Category Archives: Evolution

Discovery Institute — More S. Dakota Desperation

When we recently wrote Discovery Institute — Desperate in South Dakota?, we weren’t joking about our title. It really did seem to us as if the Discoveroids were worried about the fate of their South Dakota Creationism Bill for 2017.

Now we found some more evidence. It’s a press release titled South Dakota Scientist Applauds Academic Freedom Legislation As Means To Foster Critical Thinking, issued by PR Newswire, which describes itself as: “the leading global provider of marketing and communications solutions that let you optimize and distribute multimedia content to actively engage all key audiences, across all traditional, digital, social and mobile channels, anywhere in the world.”

Amusingly, there’s no mystery about the origin of this “news.” Right below the title, the press release says: “News provided by Discovery Institute.” The contents of the press release weren’t being published by the press as actual news, so the Discoveroids decided to pay for the publicity. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

This year, South Dakota has an opportunity to encourage more scientific inquiry in the classroom, according to Discovery Institute. The legislature is considering an academic freedom bill, introduced by Senator Jeff Monroe. SB 55 says: …

We already know what it says. SENATE BILL NO. 55 is titled: “An Act to protect the teaching of certain scientific information.” As we said before:

It’s a typical example of the Discovery Institute’s Academic Freedom bill. We’ve critiqued their model bill here: Curmudgeon’s Guide to “Academic Freedom” Laws.

Then the press release says:

“SB 55, under consideration by the South Dakota legislature, is a promising step forward for South Dakota science education,” said William S. Harris, PhD. Dr. Harris is the President of OmegaQuant Analytics, LLC (Sioux Falls, SD), and an NIH-funded biomedical researcher with over 300 scientific publications.

Hey, the Discoveroids found someone to promote their bill. But who is William S. Harris, PhD? And what is OmegaQuant Analytics, LLC? Their website says:

In 2004, Dr. Harris and his colleague Dr. Clemens von Schacky, a cardiologist and researcher in Munich, Germany, proposed the “Omega-3 Index” as a new risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and in 2009 Dr. Harris founded OmegaQuant Analytics, LLC, to offer the test to researchers, clinicians and the public. … OmegaQuant performs fatty acid analysis in Sioux Falls, SD for commercial and academic researcher collaborators, and for consumers interested in monitoring their nutritional status in both blood and breast milk.

The fatty acid test facility’s website also provides some information about William S. Harris, PhD:

Dr. Harris is an internationally recognized expert on omega-3 fatty acids and how they can benefit patients with heart disease. … Dr. Harris is a Professor in the Department of Medicine in the Sanford School of Medicine at the University of South Dakota, and the President and CEO of OmegaQuant.

Not quite an expert on evolution, but he performs a useful service. So do creationist dentists. The Discoveroids’ press release gives us an example of his thinking:

“Scientific controversy over the ability of Darwin’s version of evolution (i.e., natural selection acting blindly on random mutations) to explain the expanse of life on this planet continues to grow with each new revelation of the exceeding complexity of even the “simplest” life forms, not to mention humans,” Harris said. “In my view, it is very important for today’s students to understand the evidence for and against important scientific theories like Darwinism and to honestly consider challenges even to such long-held dogmas.”

Darwinism is a “long-held dogma”? Wow — the Discoveroids have a real winner here. How did they find him? Being experienced in such matters, your Curmudgeon checked the the woeful list of Darwin-doubters run by the Discovery Institute — A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism. The 900 or so who have signed it are approximately 3/4 of 1% of the scientists represented by those who have signed the National Center for Science Education’s Project Steve — see ‘Project Steve’ Now Has 1,400 Steves.

Additionally, the Discoveroids are far less selective than NCSE in choosing their signatories. The Discoveroids’ list includes a significant number of MDs, dentists, engineers, meteorologists, industrial hygiene specialists, nutritionists, philosophers, political “scientists,” sociologists, and such. On the other hand, everyone on NCSE’s list of Steves has a PhD, and a majority of them are in a biological field.

Those who sign the Discoveroids’ list agree with this statement: “We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.” Harris’ name is on the list. He’s described as “Ph.D. Nutritional Biochemistry.”

There’s not much more to the press release. They quote Harris again:

“South Dakota students can only benefit from such an approach – and hopefully, legislators will seize this occasion to promote scientific inquiry,” added Harris.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Yes, exposing the kiddies to Discoveroid propaganda can only be beneficial.

Okay, that’s enough. Now then, will this kind of artificial publicity help the South Dakota bill get passed into law? We shall see.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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An Incredible Creationist Article

This is from a website we’ve never seen before. It’s called The Christian Truther, and they describe themselves as “created by Freedom Fighters and Christian Truthers, we seek to expose the lies and deceit that the powers that be force us to see every day.”

Their article is titled ‘Evilution:’ The Secret Luciferian, Spiritual Origin To One of The Biggest Hoaxes in History – Evolution. The title is a hint of the wonders within. It’s very long, so we’ll just excerpt the fun parts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Since the beginning of time, a war has raged, and while the details have remained similar, the methodology has changed. The Bible dictates this war in perfect detail, and clearly states that God has won. It also clearly states that we as Christians are to be opposed to the ways of the world. The Bible, written over the course of creation and history, has dictated the events of today with such incredible accuracy, that it could not have been authored by man alone. The purpose of this post is to further arm the Christian in dealing with the ways of this world.

Good start, huh? Then they say:

A significant portion of evolution was derived from Charles Darwin and his book “Origin of Species.” Darwin, himself was an agnostic influenced by spiritualists. [Huh?] However, the co-author of the book, Alfred Russel Wallace [Huh?], was not agnostic at all; in fact, he was a was a devotee of spiritualism that included pantheism, paganism, occult ideas, and practices. Wallace’s beliefs directly coincide with the New Age Movement, and within the New Age ideology lies an alarming coalition between spiritualism and science. Even further, there is an alarming correlation between Hindu occultism, the New Age movement, and evolution.

You didn’t know that Wallace was Darwin’s co-author, did you? But they’re right about one thing — Wallace was a bit of a spiritualist, and late in life he was strange enough that the Discoveroids consider him a fellow creationist — see Discoveroids Adopt Alfred Wallace as Godfather, and also Klinghoffer Gushes Again About Alfred Wallace. After that, The Christian Truther tells us:

Darwin’s origin of species book also granted Karl Marx the enthusiasm he needed to create the Communist Manifesto.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! In Marx, Stalin, and Darwin, we point out that Marx wrote his Manifesto of the Communist Party in 1848, eleven years before Darwin published Origin of Species in 1859. The Christian Truther continues:

It is incredibly evident that the theory of evolution was the basis for Marxism. In other words, Darwin’s theories have created the belief that humans are not a special species. Instead, it has created the belief that humans are merely animals, which gives rise to the idea that life is not sacred at all, but rather it is disposable.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! As we said in our earlier post:

Communism has a long history. There are numerous passages in the bible encouraging communism. See: Is The Bible’s God a Communist?, which has examples of bible communism, with chapter and verse quotes.

[…]

The concepts [of evolution and communism] don’t mesh; they conflict. Marxism’s maxim: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” is pretty much the opposite of natural selection, according to which only those best adapted to survive will breed the next generation.

Let’s read on:

When humanity is not viewed in a sacred light, it becomes easier to mass murder individuals, Karl Marx proved that. When humanity is not viewed in a sacred light, humans become no more than animals, and it could easily be justified to enslave humanity.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! They don’t know that Darwin was one of the most prominent emancipationists of his generation. Another excerpt:

Science is derived from the word ‘scientia,’ in Latin meaning knowledge; the Bible again describes that knowledge will increase in those days according to Daniel 12:4. Man’s desire for knowledge is what began all of this, in the garden of Eden, according to Genesis 2:16-17 “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Thou shalt eat freely of every tree of the garden, 17 But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt die the death.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Science is sin!

Okay, that’s enough. There’s much more in The Christian Truther article. Go ahead, read it. You won’t learn anything, but it’s amazingly entertaining.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Creative Challenge #37: How To Say ‘Get Lost’

At some point in your life you’re going to be introduced to a creationist. For our purposes, assume that it’s not some stranger with pamphlets knocking at your door, or some raving maniac who approaches you on the street. No one needs to be polite in such cases.

For today’s challenge, the encounter could be at a university, or maybe at some social occasion. The creationist may politely approach you, or be introduced to you, and before long he will announce that he’s a creationist. It may be in the form of a question (“Why do you believe X?”), or it may be something more confrontational (“I’m a creation scientist, not a Darwinist!”) However the encounter occurs, there you’ll be, face to face with one of the incurable droolers — and the circumstances don’t permit you to say: “Get away from me!”

Today’s challenge assumes that: (1) you’re not interested in a futile debate; and (2) you don’t want to be confrontational. You must decide how to disengage from the encounter as rapidly as possible, with as little discord as you can manage.

The form of today’s challenge is that you must tell us, with reasonable brevity:

How do you swiftly and peacefully disengage from a creationist encounter?

You know the rules: You may enter the contest as many times as you wish, but you must avoid profanity, vulgarity, childish anatomical analogies, etc. Also, avoid slanderous statements about individuals. Feel free to comment on the entries submitted by others — with praise, criticism, or whatever — but you must do so tastefully.

There may not be a winner of this contest, but if there is, your Curmudgeon will decide, and whenever we get around to it we’ll announce who the winner is. There is no tangible prize — as always in life’s great challenges, the accomplishment is its own reward. We now throw open the comments section, dear reader. Go for it!

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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AIG Asks: Why Aren’t You a Creationist?

The deep thinkers at Answers in Genesis (AIG) — the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia — are asking a very important qustion: Why Aren’t People Convinced by Facts?

It was written by Avery Foley. AIG says she holds a masters of arts in theological studies from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, which certainly qualifies her to discuss this subject.

Avery begins by referring to this article in Scientific American: How To Convince Someone When Facts Fail: Why Worldview Threats Undermine Evidence, written by Michael Shermer. She quotes Shermer:

Have you ever noticed that when you present people with facts that are contrary to their deepest held beliefs they always change their minds? Me neither. In fact, people seem to double down on their beliefs in the teeth of overwhelming evidence against them. The reason is related to the worldview perceived to be under threat by the conflicting data.

[…]

Creationists, for example, dispute the evidence for evolution in fossils and DNA because they are concerned about secular forces encroaching on religious faith.

Then Avery cleverly says, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Well, let’s turn this thinking around on him. What about those who hold to evolutionary ideas? Do evolutionists listen to facts when they are presented by creationists? Or do they “double down on their beliefs” and “dispute the evidence?” Of course they dispute the evidence because it goes against their deeply held worldview.

Great question! Do you, dear reader, disregard the facts and evidence presented by creationists? After that she tells us:

Shermer argues that facts fail to convince people because of their deeply held beliefs. But he doesn’t apply this same thinking to himself. He doesn’t acknowledge that his interpretation of the facts could be wrong, but just assumes the other group is obstinate and wrong.

Aha — Shermer is a fool! He merely assumes the creationists are wrong. Avery continues:

In reality it is not about the facts. When it comes to creation vs. evolution, the age of the earth, or climate change, the issue is not the facts because these facts (just the observable evidence) don’t speak for themselves. They must be interpreted. Because we were not there at the beginning of the universe, we must interpret the evidence from the past to determine what happened. And we interpret the evidence through our worldview.

She’s right, dear reader. Were you there? Let’s read on:

Evolutionists start with man’s ideas about the past and assume everything is the result of natural processes over time (even though they cannot directly observe, test, or repeat such an idea). Biblical creationists start with God’s Word, the eyewitness account of creation, and use the history provided in God’s Word as a framework for interpreting the past.

Are you feeling a bit less secure, dear reader? Avery isn’t done with you. Here’s another excerpt:

Creationists don’t ignore facts. We interpret them in light of the history from God’s Word. Because we have a different starting point, we come to conclusions different from those of evolutionists looking at the same evidence. And, because God’s Word is true, the evidence we see in the world confirms God’s Word.

Perfectly reasonable! Here’s more:

We’re often asked why more people, especially scientists, aren’t creationists since the evidence confirming a young earth and creation, as described in Genesis, is overwhelming. The Bible even tells us that creation itself testifies to the Creator (Psalm 19) so that “[we] are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). So why don’t more people believe the Bible and creation?

Another good question! Avery’s answer is provided in several bible quotes, including: “Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man — and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.” (Romans 1:18–23).

This is our last excerpt:

One thing Shermer doesn’t acknowledge is that, at its core, this is a spiritual problem. The facts aren’t the problem at all. The real issue is that man is at enmity with God and suppresses the truth in unrighteousness. That’s why, ultimately, facts don’t convince anyone, though those who do seek the Lord and truth will be rewarded [scripture reference].

The problem is you, dear reader. The only reason you’re not a creationist is because you’re evil.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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