Category Archives: Evolution

AIG: Why the Young Universe Looks Old

This is another reprint from Answers in Genesis (AIG) — the ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo). Today’s oldie-goldie is from 1995, but it’s still good, because their stuff is timeless. The title is Creation and the Appearance of Age.

The author is David Menton — that’s a link to AIG’s bio page about him. And this is his write-up at the Encyclopedia of American Loons: David Menton. Okay, here are some excerpts from his old essay, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

I am often asked if I really believe that God created everything in six, literal, 24-hour days — and I freely confess that I do find it difficult to believe uch a thing. Why, I wonder, would God spend an entire six days doing a miracle that would require of Him literally no time at all? … Still, the Bible clearly reveals God took six whole days to initially create everything to perfection; so, we must either take God at His Word, or presume to stand in judgment of all Scripture.

No one would dare to do that! Then he says:

Some Christians seem to have just the opposite problem with six-day creation — they find it difficult to believe that God could get the job done in only six ordinary days. They prefer to believe that the days of Creation were vastly longer than 24 hours — even over a billion years longer!

They’re fools! After that he tells us:

Still other Christians do not seem to doubt that God could have created everything in six ordinary days, yet insist that He didn’t because the universe just looks older than that. They point out that expert cosmologists have concluded that the universe gives every appearance of being at least 12 billion years old, and that the earth appears to be about 4.5 billion years old. … Is God then trying to fool us, or perhaps testing our faith by making things appear older than they really are?

This is so confusing! David continues:

The appearance of age in the things that God created is a much-debated issue in contemporary Christian scientific circles. Can God — or more accurately — would God create something that at the very moment of its creation has the appearance of age? The short answer to this question may be: How else? How, indeed, could God create anything that did not appear to us to be aged (like a fine wine) at the moment of its creation.

Huh? If he wanted creation to look new, then it would look new. What’s going on here? Let’s read some more:

Think of any one thing that our omnipotent God might instantly create out of nothing by the power of His Word. [Skipping some examples.] Maybe you thought of a visible star — depending on its distance from the earth, its light might appear to have been traveling for over a billion years to reach your eyes. All of these things would have the appearance of age and an ongoing process at the very moment of their creation.

Ah, that’s David’s solution to the distant starlight problem. Another excerpt:

Nowhere is the appearance of age and pre-existing process more interesting than in the sudden creation of the first human being. The Bible tells us that Adam was completely formed (presumably as an adult) before there was ever a woman on the earth. At the very moment of his creation, Adam would surely have appeared to us to be the product of a long growth and development process. … It’s no wonder that for centuries artists have been at a loss to portray just what the first couple’s abdominal region looked like — did they or did they not have a belly button? (You will note that artists generally avoided the whole issue by conveniently covering their midsections with nearby foliage.)

We’re left wondering about Adam’s belly button. Here’s more:

This whole line of thinking gets us into what is called a “first cause” problem. We live in a “cause and effect” world, where every action causes a reaction and is itself the result of a previous action. Everything appears to be an ongoing process for which we are incapable of really grasping a beginning. This is all popularly expressed in the age-old question: “What came first, the chicken or the egg?” If we say the chicken, we will be asked from whence the chicken came; yet if we say the egg, we will be asked from whence the egg — and so round and round we go. Somewhere, there had to be a beginning to this cyclical process we call the chicken and the egg. The Bible tells us that God created every bird out of nothing on the fifth day of the creation week, and that they have been reproducing after their kind ever since [scripture reference].

Is you head spinning, dear reader? Don’t worry about it. Just keep reading:

Of course, none of this will satisfy the crass materialists who will demand to know where God came from and will scream foul if you tell them that God is eternal. … If you ask the materialists where the material of the Big Bang came from, they will either tell you it came into existence out of nothing, or it’s eternal!

You can’t argue with those people! And now we come to the end:

We may conclude that the Lord is captive to neither time nor process. The Psalmist says of God, “For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past” [scripture reference]. How much time after all does a yesterday take?

David has solved the problem. It’s quite simple, really. You gotta believe!

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Discoveroids Denounce the Church of Naturalism

We’ve seen ol’ Hambo claim that Evolution Is a Religion. Now that theme is being adopted by the Discovery Institute.

They just posted How Naturalism Morphed into a State Religion, written by Denyse O’Leary. This is her bio page at the Discoveroids’ website, which also has a charming photo of her. We’re told: “She received her degree in honors English language and literature.” Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Key naturalist doctrines such as the multiverse cannot be established on the basis of evidence. As we have seen, however, naturalists (nature is all there is) are gradually becoming comfortable with setting aside the decision-making tools of science, such as testability, falsifiability, and Occam’s razor, in favor of acceptance of consensus. And they are happy to dismiss reason.

[*Groan*] We’ve never seen a poll of scientists showing how many actually accept the idea of Multiverse. Wikipedia’s write-up has an impressive list of both proponents and skeptics, and a good summary of arguments against the concept — e.g., there’s no evidence for it, and the idea is inherently untestable. It’s an understatement to say that the multiverse is far from an accepted theory. Denyse, however, treats it as if it were unquestioned bedrock science. And so, with the “key naturalist doctrine” of the multiverse as her main argument, she says:

Thus naturalism becomes a state church. Serious challenges to naturalism, no longer defensible on such discredited bases as evidence or reason, must be regarded as both treachery and heresy because no separation of church and state is envisioned.

The Discoveroid essay is not only huge, it’s also painful to read, so we’ll just skim it for the wildest parts. Denyse tells us:

Admittedly, naturalism differs from most religions in its disdain for evidence in principle. … By contrast, most religions have been established and defended on the basis of evidence. The evidence is often rejected by others or, at any rate, not considered decisive, but few have thought that they did not need any evidence.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh yeah, but creationism, including intelligent design, is solidly supported by evidence. She asks:

Can naturalism reject all need for evidence or reason and still thrive as a state religion? If history can repeat itself, let’s keep an eye on some straws in the wind. We can see if any large number of them are blowing in any one direction and if their numbers increase over time.

Here are some of her “straws in the wind”:

Reluctance to face institutional corruption or doctrinal problems honestly.We commonly hear, for example, that “science is self-correcting!” A more honest appraisal shows that there is no “uniform self-correcting mechanism.” If there were such a mechanism, a non-naturalist explanation would probably be required, along the lines of divine providence.

[…]

Ruling out of order evidence that challenges the system. For example, the fact that we live at a time in the universe that is optimal for science observation is treated as one of a vast chain of coincidences rather than evidence for fine-tuning of the universe for life because, irrespective of quantity, quality, or specificity, there can be no evidence for fine-tuning, by decree. But the multiverse can be promoted openly, a metaphysical concept, without evidence.

Ignoring failures that are an explicit consequence of the doctrines espoused, vowing, of course, to press on without serious reflection. No meaningful progress has been made in, for example, understanding the origin of life, the human mind, or unique features of human evolution and study of our universe has fostered a swamp of bizarre speculation in order to avoid the fact of fine-tuning.

Science is so messed up! She continues:

None of this would matter much if naturalism were the sort of state church that just decays quietly without incident. Unfortunately, its ambitions (explaining the cosmos and the human mind in natural terms, for example) are unreachable. The resulting frustration leads directly to the persecution of doubters and dissenters as traitors and heretics. They, rather than the church, must be to blame.

That explains the difficulties the Discoveroids are having. Here’s more:

[A]s we have seen, naturalism today means, among other things, proceeding without evidence. It’s not hard to see why the naturalist finds traditional theists and other non-naturalists a problem: Theists tend to be modern rather than post-modern and to believe that evidence, reason, and choices are real and that they matter. They are implicit enemies of the post-modern naturalist project. The controversies cannot simply subside; one side or the other must win.

Scientists are not only irrational, they’re totally ruthless. Let’s skip to the end of this mess:

In other words, no threat to science today is in any way comparable to that posed by the state church of post-modern naturalism.

So there you are, dear reader — another brilliant essay from by Denyse O’Leary. Her conclusion? You are the threat to science, and the Discoveroids are bravely struggling to save it.

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

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Something Is Missing

The website Newsmax is described by Wikipedia as:

… an American news and opinion website founded by Christopher Ruddy … described as influential in American conservative circles. In 2015, Newsmax was ranked the third most trafficked political news website in the United States by comScore.

They have a post titled Newsmax’s 100 Most Influential Evangelicals in America, which begins by saying:

Evangelicals come from many different Christian denominations, but they all have a common belief in the holiness of scripture and the centrality of faith in Jesus Christ for their lives. The Pew Research Center estimates that about 25.4 percent of Americans, or about 62 million adults, are evangelicals.

[…]

This Newsmax list of the 100 Most Influential Evangelicals in America includes pastors, teachers, politicians, athletes, and entertainers — men and women from all walks of life whose faith leads them to live differently and to help others in a variety of ways.

Their list includes several names with which you’re probably familiar, a few of whom have been mentioned in our humble blog. Some of those familiar names are: Billy Graham (listed as #1), Mike Huckabee, Jerry Falwell Jr. (current president of Liberty University), Mike Pence (Vice President of the US), Sarah Palin (John McCain’s running mate in 2008), and an ark-load of others.

Number 87 the list is Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), whom they describe like this:

A speaker and authority on biblical creationism, Ham founded Answers in Genesis ministry, which built the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky.

Listed above Hambo as #64 is Eric Metaxas, who is often featured at the Discovery Institute’s creationist blog. Hey — speaking of the Discoveroids, way up in the top half of the Newsmax list, at #44, we find this:

Howard and Roberta Ahmanson — This wealthy financier couple has funded faith-based projects including intelligent design research, many Christian higher learning institutions, and other prominent Christian organizations.

Did you get that? They said: “faith-based projects including intelligent design research.” As you know, Howard Ahmanson is one of the generous patrons of the Discoveroids, and he also appears on their Board of Directors.

Newsmax introduced their list by saying that it included “pastors, teachers, politicians, athletes, and entertainers — men and women from all walks of life.” But something’s missing. Can you guess what it is?

One your Curmudgeon’s peculiar talents is noticing what doesn’t exist. It’s not easy to see what isn’t there, but often the thing that’s missing is very revealing, so we try to be aware of things that don’t exist when we perhaps they should. (It’s like Sherlock Holmes and the dog that didn’t bark in Silver Blaze).

Come on, this one is easy. There are no scientists on the Newsmax list. Not one! Make of it what you will, dear reader.

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ICR: One Dinosaur Disproves Evolution

This is a fascinating example of the creationist mind at work. First, some background. PhysOrg has this article from last month: ‘Mega-carnivore’ dinosaur roamed southern Africa 200 million years ago, which says:

An international team of scientists has discovered the first evidence that a huge carnivorous dinosaur roamed southern Africa 200 million year ago. The team, which includes researchers from The University of Manchester, University of Cape Town, South Africa, and Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil, have found several three-toed footprints measuring 57cm long and 50cm wide.

[…]

The footprints belong to a new species, named Kayentapus ambrokholohali, which is part of the group of dinosaurs called “megatheropod”. The term “Megatheropods” describes the giant two-legged carnivorous dinosaurs, such as the iconic Tyrannosaurus rex (T. rex) which fossil evidence shows was around 12 metres long.

[…]

[T]hese footprints date back to the Early Jurassic epoch, when it was thought the size of most theropod dinosaurs was considerably smaller. On average they were previously thought to be around three to five metres in body length, with some records showing they may have reached seven metres at the very most. It is only much later in the Jurassic and during the Cretaceous, which starts 145 million years ago, that truly large forms of theropods, such as T. rex, appear in body and trace fossil records.

Dr Lara Sciscio, postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Cape Town, said: ‘This discovery marks the first occurrence of very large carnivorous dinosaurs in the Early Jurassic of southern Gondwana – the prehistoric continent which would later break up and become Africa and other landmasses. This makes it a significant find. Globally, these large tracks are very rare. There is only one other known site similar in age and sized tracks, which is in Poland.’

Okay, we know what you’re thinking: What can a creationist do with that?” Watch and be amazed, dear reader. This is at the website of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR): Dinosaurs, Always Dinosaurs . It was written by Frank Sherwin, M.A. (Note that he touts his Master’s degree.) At the end of the article he’s described as “Research Associate, Senior Lecturer, and Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.” Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

PLOS ONE reported the recent discovery of a megatheropod—a large, two-legged dinosaur much like a T. rex — in Africa.

This is the published paper. ‘Mega-carnivore’ dinosaur roamed southern Africa 200 million years ago. It’s what PhysOrg reported about. Sherwin says:

This discovery is important for two reasons: the first is the simple fact that, once again, it was a discovery of a 100% dinosaur — in this case, a species of the familiar theropod kind — not some transitional creature. Creationists maintain dinosaurs were created on Day 6 of the creation week. Therefore, it would not be surprising to find dinosaurs have always been dinosaurs. They did not evolve from a non-dinosaur (i.e., reptilian) ancestor.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! It wasn’t transitional. After that he tells us:

The second reason is that its great size, physical location, and age were all unexpected from an evolutionary standpoint. Paleontologists expected a considerably smaller theropod dinosaur in sediments dated by evolutionists to be of the Early Jurassic epoch around “200 million years ago.” Such was not the case — they found a giant creature.

[Gasp!] It was big! Sherwin continues:

Creationists maintain the geologic column is not millions of years old but was laid down rapidly during the Flood only thousands of years ago, so this fossil certainly wasn’t unexpected to us.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Nothing surprises a creationist, because everything is evidence of Oogity Boogity! And now we come to the end:

Good science shows that dinosaurs have always been dinosaurs, and we look forward to more “unexpected” discoveries!

Why don’t they get out there and look for human and dinosaur fossils together in the same stratum? It’s what they should expect, yet no one has ever found anything like that. Why?

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