Category Archives: Evolution

South Dakota’s 2017 Creationism Bill — Dead

Creationist bill, road kill

We learned the news from our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). Their headline is South Dakota’s antiscience bill stopped. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

South Dakota’s Senate Bill 55, which would have empowered science denial in the classroom, was defeated in the House Education Committee on February 22, 2017. A motion to pass the bill was defeated on a 6-9 vote, while a subsequent motion to defer further consideration of the bill to the forty-first legislative day — effectively killing it — passed on an 11-4 vote.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! It wasn’t that long ago when the thing appeared to be on a fast track to victory. Within the first two weeks of the legislative session, we wrote South Dakota Senate Passes Creationism Bill. The thing was moving “forward” at an amazing pace. It looked like there was no time to organize opposition.

But then we sensed that the Discoveroids were worried. We wrote Discovery Institute — Desperate in South Dakota? They were complaining about “dogmatic activists” who were working against the bill. After that we wrote Discovery Institute — More S. Dakota Desperation. They were putting out press releases about a creationist “scientist” who supported their bill. He was a signer of the Discoveroids’ list of Darwin-doubters — A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism. We could tell their bill was in trouble.

Okay, back to NCSE. They say:

Among those testifying against the bill were representatives of the state department of education, the Associated School Boards of South Dakota, the School Administrators of South Dakota, the South Dakota Education Association, and Climate Parents, a national movement of parents, grandparents and families mobilizing for clean energy and climate solutions.

In the days before the hearing, there was a groundswell of opposition to the bill, as NCSE previously reported, from both state and national organizations, including scientific, science education, civil liberties, and environmental groups. And a petition organized by Climate Parents garnered almost 1450 signatures from South Dakotans opposed to the bill.

Very impressive work. After that they tells us:

The day before the vote, the Associated Press (February 21, 2017) reviewed the controversy over the bill, quoting teachers, parents, and scientists with concerns about SB 55, and citing a letter from Governor Dennis Daugaard in which he told a group of Augustana University professors that he views the bill as unnecessary.

One more excerpt:

SB 55 was one of four similar bills active in 2017, along with Indiana’s Senate Resolution 17, Oklahoma’s Senate Bill 393, and Texas’s House Bill 1485; South Dakota’s was the only of them to have been passed by a chamber of the legislature but is the first of them to die. About seventy such bills have been introduced across the country since 2004.

How very disappointing this must be for the Discoveroids. All they have to show for their expensive, multi-year campaign to promote such legislation are two successes — in Louisiana and Tennessee. Everywhere else, their silly bills have all failed to pass. That’s how we like it.

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

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Ken Ham the Warrior?

We know that the Discovery Institute are Enemies of the Enlightenment, but they wage their campaign in courtrooms and in legislative chambers. They’re misguided, but at least their behavior is conventional.

It could be different in the case of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia. He ceaselessly promotes himself as the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else.

Sometimes it seems to us that Hambo considers himself to be more than a successful entrepreneur, with his creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG), his mind-boggling Creation Museum, and his replica of Noah’s Ark.

In Ken Ham Is Engaged in a War we quoted him saying:

I must admit that sometimes I wonder if the average churchgoer really understands that there is a spiritual war raging around him — in his home, church, school — well, everywhere! The New Testament contains a lot of war terminology.

[…]

It seems to me that many Christians are virtually asleep while a battle rages all around them. They go to church, send their kids to school, and come home and watch TV or whatever they like to do — all seemingly oblivious to a shocking and destructive war that is capturing many of their kids and grandkids for the enemy and is destroying the culture.

[…]

I am burdened by the thought that every Christian must understand they are all soldiers in a battle — and they all need to be at the front line and equipped to engage the enemy, who is set to drag them down and capture the coming generations of children.

[…]

And atheists are becoming more aggressive as soldiers for the enemy, out to capture the hearts and minds of children. The casualties are huge.

[…]

I praise God for the advances that many believers are making on various battlefronts as a result of the Lord using AiG to be a part of equipping them for this war. We are thrilled that despite the lethargy of many Christians, God has an army of people that is becoming more and more engaged in the battle — and we are raising up “soldiers” to teach and equip their children.

About which we said:

Now look — it’s one thing to run a circus side-show or a creation museum to entertain the rubes. But it’s quite another when the proprietor starts ranting in military terms about how he is God’s instrument in a battle against the forces of evil. Are we wrong to be concerned?

Perhaps we’re taking Hambo’s words too literally, and there’s really no cause for alarm. Maybe what we see as deeply disturbing language is merely Hambo’s style and his way of raising money. That could be it. But if there’s more going on, if Hambo truly thinks he’s been chosen to lead God’s army against the forces of evil, then he may be standing on the brink of full-blown, out-of-control madness. We hope we’re wrong. If we’re not, things could get messy.

Well, ol’ Hambo seems to be beating the war drum again in a story we found at the Christian Post, which describes itself as “the nation’s most comprehensive Christian news website.” They don’t have a comments feature. Their headline is Ken Ham Says There’s a Civil War Between Creationism, Atheistic Evolution. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Creationist Ken Ham says there’s a civil war happening in America against young earth creationism and that an atheistic view of evolution is permeating the world.

“Civil war” — not “disagreement” or “debate”. It’s an interesting choice of words. Then we’re told:

Ham recently hosted the premiere screening of the upcoming film “Is Genesis History?” at The Creation Museum and wants to reinforce the film’s message to the public. The film makes the case for creation in six literal days and presents evidence that support the accounts in the book of Genesis.

[*Groan*] We discussed that film in A Bold New Creationist ‘Documentary’. After that the Christian Post quotes ol’ Hambo again:

“What you believe about where you came from affects your whole worldview,” Ham said. “If there’s a God who created us then He owns us, then He has a right to set the rules to tell us what is right and what is wrong.”

In other words, we need a theocracy. And who is more qualified to be ruler of the world than ol’ Hambo? The article continues:

The battle has already begun in America, he argued. “Look at what we see happening, there’s really a civil war going on! It’s a civil war because we now have generations that have come through that atheistic education system,” Ham said. “The consequence of that is [things are] becoming consistent with their worldview of ‘we are our own God.’ That’s really what’s happening! Moral relativism is permeating the culture.” The Australian-born Christian fundamentalist said that people who come out of a system that believes “there is no God” have no one who determines right from wrong.

That’s so sad, when we have Hambo who can make that determination for us. Let’s read on:

The 65-year-old went on to say that as you stand back and look at the world, especially the Western world, you see that everything has become increasingly secularized with a constant rebellion against Christian doctrine and morality. “I believe we’re living in what I would call a post evolution culture,” he stated.

The rest of the article is about the ‘documentary’ and we won’t bother with that. The key point, we think, is that Hambo appears to think that we’re in the middle of an actual war, and his side is losing. Something must be done!

Or, as we wondered before, are we wrong to be concerned about Hambo’s military style of expressing himself? Perhaps it’s just his charming personality, and his drooling followers would never dream of picking up their torches and pitchforks to battle with the godless scientists. We don’t know what’s going on in Hambo’s mind or the minds of his followers. But we prefer freedom to theocracy, so we’re worried about ol’ Hambo. It could be that he’s serious.

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

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Discovery Institute — More S. Dakota Desperation

When we recently wrote Discovery Institute — Desperate in South Dakota?, we weren’t joking about our title. It really did seem to us as if the Discoveroids were worried about the fate of their South Dakota Creationism Bill for 2017.

Now we found some more evidence. It’s a press release titled South Dakota Scientist Applauds Academic Freedom Legislation As Means To Foster Critical Thinking, issued by PR Newswire, which describes itself as: “the leading global provider of marketing and communications solutions that let you optimize and distribute multimedia content to actively engage all key audiences, across all traditional, digital, social and mobile channels, anywhere in the world.”

Amusingly, there’s no mystery about the origin of this “news.” Right below the title, the press release says: “News provided by Discovery Institute.” The contents of the press release weren’t being published by the press as actual news, so the Discoveroids decided to pay for the publicity. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

This year, South Dakota has an opportunity to encourage more scientific inquiry in the classroom, according to Discovery Institute. The legislature is considering an academic freedom bill, introduced by Senator Jeff Monroe. SB 55 says: …

We already know what it says. SENATE BILL NO. 55 is titled: “An Act to protect the teaching of certain scientific information.” As we said before:

It’s a typical example of the Discovery Institute’s Academic Freedom bill. We’ve critiqued their model bill here: Curmudgeon’s Guide to “Academic Freedom” Laws.

Then the press release says:

“SB 55, under consideration by the South Dakota legislature, is a promising step forward for South Dakota science education,” said William S. Harris, PhD. Dr. Harris is the President of OmegaQuant Analytics, LLC (Sioux Falls, SD), and an NIH-funded biomedical researcher with over 300 scientific publications.

Hey, the Discoveroids found someone to promote their bill. But who is William S. Harris, PhD? And what is OmegaQuant Analytics, LLC? Their website says:

In 2004, Dr. Harris and his colleague Dr. Clemens von Schacky, a cardiologist and researcher in Munich, Germany, proposed the “Omega-3 Index” as a new risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and in 2009 Dr. Harris founded OmegaQuant Analytics, LLC, to offer the test to researchers, clinicians and the public. … OmegaQuant performs fatty acid analysis in Sioux Falls, SD for commercial and academic researcher collaborators, and for consumers interested in monitoring their nutritional status in both blood and breast milk.

The fatty acid test facility’s website also provides some information about William S. Harris, PhD:

Dr. Harris is an internationally recognized expert on omega-3 fatty acids and how they can benefit patients with heart disease. … Dr. Harris is a Professor in the Department of Medicine in the Sanford School of Medicine at the University of South Dakota, and the President and CEO of OmegaQuant.

Not quite an expert on evolution, but he performs a useful service. So do creationist dentists. The Discoveroids’ press release gives us an example of his thinking:

“Scientific controversy over the ability of Darwin’s version of evolution (i.e., natural selection acting blindly on random mutations) to explain the expanse of life on this planet continues to grow with each new revelation of the exceeding complexity of even the “simplest” life forms, not to mention humans,” Harris said. “In my view, it is very important for today’s students to understand the evidence for and against important scientific theories like Darwinism and to honestly consider challenges even to such long-held dogmas.”

Darwinism is a “long-held dogma”? Wow — the Discoveroids have a real winner here. How did they find him? Being experienced in such matters, your Curmudgeon checked the the woeful list of Darwin-doubters run by the Discovery Institute — A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism. The 900 or so who have signed it are approximately 3/4 of 1% of the scientists represented by those who have signed the National Center for Science Education’s Project Steve — see ‘Project Steve’ Now Has 1,400 Steves.

Additionally, the Discoveroids are far less selective than NCSE in choosing their signatories. The Discoveroids’ list includes a significant number of MDs, dentists, engineers, meteorologists, industrial hygiene specialists, nutritionists, philosophers, political “scientists,” sociologists, and such. On the other hand, everyone on NCSE’s list of Steves has a PhD, and a majority of them are in a biological field.

Those who sign the Discoveroids’ list agree with this statement: “We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.” Harris’ name is on the list. He’s described as “Ph.D. Nutritional Biochemistry.”

There’s not much more to the press release. They quote Harris again:

“South Dakota students can only benefit from such an approach – and hopefully, legislators will seize this occasion to promote scientific inquiry,” added Harris.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Yes, exposing the kiddies to Discoveroid propaganda can only be beneficial.

Okay, that’s enough. Now then, will this kind of artificial publicity help the South Dakota bill get passed into law? We shall see.

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

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An Incredible Creationist Article

This is from a website we’ve never seen before. It’s called The Christian Truther, and they describe themselves as “created by Freedom Fighters and Christian Truthers, we seek to expose the lies and deceit that the powers that be force us to see every day.”

Their article is titled ‘Evilution:’ The Secret Luciferian, Spiritual Origin To One of The Biggest Hoaxes in History – Evolution. The title is a hint of the wonders within. It’s very long, so we’ll just excerpt the fun parts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Since the beginning of time, a war has raged, and while the details have remained similar, the methodology has changed. The Bible dictates this war in perfect detail, and clearly states that God has won. It also clearly states that we as Christians are to be opposed to the ways of the world. The Bible, written over the course of creation and history, has dictated the events of today with such incredible accuracy, that it could not have been authored by man alone. The purpose of this post is to further arm the Christian in dealing with the ways of this world.

Good start, huh? Then they say:

A significant portion of evolution was derived from Charles Darwin and his book “Origin of Species.” Darwin, himself was an agnostic influenced by spiritualists. [Huh?] However, the co-author of the book, Alfred Russel Wallace [Huh?], was not agnostic at all; in fact, he was a was a devotee of spiritualism that included pantheism, paganism, occult ideas, and practices. Wallace’s beliefs directly coincide with the New Age Movement, and within the New Age ideology lies an alarming coalition between spiritualism and science. Even further, there is an alarming correlation between Hindu occultism, the New Age movement, and evolution.

You didn’t know that Wallace was Darwin’s co-author, did you? But they’re right about one thing — Wallace was a bit of a spiritualist, and late in life he was strange enough that the Discoveroids consider him a fellow creationist — see Discoveroids Adopt Alfred Wallace as Godfather, and also Klinghoffer Gushes Again About Alfred Wallace. After that, The Christian Truther tells us:

Darwin’s origin of species book also granted Karl Marx the enthusiasm he needed to create the Communist Manifesto.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! In Marx, Stalin, and Darwin, we point out that Marx wrote his Manifesto of the Communist Party in 1848, eleven years before Darwin published Origin of Species in 1859. The Christian Truther continues:

It is incredibly evident that the theory of evolution was the basis for Marxism. In other words, Darwin’s theories have created the belief that humans are not a special species. Instead, it has created the belief that humans are merely animals, which gives rise to the idea that life is not sacred at all, but rather it is disposable.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! As we said in our earlier post:

Communism has a long history. There are numerous passages in the bible encouraging communism. See: Is The Bible’s God a Communist?, which has examples of bible communism, with chapter and verse quotes.

[…]

The concepts [of evolution and communism] don’t mesh; they conflict. Marxism’s maxim: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” is pretty much the opposite of natural selection, according to which only those best adapted to survive will breed the next generation.

Let’s read on:

When humanity is not viewed in a sacred light, it becomes easier to mass murder individuals, Karl Marx proved that. When humanity is not viewed in a sacred light, humans become no more than animals, and it could easily be justified to enslave humanity.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! They don’t know that Darwin was one of the most prominent emancipationists of his generation. Another excerpt:

Science is derived from the word ‘scientia,’ in Latin meaning knowledge; the Bible again describes that knowledge will increase in those days according to Daniel 12:4. Man’s desire for knowledge is what began all of this, in the garden of Eden, according to Genesis 2:16-17 “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Thou shalt eat freely of every tree of the garden, 17 But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt die the death.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Science is sin!

Okay, that’s enough. There’s much more in The Christian Truther article. Go ahead, read it. You won’t learn anything, but it’s amazingly entertaining.

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

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