Habitable Free Fire Zone Institute

The creationists aren’t generating any news this weekend. There was a news item they could have babbled about, but so far we haven’t seen them do it. You can read about the news at PhysOrg: New study dramatically narrows the search for advanced life in the universe.

It’s about a study published in The Astrophysical Journal: A Limited Habitable Zone for Complex Life, which you can read without a subscription. They say that it’s not enough for a planet to be in what we’ve been calling a star’s habitable zone, where liquid water can exist on the planet’s surface. The habitable zone for really complex life is far more restricted, which means that finding intelligent alien life isn’t as likely as we had been thinking.

Why haven’t the creationists been running wild with that news? One never knows. They’ll eventually get around to it.

There’s one other subject we’ll bring up. Have you noticed how common it is for creationists to call their outfits an “institute”? Think about it. Among the few we routinely visit, there’s the Discovery Institute, the Institute for Creation Research, and Jason Lisle’s Biblical Science Institute. Using the word “Institute” in their name makes them sound so … so classy!

For some reason, ol’ Hambo doesn’t use the word, but for the others, calling themselves an “institute” is an attempt to conjure up the prestige usually associated with places like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the California Institute of Technology — or the Institute for Advanced Study, where Einstein used to work.

We’re not alone in thinking there’s something special about the word. According to the Wikipedia article on Institute:

In the United Kingdom and the Isle of Man the term “institute” is a protected word and companies or other organizations may only use the word if they are “organisations which are carrying out research at the highest level or to professional bodies of the highest standing”.

Okay, enough of that. Because there’s nothing else going on, we’re declaring another Intellectual Free-Fire Zone. We’re open for the discussion of pretty much anything — science, politics, economics, or even astrology, theology, mythology, and sociology — as long as it’s tasteful and interesting. Banter, babble, bicker, bluster, blubber, blather, blab, blurt, burble, boast — say what you will. But avoid flame-wars and beware of the profanity filters.

We now throw open the comments to you, dear reader. Have at it!

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

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21 responses to “Habitable Free Fire Zone Institute

  1. Michael Fugate

    Here is a list of think tanks many with advocating “free” markets. What is interesting is that many of those spent much more than they earned.

  2. Bruce Lilly

    I’ve often though that creationists should be institutionalized…

    I wonder what they’ll make of this: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/06/190611143443.htm
    as discussed at http://rosarubicondior.blogspot.com/2019/06/has-creationisms-intelligent-designer.html

  3. Robert Baty

    Kent’s once #1 IT guy, Theo, has put out a new, interesting piece of video in the last few hours regarding his old boss.


  4. I propose the following:
    Institute for Rational Sensuous Curmudgeonism

  5. Bruce Lilly

    Here’s another one the creationists haven’t yet responded to: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-06/uov-wna061119.php

  6. Dave Luckett

    I had no idea that the word “institute” was protected in the UK, and could only be applied to reputable research and professional organisations. I suppose – I speak under correction – that this would imply that some authority or other could confer the right to use it, with that decision subject to court challenge, pro or con.

    I don’t much like the idea of “protected” words, for the same reason that I don’t like mandated ones, or even embargoed ones. There’s always the risk of creeping restriction, and in this case the restriction is on speech itself. But this seems reasonable – given common sense.

  7. @Bruce Lilly
    The article restricts consideration to aquatic life. It seems quite clear to me that much of the same would be true for air-breathing animals, but an Arkeologist could easily dismiss the article as not relevant to what was saved on the Ark.
    Anyway, there is already so much in need of attention by Arkeology …

  8. “Have you noticed how common it is for creationists to call their outfits an “institute”?”
    A long time ago.

    “Think about it”
    Also done a long time ago. The nickname Discotute handles this issue sufficiently.

    “For some reason, ol’ Hambo doesn’t use the word.”
    Why would he? He has a “museum”.

  9. @BruceL provides two interesting links:

    “New vulnerability found in major human viruses”
    Praise the Grand Old Designer!

    “Has Creationism’s Intelligent Designer Blundered?”
    Blunders of the Grand Old Designer (blessed be MOFO!) also are evidence for the Grand Old Designer. Everything is.

  10. Ah, Dutch creacrap expert Van Heugten (no, I have no idea about his credentials except writing for Logos.nl) considers a pressing problem: Judaic Indians in the USA!


    Translation is mine; apologies for eventual poor quality. Some spelling errors are not by accident, though.

    Judaic indians?

    The indigenous people in America have lived there for about 10 000 years or more according to evilutionists. The western view on the history of American indians has changed drastically a couple of times. Due to DNA-research that history must be revised once again.
    The Cherokee tribe is one of the most famous indian tribes. They were supposed to have lived in North-Carolina, but historical sources reveal that they only arrived there at the beginning of the 18th Century.

    [Follows some blabla about academic fraud; except for “poisoning the well” only Van Heugten understands the relevance for that arrival of 10 000 years ago – FrankB]

    When some Cherokees were DNA-tested a few aspects were revealed. Their DNA betrayed that their ancestors came from the Middle East and are of Semitic origin, like the Israelites. James Adair [perhaps our dear SC or somebody else can enlighten me, as I’ve never heard of this guy? – FrankB] postulated in his History of American Indians that the Cherokee spoke a variation of Hebrew.

    Secular researchers [as our dear SC likes to exclaim: they are fools! – FrankB] have no idea how semitic DNA could arrive in North-America before Columbus discovered the continent [why not Leif Eriksson? – FrankB]. But from the Biblical viewpoint there is something to say for it. The empire of the ten tribes carried into exile by the Assyrians in 722 BC, never went back. Have a number of Israelites emigrated to America?

    (end of translation)
    Van Heuten provides a link to a site called Nativesnewsonline.com. It doesn’t work; the domain seems to be for sale. A truly trustworthy source! So this is a fine piece of thorough creationist research – especially because it leaves me with two questions:

    1) How does this contradict this “about 10 000 years ago”?
    2) What about all those other tribes on the entire continent?

  11. Cnocspeireag

    I remember the ‘Christian Institute’ from my English childhood. I believe that it still exists.

  12. Cnsidering the Habitable Zone (HZ), cosider that any place where the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics (2LT) hold is inconsistent with the appearance of life. Likewise with the Conservation of Complex Specified Information (CCSI).
    If course, outside the Solar System , we have “Not Been There”, so we do not know whether 2LT and/ CCSI hold as they do on Earth. At the present state of our knowledge, the only place which can safely say is outside HZ is the Solar System.

  13. P.S.
    Plese help.
    About CCSI and our knowledge about its operation in the comporaneous Solar System (the only place and time that we have been, to make observations, and thus be the subject of true science).
    I cannot think of experiments whch have taken place to verify CCSI. The only examples that I can think of are violations: (1) the origin of life, whch happened before there were any humans to observe (2) small variations, like the formation of snowflakes, and everybody knows, true scientific laws are not concerned with small effects.”De minimis non curat lex”.

  14. Along the same lines as “institute” is “university”, e.g., Trump and Prager, two of the biggest b.s.ers ever to walk the planet.

  15. Theodore Lawry

    The paper starts from a very broad definition of HZ (habitable zone) in which planets out the out edge have several atmosphere’s worth of CO2 to make a big enough greenhouse effect to keep things from freezing. The earth had 275 parts per million (ppm) CO2, not a million ppm. If you ignore the greenhouse effect completely and set the HZ by the temperatures of 273 K (32 F) and 300 K (80.6 F), the ratio of temperature limits: 300/273 = 1.0989, call it 1.1

    But temperature varies as the inverse square root of distance because sunlight varies as the inverse square of the distance from the star, but temperature varies as the fourth power of sunlight intensity (Stephan-Boltzmann law). So the ratio of the inner and outer distances of the HZ is 1.1 squared which is 1.21, call it 1.2. So if the inner edge is 100 million miles from the star, the outer edge is 120 million miles. That doesn’t seem very tight!

  16. @BruceL: “bad news for creationists”.
    1) variation within a kind, no evolution.
    2) no real new information.

    “The two species only diverged about 500,000 years ago ”
    See what I mean? The article starts with a secular lens. The only one that yields true knowledge is the Biblical lens. Evilutionism loses, Bible wins. Never should you forget that this game is rigged.

  17. Eric Lipps

    I clicked on the link, and the study seems to focus on M-class stars (basically “red dwarfs”) due to their greater number.

    However, such stars have always been recognized as dubious candidates for hosting habitable planets, owing to, among other things, the high probability of planets in the traditional “habitable zone” around such stars becoming tidally locked, always facing one hemisphere to their parent stars (as the moon faces the earth). That would make one side blazingly hot and the other bitterly cold. In addition, any atmosphere would tend to freeze out on the cold side. So-called G-class stars, more like our sun, would be much more likely to have genuinely habitable (and potentially inhabited) planets.

    This is a phony issue anyway. Ironically, one of creationists’ favorite notions, that Earth is a “privileged planet,” just right for life, actually works in favor of life appearing here by natural means, and says basically nothing about what could happen to it once it did emerge. So even if we’re alone in the universe, there’s no need to imagine a supernatural origin story for life on this planet. And obviously the same applies to any other life-bearing world if there are any.

  18. Eric Lipps

    Er . . . obviously that should be “world”, not “would”.

    [*Voice from above*] I stretched forth my mighty hand, and behold! All is well.

  19. @Eric Lipps
    one of creationists’ favorite notions, that Earth is a “privileged planet,” just right for life, actually works in favor of life appearing here by natural means,
    That says that life is not highly improbable, contrary to the laws of thermodynamics, a violaton of conservation of specified complexity, etc. There is no “gap” for Intelligennt Design to fill.
    But, on the other hand, if Earth is an exception, that is contrary to the Anthropic Principle, that the universal parameters of physics are fine tuned to human life. Then there is no explanation for universal fine tuning.

  20. Tsssk. When oh when will you stubborn guys learn and understand IDiocy? Consistency and coherence do not matter. The Grand Old Designer (blessed be MOFO!) transcends such trivialities. Planet Earth is exactly privileged because the entire Universe is fine-tuned despite the origin of life conflicting with those laws.
    First the Grand Old Designer with his/her/its transcendental control panel fixed all natural constants, then on his/her/its drawing board designed all the natural laws. Then, because those natural laws are insufficient to produce life, let alone fuel evolution, the Grand Old Designer in his transcendental lab did some transcendental handicraft to produce life and Homo Sapiens.
    Just look beyond the walls of naturalism to observe the miracles that happen every day in Oogity Boogity Land! Start doing some real science! Let professor Klunckerduncker be your guide!