Category Archives: Evolution

Oook, Oook! Ken Ham and Harambe

By now, everyone has heard about Harambe, the 17-year-old silverback gorilla that was fatally shot by zoo officials after a four-year-old boy slipped into the ape’s enclosure. It’s not the sort of thing we write about here, but we can’t overlook an article by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else.

Hambo’s post is Cincinnati Zoo and the Gorilla: A Biblical Perspective. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

The news that a gorilla was shot and killed at the Cincinnati Zoo to save the life of a four-year-old boy who slipped into the gorilla enclosure has hit the world news. Here in our Cincinnati area, it’s currently the main topic of discussion on radio talk shows, TV newscasts, and other media.

It’s even bigger news than Hambo’s “replica” of Noah’s Ark. Let’s read on:

Many people are stating that zoo officials made the right decision, yet others say the gorilla should not have been shot. Some blame the zoo; others blame the child’s mother. Now nobody on our staff was there to see what happened.

Ah, then to the ultimate creationist question, Were you there?, Hambo’s answer is “No.” We therefore approach what follows with considerable skepticism:

However, I have no doubt that a world-class zoo like this one, which I have visited dozens of times, had prepared for the possibility of an encounter between a wild animal and a zoo visitor. From my vantage point, the zoo professionals involved made the best decision they could, given the circumstances.

But how can he know that? He wasn’t there! Hambo continues:

From a biblical perspective, there are some comments we can make.

Ah, Hambo turns to the greatest authority of all! He makes four comments about what’s in scripture. We’ll attempt to summarize:

[S]in has affected the entire universe and all life, including the behavior of gorillas! … When God created Adam and Eve, He gave humans dominion over all the animals … . After the Flood, God reiterated this role of dominion. … Humans were made very different from the animals, in that humans were made in the image of God … .

With that to guide him, Hambo says:

So working from the perspective of a biblical worldview, I would state the following regarding the gorilla incident at the Cincinnati Zoo:

He then makes four statements. Again, we’ll try to summarize them:

The young boy (unlike the gorilla, which is just an animal) is made in the image of God and is a human being who has a soul that will live forever. … We cannot impose human emotion/morality on a gorilla — it is not made in the image of God. We should not anthropomorphically assume that the gorilla’s decency would have kept him from harming the boy in the enclosure had the zoo professionals not intervened so quickly. … Therefore when deciding what to do in a situation where a human being, made in God’s image, is in the control of a sin-cursed animal with no sense of human morality, we must do all we can to protect the child from harm.

Impressive, huh? Here’s more:

We are all saddened by such an event when an animal is killed and a child is harmed. But it is a reminder that we do live in a fallen world — and a reminder of the value of each human life made in the image of God. It’s also a reminder to me of the people who complain about an animal dying but inconsistently support or condone the murdering of 58 million children by abortion in America since Roe v. Wade!

That was brilliant! Who but Hambo could bring the topic of abortion into this zoo incident? And he did it with a dazzling display of flawless bible logic! Here’s one last excerpt:

And while it is sad that such a magnificent animal had to die, I praise God that the boy — who is made in the image of God — was saved from the gorilla. We hope that as the boy grows up he will be saved by the Lord Jesus Christ for eternity in heaven.

Your confusion is ended, dear reader. Now, thanks to Hambo, you know how to think about the Harambe incident.

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

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Creationists and Bathrooms

Creationist voyeurism

Creationist voyeurism

Six months ago, when we wrote David McConaghie: Conviction Upheld on Appeal, we thought we had seen the last of that creationist preacher, political activist, and convicted pervert. We had been posting about his depravity for three years — since we first wrote Creationist Suspected of Bathroom Voyeurism, where we described his preaching and political activities.

But as with everything else about creationism, old issues never seem to go away. As you know, creationists are not only obsessed with sex — in all its varieties — but they also care deeply about what goes on in bathrooms. Ever since McConaghie’s trial, the subject of bathrooms has become of increasing importance — at least to creationists.

It was only last month that we wrote Ken Ham: Bathrooms and the Bible. Ol’ Hambo has never, to our knowledge, discussed the bathrooms on Noah’s Ark, but there were undoubtedly separate facilities, clearly marked, for men and women aboard that spacious, sea-worthy vessel.

It’s unfortunate that McConaghie didn’t have the benefit of current headlines about bathrooms to guide him, because he might have presented a credible defense, claiming that he was supervising bathrooms to assure that only the appropriate gender was using the facilities in which he concealed his camera, and that he did this — not for personal titillation — but to save Darwinists from the Lake of Fire.

Anyway, as one of our readers mentioned in a comment to an earlier thread, McConaghie is back in the news. In the Belfast Newsletter, a major newspaper in Northern Ireland, we read Voyeuristic ex-DUP adviser’s defence cost public purse £5,673. They don’t have a comments feature. Here are some excerpts from the news, with bold font added by us:

The trial of a former DUP [Democratic Unionist Party] adviser who was convicted of voyeurism after he placed a hidden camera in a constituency office toilet cost the public purse £5,673 in legal aid payments.

That’s $8,302.36 in US dollars. It’s surprising that such a politically prominent creationist preacher would need public aid, but we don’t know his financial situation or the conditions for such aid in Northern Ireland. Then we’re told:

After a failed appeal by the one-time prominent member of the Independent Orange Order and the Caleb Foundation, McConaghie began a three-month jail sentence in December. At the time, the judge told McConaghie: “The court expresses its revulsion toward your behaviour. You have shown no remorse.”

That’s old news. Then we’re told how those fees were allocated for both the trial and the appeal, but we can skip such unnecessary detail. The only other matter of interest is this:

The Courts Service said that the payments were “standard fees”.

We’ve been wrong before, but now we really think this is our last post about McConaghie. However, we’re confident that creationists will be providing us with additional entertainment regarding their intense interest in our private biological functions.

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

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Ken Ham: How To Find Alien Life

The unique nature of the Earth is a constant biblical theme, and it’s quite understandable. Our world is the only one the bible authors knew, because they couldn’t see anything else. The rest of the universe was just lights in the sky.

In spite of everything we’ve learned since Galileo used a telescope to make astronomical observations, creationists continue to insist on the biblical view. Although they grudgingly admit that planets are actual worlds — not only those that orbit the Sun, but also those recently discovered to orbit other stars — they insist that Earth is unique.

There is no one better to discuss this than Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. He’s the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia, famed not only for his creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG), but also for the infamous, mind-boggling Creation Museum, and for building an exact replica of Noah’s Ark.

We have already mentioned that Ken Ham Adopts the Privileged Planet Doctrine, where we quoted him saying:

Evolutionists are desperate to show that earth is just one of thousands of earth-like planets that could potentially support life. After all, if life just happened to evolve here, then it must have happened in many other places by natural processes. In their view, we can’t be unique or special because we’re just a cosmic accident. If our planet is the only planet supporting life, then the idea of evolution is called into question.

Today, Hambo continues that theme in Research Confirms There’s No Planet Like Earth? Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis and his scripture references omitted:

For years, researchers, who cling to a belief that life must have evolved elsewhere in the universe, have looked for extraterrestrial life. Recently, much of this research has been focused on trying to find “Earth 2.0,” a planet orbiting a distant star (called an exoplanet) that has similar qualities to earth. But such a planet remains elusive.

Hambo is keeping his fingers crossed. He says:

Scientists have discovered thousands of exoplanets, with thousands more waiting to be confirmed; yet a recent article states that “none of the 2,325 confirmed alien worlds so far, however, appears to be like Earth.” Despite all we’ve learned about the universe and all the research that’s been done on exoplanets, earth continues to stand out as unique and special.

Can you imagine the terror experienced by creationists every time they encounter news about the latest astronomical discoveries? But when they realize that we haven’t yet found life on an extra-solar planet, they rejoice, knowing that their dogma is still safe — at least for a while longer. Hambo boasts:

Of course, this should not surprise those who start with a biblical worldview. Earth was uniquely created and formed to be inhabited (Isaiah 45:18).

But the search has only begun. As we recently wrote in Oh No! Still More Planets Found:

NASA’s Kepler mission has verified 1,284 new planets – the single largest finding of planets to date. … n the newly-validated batch of planets, nearly 550 could be rocky planets like Earth, based on their size. Nine of these orbit in their sun’s habitable zone, which is the distance from a star where orbiting planets can have surface temperatures that allow liquid water to pool. With the addition of these nine, 21 exoplanets now are known to be members of this exclusive group. … Of the nearly 5,000 total planet candidates found to date, more than 3,200 now have been verified, and 2,325 of these were discovered by Kepler.

Ol’ Hambo isn’t bothered by that — not even a little. He tells us:

But this new research is a big problem for those who hold to a naturalistic, evolutionary worldview. …. In this view, earth cannot be special — life just randomly happened to originate here. Yet earth continues to appear to be uniquely suited and designed for life while other planets are barren and inhospitable.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Hambo never gets around to explaining, or even guessing at, the purpose of all those other planets. Then he says something surprising:

We are not alone in the universe.

What? Does Hambo know something NASA doesn’t? Let’s read on:

We are constantly being upheld by the One who created and upholds the universe.

Oh. Of course. Then he gives some advice to the astronomers:

Instead of seeking for a twin to earth and intelligent alien life, these researchers should seek the Creator who loves them and died for them.

He finishes with a bit of a promotion:

Drop by our Creation Museum and watch our excellent planetarium programs that declare God’s handiwork in the universe.

So there you are, dear reader. There really is an intelligent alien out there, but the astronomers are looking in all the wrong places.

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

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Discovery Institute: Their 2014 Tax Return

Every time we post one of these, we warn you that your Curmudgeon has neither the skill nor enthusiasm needed for reading tax returns. All we can do is give you what we see as the highlights. Therefore, don’t rely on our interpretation — you should reach your own opinions. With that disclaimer, we bring you the thrilling news that the latest tax return of the Discovery Institute is now available — you can see it here: Discovery Institute Form 990 for 2014 (it’s a 46-page pdf file).

So you can make comparisons, we discussed their 2005 return in Discovery Institute: Who and What Are They?, and then Discovery Institute: Their 2006 Tax Return, and then Discovery Institute: Their 2007 Tax Return, and then Discovery Institute Tax Returns: 2008 & 2009, and then their 2010 tax return, and then their 2011 Tax Return, and then their 2012 Tax Return, and most recently their 2013 Tax Return.

The first item of interest on the 2014 tax return is the Discoveroids’ gross revenue — from “contributions and grants,” ignoring revenue from relatively trivial items like investment income. Here’s what the latest return shows, with historical information from their older returns described in our earlier posts:

2014: $4,698,817
2013: $3,876,700
2012: $4,964,321
2011: $5,433,226
2010: $4,323,149
2009: $4,509,577
2008: $5,179,188
2007: $4,256,588
2006: $4,165,847
2005: $2,784,188

The 2014 return shows a whopping increase of $822,177 from the previous year! That’s a surprise. Their revenue had been decreasing since 2011, which, as far as we know, was their biggest year ever. We were expecting the downward trend to continue because of some notable developments at the end of last year. As you recall, in November of 2015 we wrote William Dembski Is “Moving On”, and our last post about the Discoveroids in 2015 was Casey Luskin Leaves the Discovery Institute. At the start of this year we wrote Is the Discovery Institute Dying?

We assumed that the yearly decline we were witnessing was the result of decreased funding from their generous patrons, due to the dismal failure of the Discoveroids’ attempts to promote their Academic Freedom bills, which have been enacted only in Louisiana and Tennessee, and also because a total failure to achieve any of the goals outlined in their Wedge strategy, which we described in What is the “Wedge Document”?

If there has been a significant fall in their revenue, it won’t show up until they file their tax return for 2015. But we can’t leave the subject of gross revenue without asking a familiar question: After burning through all that money – $44 million in the 10 years we’ve displayed above — what do the Discoveroids have to show for it? As in the past, we leave that as an exercise for you, dear reader.

Let’s continue with what’s revealed in the 2014 return. The next item that interests us is the breakdown of their spending according to activity. That’s disclosed on page 2 of the return. Line 4b says that they spent $318,555 on their transportation work — the sort of thing a respectable think tank would do. It’s about 10% more that last year’s $296,961, but significantly less than the $461,873 spent on transportation for 2012. The year before that they spent $832K on transportation. Whether there’s any trend here isn’t immediately apparent, but transportation is trivial compared to what they spend on promoting creationism. Note that line 4a says they spent $3,205,253 on the Center for Science and Culture (the CSC) — more than ten times what they spend on transportation. The CSC is their creationism “think tank,” and it’s obviously the principal function of the Discovery Institute.

Line 4d discloses an expenditure of $376,545 for “Other program services.” Those are described in Schedule O. We jumped to that schedule, where we see a bunch of vague verbiage, including: OTHER PROGRAMS INCLUDE THE CHAPMAN CENTER FOR CITIZEN LEADERSHIP IS A TRAINING PROGRAM FOR YOUNG PROFESSIONALS INTERESTED IN A CAREER IN PUBLIC AND/OR COMMUNITY SERVICE THE CENTER ENABLES YOUNG LEADERS TO CONSIDER THE FOUNDATIONAL IDEAS OF LEADERSHIP IN A FREE SOCIETY BY CONNECTING THEM WITH MENTORS AND FELLOW YOUNG LEADERS THROUGH SEMINARS, LECTURES, AND FELLOWSHIP PROGRAMS. … THE BIOETHICS PROGRAM EXAMINES A CONSTELLATION OF ISSUES SUCH AS ASSISTED SUICIDE AND EUTHANASIA, EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH, HUMAN GENETIC MANIPULATION, HUMAN CLONING,AND ANIMAL RIGHTS ISSUES THE RELIGION, LIBERTY, AND PUBLIC LIFE PROGRAM EXAMINES THE PROPER ROLE 0F RELIGION IN A FREE SOCIETY.

What’s all that? We don’t know, but it sounds like a Discoveroid recruiting and training program. If so, it increases the percentage of Discoveroid funding for their creationist activities. Even if we’re wrong about that, there’s still no doubt that promoting creationism is the Discoveroids’ primary purpose.

Page 7 lists their officers, directors, etc., and it discloses their compensation. Looking at the Directors first, they list Stephen Meyer. This year he was paid $200,000, plus $15,949 “other compensation,” essentially the same as last year. In 2012 he was paid $180K, plus $15,783 for “other.” The year before that he was paid $150K plus $16K “other.”

Bruce Chapman, Chairman, was paid $122,906, and nothing for “other.” Last year it was $133,646, plus $5,950 “other” compensation. The year before (2012) it was $135K plus $4,855 “other,” and in 2011 it was $154K plus $8K “other.” Chappy’s pay keeps getting cut.

Howard Ahmanson continues to be listed as one of their directors, without compensation. It’s long been known that he’s a patron of the Discovery Institute. There are about ten other directors listed. They receive no compensation so we assume they’re also patrons, but we really don’t know.

No one else on the list of officers or directors received anything, except someone named Steven Buri. He’s listed as President, and he was paid $144,200. It’s noteworthy that John West no longer appears as a director, but he’s listed on the next page as Vice President. He was paid $120,000.

Now we’re going to skip a lot of pages until we get to the schedules attached to the tax return. Schedule I on page 36 lists the grants they’ve made. They gave $324,500 to “Biologic.” It was $285,680 on the 2013 return, and $291,300 the year before. We assume that’s their own creation science lab — Biologic Institute.

On the next page they disclose that they paid $309,159 for 9 CSC “fellowships.” That’s an average of $34K each. The return for 2013 showed that they paid $295,531 for 7 CSC “fellowships,” an average of $42K each. Those are the Discoveroid “fellows” we hear so much about. Also this year they paid $93,000 for something they call a “technology fellowship” (they paid the same thing for one of those the year before). In addition to that, they paid $79,050 for 2 WPM fellowships (whatever they are), and $279,80 for 2 “other” fellowships.

There must be other information buried in the 46 pages of that form, but we can’t look at it any more. If you find something of interest, please let us know.

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

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