new PhD in paleobiochemistry, Brian continues with his list of “false statements”:

3. Geologists Use Good Science to Date Rocks: Nobody — not even geologists — can directly measure the age of a rock. None of us watched Earth’s rock layers form. [Yeah! Were you there?] So, when researchers measure isotopes in rocks, they have to use assumptions to convert isotope ratios into time estimates. They assume a consistent decay rate, how much of which isotope was there in the first place, and whether or not this or that isotope leaked into or out of the rock before or after it hardened.

Wowie — he’s right! There are several evolutionist assumptions involved in radiometric dating techniques — like claiming that the decay rate of isotopes has always been constant. That’s Darwinist rubbish! Creation scientists know that decay rates are whatever is necessary in order to establish that the world is only 6,000 years old.

So far, we’ve only discussed the first three of Brian’s list of ten “false statements.” We don’t have the time to go through all ten, so we’ll leave it to you, dear reader, to deal with the rest. This is his final paragraph:

Evolution runs on rhetoric and not reality. [Hee hee!] ICR offers many in-depth resources that evaluate evolutionary assertions and arguments. Sometimes it takes just one thought-provoking question to plant a seed of doubt in someone’s belief that nature created all things. The better we understand what makes evolution’s supposed facts fake, the better equipped we become to make a real difference.

We conclude by congratulating Brian on his new doctorate in paleobiochemistry. The University of Liverpool must be proud!

Copyright © 2019. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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34 responses to “ICR: Ten ‘Fake Facts’ of Evolution

  1. Michael Fugate

    I do need a good laugh from time to time – and creationists are laughable.
    Questions to consider: Is there a single scientific paper that documents the transformation of one kind of organism into a completely different kind? What do the many different ancestries scientists compose for the same set of creatures suggest about the process of crafting them?

    Creationists would need to operationally define “kind” – which they will never do. Answers derived from science change as new information is obtained. Genotype ≠ Phenotype. Gene sequences have dramatically changed our understanding of relationships and will continue to do so. Brian has obviously never heard of contingency.

  2. Anonymous

    I;m unable to find anything about Brian Thomas or a program in paleobiochemistry on the U of Liverpool’s site.

  3. christine janis

    Why am I anonymous? I filled in my info

  4. I donno, christine janis. The software around here has been weird for a few months.

  5. BTW, there are news stories about a fossil of a Denisovan disovered at high altitude on the Tibetan plateau. Here is one story from the National Geographic:

  6. While creationists can continue to be in the poverty of negativism, real science wil expand with discoveries.

  7. I (against better judgment) went to the link to read all ten amazing clunkers. Every reference to a “scientific fact” were from papers written by a certain Thomas B. Coincidence?

  8. Michael Fugate

    Here is his dissertation:
    Thomas, BD (2018) Collagen remnants in ancient bone. PhD thesis, University of Liverpool.

    Based on acknowledgements, his advisor is Prof Steve Taylor B.Sc,ACGI, MEng PhD, C.Eng, FIEE, FInstPhys DSc DIC
    Electrical Engineering and Electronics
    Chairman of University Staff Christian Fellowship

  9. Alan Conwell

    I read the first of the “refutations” of un-creation at the ICR website regarding this article. Wow! There’s no need for any other discussion of any other points; God does whatever he wants to make it look like other, naturalistic theories can explain what we see. He doesn’t even use the “testing our faith” argument. Freakin’ QED. What I believe about God is undisputed truth! Therefore …

  10. chris schilling

    Anyone who uses that rhetoric/reality shtick forfeits further consideration of whatever position they’re trying to sell. Politicians of both sides of the political divide have used it all up — it no longer means anything when one
    side uses it to try and disparage the opposition.

    Politics and religion have long since blurred into one another. Both use the same worn-out tactics, and both no longer carry any real persuasive power, except with the rusted-ons who need to be told what to think.

    Brian obviously prides himself on speaking for them.

  11. chris schilling

    My cover is blown. Damn you, WordPress!

  12. Dave Luckett

    “Questions to consider: Is there a single scientific paper that documents the transformation of one kind of organism into a completely different kind?”

    No. If such a “transformation” were ever observed and substantiated, evolutionary theory would be demolished. Such a “saltation” – a sudden leap – is completely inimical to it. What is observed is slow change of specific characteristics over many generations, and the very gradual appearance of new ones, usually not affecting a whole species but some population within it. At no two consecutive points in this very slow and gradual process can it be said that a “transformation” has occurred.

    “What do the many different ancestries scientists compose for the same set of creatures suggest about the process of crafting them?”

    One of the most striking vindications of evolutionary theory came when it became possible to sequence the DNA of different lifeforms and by charting the differences, arrive at lines of descent. Endogenous retrovirus insertions provided an unmistakable signature. The striking thing about this was how closely the results resembled the earlier classifications inferred from morphology. It follows that morphology – the study of the forms of the bodies of living things – is a true guide to ancestry.

    With fossil remains, DNA is almost never available and scientists must work with morphology alone – of the fossils, an incomplete and fragmented record. This causes a great many dotted lines in the ancestral charts. As more evidence is found, more can be filled in. Maybe completely new insights might occur. To a scientist, this is a feature of their discipline – that as more is known, more can be inferred. But to a creationist, it’s a bug – the scientists are changing their minds! Creationists never change their minds. They can’t.

    Unkind folk might say that’s because creationists don’t have minds to change. I don’t think the issue, or they, are as simple as that. It is profoundly disorienting to have to discard very strongly held ideas, particularly ones installed in childhood. For most, evidence is simply not sufficient to cause that. In Dr Thomas we see that effect in operation. He cannot bring himself to admit the power of the evidence and, in fact, must deny it, or insulate himself from it. The fact that he has somehow managed to convince himself that a lack of saltation discounts evolution when in fact it is a firm prediction of the theory, is evidence for this insulation. He has a doctorate in paleobiochemistry, but a completely erroneous notion of what the theory of evolution says. Astonishing – unless he has carefully blocked it out of his mind.

  13. Stephen Kennedy, MD

    I will take on two of his ten issues. First, his comment about the Big Bang having a mature distant galaxy problem is an out and out lie. If one wants to get the facts they should buy a serious University level (uses Calculus) textbook on Astronomy and read what real astronomers have discovered. The very distant galaxies do not look anything like the galaxies that are relatively near to us by which I mean at least 1,000 Mpc.. The galaxies beyond redshift equal to about Z= 2 are not at all like galaxies closer to us. There are no giant spiral or elliptical galaxies. All distant galaxies are small and have odd shapes. Look at a copy of the Hubble Space Telescope ultra deep image. All but one or two of the objects (the ones with diffraction spikes are stars in our Galaxy) in the image are galaxies and it is obvious that many do not look like the galaxies we see that are closer to us. This lie is one that the creationists keep repeating even though the HST and large (apertures of 8 meters) ground based telescopes have produced photographic evidence that disproves this lie.

    On our relationship to worms, I will put on my MD hat for a minute. When treating infections the critical issue is achieving what is known as “differential toxicity) which means we want to use a drug that kills the infectious pathogen without killing the patient. This is hard to do even with pathogens like Bacteria which are in a completely different Kingdom from animals because at some time in the very distant past we had a common ancestor. Anti-biotics are ineffective in the treatment of Helminth (parasitic worms) infections because these pathogens are multicellular organisms that are in the Animal Kingdom like we are. Achieving differential toxicity with these pathogens is extremely difficult because they are so much closer to us than pathogens from other Kingdoms. Drugs like Menbenzadole that are used to treat helminth infections cause more side effects than anti-biotics do and can actually be somewhat toxic to humans. The need and the difficulty of achieving differential toxicity against different types of pathogens can only be understood if we recognize that all living organisms today have a common ancestor and that Evolution has determined how closely related to each other they are.

  14. @Stephen Kennedy, MD:

    Thank you! Your post is beautiful! I was all set to write about the Big Bang part, but your explanation is so much better than anything I could have written, and I’m a technical writer with a deep interest in astronomy.

    Your second paragraph is equally fascinating and very informative. Makes one wonder how any MD can be an anti-evolution creationist. They would have to be wearing blinders — and who would want to be the patient of a doctor wearing blinders?

  15. Another point — how can a YEC call himself a paleobiochemist?
    By definition, a YEC disavows the existence of any period of time that could even remotely be considered “paleo”.

  16. docbill1351

    ICR pulls in about ten times the loot as the Tooters! They must be doing something right!

  17. Brawny Brian’s start is excellent! Just switch roles. Then we get “by asking thought-provoking questions about creacrap, I can help friends recognize enough weaknesses for them to think more about evolution theory.” Except that this doesn’t happen. Brawny Brian involuntarily has demonstrated that he is close-minded.

    1. Yup. Even if a ball is falling right now, it doesn’t require it’s starting point – Brawny Brian’s god could have created it to start falling from a much lower point.

    3. Nobody — not even gynaecologists — can directly measure the age of Brawny Brian. None of us watched his birth. Brawny Brian might as well have been put in a cauliflower as a baby by his god, so that a stork could bring him to his cradle.

    “Sometimes it takes just one thought-provoking question to plant a seed of doubt in someone’s belief that some god created all things.”
    Nope, not with Brawny Brian. Because close-minded.

  18. @ChrisS: “Politics and religion have long since blurred into one another.”
    ?! Organized religion (even in small tribes) always is politics (the other way round not always) as organized religion is as much about distribution of money and power as religion-less forms of politics.

    @StephenD: “….. is an out and out lie.”
    Not. Until demonstrated otherwise everything any creacrapper writes is a lie. It’s the default.

    @Rsg: good question – I wondered myself how it’s even possible to graduate at a respectable university in this branch. Perhaps Brawny Brian followed the example of Kurt Wise?


  19. @FrankB
    Yes. My point was simply that both religion, and both sides of the political spectrum (either of the left or right; essentially there’s little difference in their tactics) use rhetoric as a crude ploy with which to appeal to emotions, rather than rationality. Well, after all, rhetoric is a form of linguistic cajolery.

    Is there such a thing as honest rhetoric? Maybe there was once, in the rousing speeches of a Lincoln or Luther King — depending on one’s tolerance for that sort of thing — but, at least in our time, that “art” has become well and truly debased. That’s why I think many of us are sick of both religion and politics. It amazes me that neither the churches nor the major political parties seem able to recognize — or refuse to acknowledge — this.

  20. Perhaps an op-ed in the New York Times today by James Comey would count as honest rhetoric?

  21. I’d like to read the New York Times, but it won’t let me without a subscription. Perhaps I’ll just move there, that might be easier.

  22. I saw quite a bit of it on the Fox News web pages. “He eats your soul in small bites” is in the headline.

  23. Karl Goldsmith

    So ICR had one of them get a phd that will never be used for anything other a claim of authority.

  24. Crazed creationist claims “2. The Earth Is 4.6 Billion Years Old: Secular scientists insist Earth formed through natural processes 4.6 billion years ago, but much evidence confirms our planet’s youth.”
    The scientific rules governing physics and radioactive decay are wrong?
    Exhibit A that this guy is a mentally ill shyster.

  25. Michael Fugate

    Why would Brian use the GSA Geologic Time Scale in his dissertation if he believes the earth is 6000 years old? If it is that young, why do some layers have more preserved organics than others?

  26. @Michael Fugate
    I once had a creationist tell me that Satan is resonsible for those deceptive layers. I think that most creatonists shy away from that kind of “explanation”, for it takes some of the creative act away from God. It is kind of creepy.
    Anyway, isn’t it a lot easier to avoid answering questions with “How do you know, were you there?”

  27. Michael Fugate

    But one wonders, does he believe what he wrote in his dissertation is a lie?

  28. Michael Fugate

    And speaking of the origin of life, this book and review…

  29. Michael Fugate

    Even more on origin of life – inorganic synthesis of organic compounds

  30. @Michael Fugate
    He had to know how to write stuff which would pass review. Which means that he had to know that some of the standard attacks on evolution were against straw men.
    Wouldn’t he know that the Big Bang is not a subject treated by evolutionary biology?

  31. jimroberts

    @Michael Fugate
    Very interesting links. Thank you.

  32. @ChrisS:

    Here you go. By the way, you can get a full digital subscription to the NYT for $15.00/4 weeks.

  33. @rsg

  34. Eric Lipps

    Your second paragraph is equally fascinating and very informative. Makes one wonder how any MD can be an anti-evolution creationist. They would have to be wearing blinders — and who would want to be the patient of a doctor wearing blinders?

    And yet there’s Dr. Ben Carson, a Seventh-Day Adventist and therefore a young-earth creationist.

    Dr. C seems to have managed all right, suggesting that as long as a doctor is simply applying other people’s scientific discoveries he can function. However, professional competence or even brilliance as a doctor doesn’t guarantee that a person knows everything (or anything) about something outside his area of expertise, as this illustrates. Carson is apparently a groundbreaking surgeon, but where evolution is concerned he comes across as an ignoramus.