Category Archives: Evolution

Thrilling News from the Discovery Institute

This is so amazing that we won’t delay with any introductory blather. At the Discoveroids’ creationist blog we found this: Privileged Species with Geneticist Michael Denton Gets Its Online Premiere; See It Now! Here’s what we’re told, with bold font added by us:

Finally, the stirring and profound documentary with geneticist Michael Denton, Privileged Species, is available to see now, free online.

Michael Denton? He’s a Discoveroid “senior fellow” and the author of the 1985 creationist classic, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis. The last time we discussed him was Discoveroids: The Universe is Platonic. Okay, back to the big announcement:

Dr. Denton extends the argument for intelligent design to the ultra-, ultra-fine-tuning of the cosmos for carbon-based life forms like ourselves.

“Ultra-, ultra-fine-tuning”? Ooooooooooooh! [*Curmudgeon is so exhilarated he has to dash away from his computer to change his underwear*] Okay, we’re back. Let’s read on:

You cannot watch these 33 minutes without coming away with the very powerful conclusion that the universe was designed with us very specifically in mind.

The Discoveroids provide a link to Denton’s video, but we’re going to tease you. You’ll have click over to their website to see it. We continue:

The documentary investigates the special properties of carbon, water, and oxygen that make human life and the life of other organisms possible, and it explores some of the unique features of humans that make us a truly privileged species.

The “special properties of carbon, water, and oxygen”? Well, if oxygen atoms didn’t have 8 protons, then there wouldn’t be any H2O. Denton is right! Wowie! Why didn’t anyone tell us about this before? Here’s more:

Dr. Denton himself is currently on a national speaking tour to celebrate the release of the film. Casey Luskin traveled with him in California last week …

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Traveling with Casey must be a special reward for Discoveroid fellows.

We have to stop now, because we’re too excited to go on. If any of you have the courage to view the video, let us know what it says.

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

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Ken Ham’s Crusade Against the “Nones”

It’s time for another visit with Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia, famed for his creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG) and for the mind-boggling Creation Museum.

A few months ago we wrote You’re Either For Ken Ham or Against Him, in which we expressed our growing concern for ol’ Hambo. His post today doesn’t ease our worries. It’s titled America Is 21% “None”. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

I often point out in my talks that America has the most Christian bookstores, Christian colleges and universities, Christian radio and TV programs, and the most churches of any nation in the world. I then ask my audience, “Is America becoming more or less Christian everyday?” My audience always replies with “less Christian.” Even with the unprecedented number of Christian resources, America is increasingly becoming less and less Christian with each passing day as the foundation of biblical authority has been replaced with man’s word.

Oh, how horrible. What’s happening to us? Hambo explains that it’s worse than you think:

Sadly, this trend is only increasing. Reportedly, the latest General Social Survey was recently released. Apparently this multimillion-dollar analysis of the American population determined that “since 2012, the U.S. has about 7.5 million more Americans who are no longer active in religion.” Now 21% of the US population is considered a “none.”

This link to the outfit that conducted the survey is the best we could find: General Social Survey: Chronicling Changes in American Society. You’ll have to scroll down about half-way to find a chart with the data. Let’s read some more from Hambo’s reaction:

But those who claim to be “nones” really do have a religion! They have a man-made religion of secularity. They have developed a worldview through which they view and interpret the world.

Jeepers, he’s right. Everything you see, everything you think, everything you do — it’s religion! He continues:

Now, everyone has a religion, but ultimately there really are only two religions: for Christ or against Christ [scripture reference]. There is no neutrality!

Yup — that’s the only way to look at it. You’re either for Hambo’s religion or you’re against it. Here’s more:

Sadly, the number of those who falsely think that they have no religion only keeps growing in America. And it will only keep growing, if the statistics are any sign. But what should Christians do?

All sorts of things have been tried in the past — inquisitions, witch burnings, slaughter of infidels. What does Hambo recommend? He tells us:

Preach the gospel!

Yes — of course! Then Hambo elaborates:

We need to reach out to these nones and this dying culture. Chances are you live beside, work with, or are friends with some of these nones. We need to be bold in sharing the gospel with them and be prepared with solid, biblical answers to the questions that they have about the Christian faith. [Etc., etc.]

So there you are. And while you’re at it, send those wicked nones some tickets to the Creationism Museum. That’s guaranteed to do the job! Or better yet, make a generous contribution to ol’ Hambo. He knows what to do.

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

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Casey Rejects Origin of Life Research

Last week we wrote How Life Began — Problem Solved?, at the end of which we said: “It’s going to be fun to see the creationists’ reactions.”

The only reactions we’ve seen so far have been from the Discovery Institute. The very next day they wrote Origin-of-Life Claims: Triple Header or Strike Three?, which was so chaotic and bizarre that we ignored it. It was nothing more than a mindless spasm — quite understandable, given their claim that the origin of life is impossible by natural means.

But today they finally posted something we can read. It’s by Casey Luskin, our favorite creationist, and it’s titled “Solution” to an Origin of Life Puzzle Highlights the Need for Careful Planning by an Intelligent Investigator. Casey says, with bold font added by us:

Last week they … solved a major puzzle in the origin of life. Science reports that “Researchers may have solved origin-of-life conundrum,” claiming that a new paper in Nature Chemistry may show that many building blocks of life could have been created through organic chemistry on the early Earth.

It’s taken the Discoveroids a week to recover sufficiently to be able to post that. The origin of life is one of the key miracles attributed to their intelligent designer — blessed be he! — but if it’s something that can be shown to have a natural origin, then the entire rationale for their creationist cult is gone.

A possible origin of life by natural means is the one thing the Discoveroids hoped would never be discovered — at least in their lifetimes. It’s like spending the last 20 years of your life writing 900 page book titled “Why Hoffa’s Body Will Never Be Found,” and then, just as you submit the manuscript to your publisher, someone digs up his carcass. Let’s read on:

The Science report starts with what I’ve called in the past a “retroactive confession of ignorance.” What’s that? It is an admission that scientists didn’t know something — but suspiciously, these kinds of admissions come only after evolutionists think they have solved some problem. Not only do these make you wonder what unsolved evolutionary problems they’re refusing to admit right now, but the risk is that their “solution” itself won’t stand up to scrutiny. That would leave the confession twisting awkwardly in the wind.

Wow — that paragraph is a classic. Definitely a keeper. The rest of Casey’s post is long and dreary, but we found a couple of other gems within it. The way we’re going to excerpt them doesn’t give you the full context, but if you care to see his whole essay, it’s there for you. Okay, here’s another:

I asked an organic chemist who has some experience with these sorts of experiments, and he indicated that their research involves far too much investigator meddling and planning for it to represent unguided natural processes: [quote omitted].

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! The “organic chemist” he checked with was probably Michael Behe. As for that chemist’s clunker about “investigator meddling” in lab work, we wrote about it long ago. It’s number three in our Ten Laws of Creationism, which we quote:

The Law of Reproducible Results: Anything found in nature was Designed, unless it can be reproduced in the lab. Corollary: Anything intentionally done in a lab is not natural; it’s a purposeful result. Therefore, all lab results are evidence of Intelligent Design.

Here’s more from Casey:

Indeed, if this mechanism did work then it would seem to be a stroke of incredibly good luck, as even the technical paper admits: [quote omitted]. Isn’t that fortunate — that the very molecules produced by these chemical pathways “turned out to work.” Moreover, the reactions had to be finely-tuned — they had to have just the right amount of UV light, etc., so as to allow the reactions to proceed forward but prevent degradation of the molecules.

Moreover, all that’s being created here are the precursors to monomers like amino acids and nucleotides. Assuming you could get those monomers, you would have to then form biomolecular polymers RNA and proteins — but forming polymers is a lot more complicated than one might expect. As I explained recently, forming proteins or RNA molecules requires dehydration synthesis — something extremely unlikely to occur under natural conditions: [Casey’s quote of his own writing is omitted].

Oooooooooh — it’s unlikely! Hey, that’s number 8 in our Ten Laws:

The Law of Supernatural Superiority: Whenever two explanations of a phenomenon are presented, one natural and one supernatural, the latter is always better. Naturalistic bias must be avoided.

Moving along in Casey’s essay:

And so the retroactive confessions of ignorance that have accompanied this paper remain, but the “solution” to the problem doesn’t really alleviate our ignorance. Indeed, nothing has been done yet by origin of life theorists to alleviate our ignorance of how to solve the information sequence problem.

Ooooooooooh — information! Verily, the origin of that magical substance remains a miracle. See Phlogiston, Vitalism, and Information.

Okay, that’s enough. Now you know that you can ignore the recent research. Casey has used his formidable intellect to show that life is impossible, therefore Oogity Boogity!

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Scott Walker Is a Creationist

Remember last month when we posted Is Scott Walker a Creationist? Sure you do. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is a Republican presidential contender who, while in England on a trade mission, dodged a reporter’s question on evolution, saying:

“I’m going to punt on that one as well,” Walker replied. “That’s a question a politician shouldn’t be involved in one way or the other.”

At the time we said:

That may be the smart way to play it, in terms of party primary politics, but still, we need to know how he thinks. Is he pro-science, or is he a science-denier? More broadly, does he decide issues based on evidence, or in some non-rational way? It’s fine if a candidate has strong principles, but they have to be based in reality, not ideology.

Well, now we have the answer. We don’t know how we missed it, but Walker was interviewed a month ago by — *sigh* — Megyn Kelly. The video is only about 30 seconds long. Walker clearly declares that he’s anti-science, and is therefore a flaming creationist.

As most of you know, your humble Curmudgeon is a Republican, albeit one of the dwindling number of those who were once a majority of the party back in the Goldwater days — before the so-called social conservatives became prominent. That makes us a rarity among science bloggers. What will your Curmudgeon do if a creationist like Walker is the GOP nominee?.

We explained our position a couple of election cycles ago in Creationism or Socialism: Which is Dumber? It’s one of our favorite posts, but it upset most of you, and it probably still does. That’s how it goes. It’s not easy being a Curmudgeon.

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