Category Archives: Evolution

ICR: Why the Earth Must Be Young

The creation scientists at the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom — have unintentionally, in one handy article, presented a large catalog of reasons why the bible is inconsistent with reality. There are more reasons than those given in ICR’s article (such as the shape of the Earth and its place in the solar system), but those listed in the article are a good start.

The article is Genesis Compromise Unravels the Bible. It’s by Jake Hebert, described at the end as a “Research Associate” for ICR. They say he has a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Texas at Dallas. Jake says, with bold font added by us:

Christians who accept millions of years of Earth history may be unaware of the inconsistency of their position. On one hand, they profess to believe the Bible, but on the other they fail to accept Genesis 1–2 as written. They might attempt to dismiss the issue by telling themselves it isn’t that serious. After all, can’t one accept the rest of the Bible as written yet reject the doctrine of a recent six-day creation? Unfortunately, accepting an old earth logically undermines the entire Bible.

From here on, we’re given one problem after another caused by the conflict between the age of the Earth and the bible. The list begins:

If the world’s sedimentary rocks really are millions of years old, then the fossilized remains of plants and animals within those rocks are also millions of years old. These include the fossilized remains of thorny plants. This would imply that thorns were in the world long before the first humans. So, how can thorns be punishment for man’s sin as described in Genesis 3:18?

Gasp! Next problem:

Because fossils are the remains of dead animals and plants, accepting deep time implies that animal death and suffering existed for millions of years before Adam’s sin. Yet God’s description of His original creation as “very good” (Genesis 1:31), the gracious character of God revealed in Scripture (Psalm 145:9), and the fact that God created people and animals originally as vegetarians (Genesis 1:29-30) all imply that the “groaning” now found in nature (Romans 8:20-22) was imposed on it only after Adam’s fall, not before.

Jake is just getting started. Here’s the next item:

Also, these fossils are found in water-deposited rocks all over the world. This would seem to be prima facie evidence for the Genesis Flood, but many Christians naively accept the uniformitarian claim that these rock layers formed slowly over millions of years. But if these water-deposited rocks are not from the Flood event, then it would be only logical to conclude that the Flood never really happened in the first place.

Egad — no Flood! Jake explains why that’s a catastrophe:

But this would imply that the global Flood described in Genesis 6–8 is at best a serious exaggeration of a mere local flood. Yet the apostle Peter affirmed the global nature of the Flood (2 Peter 2:5, 3:6). If Peter was wrong about this, then clearly his writings were not divinely inspired. Yet those same writings testify of the transfiguration and resurrection of Christ (2 Peter 1:16-18; 1 Peter 3:18). So was Peter wrong about those events too?

Aaaargh!! It’s all falling apart! But wait — there’s even more:

The millions-of-years view also impugns the testimony of Christ. The Lord Jesus Himself clearly believed in both a recent creation (Mark 10:6, 13:19; Luke 11:50-51) and the historicity of the Genesis Flood (Luke 17:26-27). If He was wrong about such things, then how can He be the Son of God?

Lordy, lordy — there’s nothing left! Then, when everything is looking grim, Jake turns it all around. He says:

The bad news is that compromise with old-earth ideas logically undermines the entire Bible. The good news is that there is no good reason to believe in an old earth!

Ooooooooooooh — what a relief! At the end of his article, Jake tells us:

The earth is young, the Flood really did occur, and the scientific evidence is consistent with the claims of Scripture. Christians must, and can, stop uncritically accepting agenda-driven claims about Earth history made by secular scientists who deny the existence and revelation of God.

Your Curmudgeon is greatly relieved. We have no doubt that you are too, dear reader.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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The Discoveroids and Frankenstein’s Monster

There have been several headlines the last day or so about a human baby conceived from the DNA of three parents. We found an article about it in Nature that you can read without a subscription: ‘Three-parent baby’ claim raises hopes — and ethical concerns. They say:

A reported world-first in fertility therapy — a baby boy conceived with a controversial technique that mixes DNA from three people – has made headlines across the world. But with no way of verifying the claim because the specialists behind the procedure aren’t releasing data until October, some researchers are questioning the ethics of the procedure. In particular, they ask why the US-based team behind the operation chose to carry it out in Mexico, a country with less-clear oversight of human embryo modification than, for instance, the United Kingdom or the United States.

Researchers at the New Hope Fertility Center in New York City told New Scientist — which broke the news on 27 September — that they had conducted the procedure for a Jordanian couple, and that the baby boy was born in April.

[…]

[T]he boy’s mother has a rare disease called Leigh’s syndrome, a neurological disorder caused by faulty mitochondria, the cell’s energy-producing structures. The couple lost two children to the disease before asking the clinic’s help.

In an attempt to create embryos without the mother’s faulty mitochondria, the clinic’s team transferred the nucleus of the mother’s egg cell to the egg of a donor with healthy mitochondria — a technique known as spindle transfer — and then fertilized it with the father’s sperm, the team reports in the abstract. Zhang’s team modified five embryos, one of which was implanted into the mother and survived to birth. That baby inherited nuclear DNA from both parents and mitochrondrial DNA from the donor.

You can click over there to read the rest. We hope the baby grows up to be healthy, and that this new procedure may become accepted for use in such cases. But not everyone shares our attitude. For your entertainment, we now give you an example of a different view.

You are about to travel into another reality, a reality not knowable by evidence and reason because it isn’t bound by the laws of nature, but by the wonders of Oogity Boogity! It’s a journey into the realm of miracles and mysticism, where all you need is faith. Oh look — there’s a signpost up ahead. It says: “Welcome to Seattle, Home of the Discovery Institute.” Your next stop — The Drool Zone!

The Discoveroids’ creationist blog features this new post: Three-Parent Baby Shows No Limits to Science Hubris. It’s written by Wesley J. Smith. We don’t hear much from him, but he’s a Discoveroid “Senior Fellow” and a lawyer. His specialty is “Human Exceptionalism,” Discoveroid code for “In His Image.” The bold font was added by us for emphasis:

Fertility doctors have brought a baby to birth from an embryo created artificially with the biological substances of two women and one man. That could be illegal in many places, so the American doctors went to Mexico to do the procedure.

[…]

More importantly, what are the potential longterm consequences to this child? We don’t know. Indeed, this child will have to be followed for potential health problems going forward. Even if there is no untoward consequence to the baby — which all should hope — this was unethical human experimentation.

[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] It was unethical experimentation! Then Wesley says:

The doctors fled to Mexico to flee regulatory oversight. Yet “The Scientists” blame the regulators: [big quote from an article in Science: Unanswered questions surround baby born to three parents]. In other words: Let us do what we want or we will do it anyway!

What scoundrels! How dare they try to give that woman a healthy baby? After that, Wesley ends his post by pronouncing a stern moral judgment upon those who intervene with the designer’s plan:

In truth, those who circumvent the rules should be shunned, not praised. And they expect us to trust them? No.

Society needs to have an important and in-depth debate over how and whether to permit these nature- and potentially family-altering techniques to go forward, and if so, under what circumstances. But instead “The Scientists” presume the right to decide for themselves what is ethical in science. There’s a word for that: hubris.

Ever since the 1818 publication of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, we’ve seen frightened people and their preachers screaming about scientists who dare to “play God” by meddling in the unknown, experimenting in their infernal la-BOR-a-tories, and attempting things that man was not meant to know! And here we see the Discoveroids feeding the fears of the ignorant, playing the role of science censors, and longing for the power to launch a new Inquisition.

We haven’t heard the end of this. For further developments, stay tuned to this blog!

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Creationist Wisdom #721: Flood & Old Earth

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Star Press of Muncie, Indiana — the home town of Ball State University. The title is Argument in favor of great flood. The newspaper has a comments feature.

Because the writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. This guy writes a lot of letters-to-the-editor — we posted about one recently: #715: God and Slavery, and that links to an earlier one — but he still doesn’t qualify for full-name treatment. His first name is Kevin. Excerpts from his new letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

I’m not likely to visit the recently opened “Ark Encounter” exhibit in Kentucky, but that’s not because I disbelieve the historicity of Noah’s ark. On the contrary, I fully accept, as any true Christian should, the Genesis account of Noah’s ark and God’s judgment on human wickedness.

Yes, any true Christian should. But then, why won’t Kevin visit ol’ Hambo’s ark? He explains that later. First, he defends the Flood:

There is plenty of archeological evidence that a vast flood covered the whole area of early civilization.

Where might we find this archeological evidence? In Egypt, perhaps? Mesopotamia? Ethiopia? Kevin doesn’t tell us. Instead, we get this:

Furthermore, every branch of the human race has a story about a great flood from which only a few people escaped. If the flood described in Genesis did not actually occur, why did all ancient cultures after Noah’s time have a story about a great flood?

Maybe it’s because people often settled along rivers, and rivers occasionally flood? Even so, none of these ancient flood tales are synchronized, nor to any of them mention Noah — except one. We discussed all this in Top Ten Reasons Noah’s Flood is Mythology. But Kevin is a believer. He tells us:

Not surprisingly, there are slightly different versions of the flood story, but the universality of the tradition supports the Bible-based view that a great flood did occur many thousands of years ago, before mankind became spread out over the earth. It is not a myth.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! He continues:

Jesus regarded the Noahic flood as a historical fact, and that’s good enough for me.

Okay. Let’s read on:

The people who created the “Ark Encounter” exhibit are young-earth creationists. They believe that the earth is only a few thousand years old and that dinosaurs co-existed with humans.

That shouldn’t bother a Flood believer. But it does bother Kevin, which makes his letter very strange. Kevin is an old-Earth Flood believer, perhaps the first we’ve ever seen. Then he denounces the young-Earthers while simultaneously defending the bible:

Such views are absurd and contrary to scientifically established facts, but there is nothing in the Bible, properly interpreted, that undermines science.

Uh, what about the Flood? Oh, Kevin says that’s real history. Then what about the bible’s numerous statements that The Earth Is Flat, and that The Earth Does Not Move? Kevin doesn’t mention those things. Instead, he ends his letter with this:

And nothing that scientists have discovered undermines the Bible.

Now there’s a provocative statement! We’ll leave it to you, dear reader, to refute Kevin’s claim — if you can.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Oklahoma Theocracy — Coming Soon?

Almost two months ago we wrote Oklahoma May Become a Theocracy, in which we talked about State Question 790 — Oklahoma Public Money for Religious Purposes. It will be on the 08 November ballot in Oklahoma. If approved, State Question 790 would repeal Section 5 of Article 2 of the Oklahoma Constitution, which currently prohibits public money from being spent for religious purposes.

The state Constitutional provision which may be eradicated now says:

Article II: BILL OF RIGHTS, Section 5: No public money or property shall ever be appropriated, applied, donated, or used, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, or system of religion, or for the use, benefit, or support of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary, or sectarian institution as such.

As we mentioned before, 38 states have such a provision in their constitutions. It wisely keeps preachers from attempting to grab taxpayers’ money to support their ministries. The Founders of the US were mostly in agreement that the official, government-endorsed religions of their states were an impediment to liberty. That was the motivation behind Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. Oklahoma may throw that away, opening the floodgates to religious conflicts in the legislature.

We’ve been watching for press discussions of the issue. There haven’t been all that many, although some newspaper editorials have spoken out against State Question 790. We found something of interest today in Baptist News Global. We don’t know where they’re located, and they don’t have a comments feature. They don’t allow their content to be copied without permission, but they do allow a link to their articles along with a copy their first paragraph. We shall endeavor to comply.

Their headline is BJC’s Walker says Okla. ballot question poses danger to religious institutions, and their first paragraph says:

A Baptist expert on religious liberty termed a ballot initiative repealing Oklahoma’s prohibition against using state funds for religious purposes “a dangerous road” toward the intermingling of church and state.

From here on, we’ll describe the contents of their article, without quoting it. The “Baptist expert” they’re talking about is Brent Walker, executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty. Wikipedia has a write-up on them. It says the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty (BJC) is an education and advocacy association in the United States with a number of Baptist denominations. Also:

The BJC restricts its activities to a small number of issues relating to religious liberty and the separation of church and state: church electioneering, civil religion, free exercise, government funding, political discourse, public prayer, and religious displays. On all of these issues, the organization supports a balanced approach that broadly interprets both the free exercise and no establishment clauses of the First Amendment.

Although the BJC works with 15 different Baptist organizations, that list doesn’t include the Southern Baptist Convention, a large creationist denomination. As we know, creationists seem to have an insatiable desire to exercise political power to legitimize their beliefs and have them taught in government-run schools.

Okay, back to the Baptist News Global article. It tells us that Walker thinks State Question 790 would be harmful. For example, if churches started receiving state funds, they could lose their exemption from laws that prohibit employment discrimination. Interesting, but we doubt that it will cause creationists to abandon their desire to control the state legislature.

There was once a time when Baptists were delighted with separation of church and state — but that was long ago, when they were a tiny denomination. Here’s a link to Jefferson’s famous 1802: Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptists, which sets forth his understanding of the First Amendment. He wrote:

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.

Will all that be thrown away in Oklahoma? It depends on how organized and fanatical the creationists are in that state. We shall soon found out.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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