Category Archives: Evolution

Casey: Intelligent Design in Resurgence

Casey Luskin, our favorite creationist, has found another website willing to post his essays. It’s CNS News, part of the Media Research Center, founded by L. Brent Bozell III. Bozell is the nephew of the late William F. Buckley. They posted one of Casey’s essays at least once before — see Another Conservative Group Goes Creationist.

The title of Casey’s latest is Intelligent Design in Resurgence Just Ten Years After Damning Dover Decision. They have an active comments section.

Casey’s essay is a rehash of dozens of his earlier posts at the Discoveroids’ creationist blog, many of which we wrote about before, but his claims may be new to readers of the CNS News website. All we’ll do here is excerpt just enough to give you a hint of what Casey is saying. Some bold font was added by us for emphasis:

In December 2005, a federal judge in Pennsylvania declared intelligent design (ID) a “religious viewpoint” that is unconstitutional to teach in public schools. Predictably, critics who backed the Kitzmiller v. Dover lawsuit jubilantly declared the “death” of ID. Now that we’re approaching the ten year anniversary of the case, we can count on the media to again proclaim a great triumph for Darwinian evolution and secularism. Reality, however, is very different.

What Discoveroids like Casey refer to as reality is a creationist fantasy-land loaded with evidence of their magical designer — blessed be he! — but that evidence is undetectable by the rest of us. And in Casey’s reality, Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District was a bungled decision that is utterly meaningless. He claims:

The Dover ruling was full of errors of fact and law. It badly misdefined intelligent design and ignored peer-reviewed papers and research by ID scientists.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! He makes claims like that all the time — here’s one of several times we’ve written about his efforts: Casey and Kitzmiller — the Case He “Forgot”. Let’s read on:

Such a flawed ruling could never kill ID. But there’s a much stronger sign that ID is alive and well: the many intellectual victories for ID in the past decade.

Ooooooooooooooh — intellectual victories! What were they? Casey explains:

First and foremost, the ID research community has published dozens of pro-ID peer-reviewed scientific papers [link to the Discoveroids’ blog] advancing the scientific case for ID since Dover.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Yes, it’s true, if you count the stuff that appears in BIO-Complexity, their own in-house “journal” — see Discovery Institute: Creationist “Peer-Review”. It’s little more than a blog with geeked-up language, formatted to look like a real science journal. Here’s more:

Even non-ID researchers have unwittingly and decisively confirmed ID predictions since Dover. In 2012, an international consortium of researchers published the ENCODE project, supporting the longstanding ID prediction that “junk DNA” would turn out to have function.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Junk DNA again. We’ve refuted that one too many times already. Moving along:

ID books and videos have also made huge impacts post-Dover. In 2008, over 1.1 million viewers flocked to theatres nationwide to watch “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” a documentary featuring comedian Ben Stein recounting various high profile cases of discrimination against pro-ID scientists.

Good, huh? Then he talks about Stephen Meyer’s books. Evolution has been on the ropes since then! One last excerpt:

Many more successes could be listed, but the point is this: ID has had many recent intellectual “wins,” and rumors of ID’s demise are greatly exaggerated. … Despite what you hear — or don’t hear — in the media, the scientific fundamentals of ID are incredibly sound and the future is looking bright.

So there you are. Casey says intelligent design is thriving! So are astrology, belief in ancient astronauts, Moon landing denial, crop circles, and a number of others. Casey is in good company.

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

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Yes, But Are They Creationists?

The Daily Times of Maryville, Tennessee, located in Blount County, has this headline: ‘Wrath’ resolution tests commission’s faith in democracy. They have a comments feature, but you’ll need to register to use it. Here are some excerpts from the news story, with bold font added by us:

Readers of The Daily Times certainly don’t want or need to be told in this space what religious beliefs to hold. Or whether to believe in any religion, for that matter. Belief is a matter of faith. It certainly is not a matter for a newspaper to advocate.

Is it a matter for government? At a meeting of the Blount County Board of Commissioner’s Agenda Committee, starting 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the courthouse, commissioners are scheduled to consider just that.

What in the world is going on there? We’re told:

Commissioner Karen Miller, in the form of Resolution No 15-10-006, proposes “condemning judicial tyranny and petitioning God’s mercy.” The resolution is a reaction to the June 26 opinion by the U.S. Supreme Court that legalized same-sex marriage throughout the nation.

Lordy, lordy. This humble blog has enough to worry about, so we don’t discuss that kind of marriage here, but a proposed resolution petitioning God’s mercy looks interesting. Let’s read on:

Miller’s resolution, after eight paragraphs beginning with “Whereas,” gets to the essence: “Whereas, we are forced beyond our wishes to comply with what is clearly against our conscience, and violates what the Bill of Rights, both state and federal, give us the right to do … [elipsis in the newspaper]

With a firm reliance upon the providence of Almighty God we the Blount County Legislature call upon all of the officers of the state of Tennessee, the governor, the attorney general, and the members of the Tennessee Legislature, to join us, and utilize all authority within their power to protect natural marriage, from lawless court opinions, and the financial schemes of the enemies of righteousness wherever the source and defend the moral standards of Tennessee.

We adopt this resolution before God that He pass us by in His coming wrath and not destroy our county as He did Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighboring cities. As the Passover Lamb was a means of salvation to the ancient children of Israel, so we stand upon the safety of the Lamb of God to save us.

Wow! After a few quotes from the Founding Fathers about separation of church and state, the news story concludes with this:

It will be interesting to see how the County Commission answers that question.

Interesting indeed! We eagerly await the results. Meanwhile, as our title suggests, we invite your speculation as to whether the good folks of Blount County are creationists. If so, then the County Commission will know what to do. And then, perhaps they’ll be spared the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah.

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

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AIG: Chicken Necks, Dinosaurs, & the Flood

This is bizarre, but that’s what you come here for, isn’t it? A story in Discover magazine, Chickens Help Scientists Study Dinosaur Death Pose tells of a modest research project:

Many dinosaur fossils appear in the same pose, not so much “terrible lizard” as “terrible limbo accident.” Their tails are stretched out and their necks thrown back grotesquely. But it’s not clear why this is. Researchers from the University of Calgary in Canada got a fresh take on the puzzle — or, at least, a recently killed and frozen take — by using dead chickens.

“Chickens are living dinosaurs, as are all birds,” says biologist Anthony Russell. Evolutionarily speaking, a chicken is closer to an extinct dinosaur than a crocodile is. So Russell and his student Adam Bentley, an undergraduate at the time, purchased 15 frozen whole chickens from a local grocery store. After thawing out the birds, the researchers put them to work.


Russell notes that some scientists have tried to replicate the death pose with living birds, but calls these attempts “rather haphazard.” His study shows that a chicken’s anatomy lets it assume the death pose easily. But this doesn’t tell us why all those fossilized animals did it.

Today’s mammals and birds can take on a similar spasming posture, called opisthotonus, during certain kinds of illness or poisoning. Some paleontologists have suggested that the same thing happened to prehistoric dinosaurs: their dramatic fossils capture their death throes. Others have attributed the pose to shrinking neck ligaments after death, or (not very convincingly) to water currents twisting the bodies around.

“Our study showed that the posture, of itself, cannot reveal anything about cause,” Russell says. There may have been multiple ways for dying or dead dinosaurs to end up in the death pose, given how easily their descendants can replicate it.

There’s not much to it, but it’s enough to excite the creation scientists at Answers in Genesis (AIG) — the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo). They just posted Dead Chickens Tell No Tales, Though Journalists Might. The author is Frost Smith , about whom we know nothing. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

If these scientists [link to the article in Discover] shopped at a typical grocery store, they couldn’t do their experiments. Apparently, they looked for chickens with their necks where they should be, and even with their heads still attached, and took pictures of them after pushing their necks around to various stages. Sound a bit macabre? To be fair, they were taking x-rays, not normal pictures, and they were then measuring the angles of the vertebrae connections at the various positions. Why, you ask?

Clever writing, huh? Let’s read on:

Because they think chickens are living (well, dead for the experiments) dinosaurs. They were hoping for insight into why so many fossilized dinosaurs are buried in rock appearing to be in what’s been called the “throes of death” — called the opisthotonic posture — with the long neck extended unnaturally toward the animal’s back.

Stupid scientists — they think birds are related to dinosaurs! The AIG article continues:

But this isn’t the first time scientists have dabbled in dead dinosaurs, er, chickens. Back in 2011, Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell [the the creationist gynecologist who writes for AIG] talked about a similar study where dead chickens were dunked in freshwater and observed to have the trademark neck recoil, apparently in response to the immersion. This has been observed in other studies as well. Of course this makes sense with a biblical Flood burial. But the action of the violent floodwaters, we would argue, is probably more the culprit.

Yes, the Flood is the likeliest reason. Here’s more:

The study being reported on talked primarily about how bird anatomy facilitated the pose, not so much other processes such as water currents that could also be involved. In fact, the study states that the posture “can, in chickens at least, be facilitated simply through the limpness associated with death combined with the imposition of a relatively modest displacing force.” They continue, saying, “it is likely that the various configurations are related to the enormous diversity of causes of death coupled with the circumstances experienced immediately upon death, and relatively shortly thereafter” (emphases added). Water deposition wasn’t exactly ruled out by these scientists!

Aha! — the scientists didn’t rule out the Flood! Moving along:

The only issue we’d have is these scientists assuming (because of their evolutionary beliefs) that chickens are related to dinosaurs. Creationists believe birds (chickens) weren’t even created on the same day as dinosaurs, according to Genesis. Birds were created on Day Five and land animals on Day Six. And from a biblical model of origins, birds came before dinosaurs, not afterwards as evolutionists teach.

So there you are. As we said at the beginning, the research wasn’t much, but AIG managed to put it to good use.

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

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Another Discoveroid Revival Meeting

The Discovery Institute constantly touts their “theory” of intelligent design as a new scientific paradigm — one which goes beyond what they sneeringly refer to as “materialism.” To promote their “science,” they behave in a way that is utterly unlike the way advocates of actual science theories have ever behaved before.

The last century has seen numerous new theories — relativity, the Big Bang, quantum mechanics, plate tectonics, etc., that encountered initial resistance, but which were eventually accepted — after going through the usual ordeals faced by any new theory: (1) publication in peer-reviewed journals; (2) vigorous debates among knowledgeable scientists; and (3) the gradual accumulation of verifiable evidence supporting the new theory, which was incompatible with any competing theory.

The Discoveroids do it differently. First, they concocted their “theory” for obvious legal and religious purposes — see What is the “Wedge Document”?. Second, they embarked on a public relations campaign, including various “documentaries” extolling the alleged virtues of their ‘theory” and the allegedly ruthless tactics of their opponents, who are claimed to be leftists, atheists, materialists, and “Darwin lobbyists.” Third, they attempt to get arguments for their “theory” legislated into public school classrooms — see Curmudgeon’s Guide to “Academic Freedom” Laws.

Another Discoveroid tactic is to build grass-roots support for their “theory” by conducting numerous revivals around the country, usually at churches and bible colleges, but sometimes at rented facilities at universities (which they publicize as university conferences). These events serve an additional purpose — it enables Discoveroid lobbyists to identify local politicians, who are often instrumental in promoting creationist bills in their state legislatures.

The Discoveroids recently announced yet another creationist revival: Register for Christian Scientific Society Conference, Hosted at Discovery Institute, November 13-14. It has no author’s byline. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

The Christian Scientific Society (CSS) is an ID-friendly organization launched by University of Pittsburgh physicist David Snoke to foster discussion among scientists about Christianity and science.

We’ve written about that guy before — see David Snoke: Creationist Physicist? He and Behe co-authored an article, which was mentioned in the Kitzmiller opinion — see Kitzmiller v. Dover: Michael Behe’s Testimony. Back to the Discoveroids’ announcement:

While it’s a Christian group, their conferences are open to the public, and one does not have to be a Christian, or an advocate of intelligent design, to attend. Discovery Institute is pleased to announce that we’ll be hosting their regional conference on November 13-14 at our offices in downtown Seattle. The theme of the meeting will be “What is Information?”

What is “information”? BWAHAHAHAHAHA! See Phlogiston, Vitalism, and Information.

Then they list the speakers with brief descriptions of each. Among the worthies, besides Snoke, will be Doug Axe, Biologic Institute (the Discoveroids’ very own creation science lab), and Casey Luskin, our favorite creationist.

They give a link where you can go to register, so if you’re in the mood for some of that ol’ fashioned, down-home, foot-stompin’, hand-clappin’, psalm-singin’, floor-rollin’, rafter-shakin’, old-time creationism, now you know where to find it.

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

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