A Festival of Creationist Clunkers

There must be some kind of competition going on among creationists to see who can include the greatest number of clunkers in one blog post. What we found today looks like a winner. It’s at the website of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom.

The thing is appropriately titled Believe Anyway, and it was written by two brilliant creationists. One is Scott Arledge, about whom we know nothing. The other is Brian Thomas, about whom we’re told: “Dr. Thomas is Research Associate at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his Ph.D. in paleobiochemistry from the University of Liverpool.” Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Some within the creation community make the claim that they would believe God’s Word about the age of the universe even if all the evidence pointed otherwise. [Hee hee!] Trusting God, no matter what, is certainly a good thing. However, then they claim that He intentionally made the universe “look old.” Did God make an old universe but describe a young one in Genesis just to test our faith?

Well, did he? Here’s what the ICR experts say:

A comparison is sometimes made between creation’s supposedly old features and Adam’s appearance of age, or the water that Jesus miraculously turned into wine. These creationists argue that these examples make it reasonable for God to have created the universe with the appearance of age as well. [Yes, perfectly reasonable!] Should we expect that a creation spoken into existence would somehow look billions of years old? [Sure, why not?] Young-looking features of our world dissolve arguments for its apparent old age.

Ah, young-looking features. The creation scientists tell us:

If a person were given science tools but had no preconceived notions about the universe, would purely objective observations lead that person to believe in a billions-of-years-old earth and universe? [Sure. That’s what the evidence shows.] By no means [Huh?], since so many features look so young.

Get ready, dear reader. Here come the clunkers:

A close examination of the geologic column reveals sedimentation from a flood so recent that countless creatures it buried, including dinosaurs, have decomposing tissues that sometimes still stink. [Groan!] Mass spectrometers, chemical stains, and microscopes reveal original protein remnants in them. These results suggest burial only a few thousand years ago.

We don’t want to waste too much time on this stuff. Let’s visit the TalkOrigins Index to Creationist Claims. What do we find? Try this: The entire geologic column is based on the assumption of evolution. There are dozens more, if you want to go hunting around. Let’s move on with the ICR post:

The objective, unbiased person would also understand a century’s worth of magnetometer results that show Earth’s magnetic field is fading fast. That looks young too.

Read the TalkOrigins response to this clunker: The earth’s magnetic field is decaying at a rate indicating that the earth must be young. The ICR dynamic duo continue:

Telescopes reveal comets in long orbits around the sun. These balls of ice follow orbits that every once in a while bring them close to the giant ball of fire. It would be like putting a snow cone half an inch from a space heater set on high. No wonder comets routinely fizzle in front of our eyes when they’re near the sun. They can’t last billions of years. Did God put them into the sky to make sure observers would know the creation isn’t very old?

Comets again? Groan! See ICR: It’s a Young Solar System. Let’s read on:

We see many features that fade fast. Cliffsides crumble and mountains erode. [Some do; some don’t.] The rate at which our DNA is mutating sets a limit on the human race as a whole. [What?] This mutation clock, if run backward from the present amount of DNA damage in our bodies’ cells, indicates an age for mankind of only thousands of years.

We won’t bother hunting for rebuttals to that one. You can play with it if you like. Hey — we’ve arrived at ICR’s final paragraph:

Do features of this creation clearly show a universe that is billions of years old? Do Christians have to believe in recent creation despite mountains of contrary evidence? Quite the opposite. Instead, those who deny creation must believe in deep time despite both the world’s youthful features and the Word’s plain speech.

Well, dear reader, whatcha gonna do? The creationists say the evidence is all against you. It’s not too late to repent!

Copyright © 2020. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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20 responses to “A Festival of Creationist Clunkers

  1. “whatcha gonna do”
    Instead of referring to TalkOrigins (not that this is a bad idea) I’m going to quote from Donald Prothero’s What the Fossils Say.

    “Extreme fundamentalists push a strange model of the earth; they call it “flood geology” – yet, if they had any firsthand practical experience with real geology and accepted the results, they would see the absurdity of flood geology. More importantly, they would not benefit from the oil, coal, and natural gas that modem geology has provided all of us, and which flood geology would have no chance of discovering.”

    Granted, had all geologists been creacrappers we would not have suffered from a climate change these days.

    “The rocks do lie in a much more definite sequence than we have ever allowed. The statements made in the New Geology [Price’s term for flood geology] do not harmonize with the conditions in the field …. All over the Middle West the rocks lie in great sheets extending over hundreds of miles, in regular order. Thousands of well cores prove this. In East Texas alone are 25,000 deep wells. Probably well over 100,000 wells in the Midwest give data that have been studied and correlated. The science has become a very
    exact one, and millions of dollars are spent in drilling, with the paleontological findings of the company geologists taken as the basis for the work. The sequence of microscopic fossils in the strata is very remarkably uniform …. The same sequence is found in America, Europe, and anywhere that detailed studies have been made. This oil geology has opened up the depths of the earth in a way that we never dreamed of twenty years ago.”

    Letter from Harold W Clark to George Macready Price, written in 1938. The first used to be a follower of the second.

    “Some within the creation community make the claim that ….”
    Kurt Wise, of course.

    Brawny Brian no doubt uses the typical creacrap strategy: he doesn’t know and if he’s confronted with stuff like this he doesn’t want to know. Hence all creationists claims must be considered lies until proven otherwise. There is no need to refute stuff like “this mutation clock, if run backward from the present amount of DNA damage in our bodies’ cells, indicates an age for mankind of only thousands of years.”

  2. Michael Fugate

    If creationists believe the Bible is really, really true, then why don’t they acknowledge Jesus came back 2000 years ago and they missed it?

  3. By the way, that hurricane with the mysterious and unpronounceable name will be affecting Florida tomorrow. It’s entirely unpredictable what effect, if any, it will have on Curmudgeon headquarters, but it’s always possible that there could be a power outage and perhaps other inconveniences. If I’m missing for a day or so, you may be reasonably confident that I’ll return, as soon as conditions permit.

  4. Sounds like the ones you complain about here today are idiots. I’m a believer in creation but not an idiot. Check me out. “I can convict God, as God in any reasonable court of law.” I can’t help it preachers are not most of them terribly intelligent. I stand behind my words. https://genuinearticlex7.com/2020/07/10/sensational-trials-20th-century-dawkins-turnip-trial/

  5. chris schilling

    @genuineclueless ex-lax: “I stand behind my words.”

    How about standing behind a reversing truck, while you’re at it?

  6. Dave Luckett

    Before you can drag the Deity into a court of law, you first have to find Him. He is said to be available. At one point He assured everyone that He was actually knocking on the door. But I’ve gone out and looked, and He isn’t there, not does He return calls. Ask me how I know. He can’t be summonsed, either. The mail always returns stamped “Not at this address”. He doesn’t explain. He cannot be questioned. No cross-examination for Him.

    As for jiggery-pokery with Daniel and the Prophet Ezekiel, it requires a perfect understanding of the metaphors, a stab at the event the words refer to, an assignment of a date, making “evening and morning” mean the same as one year, and the year equal to 360 days, or whatever number you need, and voila! Why not try the same exercise with Ezekiel’s prophecy of the destruction of Tyre by Nebuchadnezzar? It happened, right? Er… not.

    Let us turn to fact:

    All living things reproduce with small genetic variations. Fact.

    All small variations confer either an advantage or a disadvantage to the organism carrying them. Fact.

    All genetic variations are heritable. Fact.

    If an advantage accrues for a given environment or biological economy from a small variation, it will cause an increased chance, and hence, a statistically increased incidence of reproduction, and the converse for a disadvantageous one. The advantage or disadvantage need only be very small for this to happen. The result is that the advantage spreads rapidly through the descendant population over generational time, while the disadvantage is as rapidly eliminated. That was mathematically demonstrated in the 1930’s. It’s fact, too.

    Now for the environment. It isn’t everywhere the same. It is constantly changing in many different ways. Slightly different variations advantage or disadvantage living things differently. Their descendants will diverge according to the difference.That, too, is fact.

    All of those facts are known from observation of nature. Anybody who cares to put the effort in can reconfirm them now. They are not the results of the interpretation of text. They do not rely on the meanings of metaphor, the expression of imagery, or the values of words – or their manipulation.

    Put the facts together, and evolution must occur. Can’t not occur. Species adapt to an environment that changes. They must. Nothing can stop it, except extinction – wholesale replacement.

    Add to that the nineteenth century realisation that the features of the landscape are the product of ongoing change, the rates of which can be measured. Accurate survey alone established the rates at which mountains were rising or being eroded. Measuring sedimentation rates and the thickness of sedimentary strata established a time scale. Measurement of river deltas and comparing the rates of silt accumulation did the same. Glacial advance and retreat, as known from fossil moraines. Ancient coral reefs. Lake varves. The nineteenth century geologists realised that the Earth could not be less than tens of millions, then hundreds of millions of years old. Again they didn’t need any more than the measurement of the Earth itself to tell them that. It was inescapable.

    And finally, paleontology. Late to the field, but crushing. All over the Earth were the remains of plants and animals that were somewhat, then very, then radically different from the ones that exist today, and the degree of difference was relative to the age of the sedimentary rock the remains were found in, which age had already been established. In those rocks, only obvious intrusions held fossils of current animals and plants. There is no escaping the conclusion. Ancient life forms were different from current ones which were not present then. That is, evolution must have occurred.

    Engineers spend their entire working lives creating and emulating designs. The step from this to considering everything as designed is a short one. That is why you find engineers bolstering the ranks of creationists. But it’s a misstep. They’re deluded. They see something that isn’t there. There is no evident design or intent. There is only a feedback loop that increases fitness for survival. That’s it. That’s all. That is parsimoniously effective. Even an engineer should be able to recognise its elegance.

    Now, if you wanted to be subtle, you could argue that the very elegance might be the product of intent. That evolution itself, the process that undeniably exists, is itself designed, set up as a feature of a system. That doesn’t necessarily follow, and there’s no evidence for it, but it can at least be posited.

    But evolution happens, and it is the explanation for the diversity and origin of the species. So much can only be denied by refusing to accept the evidence of the senses.

  7. You’ve not read or do not understand and your personal attack is typical of just above average intelligence. I’m guessing just above average.

  8. In 1997 ICR and the Creation Research Society initiated an 8-year research program to investigate the validity of radioisotope dating of rocks, the so-called RATE project. Yes, they dabbled in ‘historical’ science! Anyway, they had to admit that at least 500 million years worth of radioactive decay must have occurred. They couldn’t deny the overwhelming evidence.
    The solution to squeeze that into a 6,000 year history? There must have been violent burst of radioactivity, perhaps on the third day of creation and during the one-year Flood. Never mind that the earth would have boiled away from the heat generated, but how did Noah survive the burst of gamma-rays?

  9. “I’m a believer in creation but not an idiot.”
    No, you’re either a Young Earth Creacrapper, an Old Earth Creacrapper or an IDiot.

    “I can’t help it …..”
    No, but you can help the idiot stuff you produce yourself. Like ChrisS correctly points out it’s as idiot as standing behind a reverse truck.

    “The evolution paradigm has run to mud”
    That’s number 1.

    “The plaintiff ….”
    The idea of deciding scientific matters in a courtroom is idiot stuff nr. 2.

    “Richard Dawkins debates.”
    The idea of deciding scientific matters in a debate is idiot stuff nr. 3.

    Prediction: your rebuttal is going to be “evolution is not science” and that will be more idiot stuff.
    What you’re not going to do is producing evidence for your particular god creating living stuff (like watchmakers creating watches, for which we do have supporting evidence) and explaining your methodology of research.
    Because then you would inevitably have to admit that your “goddiddid” (the essence of all creacrap) is unscientific. And you can’t have that.
    Let the smokescreens and red herrings come!

  10. Their argument amounts to, “This playground proves that all humans are children”.

  11. chris schilling

    @genuinelyincompetent ex-parrot:
    I looked over your site before I posted the first comment. You write like an illiterate. Sample:

    “I know for certain I can convict God of being God, in any reasonable court of law.”

    You can convict God for the crime of… being God? You Sir, must be a genius! A genius, I tell you!

  12. Dave Luckett, it was the software that delayed your comment. No reason for it.

  13. Charles Deetz ;)

    Classic see the evidence you want, ignore that you don’t. Look up at the sky, dude. How far away are those stars and how old is the light from them you see?

  14. Michael Fugate

    Not sure what evolution has to do with biblical prophecy and how one excludes the other. If God’s prophecies come true, then why didn’t the apocalyptic preacher called Jesus correctly predict the apocalypse? Was he not God as claimed?

  15. Michael Fugate

    Speaking of trying to use numbers to obfuscate – the Guardian has a piece by Carl Bergstrom on his new book about combatting misinformation. I would link, but it has a word in the title which would run afoul of the censors.

  16. Google Guardian Carl Bergstrom and voila. It’s well worth reading:

    “We need to recognise that we have created through social media a potentially existential threat to liberal democracy.”

  17. Genuine article: you are an idiot. Numerology? You have got to be kidding me. And your grammar… a high schooler would be ashamed. You are no engineer, please do not refer to yourself as one.

  18. Dan I most assuredly am an engineer. I might be illiterate but the math is as sound as Newton. I’m certain I can convict God in any reasonable court of law. Objective evidence. It is or it is not on its face. Darwin was not a God hater nor atheist. The rest is fairy tales based on his incomplete scientific quest for answers.

  19. Dave Luckett

    You can’t prove – if that’s what you mean by “convict” – God, in a court of law or anywhere else. The idea that there is a scientific case for “intelligent design” of living things, by a God or gods or any agency, was sifted to its roots in Dover, PA, 15 years ago, by a court, and found to be completely unsupported the evidence. You’d do no better.

    That you can even think of this issue in terms of “convict” in a “court of law” merely demonstrates that you are not tracking reality. The scientific evidence is in. It was persuasive a hundred and fifty years ago, overwhelming ninety years ago, and utterly incontrovertible seventy years ago. I laid some of it out last thread. Of course you ignored it.

    All you have is denial, and the denial is completely irrational.

  20. @Dave Luckett
    Of course it is worth while to point out the court cases which have been ruled against creationism. But, as you point out, the scientific case is not settled in a court of law. The Law does not present the paradigm of the search for truth. The Law is, at its best, about justice. It is rather somewhat like a matter of a conflict between two opponents, rather than the cooperative search of all of us in the endless variety of possibilities. Endless, not only in scope, but also in time; in contrast to the two choices, to be settled, finally, in a brief time in the court of law.