Category Archives: Evolution

Oklahoma’s 2015 Creationism Bill — It’s Dead

Creationist bill, road kill

This is the one we wrote about here: Oklahoma Creationism Bill for 2015. It was Senate Bill 665 (MS Word file), fraudulently styled the Oklahoma Science Education Act. The thing was sponsored by Josh Brecheen, a fanatical creationist who does something like this every year.

We included the bill’s text in our earlier post, and it was pretty much what Brecheen proposed last year. Essentially, it “encourages students to explore scientific questions, learn about scientific evidence, develop critical thinking skills and respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about controversial issues.” And it lets teachers present “scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories.” As you undoubtedly recognized, those phrases come from the anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism Academic Freedom Act promoted by the Discovery Institute.

What happened to it? Our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) just posted: Antiscience bill dies in Oklahoma, which says:

Oklahoma’s Senate Bill 667 [sic], which would, if enacted, have deprived administrators of the ability to prevent teachers from miseducating students about “scientific controversies,” died in the Senate Education Committee on February 26, 2015, when a deadline for senate bills to pass committee expired.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! It didn’t even get a hearing or a vote in the committee. (We’re assuming NCSE meant to write about SB 665, otherwise this post makes no sense at all.)

This has been a terrible year for creationist legislation — at least so far. That means it’s been a great year for science and sanity, and a wretched one for the activist creationists at the Discovery Institute who promote this madness.

Of the handful of states that have had such idiocy introduced in their legislatures this year, only Missouri hasn’t decided yet — see Missouri Creationism: New Bill for 2015. That one is still sitting in committee, where it’s had no hearing. Perhaps it’ll just die there, but we won’t know for a while yet.

Also, we’ve mentioned two states that are considering bible bills — the sort of thing we don’t usually write about. Oklahoma is one, and Mississippi Has Two Proposed Bible Bills.

Anyway, as we’ve seen in the time we’ve been blogging, creationist bills keep appearing and then dropping — like putrid drool from the foaming lips of a creation scientist. In most cases it’s not particularly contagious. Only two states have passed such legislation — Louisiana and Tennessee — and the madness they’ve legitimized hasn’t yet been tested in court. So we’re not at all pessimistic, but this nonsense does get tiresome.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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ICR Interviews Astronaut Jeffrey Williams

This one is a big surprise. It’s at the website of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the granddaddy of all creationist outfits, the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom, and it’s titled Above All the Earth.

There’s no way to prepare you for what’s coming, so we’ll just jump right in. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Few can say they’ve left planet Earth. Jeff Williams has done it three times. After a lengthy military career, Colonel Jeffrey N. Williams was chosen from among a handful of candidates to become an astronaut for NASA and work on the International Space Station (ISS). He has been a longtime supporter of ICR and recently visited our headquarters for the first time, graciously allowing us an interview.

Wikipedia has an article about him — Jeffrey Williams. They say: “He earned an engineering degree from the U.S. Military Academy in 1980″ and then “served with the Army at Johnson Space Center from 1987 to 1992″ before becoming a test pilot and then becoming an astronaut. They also say:

Williams is a committed Christian. Following his return from the Expedition 21 mission, he wrote the book The Work of His Hands: A View Of God’s Creation From Space about his experience in space. The book reflects in Williams words the “vivid lessons about the meticulous goodness of divine providence, God’s care for His creation, and His wisdom in ordering the universe.”

At the end of the ICR article, we’re told that he has “an M.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.” Okay, back to the ICR interview. It consists of ICR’s questions and Williams’ (JW) responses:

ICR: Why do you support creation ministries like ICR?

JW: My affinity for organizations like ICR has to do with what I see as [their] commitment to the truth of Scripture and trying to strengthen, in the minds of Christians, a confidence in the Scripture. And, of course, your interest is in the creation account, and the Flood and the early chapters of Genesis, and that science is compatible with the biblical account.

No comment. Let’s read on:

ICR: So you don’t find any conflict between science and your belief in Scripture?

JW: I don’t find a conflict with true science — genuine science with integrity — and the Scriptures. I have found that in all cases where there is a conflict, it’s not a conflict with the science, it’s a conflict with the presupposition going in. … If somebody perceives science to be in conflict with, for example, the early chapters of Genesis, it’s not the science, it’s the presupposition that goes into it. If you have a presupposition that excludes the possibility of a god, that excludes the possibility of supernatural acts, and that [believes] everything has to be explained just with natural processes, then you’ve basically limited what you can let the objective observation of science tell you. That’s where the issue comes in. I presuppose God. And I presuppose the truth of the Scripture.

We’ve seen all this before; but it’s unexpected to see it in an astronaut. The interview continues:

ICR: So, before you even look at the data, you have in mind that miracles could have happened?

JW: I assume a creator. And it’s not just the chance of miracles, the chance of supernatural acts, it’s the truth that He is the Creator, He accomplished His creation as He has revealed to us in the Scripture, in Genesis 1 and 2, and reaffirmed throughout the rest of the Bible.

We’ll have to skip a lot, but here’s something we can’t leave out:

ICR: Can you see any evidence of the Flood from the ISS?

JW: Absolutely. And it’s not just the rising waters. The Scriptures give reference to geological movements and the fountains coming from the deep, and very likely volcanic activity and earthquakes and other things, and shifting of land masses, and when you see the earth from that vantage point you see evidence of all of that, and it looks like it occurred rapidly. It only gives evidence and illustrates the account of Scripture.

One last excerpt from the end:

ICR: Is there anything else you’d like to share with ICR readers?

JW: I appreciate the ministry of ICR. I appreciate the ministry of any organization and individuals who are dedicated to reinforcing the truth of Scripture and encouraging believers to have confidence in the Bible, that it is the truth of God, that it does contain the wisdom of God.

So there you are, dear reader. You can imagine what we think, but we’d like to hear from you.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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An Evolution Poll in Canada

Some bloggers routinely urge their readers to visit newspaper polls and vote, in order to influence the results. We’ve never done that and we’re not doing it now. However …

The London Free Press of London, Ontario has an online poll titled Do you believe in evolution? It offers only two choices — “yes” and “no.” That doesn’t leave much room for ambiguity — or theological sophistication.

Yes, we know — you can object to the word “believe” in that context, but it doesn’t matter. That’s the way the question is worded, so those who respond will have to choose one or the other.

You can view the results. There have been only about 1,400 votes so far, but the sane side is winning handily. The day is young, however.

The reason we’re calling your attention to the poll is that the newspaper has a comments feature at the end. There are 57 comments already, and some of them are amusing. Definitely worth a look.

As for voting, it doesn’t matter. We imagine websites on both sides of the issue will be urging their readers to get over there to move the results in their favor, but your Curmudgeon is above that kind of thing. Our viewpoint is cosmic, so we’ll just sit back and watch the fun.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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Rev. David Rives: Germ Theory Is Biblical

The Drool-o-tron™ is still on the job. We were trying to get some work done, but its sirens and flashing lights were too demanding to ignore.

The blinking letters of its wall display said WorldNetDaily (WND). Our computer was locked onto WND’s presentation of the latest video by the brilliant and articulate leader of David Rives Ministries.

WND’s headline is Bible command tied to microbiology?, and it has a tantalizing sub-title: “David Rives reveals God’s wisdom beating science by millennia.” Wowie! But the rev has his own title for the video, which is Break the pot! We had to take a look.

The rev tells us that Leviticus 11:33 (King James version, of course) says:

And every earthen vessel, whereinto any of them falleth, whatsoever is in it shall be unclean; and ye shall break it.

Then the rev explains why the pot must be broken, which anticipates the germ theory of disease by thousands of years! That’s amazing! Leviticus 11 also has lots of dietary rules about what can and can’t be eaten, but the rev doesn’t waste your time with any of that.

You don’t want to miss this one. The rev is wearing his bible-boy suit, and there’s no doubt about it — he’s the cutest rev you’ve ever seen! The video is his usual 90-second presentation — before the commercial. Go ahead, click over to WND and watch it.

As we always do with the rev’s videos, we dedicate the comments section for your use as an Intellectual Free Fire Zone. You know the rules. Okay, the comments are open. Go for it!

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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